Knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing is not the most important aspect of an optimization campaign, however knowing this information early on can help guide the optimization process in the most effective direction.
While it is quite easy to change the focus of your optimization efforts, doing so can cause you to lose any momentum that had been propelling your site forward in the search results. This can be devastating on a short term basis, often forcing your site to start from the ground up once again. Depending on how well your site was built, optimized and linked, and also how drastic of a change is occurring, you may find some of the past efforts carry over to the new efforts.
Having a firm grasp on your competition can help you assess the appropriate direction you need to embark. Be careful, though, not to do something simply because a competitor is doing it. I’ve seen far too many business owners fall prey to this temptation only to find that their competitors were doing it wrong to begin with.
Accessing the competition will give you a good idea of who they are, where they are, what they are doing, what’s right or wrong about their campaign and what is or isn’t effective. This data can then be assimilated into the other areas of pre-optimization research to develop a campaign that will be effective at achieving top search engine placement and delivering results.
This post is part of a continuing series on the topic of:
Optimizing For Maximum Search Engine Performance
Sub-Topic: Know Your Competition