Your business may already be well-established and is thriving. New customers sign up frequently and everyone is happy.
But – you are not the only one doing web hosting and the competition is tough. If you want to get ahead and stay ahead, you must keep abreast of what’s going on in the web hosting industry. In order to compete within your market areas, you have to know what your competition is doing and what the market is demanding. This means looking at your competitors websites from time-to-time and see what they are doing (web hosting businesses do almost all their business online).
The Internet makes this an easy task. In another business, for instance, you would have to take real effort to find out what the competition is doing. You would have to call your competitor and pretend to be a customer or even go there and buy something or spend some time in the store as an example. As a web host you do not have to go that far. Logon to the Internet and browse some websites.
As you’re an Internet business, it’s easy to check out another business website to see what’s going on. “Google” (meaning: do a search on your competition via Google.com) the most common key words and see whose company comes up on top or shows up on the advertisement area. Anyone on page 1 and 2 of your search result did a good job because they are ranking so high.
So, check them out to see what else they are good with. I would recommend visiting at least 10 competitors’ websites. Here are some of things to look for:
1) The website design itself. After looking at several, are you seeing a new trend? Maybe everyone is starting to put audio clips on their website, or the look is getting cleaner (or busier). You want to look current, if not on the leading edge.
2) What sort of specials are they offering? Any good deals or upgrades in their hosting packages?
3) Are money-back guarantees prominently featured? Are they still the same number of days like the last time?
4) Are there some new phrases you need to take note of, like sticky taglines or brilliant descriptions of boring old stuff?
5) How do they describe what they do or what they offer? Is there something you could learn from their way of describing the products?
6) Has someone come up with a new line of products or new services – something no one in the industry has seen yet?
What you are doing is taking a lot at things from your potential customers’/clients’ viewpoint. Today’s smart consumer shops around before he signs up for web hosting or registers a domain name. Consumers compare what is being offered and how, in order to make informed decisions.
So periodically take this trip your potential customers do. Visit your competition and see what it’s like. You could be in for some surprises. Make sure you take some notes or even make screenshots for comparison when it is time for your next round of going around.
Also keep track of who is listed on the first 2 pages on your Google search. Newcomers might have something discovered that your business is lacking off. I would recommend making these visits once every 3 months.