What's your strategy to outperform all of your competitors?

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We have an overabundance of "SEO" talk but what about some actual business concepts?

Came across this brilliant HBR video describing the difference between Strategy and Planning:


Can you see the relevance to building a WINNING website? Absolutely brilliant.

So ask yourself... what's your strategy?
 

wikibum

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Your question "What's your strategy to outperform all of your competitors?", in my opinion, is already putting you in the wrong mindset/setting you on the wrong path.

First, why do you want to outperform ALL of them? Let's face it - most of them suck, so you shouldn't care about them. You should only focus on the ones that are successful. The successful ones are going to be a handful and so looking at what they are doing will add so much more value than looking at everyone's approach/strategy.

Second, most people assume that their competition is doing great in all areas of their business, so they end up making a list of 3 "top" competitors. If you dig deeper though, you will realize that you have a larger variety of competitors for different areas of your business. If you actually segment your competitors at a deeper level - say by practice area or marketing channel, you will end up with a larger more specific list. That specific list will help you better understand how to tailor your business to truly be on top.

For example. Let's say you are running a car accident law firm and have offices in 3 different cities.

Traditional approach.
These are my top 3 competitors... They have more offices than me and are obviously doing great from all the ads and data that I see. Let me focus my energy on figuring out what they are doing so I can beat them...

Tailored approach.
For city 1, I noticed that these are my top 2 competitors when it comes to MAP SEO. I also have 2 other competitors when it comes to PPC. This brings me a total of 4 competitors for city 1. Now, let me look at what competitor 1 and competitor 2 are doing in city 1...

(The above is a super simplified example)

Point of all this is that if you dig deeper and segment your competition based on your business needs/type - you will be able to pull much more insightful data for each area and therefore better understand what you need to do to be successful in that area. Rinse and repeat for each area and you will end up whooping their ass and take over your industry/city (whatever your goal is)
 
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First, why do you want to outperform ALL of them? Let's face it - most of them suck, so you shouldn't care about them. You should only focus on the ones that are successful. The successful ones are going to be a handful and so looking at what they are doing will add so much more value than looking at everyone's approach/strategy.
I'm not really understanding the difference there... I mean if you're going to WIN, that requires the inconsequential ones as well as the "successful" ones, to all be beneath your feet.

If you're going to play the game, a strategy is simply a not yet proven theory on how to win. It's not so much about analyzing what others do and doing better. It's about creating an unshakable competitive edge where if you're not wrong, you will end up on top.
 

wikibum

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I'm not really understanding the difference there... I mean if you're going to WIN, that requires the inconsequential ones as well as the "successful" ones, to all be beneath your feet.

I hate to answer a question with a question, but you said it yourself. You want to focus on the Inconsequential ones?! The definition of Inconsequential = not important or significant. Why do you want to focus on competitors who are not significant? What value is that going to bring you?

Let's assume you are a tennis player trying to go pro and you are currently ranked 50/100. Are you going to focus your time and energy on beating the lower 50 or are you going to focus on beating the top 50? You already beat the lower 50 so why go back and study what they are doing again?
 
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I hate to answer a question with a question, but you said it yourself. You want to focus on the Inconsequential ones?! The definition of Inconsequential = not important or significant. Why do you want to focus on competitors who are not significant? What value is that going to bring you?

Let's assume you are a tennis player trying to go pro and you are currently ranked 50/100. Are you going to focus your time and energy on beating the lower 50 or are you going to focus on beating the top 50? You already beat the lower 50 so why go back and study what they are doing again?
I think you're misunderstanding me.

There isn't a separate tactic or plan to defeat an inconsequential competitor nor is there one for each consequential competitor. I guess I could if I wanted to?

For example, in my own niche which is in YMYL healthcare... after doing keyword research and consequently producing 25-50 articles, you should have a pretty good lay of the land. The first page of the SERPs will be dominated by a handful of major players but sometimes you'll find some randos that sneak into the SERP or even take the top spot away from the industry goliaths.

The conclusion that I came to was that all of their content was weak and could be done better. I mean yes, I need to produce content that is better than what is existing by making it longer, more comprehensive, more pictures, and adding a fresh perspective.

However, there is no competitive edge nor am I able to create a resistant competitive moat by simply doing that. Competitors can just extend their articles and add more pictures in response.

So what would give me an edge over all of them? Then a question came to me, wouldn't consumers seeking healthcare information want to read articles written by healthcare professionals rather than by content writers?

Consequently, that forms the core of my strategy to WIN in this entire health vertical.

I believe that consumers would prefer to read healthcare information from healthcare professionals rather than content writers.

That is also tied into the vision for this new digital media business. The entire journey and resulting success simply provides an answer to my theory. Was my theory wrong or was it right?
 
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Great video & great topic. According to the video, you have formed a theory which is the foundation of your strategy. Now it's time to hammer that out.

Going to his Southwest example, what segment of the market does that cater to?

Something more specific than, "consumers that prefer to read healthcare information from healthcare professionals rather than content writers."
 
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Great video & great topic. According to the video, you have formed a theory which is the foundation of your strategy. Now it's time to hammer that out.

Going to his Southwest example, what segment of the market does that cater to?

Something more specific than, "consumers that prefer to read healthcare information from healthcare professionals rather than content writers."
Call me crazy but I'm going to take market share directly from Healthline and WebMD. I want my name to come up during their strategy meetings. Some lunatic from BuSo trying to take down Goliath.

I've really only started creating content since ~April-ish but I think I'm making decent progress despite the fact that its just a one man show...

IRPy3lP.png


About to be the end of the 5th month soon... Aiming for 1M pageviews by the end of the 12th month.

Go big or go home, right?
 
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More content and more backlinks, simply put.

I always aim for publishing 300+ posts on my websites the moment I start them (think - the first month or 2). Anything under 100 doesn't feel serious nowadays.

I work with building backlinks during my day job, so I'm good at outreach and securing cheap (yet strong) links for my sites.

With the right strategies in mind, it's possible to blow your competitors out the water.

Stick to the basics.

I love this quote which sums up my strategy to outperform my competitors:

Focusing on one thing and doing it well can get you very, very far.

Backlinks are one of those things.
 

secretagentdad

The most goodest good faith op on the interwebs.
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I consider these more of my personal woo woo than strategy but here’s my list.

Dumb gimmicks to raise engagement in platform feeds are effectively just digital steroids.

Always go all in on accessibility and lower entry barriers over maximizing initial revenue kpis. Speed and low barriers to usage beats squeezing for max rpm all day long because is jacks up your user stick rates and sometimes even lets you get a piece of their network effects. In the long run this makes high cost basis competitors eat shit.

For internet stuff; Always pick a min max position. Being in the middle sucks shit. Good value and mixed bag positions get squeezed from multiple directions at once. You end up with different competitors crushing you on specific traffic sources they’re better optimized for.

Always grift platforms that raised to much money until the subsidy goes away. New features and ad platforms with significant backing are usually subsidized when they first come out. Beat them up until competitor adoption or management optimization ruins them.

Avoid the shit out of mature platforms run by zuck like entities. They will steal your lunch money while claiming to be partners in obscure round about ways that are hard to catch until it’s to late.
Nothing sucks more than watching your customer base eat retargeting ads in high value capture niches after you spent your money building a following.
 
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I took an unknown startup from 0 to $7,000,000 in annual revenue (that's their current revenue right now) and I was familiar with strategy and this guy's philosophy from business school. I also was in the Army and this is how I visualise it, after many times of walking in the woods discussing battles.

So, for the Army, you have a battle space. That's where you engage in battle. It can be in the air, on the sea, under the sea, on land, in the woods, in a field, in a swamp, or in the desert or somewhere else like in cyber space or in outer space. Then you have to figure out the "terrain". So let's say you're in the woods and it is hilly. You then have to figure out how you'll traverse the terrain and walk across those hills or under those hills in the valley to get to do your "business," whatever that is. Let's say it's just to attack a village and capture a key item. So you map your route and who you'll take for such an operation against the estimated opposing force so that you can go there and capture the item and go back. Then you go and execute your plan. This is 100% in line with the idea that strategy provokes angst since you have no idea what the opposing force is doing. I totally resonate with that. You also need to know the playing field, as walking around in the woods can mean a lot of things.

Let me translate for SEO.

So, the "playing field" here is keywords. There's millions of them that are relevant to "weight loss" and each keyword has a certain volume. You can picture it like a terrain map with higher level meaning higher search volume. Your objective is to capture as much terrain as possible. That's more traffic for you and less traffic for the other guys. How you do that is by researching your competitors. What I did when we first started was that I picked "weak" competitors who were doing better than us, found ways to do what they did better, and then challenged them. Once I surpassed them, I targeted the next "weak" guy and rinsed and repeated until we were on the top. It took 6 years.

So, how do you find weakness in competitors? I did that by reviewing their content and backlinks. I figured how they were writing content and found ways to make my content cheaper (so that I can publish more) or better (so that readers prefer my stories more ) or more relevant (so that it ranks correctly for keywords) or something else. Then I took their area of the map. Once I was done, I aimed at the next competitor and surveyed the area they had, and targeted them. For backlinks, I reviewed their backlinks and asked "how did they get this?" and figured out what operations they ran to get it. I then figured out how I can get similar ones and, if possible, cheaper or in more quantity. For example, let's say the "enemy" gets 50 backlinks/month and it's from outreach. I then need to figure out a way for me to get 51 backlinks/month from outreach too, just to stay competitive with him. Here, you're creating a new business operation. Its "operational capability" and you're adding this new "power" to your business. So if a competitor does public relations to get backlinks, you need to too. This is to challenge them directly for their marketshare keyword share. Once you beat them, find the next big guy. And when you're at the top, don't get complacent or paranoid and stay innovative :smile:

Hope this helps.