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3 minute read


Ever had a competitor copy you?

Frustrating right? Don’t let copycat competitors drive you mad. Do what they’re not…

Whether you’re a market leader, the challenger company or the little guy, the temptation to constantly monitor what your competitors do can drive you to distraction. The secret when you come across copycat competitors is not to panic, especially if they’re following your every move. Stay focused and trust your own business and marketing strategy. After all, if other businesses are competing with you, you’re clearly doing something right.

COVID has made some marketers lazy

One of the things that we do here at Stepps regularly, as I’m sure you do as well, is we look at our numbers. And when it comes to digital marketing specifically, one of the metrics we look at each week is called ‘referral traffic’.

In simple terms, referral traffic tells us how many people have been on other websites online, and have clicked on a link, and have then landed on your website.

We’ve noticed during the COVID period that we have received a lot of referral traffic from a particular online tool, that allows you to “spy” on your competitors.

You can put a competitor website URL into this tool and it will essentially tell you all of the keywords that they’re using in the backend of their website, the meta descriptions, all the technical SEO language that you hear people talk about in marketing. It allows you to essentially spy on your competitors and look at what they’re doing when it comes to SEO.

This tool won’t tell you how much traffic your website is driving and it won’t tell you how many enquiries that your competitors have received via their website. It’s essentially more of a profiling tool to give you some top-line metrics about your competitors.

So during the COVID period, we’ve noticed that one of our competitors has been using this tool to have a little bit of fun around our website and essentially spy on how we’ve got our website set up. But here’s the thing, during that very same period, we’ve been using the exact same tool to spy on you as a real estate agent.

This very same tool allows us to look at:

  1. What questions you’re typing into Google
  2. What topics you’re curious about
  3. The times of day that you’re typically online
  4. And more…

We then use that data to create content in the form of blog articles, videos, podcasts, and online courses that answers those digital marketing questions that we know that you are asking. Because these tools have told us that you are asking those questions.

So the very same tool that can be used to spy on your competitors can be used to spy on your consumers and help you create marketing that you know they actually want because they’re going to Google to ask for it. You might as well just put it on your website.

So that’s my lesson this week:

“The longer you’re focused on your competitors, the longer you are not focused on your consumers.”

And I think in real estate, we do tend to copy each other quite a bit when it comes to marketing and branding, and you might be laughing right now because you agree. You may disagree.

But really, when we’re focused on our competitors, we are not focused on our consumers. And I think that’s a missed opportunity in marketing, especially during a time like this right now where people are looking for brands to be original and authentic, and to create marketing that they actually want. Instead of what we typically do in real estate, which is, to create stuff that people chuck in the wheelie bin.

I’m keen to hear your thoughts.

What do you think? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Leave a comment below.

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