The most common mistake people make with the copy the competition’s strategy is they find the competition the wrong way. The way it should be done is to search keywords you’d like to rank for in a couple different search engines and see who ranks best. Then take the top three or four and duplicate some of the effective tactics they display.
Unfortunately, a common way of doing this is to type in the nearest and best known competition and start copying. The problem is you have no idea how or if their website ranks. You might be copying the worst ranked site on the web for all you know. Unless you found out that your nearest competition hired the best search engine optimization company in town, don’t start with them. Let the search engines point you to the competition that’s doing it best. If your nearest competition still comes up in that list, feel comfortable that you will be using their valuable tactics, not junk they put on the web.
A common piece of advice for improving a sites rank is for the owner to spy on their competition’s SEO tactics and duplicate what they see so they will rank well. While this can be a great idea if the spy can analyze what they are seeing and critically choose what makes sense, it can be disastrous for someone that blindly emulates.
In my upcoming posts, I will lay out 6 ways this strategy can be detrimental and some ways to avoid making these search engine optimizing mistakes.
There is a tendency in email marketing to obsess about the bad. Some people look right past opens and click-throughs to the unsubscribe rate. If they see 10 people unsubscribed they begin to panic thinking that the campaign has lost its effectiveness and it’s time to move in radically different directions. Always have an idea of what the numbers mean. 10 people from a list of 10,000 means that only .1% unsubscribed. That’s not something to obsess over. However 10 from a list of 100, is something to be concerned about.
Avoid the unsubscribe paranoia. Certainly you should gauge how many unsubscribes and what is unreasonable. Know what the numbers mean and whether it signifies a problem needs fixed or does the entire campaign need changed. As a rule of thumb anything over 5% is probably pointing to a major problem. However, if its 3% but that only happens once, it’s worth evaluating that email, but not pulling the plug on the campaign. Smaller lists require even more analysis. Three people from one company makes up 3% if you only email a hundred people but it is really an isolated incident. Before analyzing any email rate set your goals and acceptable ranges of response. Do the same for unsubscribes and avoid rushing to judgement that things have gone terribly wrong unless you have some significant data to back that opinion.