Optimizing for your competitors company name
Pilfering through Google Analytics
So yesterday I was doing my thing, going through my GA reports @ 100 MPH when my mouse wheel came to a screeching halt (well maybe not screeching). Usually when reviewing my keyword analysis I skip right over all the keywords that match or partially match my company name. Today I took a closer look at that group of keywords and couldn't believe how much traffic was coming through those terms. Currently, I rank #1 for the most popular term in my market and I am between 1 and 5 for the next 14 most popular (volume). It turns out that I am getting more traffic for people typing my company name than some of the most trafficked (is that a word) keyword terms in my market. Immediately, I run reports for 4 other web properties I manage and find the same to be true in each case. Next thing I do is go to Google and enter my own company name and the names of my competitors each time respectfully and find NO competing companies in the result set sometimes 3 to 4 pages deep. I have to think that my competitors in my market are experiencing similar results.
My theory as to why this is, is that the keyword terms that match or partially match the company name is coming from buyers researching yard signs. Yard signs represent the 3rd biggest source of buyer leads in real estate (15%) where the internet represents the 2nd largest source of buyer leads at 24%. Why wouldn't this be the reason for users typing company names directly in to Google?
How to Capitalize
With this being said, why wouldn't I optimize for my competitor's company name? If my competitor is getting the same results, why shouldn't I at least try to direct some of that my way? I would not mind capturing some of my competitors 15%. With our MLS, I can display my competitor's listings under our IDX agreement and Code of Ethics as well as provide some relevant (non-slanderous) information about the competing company. The content would be useful, timely, relevant and in no way considered spam. I am doing the buyer a huge service by offering buyer representation completely independent of the listing company.
Please Chime In
I looked everywhere to see if there was someone else doing this and didn't see anything. I saw similar examples in other industries where it almost looked "black-hat". In this case I consider it more than ethical and could be quite productive if done properly. If you see anything wrong with this idea please PM or comment right here.