It’s only creepy if you get caught, right? Browsing your competitor’s website and social media profiles is an easy and convenient way to learn new strategies and marketing tactics you might not be using. Here are some ways you can improve your business through stalking your competition online.

What social media platforms are they playing on?

What are your competitors doing on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? How often are they posting on their pages? What offers are they advertising to their followers? Are you missing something by not participating on social media networks they are active on?

Look beyond the basics and analyze their social media strategy. Check out the types of content they post and more importantly content which seems to motivate their community to action. Do you have similar and relevant content you could be sharing there? If the answer is yes, set up an account for your business and get to work.

It is fine to use your competitor’s pages as inspiration. When it comes to online content, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery, it makes your business look like a copycat. Get ideas for posts or tweets and put your own unique spin on them.

Do they have a blog?

Are your competitors blogging? If they aren’t this is the perfect opportunity to get a leg up on them. If they are blogging look for ways to do better, and better doesn’t mean more. Look at what they are blogging about. Do you agree with their content? Could you do better or provide more complete information?

Don’t bash or slam other companies in your posts. It makes you look petty and childish. Instead, offer your expertise or perspective on the subject.

Not convinced blogging is right for you? Take a moment to read about the endless benefits of blogging here. Also, if you need help getting started, download our Blogging for Beginners Guide. It’s a great resource to use if you find the blogging process overwhelming. If you’re short on time (or writers), you can always hire a freelance writer or marketing firm to blog for you.

How does your website stack up?

Do you find yourself constantly comparing your website to others in your industry? Are there things you wish you could change to make your site better? Does your website look outdated? Take some time to really think about your answers to these questions. Your website is your company’s home online. It’s the first place people are going to go when they want to learn more about your business. People are no longer only using desktop computers to find your website. They are using laptops, tablets and smartphones. You can no longer ignore the importance of responsive design.

Consumers might call your business to get more information, but they are going to your website first. If your site isn’t up to snuff, it’s time to give your site a much needed upgrade. So what if you and your competitors are all running on websites designed three or four years ago? Get out ahead of them! Set the bar high and make competitors wish they were playing on your level.

There’s no shame in stalking your competitors online. We actually encourage you to do so. It will provide you with new ideas for blog posts, social media updates and opportunities to improve your website. Not 100 percent convinced you need to update your website? Take our web audit here:

Web Audit - How does your website stack up