Is your industry a crowded and competitive marketplace? How do you stand out and differentiate yourself from your competitors online? Trying to quiet the noise and find the edge you need to stand out is not an easy task. Could a redesign of your website be the next step in your strategy to gain traction? How do you reach that goal and turn it into reality?

Below are some impactful steps you can take to use your website as a powerful tool in helping you to stand out in the noisy online marketplace:

Use Content to Highlight Your Strengths and Connect with Your Audience

When it comes to content, the goal is to understand what makes your company the best, and then write copy that makes it easy for your prospective customers to understand how your company is different. Accomplishing this goal is one way to turn a market that seems competitive “on paper” into one that you own.

We work with a number of hospitals and banks, two very competitive and crowded markets, so we’re familiar with solving the pain point of “how can I use my website to cause my company to rise above the clutter and provide my company with a competitive edge?”

The key here is to focus on dissecting the qualities that make your company different and better than your competition. For example, when speaking with marketing executives in the banking, hospital and other competitive markets, I always like to ask early on in the sales process: “I get that your market is crowded. There are three other hospitals within 15 miles of your location. But is the market truly competitive? Let’s dive deeper to see how competitive your situation really is.”

Using a regional hospital as an example (and you can apply this approach to any industry), what if you and the nearest hospital have just opened a brand new bariatric surgery center? The other hospital has devoted a new section to its website and is running campaigns touting the technology, surgical procedures and doctors in its bariatric surgery center. Sounds pretty intimidating, right? It’s actually not that hard to develop the content to differentiate yourself, and here are a few questions we suggest you ask to uncover your competitive advantage:

  • Do you employ a better process to ensure more accurate results?
  • Are your technicians and nurses better trained and/or focused specifically in this area?
  • Are your doctors more qualified?
  • Have you devoted more money and resources to this service?
  • Have you completed more successful procedures?
  • What have your patients said about their experience at your location?

The answers to questions like these will help you write content that informs prospective customers why you’re the best in your market, and will thus create a competitive edge and increased revenue for your company.

The types of content that can convey this information could include:

  • Testimonials from patients
  • Reviews from third parties such as DocScores
  • Staff certifications and awards

Make Your Site the Easiest to Use

You’ve written the content that will convince prospective customers to do business with your company. Now it’s time to put that content to work via a great user experience.

As mentioned in a previous blog, when you structure your website with the visitor in mind, you will satisfy two important business goals – maintaining a competitive edge and growing revenue. If your visitors find it easier to locate relevant content about your products and services than on the websites of your competitors, they’re more likely to buy from your company.

Another business benefit is that you’ll also start forming loyalty to your brand, especially with visitors who view your website on a mobile device. If the user experience is awesome, they’ll form a positive view of your brand, and will be encouraged to make repeat visits to your website.

We laid out a process to develop a visitor focused site structure in a previous blog, and here are a few tips to continuously monitor and improve your navigation and the user experience.

Within the first few months after going live with your new website, you will have collected tons of data on visitor behavior. When determining how to improve the user experience, start with a deep analytics review and behavior analysis. You can also use software to capture anonymous videos of users’ mouse movements on your website, as well as heat mapping and scrolling behavior.

Once you have analyzed all the available data, you can use that data to make sound business decisions for your website, including layout and design changes to specific pages or areas of your website. We recommend only tackling one focus area at a time so that you can accurately measure the impact of your changes. Once you have identified the changes you want to make to a page, set up an a/b test to measure the impact of your changes. Let that test run until you gather a statistically significant amount of user data to determine the winner of the test. Next, switch over to whichever version of the page won as the permanent version. The process moving forward is analyze, iterate and continue to test.

Conclusion

To stand out in a competitive market and distinguish your company, establishing trust and brand loyalty is a critical component. It is imperative to provide a great user experience, with up to date content, along with intuitive navigation with an easy conversion path. If your company’s market is crowded and competitive, your website can be a great tool to enable you to stand out from your competition, gain a competitive edge, and increase your revenue, ultimately reaching your business goals.