Capitalising on losing a competitor

Competitors going out of business, or withdrawing from selling in this country, offer an obvious opportunity. It’s important to act quickly though. Your sales team will naturally be all over any known clients of theirs, but what about online marketing? What can you do?

The website is one place to start. If a company has gone out of business, I’ve known competitors to purchase the website from the administrators and rewrite the pages to explain what’s happened, directing visitors to their company alternative. Eventually, everything can be redirected into the company’s own website to pick up the link equity to boost SEO. Alternatively, if the website just sits there, it’s worth looking to see when the domain registration runs out, and if it’s not renewed then, it can normally be re-registered by someone else 90 days later and a new site set up (or it can simply be redirected).

However, in the short term, if a competitor disappears, you’ll want to set up a search advertising campaign to let people know, and to highlight your alternative offer. How forthright you are depends on what’s happened to the competitor and how comfortable you feel. I’ve seen examples of a company setting up a news page on their site explaining what’s happened, and setting up search adverts based on the competitor’s name to get people there. You can use the competitor’s name in the advert unless it’s a trademark and someone’s still around to complain, although some companies find that a bit awkward.

In a similar way, a search advertising campaign can work out well if you have a product which can substitute for one which a competitor no longer has available, whether they’re still in business or not. You’d be amazed for how long people search for model numbers after a product has been taken off the market.