Plenty More Fish in the Sea

November 10, 2015 8:16 am

Typically used when someone is facing an unsuccessful date or the break-up of a relationship, ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ suggests that there are many other options out there. With the rise of the internet, this phrase also carries an important message for businesses who are aiming for online success.

Live Internet Stats suggest that back in June 1996 there were 257,601 live websites on the internet, yet by June 2016 live sites are expected to return to the 2014 peak of one billion. This means that for each and every search being made, there are potentially thousands of potential web pages which could be relevant.

As business owners, we need to ensure that we are doing everything possible to make our web pages accessible, relevant, informative and engaging to our prospective page visitors. We need to attract their attention, draw them in, keep them on our site and encourage them to convert. This takes effort, however if we are unwilling to put the effort in, there are plenty more fish in the sea; just one click away.

Assessing the Competition

When we are planning our marketing strategy and preparing for a new web design, we need to research the competition. This is not to copy them, but to ensure we can do things better than them. We don’t need to offer the same goods and services; we need to provide the things that they can’t.

Think back to what motivated you to set up in business; what did you believe that you could do better or differently? To get your thinking there are a few examples of how small businesses can stand apart from major rivals below:

  • A small boutique may be able to compete with a High Street giant because they offer bespoke items that you won’t bump into someone else wearing and they help you to source matching accessories.
  • A local shop can compete with a major supermarket because they offer on the doorstep convenience and a personal service.
  • A new print company may be able to steal a market share from an establish company due to their commitment to their green credentials; water free inks, recycled paper and zero waste to landfill.
  • A sole trading hairdresser may attract customers from a major salon because they can be more flexible, visit people at home and offer same day appointments.
  • A holiday company may attract customers by specialising in one destination, so they can gather in-depth knowledge, personal experience and provide a range of specialist interest guided tours.

Assessing the competition isn’t just about purchasing, it is about providing clear advantages for the customer if they buy from you. Your business needs to offer them the service they are looking for. You need to help them achieve their goals. Referring to the list above, this could be their desire to be seen as a style icon, the opportunity to get everything done, a chance to commit to ethical practices, a stress-free experience with the kids or expertise that allows them to be adventurers.

Focus on your USP

Once you have identified your USP and the clear advantages to your customers, this message needs to be clarified in the content on your web pages. The words, images, video used are important, but so is the layout and navigation of your web design. This message can be reinforced time and again if we provide fresh content on our pages in the form of a blog, news page or video updates.

Beyond your website, the same focus should inform business decisions, volunteering and other corporate social responsibility, sponsorship and other advertising opportunities, as well as content on social media. By paying attention to what makes the business unique and how this is beneficial to the customer, we have a chance of standing out from the competition and attracting interest.

For more advice on online marketing and web design, Urban Media is happy to help.