Learn Marketing from the Competition
Here are some areas you can easily look at and see how your competitors fare. All you spend is some time at your computer.
How effective is your website versus your competitors? It's time to find out.
Search results: What are they keywords that matter in your business? What keywords are your competitors trying to rank for? (Look at their title, heading and keyword tags and most importantly, at the copy they use to describe their services.) Now do a search for those terms and see how you rank versus them.
Third party ratings: There are various services that will rate a website for you, based on its popularity, authority or other factors. Some common measures are PageRank, Website Grade from Hubspot, MOZ Rank, and Alexa rank. I especially recommend the Website Grader because it also gives you suggestions on improving your site.
Observations: But don't just rely on others' assessments of a website. Look through it yourself: what do you think it does well, and what doesn't it? You might find a cool sign-up or error page, a good collection of ebooks, or a site riddled with copy errors or bad links. All of these indicate your competitors' marketing competence. If you can get some of your customers to review the website for you and tell them what works or doesn't for them, all the better. (Offer them an incentive, like a gift card or an hour's worth of free services.)