“Information is power” and information about competition is super power or you can say a lethal weapon. It may sound effective but sometimes, its a loss and it may be suicidal for your SEO campaign.
Competitive research before and during your SEO, PPC and SMO campaign gives you an insight about your competitors strategy and also provide you with a path to follow. Planning your SEO campaign becomes easy as you can target same keywords, your competitors maybe using and it will also help you target the similar customer base. Its a lucrative strategy to follow while marketing your product. After all you don't have to research too much and you can save a bit of cash while doing so. This is the most recommended plan of action by some armature SEO professionals. What they want to do is save their skin from hard work and mint some easy money from you.
There should be a lot of research and proper plan of action before following the footsteps of your competitors, as you may also fall for same mistakes they are making. It's quite possible that they may be missing some potential segment of customers. Therefore, workout on all the words , phrases and keywords your customers may be using while searching for your product.
It's good to be ranked for same keywords as your competitors but it's great to be in the list where they are not even present. Therefore plan ahead and reap the benefit. You know your product and your customer better. Study your competitors strategy, add your own moves and have benefit from your marketing campaign.
Blindly following a competitor sometimes, not only, ruin your campaign but can also result in loss in terms of time and money. It can also result in loss of business from an entire segment of consumers your competition may not be targeting. Also, following your competition will make you just a “me too” guy playing the catch-up game. Instead it's better to be an industry authority who is followed by other players in the field.
Plan your SEO campaign carefully and with a knowledgeable professional company, which can suggest you the right direction and effective course of action for your SEO campaign. It's good to mint gold from the same mine your neighbors are minting, but it's also better to work on a new road then to fall in the old path-hole.