You might ask, why do you have to spy on your competitors? Well, competition has been a part of our lives since the time of Ancient Greek and has been an important factor in how we push ourselves to grow and improve. In the modern era, competition among businesses doesn’t just benefit the companies, but for us as consumers as well.
With the growth of technology and information being available to the public, spying on your competitor has never been this easy. In this article, we will be diving in a few methods on how to spy on your competitors and how can that benefit you.
What Should I Look For?
Before diving into the tools that you can use to spy on your competitor, you must first know what to look for. The obvious would be their marketing strategies and promotions which is easily available from their own website.
But there are many more details you can look upon. For example, certain websites allow you to look at what tools are used to build their homepage, where are their online traffic coming from, and how well they rank among other competitors as well. Knowing the right information regarding your competitor will give you an advantage when building your online presence.
The Top 3 Tools
There are many websites, browser extension, and programs that can help you have an in-depth look at your competitor’s domain authority, SEO performance, web traffic, and the tools they use on their website.
With that said, let’s check out the best tools available out there that will help you to spy on your competitors:
For example, if your main competitor has a DA and PA score of 60, your goal is not to aim for a 100 score, but instead to work on gaining a wider margin compared to your competitor.
Let’s start things off with Mozbar, a simple web browser extension that measures the Doman Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) of a particular website through Google Search. Simply search for your competitor on Google search, and you will be able to see their score below your search results.
The Domain Authority ranking is used to predict how well a certain domain will rank on Google. This helps you to determine how well your competitors are doing and how can you improve your overall SEO.
For Page Authority, the ranking helps you to understand your competitor’s linking URL’s, subdomains, anchor text, followed links, 301s, 302s, and many other metrics. This information predicts how well a page will rank on Google and helps you to filter our competitors to help in your research.
One last thing to understand about Mozbar is that the rankings are different based on category and if they are targetting similar or the same keywords as you.
SimilarWeb is a simple to use website that provides detailed analytics on
your competitor’s web performance such as the number of monthly visits, the source of traffic as well as other similar competitors. With a list of prominent clients such as Google, eBay, Microsoft, and Alibaba, SimilarWeb is one of the main tools you need to spy on your competitors.
Having strong insights on your competitor’s audience interest, SEO & PPC keywords, and how much traffic it’s bringing in will help you understand their strengths, and what you can do to improve your site and compete with them.
SimilarWeb’s free plan provides you with 5 results per metric, 1 month worth of mobile app data and 3 months worth of web traffic data which is enough to have a general view on the performance of the company. Their paid plan will include a deeper analysis with more data and up to 3 years worth of data compared with the free plan.
Have you ever looked a competitor’s website and wonder, what tools are
being used, and why are they performing so well?
This is where BuiltWith comes in. As the name suggests, BuiltWith helps you to spy on the tools that your competitors use on their websites. The key search feature includes :
- Analytics and Tracking
- eCommerce Host
- Mobile Site
- Content Delivery Methods
- Payment Processes
- Email/Website Hosting Provides
- SSL Certificate
Having the right knowledge on the tools to use is crucial in improving automation and efficiency on your website. BuiltWith’s free plan is similar to SimilarWeb with a more detailed report and in-depth data depending on the purpose of your research.
It’s Time to Get Started
There are many other tools available out there such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, Pro Rank Tracker, and many others. But its good to get started with the first 3 free tools, and move on depending on your research needs.
Now its time to note down the websites of your notable competitors, whether it’s just one, and work on getting the relevant data which can help you to improve your business.
If you have any questions or other research tools you might want to share, leave them in the comment section below.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.