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Spy on Your Competition Cheat Sheet by

Spy on Your Competition
on     competition     your     spy

Introd­uction

Spying is such a negative word. So let’s call it intell­igence analysis instead. Whatever you call it, you need good tools to help you understand what your compet­ition is doing online. Here are some basic, free tools to help you understand and negotiate the compet­itive online landscape.

1. WHOIS

Acti­onable Intell­igence: Discover who owns and manages a domain name.

WHOIS is a basic internet lookup tool that most people outside the industry don’t know anything about. Every domain has a WHOIS record that lists basic facts about a domain name: when it was regist­ered, by whom, address and contact inform­ation, when it expires, who manages and hosts the domain, and more. Just enter any domain name using a WHOIS service to begin your research. Visit https:­//w­hoi­s.i­can­n.org/ for instance and enter any domain name you like.
Coun­ter­int­ell­igence Tip: There’s many reasons you might want to keep your WHOIS inform­ation private. Private or delegated regist­ration reduces spam and domain renewal scams. Keep details about your domain away from prying eyes.

2. Google Autoco­mplete

Acti­onable Intell­ige­nce: Get a quick list of keywords sorted by popula­rity.

What are the most popular keywords for a given search? There are all sorts of sophis­ticated tools to gain detailed keyword intell­igence (SEMRush and Moz are two of our favori­tes.) But for a quick glance of what people are search for most often, simply start typing in the Google search bar. The autoco­mplete function will automa­tically suggest terms based on the most popular searches. It won’t give you actual search volumes, but it will provide you with relative volume ranking and ideas you might not have consid­ered.

3. SpyFu

Acti­onable Intell­ige­nce: Get a quick snapshot of a compet­itor’s organic and paid search, compet­itors, and more.

This handy little tool is like getting a complete dossier from your agent in the field. Is your competitor getting most of their traffic from organic search or are they paying to play? How much organic traffic are they getting? How many organic keywords do they rank for? What’s the history of their domain? Who links to their website? Both Moz and SEMRush provide similar tools, of course. But this snapshot from SpyFu is worth checkin
 

4. Moz Local

Acti­onable Intell­ige­nce: Get a snapshot of compet­itors’ business listings across the web.

Moz provides a variety of SEO resources, but one of their most useful (and free services) is Moz Local, which lets you look up a business and get inform­ation about its directory listings. This is useful for checking out what the directory listings look like for your business and your compet­itors. Well establ­ished and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) inform­ation is an important search rank factor.
Coun­ter­int­ell­igence Tip: Several services provide automated listing manage­ment. In our experi­ence, the 80/20 rule applies. Be sure your business inform­ation is accurate and up-to-date on Google Business, Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn and the like. There are lots of direct­ories you haven’t heard of, and they typically don’t add a lot of additional traffic or SEO value to your site.

4. Google Alerts

Acti­onable Intell­igence: Get instant notifi­cation of news and web pages mentioning you or your compet­itors.

Google provides a handy little tool called Alerts that notifies you whenever a keyword appears in the news or on a web page. Use it to be the first to find out when someone has linked to your site, mentioned a compet­itor, or talked about you on a website. Google does the work for you. Just sit back and wait for the report.

5. Instant SEO Audit

Acti­onable Intell­ige­nce Site Audit Report
Enter a domain name and get an instant audit of your website’s search optimi­zation for some of the most important on-page factors that affect your search rank. Use this inform­ation to tune up your site and perform more effect­ively in searches.

6. Social Mention

Social Mention is a social media search engine that can search user-g­ene­rated content such as blogs, images, video, comments and more for mentions of a company or keyword.

3. BuzzSumo

Want to create content that gets a ton of engagement like your compet­ition does? BuzzSumo is one of the best tools available for content marketing and spying on your compet­ition. With this tool you can enter the domain of your compet­ition and see what content is performing the best for them.

4. Likealyzer

Facebook pages are a great way to increase engagement with your audience and if you want to do it better than your competitor you need the Likealyzer tool. Likealyzer will give you a free report on how your compet­itor’s Facebook page is performing over all and gives insights to how it can be improved.

10. Woorank

If you want a nice, quick overview of a compet­itor’s site and what they’re doing, then Woorank is the tool for you. Enter your compet­itor’s website url and Woorank will spit out a report on a range of inform­ation including website health, website speed, server downtime, SERP views, backlinks and much more.

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