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How to Thoroughly Spy on Your Competitors

web-analyticsAs many of you already know, numerous individuals that have blogs currently ranking on first page of different search engines are doing all they can to keep their respective rankings. This means, there are specific and effective link building strategies that your competitors are using currently to outrank you in the SERP, and you clearly don't know about it yet.

And because you have no clue, you lose thousands of dollars, millions of juicy traffic, awesome affiliate sales and other wonderful goodies that would had been for you had it been you knew what your competitors were single-handedly doing to outrank you in the first place.

So what I'll be showing you basically, are some great tools you can use to identify the factors giving your competitors more link power.

So without wasting much time, below are 9 tools you can use to analyse your competitors thoroughly.

1. OpenSiteExplorer.com

A lot of people think this link research site is just meant for mere checking of how many links there is pointing to a specific domain, but the fact is you can also use OpenSiteExplorer to get the list of authority sites linking to your competitors' site. These sites are the overall reason why your competitors are outranking you in the first place. So when you get hold of these sites you can try to get a link back (preferably dofollow) from those sites in other to get better link juice and outrank your present competitors.

To check which sites are your competitors' strongest links (the one he's using to outrank you), go to OpenSiteExplorer and input your competitors' URL and hit search.

After the page opens, the first links that will be shown to you are basically your competitors' strongest authority links (as shown in the screenshot blow, OpenSiteExplorer ranks top site by Page rank (PA) and Domain Authority (DA)).

Copyblogger link page

Also, with their newly added Just-Discovered tool (which is still in Beta) you can leverage it and find where your competitors' new back links are coming from.

Advanced report

So from here, you can decide to export the enormous info you get in your research through the CSV format for further research.

2. Alexa.com

Also just like OpenSiteExplorer, the Alexa analytic tool has been underused. People think Alexa is only instrumental in checking their rank; whereas it's a big analytics which you can literally use to get the keywords which are sending the most traffic to your competitors' site.

Apart from checking the most popular keywords, you can also check which site people visit immediately before they arrive your competitors' site; not only that, you can compare your site with their own to gauge in which area you're ahead of them and vice versa.

To check all these metrics I just mentioned on your competitors' site, go to Alexa.com and type in the competitor's site and hit search (to make you understand better I'll be using problogger.net as an example).

problogger

After hitting search, Alexa will reveal some group of similar websites (sometimes only one.) Proceed to click on your competitor's site.

problogger saerch

This will take you to the Alexa Analytics page for you competitor. In that page you can get detailed analytics data about your competitor.

If you want to know which keywords are sending in the most traffic to your competitor's site, just scroll down and locate the section titled-"Top Keywords from search engines" as shown you below.

problogger's visitors

And as you can clearly see in the screenshot, problogger is the keyword sending 36.32% of all problogger.net overall traffic. In your own case, it might be a very good keyword which you aren’t targeting yet.

Also you can see exactly which site people visit before landing on your competitor's site. To see this option in Alexa, immediately after "Top Keywords from search engines" locate Upstream Sites section and you'd be presented with the stats.

problogger stat

Further study of this section can make you focus more on where your competitors are getting their overall traffic from. Since Google, Facebook, CopyBlogger and twitter are among the top 5 for problogger (as shown above) then it would be really logical for me to want to also focus on those areas more (if I'm Darren Rowse's competitor).

3. BacklinkWatch.com

The reason I mentioned this tool is because it's powered by Ahrefs and it's absolutely free to use. With it, you can get detailed backlink information of your competitor, mainly on where they're getting their links from.

Others similar analytics tools are Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, SEM Rush (they show more stats than BacklinkWatch).

4. Google.com/alerts

With Google Alert you can track whenever your competitor's blog or brand name is mentioned in the whole internet. Maybe you want to know when they'll release a product or a certain update, this can be effortlessly tracked by Google Alerts. So whenever the thing you're tracking for is at hand, Google Alert will immediately send you an email with the link to the page the action took place.

5. SocialMention.com

Just like Google Alerts, Social Mention bases its tracking power only on social media. This means, if you want to track a competitor's social media activities, you can leverage social mention to track and send you email every time people make mention of your competitor's name or make mention of whatever you're tracking.

6. The Way Back Machine

Using this awesome tool I can basically see how a competitor's site used to look like before they started using their actual design, And since WayBackMachine normally crawls and captures almost each sites change overtime, I can also see how my competitors have changed their opt-in pages, call to actions and blog layouts, and any other major changes they might had done on their site.

7. SpyFu.com

Using this tool you can find out a whole lot of things like which ads your competitors are using, which affiliate products they're promoting, where they're positioned in the SERP for their keywords, which keyword is bringing in the most traffic and lots of other interesting stats.

8. SemRush.com

With this tool you can know exactly how many backlinks your competitor's website currently has, what keyword your competitors are ranking for; which position they're in SERP for those keywords; also you can get detailed stats on who's linking to their site and how authoritative those links actually are etc…

9. Spyonweb.com

This tool lets you see which sites use the same hosting company, IP address and also which sites use the same Google Adsense account. If you're trying to find more sites which your competitor own, then this tool is for you. So no matter how many sites they own, it will pop up on SpyOnWeb as long as they're hosted on same hosting company or have the same IP address or use the same Google Adsense code which the website you search for uses.

In conclusion, all these tools can really work well and help you decipher the hidden truths your competitors don't want you to find out. So if finish reading this post and take no action, maybe you won't really know why your competitors are doing to rank above you; but if you leverage these tools, you'd surely get to know their main strategy.

And finally, do you have a favourite spy tool that I didn’t mention here? Please let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.

This is article is writing by Oni. Oni is a well experienced guest-blogger that blogs for promocode4share, a website that helps you can get elance coupons.

A post by Segun Onibalusi (6 Posts)

Segun Onibalusi is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.

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