Nowadays,competition is fiercer than ever and you need to keep up to date with thechanging market demands and customer trends. You've worked hard to create asuccessful online business, but you're worried that your competition is doingsomething you don't know about.
Knowing how to spy on competitors can be the firststep to achieving a competitive advantage and evolving your strategy so you’renever out of business. You can't afford to lose any ground. Tracking theirperformance can give you a leg up to grow your business. These days, there's nobetter way than using tools that will let us watch as well as listen so we'realways ahead of the curve!
But how do youspy on your competitors, and is it even legal? In this blog, we’ll go throughall these questions and give you ACTIONABLE STEPS you can use to spy on competitors and improve yourmarketing efforts today.
Never get out of business by spying on competitors.
Knowing how to spy on your competitors will give you the upper hand in yourbusiness strategy. By constantly monitoring your competition's every move, youcan find exactly what works and what doesn’t.
It will save youtime & money as you won’t have to experiment with different businessstrategies and replicate what your competitors are doing for guaranteed success- if it’s working for them, it’ll work for you. Sounds incredible, right?
If you’re runninga startup, it’s even more important you know how to keep an eye on yourcompetitors. It can be spontaneous to get fixated on your product when firststarting a business. But, even though you may have a great product, it doesn’tmatter IF YOU HAVE NO CUSTOMER TO SELL IT TO.
Your competitorswill take away your customers, and if you don't spy on your competitors, yourbusiness may have trouble surviving.
What you need tounderstand is
- Why they are more successfulthan you
- Why customers prefer them
- How they attract them to theirbusiness in the first place.
Is It Wrong or Illegal to Spy onCompetitors?
The bottom line answer is NO. It’s notwrong or even illegal to spy oncompetitors, and honestly, there’s a high chance your competitors may bespying on you as well. Businesses monitor others' activities to find out whatthey can fix or improve.
It helps themmaintain competitiveness in the market and tailor their business strategy tohelp customers better and stand out in the market.
Use Social Listening Tools to Monitor Their Social Activities
A social listening tool is essential tounderstand better how to spy on yourcompetitors. Social Listening tools are special software that monitor andanalyse online conversations of your potential customers concerning your brand,competitors, product or service. It achieves this by searching for keywordsrelated to your query and providing valuable insights to analyze these reportsbetter.
Suppose you wantto learn how to spy on your competitor'swebsite. In that case, you mustchoose the right social listening tool for your business as it willautomatically extract topics of interest and make it easy for you to know whatto avoid and where to polish up.
Tools to Use for Spying on Competitors' Web Traffic, Performance& SEO Strategy
Below, we’ve discussed 5 of the best *FREE*and paid social listening tools to spyon competitors.You must choose the one that befits your business goals andbudget from this list.
1. Google Alerts
Google Alerts makes it easy and convenient to watch your competitors. Every time yourcompetitors are mentioned online, either by name or link, you’ll get a reportof their recent activity.
Google Alerts isgreat for
● Identifying competitorbacklinks and mentions
● Monitoring competitor’s socialmedia strategy
● Analysing keyword mentions ofyour competitors.
Ubersuggestis an SEO tool that provides valuable insights on keywords, competitors, andSEO data. It is a popular tool for conducting competitive analysis to extractcontent ideas and find keywords your competitors may be ranking for.
Ubersuggest isideal for:
● Knowing how your competitorsare ranking online
● Finding keywords to target
● Getting ideas for your contentand SEO strategy
● Discovering new competitors inthe market
Price: Free Trial; Paid Plan: $29/mo
3. Social Blade
If you’re lookingto build a solid social media strategy for your brand Social Blade will help you achieve just that. This tool provides real-time stats andcritical social media figures of competitors, including the number offollowers, uploads and tweets.
Use Social Bladeto
● Find out how much you should beposting online
● Analyse the competition onsocial media
● Accurately tell where yourcompetitors stand on multiple social media platforms
Price: Free Trial; Paid Plan: $3.99/mo
BuzzSumo isa marketer's best friend when it comes to finding out what kind of content goesviral and which flop. Use BuzzSumo to monitor and analyse the content on theinternet to find out which ones are guaranteed to succeed.
Some ways to useBuzzSumo are:
● Tracking what content performsthe best for a given keyword
● Discovering influencers thattalk on topics related to your products and offer sponsorship
● Finding out what kind ofcontent is getting the most shares.
Price: Free with a limitednumber of searches; Paid Plan:Starts from $79/mo.
With millions ofcontent pieces written online, it can be hard to always know what yourcompetitors are doing. With Feedly, you can search your competitor’s blog,and their intelligent AI will flag the most important points for you.
Feedly is greatfor
● Tracking competitor’s contentstrategy by receiving instant alerts
● Knowing which kinds of topicsyour competitors are focusing on
● Following beneficial blogs tolearn about changing market trends and consumer tastes.
Price: Free up to 100sources; Paid Plan: Starts at $6/mo
10 Unbeaten Tips onHow to Spy on Your Competitors
Ready to spy on competitors? Here are ten tried-and-tested tips on how to spy on your competitors toachieve your business goals.
1. Subscribe to theirNewsletter
Companies often announce new features,updates, and insights into their products through a newsletter. Subscribing toyour competitor's newsletter will help you stay up-to-date with what they’redoing. It will allow you to plan in advance and be one step ahead of thecompetition to optimize your product and its launch.
2. Follow Them on Social Media
Businesses often post on social media toreach wider audiences. However, since their audience can comment there, you canpublicly see common customer complaints, issues, and feedback, which companieswon’t show on their official website. It will help you apprehend your customersbetter and make products catered to them.
3. Explore What TechnologyThey Use
Technology is constantly evolving and is acostly investment. So, it’s essential to know which tech is the best for yourbusiness by exploring what your competitors are using. You can use a free toollike Built Withto efficiently spy on your competitor's website and see what technology theirsites are built with.
4. Check Their Popularity
You should prioritise using the strategiesadopted by popular brands as those are the most successful ones. To find outwhich brands are prevalent in your niche, you should check their popularitymanually by exploring social media or using a social listening tool like Social Blade.
5. Look at Competitive PPCCampaigns
If you’ve ever thought of running ads, youshould consider looking at your competitor's PPC campaigns first. There’s nodoubt that your competitors may get a bunch of traffic from Ads, so find outwhat keywords they target with tools like Ubersuggest.It will open up opportunities to target lower cost, higher reward keywords torun your ads and drive more traffic to your business.
6. Analyse Competitor’sWebsite SEO
By using an SEO tool like Ubersuggest; youcan find out the overall performance of your competitor’s website. Beforetrying to craft an SEO strategy for yourself, look at what your competitorsaren’t doing so you can outrank them on the SERPs.
7. Find out Which KeywordsThey Rank At.
Tying to the above point, besides theoverall performance, you can also spy on a competitor’s website to find keywordopportunities. By targeting the exact keywords as your competitors, you’ll gainearly traction as your potential customers are already searching for thosequeries, so you’ll also start appearing for those queries.
8. Monitor Backlinks
Backlinks help elevate a domain’s authorityand rank it higher on Google. Building backlinks to your website can be easierif you monitor your competitor's backlink profile, see which domains arelinking to them and contact them to link to you instead - given you have thecontent to show.
9. Identify Which InfluencersPromote Them
TikTok and Instagram gave influencers a wayto monetize their content through sponsorship. See which brands in your nicheare being discussed by influencers through BuzzSumo and contact them for promotions.
10. Check Online Forums
Online forums such as Quora area goldmine for finding your potential audience. Check if your competitors arebeing mentioned in online forums and see what people like or dislike aboutthem. With these insights, you have valuable data you can use to improve your productand guarantee its success with customers.
Spy on Competitors, but What About You?
By the end of this post, you'll know thatit’s not illegal to spy on competitors andhow to do so yourself. But, if it’s not wrong and businesses are free to do it,then your business is no different.
Like otherbusinesses, you are also vulnerable to your competitors as they can monitoryour activity and track your moves. It’s crucial to hide your business detailsonline so that competitors can’t take advantage of sensitive information.
With Hide Import, you can hide your valuableinfo by filing a confidentiality request and securing your import/export data.By hiding where your supplies come from, you protect your business in the longrun so competitors can’t take advantage.
Ready to beat the competition and outperform your rivals byutilizing the power of our robust tips?