In the online world, the competition gets stiffer by the day. As an affiliate marketer who makes a living out of referring visitors to companies, you want to make sure that your site is getting the traffic it very much needs. However, how can you make sure you’re getting enough or can still do better if you’re not checking out your competition?

Spying on your competition is an age-old practice in the business world. Fortunately, website owners are ahead of the game because they have the luxury of getting free competitor information online (and these methods are perfrectly ethical). You simply need to know what to look for and tools to use to do some sniffing around.

Need some help to get started? Here are 6 top ways to spy on your competition:

Keyword Analysis

Using the right keywords brings good traffic to a website, so you’d want to know what keywords your competitor is targeting. The mere fact of knowing your competitor’s keyword already tells a lot about their marketing strategy. Competitive keyword analysis can be done with Google AdWords and their KeywordPlanner.

Check Indexed Pages

In online marketing, the rule of thumb is when a site has a lot of indexed pages, that site does better in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). If your competitor has more indexed pages than you do, this means that they are doing a better job in marketing his site.

Use your competitor’s number of indexed pages as a benchmark. Google Webmaster Tools is helpful in counting indexed pages for a site as well as help you further in your SEO competitive analysis.

Identify Strongest Pages

Knowing your competitor’s strongest page/pages will give you an idea of the kind of marketing method that works for them. What kind of content does they use? Who are they targeting? Is it getting attention?

Competitive analysis involves competing neck-a-neck with your competitor. Start by going to Ahrefs.com and then typing the site you want to check. Once the results are back, click on Top Pages and you will see your competitor’s top pages based on referring domains and do-follow backlinks.

Discover Services Used

Do you often wonder how your competitor does things? The truth is you have free access to knowing what services your competitor is using. Simply go to builtwith.com and enter the site you want to spy on. Results will show what CMS and widgets your competitor uses, as well as affiliates that they have.

Observe Changes Made

So, your competitor is either lagging behind you or leaving a trail of dust in front of you. Either way, you need to monitor the changes your competitor is doing on their website. Just use Wayback Machine and you will be able to see the changes made, including dates and photos of the updates. Another very neat tool to spy on your competition.

Don’t Forget Twitter

Don’t forget that Twitter is also a part of your competitor’s online marketing campaign and keeping an eye on their Twitter actions should be helpful in your competitive research too.

Does this mean you have to Follow your competitor? No, because that’s what Topsy is for. Topsy tracks daily tweets, mentions, uploads and basically, everything else inside a Twitter account. Now, you’ll also know what their social media marketing strategy is.

While some would call it spying, competitive analysis is always an effective way to compare your site with your competitors’. There’s nothing wrong with doing your homework regardless if your competitor is miles ahead of you or just starting out.

The important thing is that all the relevant data you’ll gather is helpful in making your affiliate site better, hence, better traffic and more referrals for you.


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