How to Monitor Competitors - Part 1
Some of my best ideas on my website come from my competitors. So I though I'd share some of the ideas and tools I've discovered along the way on how to monitor competitors.
You'd want to monitor your competitors for a number of reasons:
WHO - First of all you'd want to know who are your competitors. That's the first step in monitoring your competitors. To do this simply do a search for your main keywords within your niche and the first set of results in the SERP are undoubtedly your main competitors. For example, let's say you were using the keywords "Best Affiliate Program in India", this is what shows up in the SERP on Google. Just take note of the top three to five. These are most likely your main competitors.
WHAT - The next step in monitoring your competition is to observe and study what they are doing. Don't be afraid to use ideas from your competitors. Just today I got a great idea from a competitor on how to drive traffic to Facebook. Go to their Facebook page, G+, Pinterest, etc. Study their website, see how it is structured, check out the layout, look at their strategies. Just browse around. You're not wasting time. It's an important task. Check out what sort of plugins and tools they are using. See how they integrate opt-ins and social media. And so much more. There are a number of tools to help with this.
1. View their Developer Code
If you use Google Chrome you can use the Developer tool to see the code of your competitors' websites. Even if you can't read or write code, don't worry you might see some cool plugins and sources that might actually help you. I don't know a thing about coding but I was able to see what plugins some of them use and got a couple cool insigts. Here's how to do it- in Chrome click on View in the menu, go down to Developer and then select View Source. A new page will open up showing the code. See image below:
The code looks something like this. Don't worry if it looks like Greek. It looks like Greek to me too. But just skimming through could be very telling.
WHERE: In monitoring your competitor you may want to know where their main markets and segments are located; where they are getting traffic from; and where their back links are coming from. In our example, "best affiliate program in India" we'd use the first website http://www.binarynote.com. You'd expect that their main market is India, right? That's correct, but they are getting traffic from other markets such as Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Turkey. How do I know that you ask? I'm glad you asked. Check out Alexa.com. You can put in your website or any website for that matter and they give you a free breakdown of a lot of insights into any website you choose. This is what they showed for our example. There's so much data available at Alexa.com so go over there now and start researching. Stay posted for How to Monitor Competitors - Part 2.