How to Monitor Competitors - Part 2
Sorry for the late continuation of this post on How to Monitor Competitors. I promised a follow up part 2 and here it is.
If you have not read part 1, I suggest that you do so - https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/kevonwilson/blog/h...
In following on from Part 1, Part 2 on How to Monitor Competitors, focuses on other useful tools. We looked at Alexa.com and analyzing the source codes of competitor websites. Now, I want to look at a few other neat tools, techniques and tricks.
1. Google Alerts
We all probably know by now about using Google Alerts to track mentions of keywords in our niche. If you haven't, here's the link - https://google.com/alerts. Simply add some search terms, e.g. "new" + "affiliate" + "program". So when new posts or mentions on the internet with those terms come up you will be immediately alerted This can help you create new content and stay up to date with latest trends in your niche.
However, you can also use Google Alerts to track your competitors. Instead of keywords, simply enter the name or website of your competitor in Google Alerts. Every time your competitor is mentioned in any way on the internet you will get an alert in your inbox. So you are able to see which sites are mentioning them, what are their latest developments, what they are doing, what they are selling, etc. And you don't actually have to go hunting around the internet for it. It comes easily and effortlessly to your inbox. Isn't that cool?
Many of the seasoned online entrepreneurs have probably heard of SemRush. For those who have not, here's the low down on SemRush. Basically SemRush is a paid-for tool that gives you insights into your competitors traffic. But there's a cool catch. They give you the first ten (10) searches for free. So with a little planning and preparation you can pick up to 9 competitors to do an analysis. Be sure to print out / PDF the results and save it on your computer for later reference and analysis. Notice I said, 9, even though they give out 10 free searches. Why is that? Basically, you'd want to leave the 10th one for your own website. Competitor analysis is useless unless you can benchmark your own situation against your competitors. Check out their site at semrush.com
Here's what SemRush gives you.
Breakdown of Traffic
With SemRush you are able to see the breakdown of traffic to a website based on organic search or paid search. In the example below you can see that almost 10% of this website's traffic is generated by paid search. When I checked my top five competitors for example, I realized that none of them have any paid search. So that gave me two strategic opportunities: 1. I could decide that paid search is not necessary given that my competitors do not use paid search or 2. I could use it as an opportunity to boost my traffic faster through paid search, giving me an advantage over my competitors who are not using it.
Another useful aspect of SemRush is that it not only shows you how many backlinks your competitors are getting (as in the image above - 383,600 backlinks) but it also shows you which websites are back linking to your competitors (as in the image below). In my case, knowing the backlinks of my competitors allowed me to know which sites they were submitting articles, which sites they were using as social media (I even found a common site that three of them used that I did not think about - Tumblr). So back links information can assist you in your social engagement, as well as deciding which sites to subscribe to or request to post articles or guest content. NB if you have a new site like mine DO NOT ask other sites if you can make posts or submit content on their blogs. It's too soon. You'd be shooting yourself in the foot. Build credibility first and the surest way to do that is to create quality and quantity content using great, low hanging fruit keywords.
Traffic History and Analysis
You can also view the history of traffic over time, as shown in the image below. You can even select from the start of your competitors' websites. In my case, I was able to see that my closest competitors took an average of 5 to 7 months before they started getting any real monthly traffic to their sites. This was useful for me. I now know that I'd need to be patient and not throw in the towel if I don't see results (traffic) in month 2 for example.
The example below shows that this website took a significant nose dive at the start of 2015 and have not been able to catch up since then. It'd be interesting to know what was the cause. Perhaps the launch of Google Penguin 3.0 in late 2014? Who knows. Events like that forces you to find the cause and helps you to put strategies in place to avoid similar occurrences in your business.
More to ComeI had initially set out to do only two parts for this blog post on How to Monitor Competitors. But in the process of doing this latest post, I realize that I'd have to do at least one more. I hate long, drawn out blogs, so I won't suffer you through that either. That's why I prefer bite size portions. So look out for Part 3. I promise to post it sooner this time :)