Competitor research is one of the most important strategies out there when it comes to taking your ecommerce store to the next level. While you could pay someone the big bucks to handle your competitive research for you, there are tools you can use to do it yourself.
AdWords Keyword Planner
The AdWords Keyword Planner is a favorite for marketers. You can use it to pull keywords from competitor websites or to find out how much your competitors pay each time someone clicks on their ads. You can also use it to find out how much traffic keywords bring in. It’s free to use, so bookmark it and go back to it on a regular basis.
If you don’t mind spending a little bit of money to conduct your research, consider using SpyFu. It costs $79 per month, but it is money well spent. The tool gives you a great deal of insight into your competitors’ AdWords campaigns. This will allow you to incorporate what works and avoid what doesn’t.
You can also see your competitors’ exclusive keywords and other information. You can even see the inbound links, so you’ll be able to go after those same links.
If you want to catch up to the competition quickly, this tool can help.
Most people don’t realize that Google Alerts is a very powerful competitor research tool. Head to the site and enter your competitors’ business names. Then, Google will alert you anytime one of the names shows up in the news. You’ll be able to find out what is going on with your competition and then adjust your strategy accordingly.
For example, you can find out if your competitor is having a sale. Then, you can cut your own prices. You can also find out if your competitor is offering a new product, and then you can explore offering something similar. These are just a couple of ways Google Alerts can help you.
Also, don’t forget to enter your own business name in the system. You also need to find out what is being said about your brand in the news.
Open Site Explorer
You have two options for using Open Site Explorer. You can use the limited plan for free, or you can pay $99 a month for Moz Pro and unlock all of the features.
Open Site Explorer lets you compare your online store with the stores of up to four competitors. You can analyze domain authority, page authority, links, and linking root domains with the free plan. If you upgrade to Moz Pro, you can look at social stats, as well. It’s good to get the social stats, but even the free tool is useful.
Which Tools Are Right for You?
Think about your needs and then use the right tools. You might want to start with free options, but as you begin to make more money with your online store, consider adding some paid options, as well.