How to Spy on Your Competition


Ever wondered what your competitor was thinking? What are they “going after” online? How are they marketing to customers?In this video, Eric shows you some sneaky, yet legal ways to check them out.
He lists numerous online tools that allow you to “lift the cover” of your competitor’s online presence and see their strategies. So, what are you waiting for, 007?


Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice! Hey I am Eric Spellmann and today’s topic some of you might be wondering “Is this legal?” But trust me, it is completely legal. And you will totally understand once I show you how to spy on your competition. So let’s jump right into it.
One of the tools that should be in any competitor’s toolbox and what should you be doing on a regular basis. Well, let’s start it. ChangeDetection.com. This is an amazing website and one of the easiest things you can do. Because really all you do is you enter in the URL of your competitor or competitors, and then whenever their website changes guess what?

You get an email! And then you can click and see what they did. I love it. I use it myself and it works great. That way when any of my competitors make any kind of changes to a website, I’m notified.

Meta Keywords, this is a sneaky thing. Once again totally legal. What you do is you go to your competitor’s website and then you “View Source”. You know you can right-click on their web page and choose View Source, which means you’re looking at the raw HTML, the raw code of their page.

What you’re looking for is something called Meta, name = keywords. Of course you can just do a search on that page for the word keywords and you should find it pretty quick. What you’re gonna be looking at is a Meta tag specific to keywords. And back in the old days people would put in the things they wanted to be found on, the things that were important to them.

Because they thought it helped them with Google. Well it did in the old days. But as you know, if you’ve been watching my “How to Rank Well on Google”, that the Meta keywords don’t matter to Google anymore. But it makes it a great way for you to figure out what your competitor is trying to show up well for on Google!

This is one of my favorites. Go to Google.com and when you’re there, you’re gonna type exactly this. “site:(your competitor’s name)”. And what it’s gonna show you, Google is gonna give you a list of every page they have on their site. Now, I’m not wanting you to go through the pages, what I’m wanting you to see is how many pages they have! Because keep in mind, websites that have more pages tend to do well on Google, tend to do better.

So take a look at your own website. How many pages do you have compared to them? And so really all you’re looking at is the total number of pages there at the top that Google found. Because when you type site:(your competitor’s name), that’s like a little code word for Google saying I only want to see pages from this website.

Topsy.com. I love this little site. It’s kind of a neat little graph showing kind of what people are talking about. Specially as it relates to Twitter and some of the other social sites. You can put in your web address and then look at it compared to your competitor’s web address. And it just kind of shows activity. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.

ahrefs.com, this is a little more technical. But if you look at it and you understand what you’re seeing, it will give you a ton of information on your competitor. Basically as it relates to their website, how they’re doing on Google?

What keywords they do well for? Approximately how much they’re being searched on? It is an invaluable amount of data in there that you need to check out. They only let you do 1 search a day though, unless you signup. But sometimes that’s all you need.

Archive.org. Perhaps you’re wondering what did my old website look like, what did my old competitor’s website look like? Well at archive.org basically what they do is once in a while they’ll take a snapshot of your website and every website out there. In fact putting my website in there, I can go back and see even the first version of my website that came up.

Kind of a walk down the memory lane. From a competitor’s standpoint though, you can kind of see how long they’ve been out there and what they were pushing in the beginning. It’s really fascinating and can give you some really neat insight.

Google Alerts. This is another big one. In some of my previous videos, I told you to use Google Alerts to monitor yourself. You know you put in your name and what Google does is when any new web page suddenly shows up mentioning you, you get an alert.

Well you can also put in your competitor’s name! And you’ll get a Google Alert. So anytime they make a post, anytime they show up in a newspaper article etc you’ll get a Google alert. I love Google Alerts, it’s totally free. To go to it, just go to google.com/alerts.

SocialMention.com. This is one of my favorites and its one of the easiest ways to look at how one website is doing in social media. And I mean ALL social media including Facebook, Twitter all of em. And it’s very easy to use.

You simply type in a domain name (your competitor’s dot com address) and you’ll see quite a bit. And then finally SimilarWeb.com, which is kind of a same thing but it goes a little bit deeper.

These are the tools in my arsenal. These are how I look at a website and try to figure out what they’re doing, where they’re going so that I can plan my strategy.

I hope they were helpful. As always if you have any questions, give us a call at the number you see on the screen, or visit my website ericspellmann.com. Remember I have a ton of videos there.

Just click on the Videos tab at the top and you can watch them to your heart’s content. Once again I am Eric Spellmann; I’ll see you in cyberspace.