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A Few Approaches to Spy on Your Competition

Date published: June 01, 2020
Last updated: June 1, 2020


In business, one of the toughest challenges is to build strategies to outclass your competitors.

Launching a business is not all the difficult. All newbie entrepreneurs know this.

But the new entrants also know that the competition in the market today is fiercer than ever before.

So how do you gain an upper hand over your competitors?

To create a product that is better in value than what is available in the market is an answer.

But this only is the first step.

You need to go further.

You must let the consumers know what value the product offers to them and in what manner it is unique.

The best bet to learn the tricks of the trade is to understand your rivals’ strategies.

Is spying on your competition an unscrupulous act?

The word spy might sound like that in the first instance.

The answer however is no.

Spying in this context simply means keeping an eye on your rivals’ digital marketing strategies.

And knowing what their content is about.

Just like in any sporting event, competition is a good thing. It allows you to grow and improve. You are likely to make a product better than what is now available for consumers – and this certainly is a worthy outcome.

Improving your commerce to get better results makes good business sense.

By monitoring how your competitors operate, you understand their strengths and weaknesses.

You will get to know what works and what does not.

A good example is a content.

You may be wondering what makes your rival’s content so unique and different from others.

With literally thousands of pieces of information available on the internet, visitors are spoilt for choices.

They will scan content in a jiffy to get what they are looking for. If they do not, they will move over to another site.

A research study has revealed that an average visitor hangs on for just 10-20 seconds on a website. The attention span is low, so you need to make your content gripping, to be able to hook a visitor in a short span of time.

To make their websites persuasive and compelling, successful businesses adopt the following tactics:

Make content valuable and relevant

Visitors type keywords on Google or Yahoo to search for specific information. If they find content on a website irrelevant, they will move on to the next result.

Keep it short or concise

Web visitors have no patience to read a long story. They prefer precise information in a concise format.

Adhere to the subject

Web visitors like content that adheres to the subject and does not stray.

Make the content free of grammatical and spelling errors

It would be very unprofessional if the content has spelling and grammatical errors.

Write with expertise and authority

It is a fact that consumers like content written by trusted experts before making a purchase.

Focus on the audience

Your goal is to convert visitors to customers. Write with the right audience in mind.

Make use of graphics, images, and videos

Media, such as images and videos, enhances a website’s visual appeal.

The truth is your rivals are spying on you too.

If your ranking on SERP is high, your competitors would like to know how you are achieving it on search engines and social media.

A few tricks to monitor competitor web traffic

The basic objective of SEO is to stay ahead of your adversaries - but in a manner Google considers safe.

And just like in a war scenario you must know their strategies.

If you are smart enough, a number of tools allow you to monitor competitor search traffic on Google and other search engines.

But first, you must identify your competitors.

This you can do through keywords.

The search engines will surprise you by providing names of companies who are most likely your strongest threat.

Set up Google alerts to monitor your rivals

The internet is always robust, alive, and kicking. It is constantly abuzz with the latest information.

This can make garnering the right information a challenge.

To stay ahead of the competition you need vital information at the earliest possible time.

A smart way to do this is by leveraging Google Alerts.

You can tweak Google Alerts so that you get emails based on your search phrases/terms.

Here are a few approaches to sharpen your search:

1. Search for brand names

Let us say you want to gain insight on coffees sold in India online.

All you need to do is type on the Google Alerts page, “Coffee’, “India”, “Online”, and “Arabica”.

You are delivered with a string of alerts with information on various brands across the country.

2. Refine your search strings

Searches on Google can return a plethora of information. You can use a different combination of keywords to refine your search results.

You can use words that relate to specific brands to catch mentions and alerts for updates from multiple brands.

3. Filter by content type

You can choose sources such as news, blogs, web, or video, the region, and also the frequency, such as once a day or once a week.

4. Customize the type of updates you want

The choices are endless. You can get more relevant information. For example, you can type in the name of your competitor and keywords such as “new launches” or “hiring”.

You will learn a lot about your competitor’s plans to expand and insight into new products.

There is no doubt that setting up Google Alerts is a smart idea. It will offer you a competitive edge by providing you with the latest information on your rivals’ plans.

Keyword Competitor

Are you overwhelmed by the term Search Engine Optimization (or SEO in short)?

If yes, it is not surprising because most are finding it tough to put into practice.

But keep in mind the following:

  • SEO is not as thorny as you think.
  • You can always leverage the competition to your benefit.

Would it not be great if you were able to influence your competitor’s weakness to climb a notch above in your business standings?

This is the splendor of this game.

The trick to tapping into this is via competitive intelligence.

Competitive intelligence or corporate intelligence is all about garnering and analyzing information about your competitors to your business advantage.

It contains actionable information from diverse sources collected ethically.

It is not simply ‘know your enemy. Rather, it is an inclusive exercise wherein you discover the finer points of your competitor’s business strategies.

Whether you are a digital marketer or an online entrepreneur, understanding competitive intelligence is a must.

Using tools for competitive auditing

Conducting competitive audits has become imperative in today’s keen business environment.

But keep in mind the following.

Just because a business is competing for similar keywords does not necessarily mean they are your resolute competitors.

You must take into consideration a few other factors as well.

  • Which segment of the market they are in
  • The locations they are selling products in
  • At what possible prices are they selling their products

Your primary objective must be to find out what is working for other businesses that are in the same domain as you are, so that you can make those strategies work for you as well.

So it is no surprise that successful marketers go the extra mile to understand their target audience.

Yet, most businesses fail to successfully understand their target market.

But why understand the target market?

The answer is straightforward.

Have you not heard of this common adage in the world of digital marketing?

“If you try to sell to sell to everyone, you will end up selling to no one”.

Targeted marketing simply means focusing your promotional or message on the right market – the people most likely to buy from you.

By learning to identify your target market, you will ensure that your brand advertising reaches out to the right persons in the most cost-effective way.

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By making use of certain analytical tools, smart marketers leverage the power of target demographics to run effective marketing campaigns.

Once you get adequate information about a particular group of consumers, you can commence developing unique marketing campaigns and marketing strategies relevant to that demographic.

Here are a few online tools you can use to identify your target audience.

Google Analytics

Google analytics converts your assumptions about your target audience into trustworthy facts.

One of the persuasive advantages of Google Analytics is it is free.

It is a very effective tool that helps you track your marketing efforts by providing you with inclusive information.

A key reason for Google Analytics’ effectiveness is it works well with Google platforms like YouTube, Google Ads, and Search Console.

In order to track your marketing efforts, you must use this tool correctly.

With a little expertise, you can get plenty of insights into what competitors looked at on your site and for how long.

Google Analytics can provide you with engagement reports that will allow you to see how long users from your rivals were on your site.

Facebook Business Page Insights

Most of us know Facebook Insights is an authoritative tool to track user interaction. But it also helps you to track the active users your competition has.

Keeping an eye on your competitors on Facebook is a clever idea.

Not only will you understand their position in the market, what they do, and what type of their posts earn the most likes and responses, but you will also get opportunities to learn from them and stay updated on the latest innovations and developments.

Here is how Facebook monitoring will help you.

  • You can compare others’ success (or failure) - If you want to know how good your progress is, you must also evaluate how the rest in your industry are doing.
  • You can learn from your competitors’ mistakes - If you keep a constant eye on what others are doing, you can avoid the blunders they make. Importantly, you can craft and refine your social media strategy and continuously tweak it to suit the present marketing environment.
  • You can avail customer intelligence at a low cost - You can follow the ads and campaigns of others and then go through the responses of customers, including complaints if any. Armed with such invaluable knowledge, you can refine your customer support strategy to get an edge in the market.


If you are keen that your online business thrives, it is imperative that you know what the general public is saying about your products and services.

A great way to do it is by making use of Brand24, a social media listening tool that keeps an eye on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To make the most of this tool, you must get to know all the functionalities and how to power them to your advantage.

  • The very first step is to register with Brand24.
  • You can also sign up for your 2-week free trial.
  • Once you are logged into your personal account, the next step is to create several projects for monitoring specific brands/products.
  • You can create a number of projects with different sets of keywords.
  • You can even split your keywords into different groupings so that you can monitor your brand for one project and use the other to monitor the brands of your competitors.


Mention is a wonderful tool that specializes in monitoring different types of business activities on the web. It can reach out to billions of sources, a boon for businesses that want myriad information.

You can even leverage this platform to tap influencers who can provide traction to your business.


  • Competitor analysis helps you analyze the limitations and drawbacks as well as the strengths of your competitors.
  • This can be a protracted process, but the rewards are worth the effort.
  • With competitor analysis, you are armed with information that can give you an edge over your rivals.
  • You can take advantage of their weaknesses and learn from their strengths.
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