How to SPY on COMPETITORS in 2019 | Thomas Digital Academy
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How to SPY on COMPETITORS in 2019 | Thomas Digital Academy

August 16, 2019


hey this is Victor hope you’re doing
well and in today’s episode I wanted to talk to you about competitive research
or what I like to call spying on your competitors so this is kind of fun you
know one of the things I like to do is kind of see what other people are doing
and get a sense of like you know kind of what my competition is up to how are
they getting traffic how are they getting people coming to their website
what is their strategy who works at the company what kind of people are they
hiring those types of things which I can then use to help improve my own business
so stay tuned we’re going to do some fun competitive analysis or some spying on
your competitors and let’s watch it okay so here we are and let me walk you
through some of the ways that you can go about kind of spying on other people and
kind of seeing what they’ve been up to you I feel like I should almost give a
disclaimer here like this is for entertainment purposes only or
educational purposes only and you know I don’t know what kind of disclaimer I can
give here but this is there’s no ill will put behind this video so use this
with discretion and for the purpose of good is I guess what I’m trying to throw
out there so the first place that you might want to look at when doing
competitive research is the Wayback Machine if you just go in to google and
type in wayback machine you will get there at archive.org four slash foot web
four slash web again dot PHP and so what this is amazing allows you to do is you
can enter any URL on the web and it will give you snapshots of that website over
time right so in this particular example I’m gonna be using like Airbnb the
website so this is Airbnb today this is their current website and we’ll just
look at some snapshots of like them over the years so this is you know right now
2019 this is 2017 and sometimes they don’t
render it a hundred percent perfect there might have been more stuff going
on here but you can kind of get a sense of what their website looked like over
time and you can see this is like 2015 was this twenty yeah 2016 17 2014
13 12 11 you get the idea 10 and 9 now a couple of interesting things that you
can look at when doing this for competitive purposes so number one is
you can like check out their SEO tagging so you can see if they have changed
their SEO title tag or Meta Description over time to maybe optimize for
different keywords so as you can see here they’re their brand name was
Kenneth their first year they were going for it but they still had vacation
rentals and then they stuck with vacation rentals private rooms extra
cetera throughout right actually vacation
rental homes apartments etc that looks like they’re going more broad match
because they have a higher authority here so that’s one thing to think about
other things you might want to think about is like it’s you don’t want to
necessarily copy the final product the final thing if you’re not there so for
example like here on this today’s Airbnb it doesn’t even say the word Airbnb it
doesn’t say kind of like how to do it or it doesn’t have a long it says book
unique homes and experiences but that’s about it like there’s no long experience
like explanation about what Airbnb is and how it works or hey this is a legit
company and here’s stuff from the New York Times like it doesn’t you they
don’t need to because they everyone knows who Airbnb is they’re already
established but if you look here at the beginning like this thing as seen on CNN
and New York Times find a place to say rent you know it’s it’s explaining what
they do it’s they’re holding your hand like a lot more and that’s perfectly
like what they should be doing so kind of know that know that like when you’re
working on a competitor if you’re not exactly where they are today you like
your own business then go look back to where they were at
the time that you are right now so like if you’re five years behind look at them
five years ago and see well you know what kind of what were they saying then
and that might be more appropriate you know the to clarify you know kind of
what it is that you do etc when giving the value proposition other things very
important to do is like look at their headlines over time
and if their their split testing it you know and if they’re a good company they
should be you should see like if they have been changing that look doesn’t
look like they’ve been split testing unless they just somehow found out off
the bat that find a place to stay was just the winner or you know they they
just or they did split test it and it turns out that it was but a lot of times
people will split test now they’re going to welcome home so maybe they did maybe
now between here and here they decided to split test and they found out that
welcome home was better or maybe just over time you know as the company got
more exposure it just made more sense to go for these terms I’m not sure on that
one but that’s another thing to look at as you can see you know kind of
headlines offers doesn’t just have to be the home page you could look at all the
different landing pages etc but this is a great tool for spying on your
competitors and it’s absolutely free so that’s my first tip second tip is spyfu
so this is not free but it’s pretty interesting and so this is for you know
kind of looking at mostly PPC like what are people spending on ads and so the
way I’m doing this in this example is I just typed in web design I saw this
company here had an ad for the term web design and so I’m just randomly throwing
them in here as my competitor of the day to kind of see what they’re up to I
don’t really know this company that well so don’t think that this is like some
kind of like I just I don’t know them that well but in any case this is how
the Tool Works right so the first thing you’ll see is like this is and this is
mostly for for paid I’ll show you organic in a second but like you’ll see
that they pay that spend about seven thousand dollars a month on PPC on
Google AdWords which is you know not bad right
not bad meaning like they are spending a good amount of money and like things you
want to see is if like they’re spending money over time like what are they what
have they been spending on let’s just see here so let’s go here let’s look at
the paid keywords and kind of see what and so what they’ll tell you and I think
my paid membership expired I don’t think I use this as much anymore so I’m think
I’m seeing what you would see which is just the the free version which is fine
because I’ll show you some other papers stuff here but what they will do is
they’ll show you all the keywords that they’re bidding for you know and kind of
like how much they’re spending on each one of those keywords and so this will
give you a good idea of like okay so these are the keywords they’re targeting
they’re going after these keywords which is pretty cool to know they’re all going
after San Francisco Web Design and I already ranked number one on Google for
all of those for free so that’s that’s pretty cool that’s why I don’t use spyfu
anymore because I don’t really use pay traffic I use free Google traffic but
you can kind of get a sense of it and then what you can do
let’s see you can see their ad history so what’s cool about this is it will
show you the different ads that they used and you can see like over time like
you know June July October and you can see if they continue to spend on that
particular keyword how their ad changes over time hopefully they’re split
testing their ads so that they can see you know one AD is outperforming another
and you can kind of get a head start and you can see oh okay well I’m using this
ad so that and what’s the offer like what’s the benefit they’re trying to say
etc so you know I’m not exactly blown away by this copy right now but but you
know who knows sometimes it does work so that is that for spyfu so that’s another
great tool that you can use and another one for SEO traffic is right here which
is a H rest and so a href is super powerful like so this is all about SEO
stuff so they’ll quickly tell you like a lot of stuff that you need to know about
other other web sites you can see their URL ranking for this particular URL
their domain ranking for the overall domain so this is strong but not as
strong as I would have thought it looks like they’re splitting more effort and
thought on paid traffic than they are on SEO which is which is fine you can see
they’re not getting a lot of traffic value from here you know if you wanted
to compare for example I think my own business is generating not to brag but
uh on see you know technical problems all right come back to that I guess
oh all right well hopefully this one works um so here the here are the
important things you want to look at so number one is you can look at their
backlinks and so these are the people that are linking back to them and what I
like to do is I like to kind of filter this by domain rank the higher the
domain rank the the more powerful it is and then you want to look for I’ll see I
have to thank you keyword traffic usually it says if it’s due follow or
nofollow am I missing here domains you’re all traffic extension that is bizarre what am I missing
hmm so usually there’s a part right here that tells you if it’s a do follow
domain or a nofollow domain and you really just want to kind of target the
ones that are due follows hopefully as I go through here it will somehow become
obvious to me where it is but that is interesting backlinks new
laws broken alright so anyway you can see here these are the different places
that they’re getting backlinks so PRWeb Sapir webs are not do are not follows so
I know that for sure in any case you’ll have to go through here and just kind of
see like okay so what are the what are the major places that are getting links
for them and then you yourself can go reach out to some of these places and
get links from them as well especially if they’re like directories or you know
kind of other sites that maybe you could buy links from or that are doing awards
or anything of that nature you could then reach out to them and get links for
them as well you can also do really powerful things like see what keywords
they’re ranking for so this will show you like here are the keywords that
they’re ranking for and as well as you can see that what are their anchors like
what are people when they’re linking to that site what is the keyword that
they’re using to link with and that will give you some ideas as well so you can
see a lot of stuff you’re very branded it explains why they’re not ranking
well on Google another fun thing you can see is their top pages so what this will
allow you to do is you can see all right if they have blog posts that are getting
a lot of traffic you can kind of go and say okay these are the topics that
they’re covering and you could do like similar topics or use that as
inspiration for things that you might want to do within your on own blog post
or specific SEO landing pages that you might want to do for your own so a tres
another great site would highly recommend for kind of spying on
competitors and so then we have Google and Google’s is awesome
there’s a lot of stuff you can do with Google in terms of spying on another
person’s site and one thing I would highly recommend you do is Google around
and Google for stupid search operators and what this will allow you to do is
there’s a lot of ways that people can search on Google that that you don’t
probably know about that are way more powerful than you might realize so the
first thing you can do is if you just go in here and type in site colon and the
URL of that company it will show you all the pages indexed by that company and if
they don’t know what they’re doing which is a lot of the time they will have like
really important things like they’re you know internal PDFs and documents and
things that they would desperately not want to have to the public all here
index and if you just go through it and search for it
all of that stuff is there they’re also just kind of pages that normally might
not be seen by regular visitors they don’t have it within the regular sitemap
but that still exists within the site and they’re all available to be found
here so if you just do a site search here this is a good way to kind of find
other pages you might want to so like that they’re plex server you know login
page is probably not something that would want people to see et cetera so
that’s another thing to do and then what’s what also you can do here is
instead of looking through here you can go to LinkedIn or other you know job
sites or any other kind of competitive site and I’m just gonna put web Norcia
and so then what this will show you is all the results here so to show you
anyone working for them a lot of people who are like contractors or RP
who work through you know other sites or whatever it might be listed here they
might put them in their profile their listing here a summer internship and you
can see oh that’s a good idea maybe I should be listing a summer internship or
whatever and so you can see kind of all the ways that you know kind of their
their profile is existing throughout the web and and stuff like that so that’s
another great way to spy on your competitors really there’s like a
million things you can do there’s things you can do like reverse image search for
Google images if you see a product or something and you’re on Chrome you can
just right click and find the image I will let’s just see here so not that
this will work because this isn’t relevant but if you’re on Chrome you can
just do Google search search for Google image and what this will do is will show
you every instance of that particular image so let’s just say that you own
like a like a shopping cart business and you’re trying to find like the supplier
so if you just reverse image search the image used by a shopping cart it’ll show
you like you can go back to like the Alibaba merchant that actually sold that
person the the initial product product for like wholesale value and you can
find it that way too by just doing a google image search that way it’s not
really something I do because I don’t do products but that’s another thing I know
that there’s available for competitive research so there you have it those are
some ideas to get the wheels turning you know use this all for good this is just
to show you kind of what other people are doing I think it’s valuable to kind
of see other people’s business processes even preparing for this video I was
looking at this company and I’ve seen stuff that they do within their own
design and development process I was like oh man I wish we were doing stuff
like that that’s that’s a good idea and we might incorporate that into our
own workflow so there you have it hopefully you found this video useful if
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