“A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends”

While this quote was from a Spanish philosopher in the 17th century, it’s just as relevant today in the competitive email marketing business. We’re not saying your friends are fools, we’re just saying you can glean a lot of good information from your competition. Spying on your competition may not be the most ethical way to get ahead, but it can be extremely effective.

Competitive Intelligence or CI is big business, but it also costs big money. Save your money. Here are 10 ways to gather intelligence on your competition. it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. and you won’t go to the internet jail.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is the best tool to track your competition. It lets you set up alerts every time a word or phrase pops up on a site, blog, or news story that comes up for one of your competitors. Simply go to Google Alerts, type in your competitor’s name, and choose the email address where you want your alerts to be sent.

Google Trends

This is another valuable tool Google offers. It shows you what cities or regions your competition is most interested in – all with a given keyword. Google Trends is one of the most powerful weapons a business can use in order to see what the competition is up to.

Backlinks on Competitor Websites

When you analyze your competitor’s backlinks, you get a better idea of where their business is coming from. Competitor backlinking is a good way to understand the types and number of backlinks you need. Learn more about competitor backlinking by checking out semrush.com.

Monitor Movement

The easiest way to learn about your competition is to simply visit their website. Go to their “About Us” page and monitor their job postings. If they just hired a salesperson in another state, they might be expanding to that state. Check out the homepage, News, or Features page. If they are a landscaping company posting information about swimming pools, they might be expanding into the pool business. Plus, you can read and subscribe to their blog for more inside information.

Monitor Social Media

Social Media is a great way to spy on the competition. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can reveal a lot about a business. Twitter is especially good for corporate espionage because it’s where you often hear buzz about something new. Plus, you can learn a lot from the photographs. A picture’s worth a thousand words when it comes to spying. And with tools like Hootsuite, you can manage multiple social media sites on a dashboard and track specific users to see what’s being said.

SpyFu

You can get a free trial on Spyfu for only $9 a month and it’s well worth it if you’re being clobbered by your competition. If you don’t have a lot of time, and you want someone to spy on you, check them out. They essentially do the same thing Google Alerts does – but instead of you doing it, they do it for you.

Hootsuite

This social media monitoring tool will track your competitor’s tweets, photos, videos, posts, and links that are getting the most activity.  It’s a great way to see what topics are trending with your competition.

Majestic SEO

Majestic is a well-known SEO tool, but it can also help you learn more about your competition. You can use Majestic.com to see how many backlinks your competitors have, where those backlinks are coming from, how they were accrued over time, and what anchor text leads visitors to the site.

Spy on Web

SpyonWeb.com lets you know all the niches your competitors are in, and all the websites they own. It lets you know where your competitors are, and the websites they manage. it also tells you which sites are hosted on the same IP address, it takes information from public sources and then searches all your competitor’s websites.

Woorank

Woorank helps you optimize your website first by scoring it, then reviewing it and giving you an instant analysis. You can run your competitor’s website and see how you rank compared to your competition. Get more information by reading this valuable article, How to Beat Your Competition with Email Marketingor by contacting one of our experts.

It’s harder and harder for your business to get ahead of the competition. But with a little cloak-and-dagger competitive intelligence, and other online tips from sources like the Email List Company, you are sure to succeed.

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