Home – New Forums Tech talk Competitor analysis

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  • #989021
    woozie
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    Hi Guys,
    I have a few competitors that are consistently out ranking me for the same product. I want to know how they are doing it so what tools do you guys use to find this information out or is a company that can do an analysis and recommend improvements?

    #1170073
    John Romaine
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    arrowwise, post: 197232 wrote:
    Have an assistant or VA simply contact them as a potential customer. If they have a traditional shop some inquiry agents can be hired per hour to do the mystery shopper experience.

    lol, what?

    #1170074
    arrowwise
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    John Romaine, post: 197235 wrote:
    lol, what?

    It made me laugh what I wrote too. I dived into the forum and did the quick read and post thing and responded to something else related to competitor analysis – but not online product rank specific.

    #1170075
    JohnW
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    Hi Woozie,
    You have raised a very deep question but you don’t give us enough info to offer much help with it.

    IMHO based on over 19 years SEO and Internet marketing experience, the software you seek does not exist and never will.

    Your ranking problems could relate to:

    • Your product page has not been indexed
    • Your product page is a replication of other pages
    • Your product page is not in a format that a SE can “read”
    • Your website has a SE-unfriendly design
    • Your website has a SE-unfriendly structure

    No SEO software assesses any of these crucial parameters.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1170076
    pauls
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    I know John W isn’t a fan of SEO automation tools, however apart from using Google trends and Keyword research for an initial insight, there are numerous products out there that look at onsite content, keywords, themes, social sharing, incoming link profiles and so on.

    This helps you identify what your competitors are doing and targeting.

    You will then need to put in place a strategy to mimic the good bits, however it can take time and wont mean you will get the same results.

    With that said, analysing what your competitors are doing provides great insight and definitely can and will influence your strategy.

    criticone I believe is the only Australian commercial platform that does this.

    #1170077
    JohnW
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    pauls, post: 197446 wrote:
    I know John W isn’t a fan of SEO automation tools, however apart from using Google trends and Keyword research for an initial insight, there are numerous products out there that look at onsite content, keywords, themes, social sharing, incoming link profiles and so on.

    This helps you identify what your competitors are doing and targeting…

    With that said, analysing what your competitors are doing provides great insight and definitely can and will influence your strategy.
    Hi Paul,
    You misunderstand me. I’d be delighted to use more automation tools. I just can’t find many that are useful, relevant or accurate.

    If you can advise me of a tool that provides accurate and relevant info about how well a site is doing relative to its competitors, I’d adopt it in a New York minute.

    So far, every tool I’ve explored has proven to be absolutely useless to someone who knows SEO and dangerously misleading to anyone who doesn’t know the topic well.

    Are you saying your software is a world-wide technological breakthrough? If so, I’ll be its biggest supporter.

    But, you have to prove it to the SEO community first.

    Can I suggest you place a separate thread in the appropriate FS forum and invite experienced SEOs to review your software?
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1170078
    pauls
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    • Total posts: 120
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    Hi John,

    We’ve had this discussion and your opinion is very clear as is mine and we have a thread that has already covered this.

    For the sake of others reading this, not you John as I am definitely not doing this online again.. (if you like, your more than welcome to call me and I’ll happily debate the matter with you :-)

    Globally online marketers, web and seo agencies use subscription based DIY through to enterprise SEO products on a daily basis to help automate intel, tracking and reporting for their online marketing activities. As an example MOZ revenue for 2012 was 21.9 million – this is no coincidence.

    Look around you and count the amount of businesses getting online and SEO wrong. Especially in Australia.

    ..then try to convince me and others that a product that can scan a website and find issues is flawed?

    I’m of the opinion that placing all your eggs in one service providers basket and without any vetting of what they are doing, hoping for the best is flawed and dangerous business!

    I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one JohnW ;-)

    BTW, you must be a busy man doing all those laborious tasks including ranking, competitor intel, back-link profiling, ongoing onsite auditing etc manually.

    #1170079
    PowerofWords
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    Hi, To answer your query, I myself use:

    Quick check of competitors with the SEObook toolbar for Firefox. That’s a free download from SEObook.

    A comprehensive DiY SEO program called Upcity (Upcity.com) that’s $39 p/m US for small business. I have had rankings improvement from following their process step-by-painful-step. You can have a VA do it for you if you are time poor. There is no way you could remember all of the aspects that they cover, however in Australia I substitute some of their directories with ours (truelocal not yelp).

    Also, don’t forget to set yourself apart on an aspect that is not price based, e.g. service turnaround time, reliability, support, in-depth knowledge or qualifications, and local testimonies. Please PM me for more help.
    – Jennifer

    #1170080
    pauls
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    • Total posts: 120
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    Software is your friend :-)

    I wouldn’t call Upcity comprehensive, but a checklist that does the checking for you is definitely a useful resource.

    If your serious about auditing and tracking your online performance, were local and happy to offer our product to flying solo readers at AUD$29 billed monthly.

    #1170081
    Byron Trzeciak
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    PowerofWords, post: 198110 wrote:
    A comprehensive DiY SEO program called Upcity (Upcity.com) that’s $39 p/m US for small business. I’ve had rankings improvement from following their process step-by-painful-step. You can have a VA do it for you if you are time poor. There is no way you could remember all of the aspects that they cover, however in Australia I substitute some of their directories with ours (truelocal not yelp).

    I think you need to be really careful with SEO tools especially when you put it in front of business owners that don’t understand exactly what they’re doing. I’ve seen many SEO tools showing “green” only to see that the keyword used has been set to something completely irrelevant for their content and industry.

    Alternatively a business owner might think all they need to is to stuff their content with their chosen keyword before Google comes along and smacks them. A tool will not tell you that you’ve developed quality content or that your site will be able to convert the traffic you receive.

    Tools can assist to find some early quick wins and after that they tend to just be a distraction to get lost in throughout your day. Spend less time looking at tools and more time developing quality content that attracts the visitors you want to gain.

    #1170082
    pauls
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    Hi Byron,

    While experts will never be replaced and you cant expect any tool to run the show for you, the intel, insights and assistance they can provide is not only cost effective, but very beneficial in what is becoming a highly technical online world.

    Should you take anything literally? definitely not and that’s irrespective of an experts view or a digital platforms insights.

    Whether your using an expert or a tool (sometimes they are one and the same) they assist with QA and keeping your strategy on-track.

    Without a strategy, content creation can mean very little and result in;

    • keyword stuffing
    • duplicate content – onsite & offsite
    • misfocused page elements – cannibalized content
    • improper structure, housing or promotion methods
    • lack of/wrongly setup canonical, meta, robots.txt, nofollow etc
    • And then there’s potential broken internal & inbound links, pdfs, images etc etc.

    I’ve seen a number of successful businesses with good copy digging a hole for themselves.

    I’ve also worked with great web designers that left big SEO holes in re-launched websites. When it comes to discovery, automation is definitely our friend.

    Writing good copy is definitely the go, however having a strategy and structure to how this is communicated and technically applied is vital.

    Lets keep in mind were not doing it for the practice – we want maximum leverage – thus monitoring and audit tools can only be of assistance, and yes when used in the right way.

    With business starting to switch their websites to https, the glitches and missed items are only going to increase resulting in unknown lost opportunities.

    #1170083
    Byron Trzeciak
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    pauls, post: 198163 wrote:
    Whether your using an expert or a tool (sometimes they are one and the same) they assist with QA and keeping your strategy on-track.

    If your expert is only using a tool then yes they are one and the same. This happens far too often. If you’re paying experienced and quality services however you’ll be getting far more than churn and burn results from a paid tool.

    pauls, post: 198163 wrote:
    Without a strategy, content creation can mean very little and result in;

    • keyword stuffing
    • duplicate content – onsite & offsite
    • misfocused page elements – cannibalized content
    • improper structure, housing or promotion methods
    • lack of/wrongly setup canonical, meta, robots.txt, nofollow etc
    • And then there’s potential broken internal & inbound links, pdfs, images etc etc.

    I don’t disagree with you Paul, tools can provide some quick wins and help you identify some areas where your site may be struggling. Onsite optimisation is a big key and this is where many web designers and websites are failing.

    So far though I haven’t seen any tools can highlight strong website structure or provide me with a strategy for developing quality content to my audience?

    pauls, post: 198163 wrote:
    I’ve also worked with great web designers that left big SEO holes in re-launched websites. When it comes to discovery, automation is definitely our friend.

    I agree with you, web design and SEO typically doesn’t go hand in hand when it should be considered from the outset. Again there needs to be some forethought and planning that goes into your website before you even need to get to the point of running a tool.

    – Look at website structure
    – Develop quality service pages that highlight who, what, why etc and your unique selling points.
    – Develop a strong call to action that directs visitors to perform the action you want them to take.

    When you’ve ticked off things such as the above then a tool might be able to highlight how you can improve your content and site optimisation to achieve better ranks.

    Again ranking and traffic alone won’t improve your sales, leads and conversions.

    #1170084
    PowerofWords
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    That’s true in a way Byron. For example the SEO plugin tool (Yoast) would not be all that good if the keyword used was too broad or not related.

    The tool I’m using does not automate anything, it’s more like having a working dashboard that tells you how well you’re going and tells you what next ‘map’ pointer to do next and how to do it. And it keeps things in order as well, so you work on your basic website presence, social setup, Google+ local, then expand presence, manage your reputation, get reviews, work on Authority (following/answering), website conversion basics / setting goals, retaining and growing.

    Also agreeing with the quality content remark. You can’t go past that ;-)

    #1170085
    John Romaine
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    pauls, post: 198121 wrote:
    If your serious about auditing and tracking your online performance, were local and happy to offer our product to flying solo readers at AUD$29 billed monthly.

    I’d take you a little more seriously if you weren’t pitching your own stuff.

    At the end of the day…

    1. Business owners don’t care for what tools you use or don’t use
    2. Business owners don’t have time to hear about how great your software is
    3. Most business owners shouldn’t even be looking at software

    As for search engine professionals….

    1. There are far too many trying to “over automate” processes, by using push button software.
    2. There are far too many business owners getting burnt by SEO’s using crappy push button software
    3. There’s more than enough “tools and software” in the industry than you can swing a cat at. Most of it is rubbish.

    Having said that, software does have it’s place, and is essential for a lot of tasks. But when that balance tips the other side of “wank factor” as opposed to being useful – then somethings wrong.

    Less software, more common sense.

    #1170086
    RymSop
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    • Total posts: 16
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    Hi Woozie,

    Here are some tools that you can use to do competition analysis:

    SEO Spyglass ( powersuite) – on this tool you can check backlinks, how they do their anchor text distribution
    opensite explorer – this one you can see here total no. of backlinks, referring domains, page and domain authority
    majesticseo
    ahref
    xenu’s link sleuth

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