Chapter 8. Competitor Research and Competitor Tracking

Search is a competitive landscape.

Both SEO and paid search are about driving profitability by improving position, relevancy, and popularity. A well-executed search campaign, be it SEO or paid search, can significantly influence the volumes of traffic you get, as well as your conversion rates and ROI. Your competitors in search may not even be competitors you face in the offline world. Online you may find yourself competing with Wikipedia, Amazon, news and magazine sites, and more.

In the world of search, you compete not on products, but on words. Fortunately, today we have more sophisticated tools than ever before to track how competitors rank, and why they may be ranking as they do. SEOmoz has a very useful set of tools that you can use to research why your site and your competitors’ sites rank as they do. You can also use Majestic SEO and AdGooRoo to further track competition for your SEO and paid search campaigns. Monitoring your competitors will come down to three basic tactics: monitoring those ahead of you, those behind you, and your overall search footprint compared to your direct competitors.

Tools you will need in this chapter:

  • Clickstream tracking package (Google Analytics, Adobe SiteCatalyst, etc.)

  • Spreadsheet program (Excel or something similar)

  • AdWords or some other paid search tool

  • Keyword tracking program (e.g., WebPosition)

  • Competitor tracking tools (AdGooRoo, SpyFu, etc.)

  • Voice-of-the-customer survey data (Survey Monkey, ...

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