In the earlier issues, we told you about the importance of online reputation management and about measurable signals of your brand popularity. We are logically continuing the topic with online benchmarking.
Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher, wrote in his “The Art of War” treatise about the importance of knowing competitors before competing. The marketing revelations made by Al Ries and Jack Trout in “Marketing Warfare” (1986) also underline the same idea – marketing strategy and tactics are based on the same principles that military strategy and tactics are based on.
You should learn and analyze your competitors’ marketing strategies before you start developing your own strategy. In this way you will avoid mistakes your competitors made and employ their best practices. And to be a step or two ahead of your competition, getting information on what your competitors are doing at every moment must become your daily business routine. The good news is that to track your competitors’ online efforts, you do not need to plant a mole or steal their secret documentation. You just need a few online tools.
- Xinu Returns tells you how well your competitors’ sites are doing in popular search engines and social bookmarking sites. It shows a great variety of important sites’ statistics. Along with the SEO information such as Meta tags of the index page, its rankings in Google, Alexa, Technorati, Compete, a site’s number of backward links and indexed pages, Xinu will give you information on how many times the page’s URL was mentioned on social bookmarking sites and will let you see those mentions. Armed with this data, you can work out your own strategy to outperform your competitors: get more backlinks (with Web CEO Link Popularity Checker you can see what pages link to your competitors’ and then contact them with the help of the Partner Finder tool), and add your interesting stories or helpful articles to the social media sites.
- Board Tracker is an innovative forum search engine, message tracking and instant alerts system designed to provide relevant information quickly and efficiently while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread no matter where or when it was posted. Search for your competitors names and be aware of what their clients say. And, of course, do not forget to monitor your keywords and your product names to react on time.
- Google Alerts notifies you when your competitors are mentioned in the news or when you have a new competitor in your area. Google will let you set up to 1,000 alerts for each account you create with them, so you can monitor all your keywords and competitors’ names.
- PostRank monitors and collects social engagement events correlated with online content in real-time across the Web. PostRank gathers where and when stories generate comments, bookmarks, tweets, and other forms of interaction from a host of social hubs. With PostRank you will discover the best blogs, news, and articles by your topic, so you will see whether your competitors create stories that engage an audience.
- Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content gathered across the universe into a single stream of information. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about your competitors and you, your company, a new product in your market, or any topic across the Web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.
- SpyFu. Frankly speaking this tool has nothing to do with social media, but since we’re talking about spying, we can’t help mentioning it. SpyFu allows you to browse competitors’ daily AdWords PPC budget, average position of ads, estimated value of organic traffic, paid traffic compared with organic traffic estimates, top ten paid keywords with keyword ad history, total paid keywords, total organic keywords, PPC competitors (with a link to overlapping keywords), organic competitors (based on semantic relationships). You will get more information as a subscriber, but free reports also help you get the general idea.
With all of the above mentioned, remember that success in marketing and promotion of your product can be achieved only if you keep the balance between smart copying of the best competitors’ practices and introducing your own innovative marketing ideas.
SEO Companies’ Visibility Rate
Are SEO companies as good as they claim to be on their sites? Will they return the efficiency they promise? Are their skills qualified? The only way to find it out is to check how they optimize and promote their own sites.
Here we share Top 10 SEO Companies according to their search visibility rate for March 2010.
Click here to see the complete rate.
Web CEO analysts use objective evidence to rate SEO firms according to their search engine visibility. SEO companies’ visibility rate is calculated using a special formula that considers the positions of SEO companies’ sites in search engines results pages for the keywords their potential clients use, popularity of these keywords and number of competitors.
Learn more about the formula.
Here you can see how Top 10 SEO companies’ visibility rate has changed from January till March 2010.
Top 10 SEO Companies