Competitor Research using Google Alerts – Its OK Everyones Doing It.
Next time you perform a search in Google, note how many results appear on page one?
Out of millions of hits there are only 10 results on page one. as research indicates 89% will click page 1 results. and 4% on page 2, 6% page 3.
In the world of Search Engine Optimization competitor research plays a very important part to a successful campaign. By knowing who is on the top 10 result, and digging deeper to find out how they achieved this, you will be able to budget and plan your campaign. To be on page 1, you have to beat the other 10 results.
In the world of online business, knowing your competition is the key to success. From knowing who your top competitors are, why they are at the top and finding out when a new competitor appears will help your business grow and prosper.
Knowledge is power, here are some great tools I use on a daily basis to help my clients and to spy on my competitors. I will be covering each tool in separate posts to keep reading at a minimum.
My company ( Clear-A-Face ) sales a fast acting acne removal cream, recently a new competitor ( Super Clear-A-Face ) has launched a similar product claiming to remove acne twice as fast. Been a smart business man, I want to know what this new competitor is up to and how they are marketing the product.
Imagine if you had a personal assistant that was scouring the internet for information about your competitors 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. No overtime pay, no holiday leave and best of all , they work for free and deliver their research to you without fail, everyday.
This is Google Alerts. A free service provided by Google which delivers to you in the latest customised topics from ;
- Google News
- Web Search results ( new SERPs )
- Google Groups
Use this great tool to gather intelligence about your competitors products, their online marketing efforts and the markets interests on your competitors products. There are of course many other websites that offer a similar service, but to be able to see the news from Google’s eyes is great for SEO.
Using Google alerts I can setup as many campaigns based on keywords related to my competition.
- Campaign A for their brand name Super-Clear-A-Face.
- Campaign B for product related keywords : Acne Cream, acne treatment cream, pimple removal cream, acne gel.
- Campaign C for treatment , symptoms related keywords : Acne treatment, rid acne, cure acne, acne medication
Google News alerts will let me know if my competitor appears on major news networks or official press releases
Google Blogs alerts for possible product reviews by their customers, or any new competitors on the scene.
Google web search alerts to inform me of their SEO / online marketing efforts. I will see when their new website has appeared in Google’s index, any new pages they may have added, websites selling their products, websites possibly been used for link building purposes and research websites / forums dealing with acne.
I can also find out what products are gaining popularity by following discussions and forums found in my alerts.
You can really build a great overview of your competitor’s SEO and marketing strategy, the markets interests and awareness in your competitors products. Any interesting alerts should be bookmarked and filed for reference. After a few weeks you should have enough data to make a calculated decision whether this competitor poses a serious threat.
If you are reading this, stop. Click here and setup a Google alert campaign for your own keywords. Currently I have Google alerts tracking keywords such as SEO, SEM, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, Google Caffeine, Caffeine, Goobinghoo, lil engine, li’l engine, little engine.
I really can’t stress how useful this tool is, if you are already a Google Alerts user let us know how you have benefited.
As always if you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments section, or discuss it on our forum. Please pass on this article if you found it to be useful. ( http://bit.ly/Gripp )
In the next few posts I will be introducing competitor research tools like Google Ad Planner, Real-time search monitoring and link analysis, keyword scraping tools.