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Competitor analysis and research

The nature of the web makes it particularly easy to examine your competitors. Here are some techniques:

UK Info Disk1) search on likely terms (product type, company names, model numbers, trademarks) in Yahoo and Google to locate your competitors. You can also use UK Info Disc or UK Info Disc Pro to get contact details on target businesses in the UK.

2) on your browser click View and then Source, to look at the code behind the page, examine keywords and meta tags used

3) if they use redirection and frames to mask where the site is hosted or hide the code, then put: "view-source:" in your browser before their URL eg: view-source:

4) check out when and who registered the site by putting the domain name into a registration site such as those listed at Domain Names

5) check out the company behind the website by entering its name (or likely name) into the database at Companies House (for the UK) similar agencies exist in other countries. If you want to get details on the directors you can pay a small fee and get an online report

6) see who links to them by putting the word "link:" before their URL into the search box in Google or AltaVista. See who, how, and why they link. You can try to displace these links or find similar with which to link

7) having found out their address and directors put their telephone number or post code into Google and find out what else happens at that location. Put post code into Streetmap, to get a large scale map and (in most cases) an online aerial photograph

8) search on the directors names, and see what else they are upto, and where and what press coverage they get

8) if the competitor site has a news group, join it, and keep up to date with their activities. Contact them and ask questions about their site.

9) if your competitor has an online shop, buy something and check out their processes, terms and customer service support

10) if your competitor has an affiliate programme, join it , and see how it works, see what products sell. You can run short term ads on Google Ads that could link to the affiliate tracking URL, to see how they perform.

11) install Alexa on your browser. This is a sampling tool that alows you to get an idea of how many visitors a site receives, how many links it has, and suggestions on other popular similar sites

12) use Tracerlock to identify new web sites that are picked up on a particular search term

13) use the tools (especially their "Swiss Army" toolkit) at Spyonit for general intelligence gathering and monitoring of incoming links

14) use Netmind to be updated be email on changes at a competitor's (or any other) web pages

Of course if its this easy to do this to your competitors you may wish to assume they can do the same with your web site.


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