The face of web is evolving everyday, and the change is happening very fast. In such scenario, without a real-time data it is difficult to comprehend the market value of your business. In my last blog post on 9 essentially easy to use bookmarklets, I discussed how these online tools are helpful in analyzing your website traffic, its industry ranking, country popularity, technology used in building the website, its performance, the indexed pages in search engines, and most importantly, the trust and power of the website domain or sub-domain.
While the previous blog post focused mainly on the factors related to technology and marketing, the question that follows up is:
What do you do if you need to have a clear overview of the entire current marketing practices implemented for the website?
Online marketing automatically diverts all thoughts to comprehend from where the website is drawing traffic- is it from search engine marketing, display advertising, or is it from social media marketing campaigns? When you divulge deep into this, it occurs that many other questions like is the traffic entirely from organic search or does it involve paid advertising?
For a marketer, it is important to have a strategy to reach the target audience through the most effective marketing channel. In order to build a strategy, the first step is to understand the audience persona followed by the analysis of marketing gaps by the competitors. Hence, for a marketer the first thing is to do a deep analysis of the audience and competitors’ strategy and then move on to figure out what else can be done or how else can you fulfil your customers’ demands.
Alexa and Similarweb are two platforms that can give you slight overview to what marketing channels your competitors are using. Along with the data reports, you can also have individual links to know in few more detail about relevant marketing channels.
The problem here is –
- It is too time taking.
- On each analysis platform, a lot of other information are available which doesnot fall under marketing.
- Analysing a website one by one on multiple websites can be tedious and time taking.
- Another issue that you might face is that you may not get in-depth details regarding specific channel.
Keeping in mind all the above issues, in this blog post I will introduce you to a tool that will give you all these detail in a single click. Starting with knowing the source of your competitors’ website traffic to tracking down your competitors’ online marketing efforts real-time, this tool has it all. Whether the competitor is using Search, Display, Social, Affiliate, Email, Video, or any other channel to draw traffic to their website, you will get to analyse it and also get real-time updates in your email, using this tool. The tool I am talking about is Follow.net.
You can directly sign up into Follow.net from here.
Currently, the Follow.net tool is available for free of cost and can be upgraded to a pro account once you are done with monthly tracking limits. But the website traffic analysis tool comes for free of cost. You can also use Follow.net tool right from the website, for which you are willing to conduct the analysis. This can be done by using either Google Chrome Extension or Mozilla Firefox Plugin. After you are done with installation of the extension, you can analyse unlimited number of websites.
Now that I have introduced to you this competitor analysis tool, lets have a quick glance at the features it provides:
Monthly Visits to Website
Using this tool you can easily get the number of people visiting the competitor website per month. All the data are pulled from Similarweb, as currently it is one of the best source to get this information on the web. With this information on the number of visitors of a website, you can easily get an overview of where the competitor is standing and how expanded is the marketing strategy they are using.
Monthly Unique Visitors
Besides knowing the number of visitors to the website, you must know how many unique visitors the competitor website is getting. This data is important as this figure will helps in analyzing how fast the website is pulling in new visitors. The number of unique visits is provided by another source, compete and quantcast, which has been in market for long time.
Daily Percentage of All Internet Users who Visited this Website
You must be aware that people using internet are growing in numbers month by month, manifold times. In this scenario you must be able to track down what percentage of the whole internet population is reaching the website. This graph data is provided by Alexa; again a very reliable tool for internet marketers.
After having a brief overview about the number of visitors and the percentage of internet users reaching the website, you can move on to the next level where you can find the different sources of traffic. Again this data is available from Similarweb and you will get to know top traffic sources distributed between, direct, link, search, social, mail and ads. This is available from past 3 months from Similarwebs and is quite reliable.
Organic Google Keywords By Country
This is another marketing data which tells, on which keywords the website is ranking for in a particular country. With the number of keywords ranking in a particular country, this data tells the percentage of keywords ranking too. All these data is important and a marketer can analyse in which all countries, the website is ranking in Google. This data is provided by SEMrush.
Top Organic Google Keywords
After you know in which all countries the website is ranking in search engines, now you will get to know on which all keywords the website is ranking. Along with Avg CPC, Avg Position, Search Volume, Search Results you will also get to know what Percentage of Traffic is coming from that particular keyword. This organic search engine marketing data is provided by SEMrush and ispionage.
Top Organic Google Competitors
It is important to know who are the competitors to this website. This result helps in analyzing more about the competitor business of which we may be unaware of. Along with the competitor domain name, you will get to know the Competition Level, Competing Keywords, SEO Keywords, SEM Keywords along with SEO Cost in dollars. These data are provided by both SEMrush and ispionage.
Search Engine Marketing Data By Country
While coming to Search Engine Marketing which includes famous paid marketing strategy, PPC (Pay Per Click), the data for every country where the website is running PPC ads is available through SEMrush. This data is very helpful for a market research to know which are the countries the competitor is focusing on to drive traffic through search engine ads.
Search Engine Marketing Keywords
Now that you have the data of where the competitor is focusing to drive PPC ad campaigns, this data from SEMrush & KeywordSpy get the list of keywords on which the website is advertising. The snapshot of top keywords includes the information of Avg CPC, Avg Position, Search Volume, Search Results, Traffic Percentage.
Search Engine Marketing Competitors
When you know the Country and the top Keywords, then it is always good to know, who all are competing with the competitor website in PPC advertising. This data from SEMrush, KeywordSpy and ispionage gets you the list of top Search Marketing Ad Competitors.
Top Search Engine Text Ads
Not limiting to Search Engine Keywords and Competitors, KeywordSpy & ispionage also provide the copy of PPC text ads which are performing the best in Search Engine Marketing. This is one of the best feature where you can use KeywordSpy & ispionage to get the copy of top performing text ads.
Top Bing & Yahoo Keywords
Why the list of top performing SEM keywords from Google only? ispionage also get the Search Ads top performing keywords from Bing and Yahoo Search Engines. There are a lot of websites, who do focus more on advertising in Bing and Yahoo Search engines for driving traffic to website. Before finalizing any Search Ad channel, you must do the price analysis for Bing and Yahoo Search ads.
Top Countries for Display Advertising
When you already know where and which all text ads are running for a website, now is the time to also find out where are all the display ads running for the competitor website? Using the data provided by Whatrunswhere, you will get to know about the Countries where the competitor website is running their display ad campaigns.
Top Ad Networks for Display Ads
During competitor analysis Whatrunswhere also fetch the top ad networks from where all the competitor website is running display ads. This data includes, Network, Impressions, Percentage of Impression and the number of Days the Ad has been seen. Whatrunswhere also fetch the details on size of Image/ Flash/ Hybrid display Ads, which competitor is running through different ad networks.
Display Ad Data from Adclarity
Follow.net also fetch Display Advertising data from Adclarity, where you will also get Ad Mediators, Ad Placements, Ad Campaigns, and Ad Impressions along with the countries where the ads are running. Adclarity also fetch data top ad banners running through different network.
Advertising Data from Mixrank
Apart from the data fetched from Whatrunswhere and Adclarity, you will also get important content advertising data from Mixrank. It shows the Top Google Content Network Text Ads and Top Google Content Network Banner Ads with time stamp of first and last seen too.
Advertising Data from Adbeat
Inside Follow.net you also get online advertising insights of competitor website through Adbeat, Top Networks, Top Google Placements, Top Text Ads, Top Banner Ads and Top Mobile Banner Ads.
Contextual Advertising (PPV/CPV) Data
When you are done analyzing PPC, text and display ads, Contextual Advertising including PPV and CPV ads also drive traffic to the website. To have better overview on these data, Boxofads help you with details on top media buyers and pay per view advertisers. Boxofads gives brief overview on Total Creative, Ad Networks Used, and top targeting websites.
Affiliate Marketing Analysis
Follow.net also gives data on Affiliate Marketing campaigns by the competitor website. In most of product marketing channels, affiliate marketers deliver high amount of sales and high performing traffic. Follow.net shows Highest Payout Offers, along with Network, Offer and the Payouts which affiliate partners receive. Having knowledge of this high performing marketing channel one can leverage it to drive qualified sales.
Latest Web Mentions
Apart from the details on all marketing channels from where the website receives traffic, it is also important to know, where all the competitor website is being discussed on internet. This is a continuous process which tells, what marketing activities your competitor is practicing. This information helps you in following these mentions and updates from your competitor website, And in some cases if the entry barrier to the current marketing practice is low, then, you can also analyse and give it a try.
Latest Twitter Mentions
When you are tracking web mentions, then why leave out real time updated feeds from twitter? Yes, follow.net also send email updates to you when someone mentions your competitor on twitter. On a daily basis, follow.net sends all the twitter mentions in an email update.
Demographics Data of Visitors
This is another quite important data which the marketers look for. This data overview gives you brief idea of the Gender, Age, Children in Household, Household Income, Education Level, and Ethnicity of the people who are visiting the competitor website.
Last but not least, you must know where the competitor website is hosted, the ip address, the country, and the web server along with when the owner of the domain had registered, updated and when will it be expiring. Apart from all these information you will also get to know the complete address and contact details if the registrar has not opted for privacy mode.
Overall, having all these important data available at single view is very helpful in designing strategic online marketing plan for a website. The Google Chrome and Firefox Extension add more to the ease with single click analytic report for any website domain.
Hope you will love using this tool. Let me know in comments below, in what all ways follow.net helped you.
In above example, I have analysed amazon.com with follow.net tool.
You can also read a detailed post from Avinash Kaushik on similar post Crushing It With Competitive Intelligence Analysis: Best Metrics, Reports.
Daniel Burstein also has 3 useful templates on How to Write a Competitive Analysis, which you will find useful while making a presentation.