9 Great Tools to Research Your eCommerce Competitors

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For many reasons including greater freedom and the appeal of being your own boss, the popularity of e-commerce is growing. This means the competition is also increasing every year. Techniques that once worked are impossible to use now because of the number of people trying to use them.

Here are some strategies you can use to get ahead of your more knowledgeable competitors while taking advantage of what they know.



 

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1. Google AdWords

You probably already know how to use this keyword tool to come up with related keywords, and you can take the longer way of research by searching for each of these keyword phrases in Google, noting which ones your competitors seem to target. If you use paid AdWords ads, you can see ad positions and display rates with Auction Insights.



 

2. Alexa


Alexa allows you to easily see traffic sources. Just copy and paste a website URL and analyze the results to see whether the competitors rely on backlinks, social media, ad campaigns, or search engine traffic. You can adjust your strategy accordingly to either beat them at their own game or use other promotion tools they’re not taking advantage of.



 

3. WayBack Machine


The WayBack Machine allows you to see how a website has changed over time. It’s a very valuable resource, as you can generally assume that the website structure and design your competitor currently uses is the most profitable one they’ve found so far. The WayBack Machine will take you through each evolution of their site as they seek to regularly test changes in order to maximize profits!



 

4. WhoIs Domain Tools


If you want to find out exactly who owns particular domains or how long they’ve had them, WhoIs domain tools can allow you to do this. Once you find out who owns the domain, search for their name or address plus the word “whois” in Google to find out what other sites they own, or use the WhoIs built tool to see which other domains this person owns.



 

5. SEO Book

Check simple information like metadata with the SEO Book tool. It compares website titles, Meta description tags, and more so you can see what their homepage is like. You may realize that you’re missing obvious keyword phrases or that you could be taking better advantage of your Meta description area.



 

6. SpyFu

The monthly fee for SpyFu service is worth it if you know how to use this site. It can show you much more detailed information about AdWords than even Google AdWords is willing to show you. You can see information like daily ad budgets, keywords, ad competitors, cost per click, and more.



 

7. Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer offers a limited free plan and paid version. You can see everything from the competitors’ link anchor text to their page and domain authority. You’ll see inbound links, how many links are internal and which ones, and social share information. Even root domain and subdomain information is easy to find.



 

8. SEMRush

If you need to identify exactly who your competition is, SEMRush makes it easy. They give you information like backlink reports, which you’re organic or AdWords competitors are, and what keywords they are targeting. You’ll find out how much competitors spend on AdWords and the search volume they are likely getting from each keyword they’re bidding on.



 

9. Keyword Spy

This SEO tool lets you analyze data that others tools can’t access, such as affiliate data and cached copies of ads. You’ll see which keywords they rank for, what position they rank in, what their traffic is, how competitive each keyword is, and more. You can see information like cost per click and misspelled keywords.



 
In order to make sure your e-commerce site stands out from all the others, you need to not only formulate your own winning strategy, but use tools like the ones listed to research the strategies your competitors are using. With the rankings game and search engines being as they are, the person who ranks first usually wins. Don’t let the competitors beat you!

 

Author’s Bio

David Kendall contributed this guest post on behalf of WhoIsHostingThis.com – read the review types available on the various webhosts. David is a freelance technology writer. He enjoys writing articles for various technology blogs.