Just when you thought you had this whole online business thing mastered, it turns out that now you must become a secret super spy, break into your competitor’s databases and steal important documented information that you can put to use for your own benefit. So get your rope and mask ready because we’re going in!
Oh, and by the way, I’m just kitting. Spying on your competition doesn’t require a mask and a rope or any kind of illegal activities. It is a lot simpler than you think, and it could give you the edge you need to attract more targeted traffic, discover helpful content, score well with the SE’s and ultimately make more money. The truth is that the word “spy” is actually a little too strong of a word to describe what you need to do. I like to use it because of its theatrical value, so I will keep on using it throughout this article. I like to think I’m a dangerous man.
How do you find who your competitors are and how do you check them out? Easy, Google will do most of the hard work for you. Let me begin by telling you that this process, although simple, takes time to do it right. You must be thorough in your research if you really want to achieve the best results. If you are going to go on a mission, make sure you get the mission accomplished right. Let’s begin.
First, come up with the ten most relevant keywords in your website, the ones that are the most important to have good Search Engine rankings with. I’m sure you’re already working hard on getting a good spot on the major SE’s with these words. Now go to Google and do a search on every single one of them. The top ten listings that appear for every keyword are your most fierce competitors. Unless you already have top ten rankings for some of these keywords or some of the same websites rank top ten for more than one keyword, you will end up with a max of one hundred quality websites to “spy” on. Remember, take your time doing your research, do it right. Don’t try to do all sites in one day, it will be impossible. Make some time in your schedule throughout the week and concentrate on one website at a time.
When studying each website carefully, concentrate one five major aspects that you could benefit from: Content, Sales Letter, Affiliates, Keywords and Link Popularity. Let’s find out how.
Content is one of the most important aspects of having a quality website. You can bet that a site with an excellent amount of helpful content is going to rank well with the SE’s and be appreciated by its visitors. Check for related content which you could incorporate in your site by using your own words and style of writing. Also make note of how this content is organized throughout the website and under what categories. Notice how many pages are dedicated to each category, and suck as much helpful content out of each page that could help you enhance your own pages even more. Learn from the experts, use what works for them and you will succeed.
Ok “Super Spy”, it is time to put on a secret disguise (This gets cooler by the second). I want you to dress yourself as an average visitor who just found the website you’re spying on by doing a real search for a product or service he/she needs. Now, look and read the sales letter through the eyes of this visitor. I want you to take note of what phrases caught more your attention. What did you read that made you think: “This is a pretty convincing statement”? That is exactly the kind of information you want to extract out of the site, because you can easily put it to use on your own business. You know that if it had you convinced, it will most like convince your own visitors also. Make note of all the convincing arguments you can find, then “steal them”. Of course, by this I mean put them in your own words and use them for your own benefit. Many webmasters have spent a lot of time doing research and putting together a sales letter that will sell, and you can take advantage of that. Don’t you almost feel bad?
No matter what kind of online business or website you have, it is always a great thing to be affiliated with companies that will pay you for referrals that lead to sales. Being affiliated with a good company not only could bring you a lot of extra cash, it will secure the survival of your business by creating multiple income streams. This is crucial to the beginning online business person. If your main source of income goes down the drain, it won’t be the end of your business.
Spying on successful websites of related content to yours could lead you to high quality affiliate programs that you can create partnerships with and secure a successful future for your business and more income for you. Usually websites refer visitors to their affiliates by making a friendly suggestion about their products or placing a link to their website under a related category. They don’t want the customer forced to click on the link, but willing to do so. Search the links back to the company’s main website and check them out for yourself. If you like what you see and feel the product is worth representing, sign up for the program. The foundation of your business gets a lot stronger by having quality income streams.
Keywords are “key” to getting targeted traffic to your site. After all, more than ninety percent of people online find what they are looking for by doing a search on a specific word or phrase that relates to what they want to find. Your website and the websites you are spying on already have one or more of the same keyword in common. Now you can check and see what other keywords these websites feel they need good rankings with. You could probably find some words that you could possibly insert on your site and improve the chances of getting noticed by the SE’s. You have nothing to loose here, it’s a simple procedure:
Go to the top of your browser and click on “View”. Now click on “Source”. A new window should open displaying the html code for the page that you are viewing. Locate the Meta Keywords Tag on the Head of the page. You will be able to see what keywords the webmaster felt were relevant to the content of that page and needed to be noticed by the Search Engines. Make note of the keywords or phrases that you could possibly work with. You can add these words later on your keywords Meta tag and insert them into the content of the page for increased value. The more relevant keywords your site has the more chances it has of getting noticed by the SE’s.
Checking the link popularity of websites that rank top ten in Google could give you an idea of how many links you would need to place in order to rank higher. This is probably the easiest task to accomplish. There’s many websites that offer free link popularity checks. You can go to http://www.imomms.com/FreeTraffic.html under the Link Exchange category and use the free link popularity checker. Just type the url of the website your spying on and check their numbers. You could also check the websites that they are linking to and try to exchange links with them, since they are also most likely related to the content of your site.
As you can see, spying on other quality websites, although a little time consuming, is a simple task that if accomplished right could give you great results. It could help you add more quality content to your website, try new keywords, find new sources of income, discover what attracts more customers, increase your link popularity and get higher Search Engine rankings. It’s worth it! Try it out and you will see! So keep your mask and rope handy, your mission is about to begin!