Sources of competitive intelligence
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Instead of going on a wild goose chase for information, the best thing to do is systematically find the best competitive intelligence sources to create competitors profiles. Once you know who your competitors are, you can start your competitive analysis. In this blog you can find some important and free sources of competitive intelligence that can help you with this task.
What is a competitive intelligence source?
A competitive intelligence source is a medium that provides relevant insights about competitors. Processing real-time and up-to-date data is crucial to gain accurate insights. These sources often use artificial intelligence, machine learning and/or NLP.
What are some competitive intelligence sources?
1. Alexa Traffic Rank
This tool was developed by Amazon 20 years ago, simply known as Alexa Rank. It can be used to oversee the popularity trend of any website compared to yours, providing commercial web traffic data and analytics. Alexa ranks websites based on their traffic volume. By entering your competitors website, you can learn a bunch about its visitors and its online presence.
Crunchbase is one of the easiest platforms for accessing company data. It is a sort of statistics-based Wikipedia for startups. Founded in 2007 by Mike Arrington, it is a platform where analysts, angel investors and entrepreneurs visit to get vital company information. Crunchbase is a useful market research tool if you want to know how fast your competition is growing. Find your answer to questions like: ‘Which of your competitors has received new funding rounds?’ or ‘How fast are they growing?’
3. Google MAPS-business
Google Maps will give you a more comprehensive insight on your competitive location. Improve your local listing by comparing and locating other businesses in the same area as you. This free registration actually helps to grow your competitive advantage. If you haven’t already, go claim or sign up your Google Business to increase your online visibility.It’s often confusing how to setup Google MyBusiness as the goal posts are always being changed as the service get updated pretty frequently. This local SEO guide provides an up to date step by step process for you to setup your Google business listing correctly. Once you have claimed your business you can then optimize to get ahead of your competitors.
Next up: SEMRush, an easy tool for researching keywords. When you run your competitors’ URLs through SEMRush, you’ll be able to identify important keywords they are optimizing their sites for. You can only see the top 10 keywords if you subscribe for the free version but if you need useful in-depth competitor keyword analysis; you will have to get a paid SEMRush account.
5. SOCIAL SEARCHER
Of course you can find a lot of information on your competitors social profiles. What is he/she talking about. How are they interacting with customers? Are others talking about him in a positive or negative way?
As these profile are publicly available, you can go on them and do your analysis. Or use one of the many social media monitoring tools.
One useful and free tool is Social Searcher. It allows you to search for content in social networks in real time and give you deep analytics data. Type your competitors’ name and you’ll get their social engagement and how they are perceived online.
6. OPEN CORPORATES
Your local company register, allows you to find more information about your competitors revenue, employees or how long the company already exists. This can help you see how he is growing his business. One way to find this register information is by using Open Corporates. This open database, can also give you a first glimp into your competitors.
Last but not least: Ahrefs. This tool has a free version that might really help you gaining insights into your competitors digital footprint. From backlinks and domains to organic and CPC keyword ideas, this tool can show you what mark your competition is leaving on the web.
Generally, there are a lot of useful tools, databases and competitive intelligence sources that can help you to understand your competition. All these tools combined will give you an interesting profile and vision on your competitive landscape.