Maine Internet Marketing Services FAQ: Find Competitors AdWords & SEO: Green Sky Development

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How can I see the keywords my competitor is bidding on in AdWords and how can I see how much website traffic they get?

You sneaky little devil you! In all seriousness, it’s not fully possible to know exactly what your competitor is doing or how much traffic they receive and from what sources. The only way to really know would be for you to get access to their web log files and run those through an analytics program. But my pretty, there are tools that you can use along with a lot of searching elbow grease to perhaps catch a glimpse of what they are doing.

Alexa will provide you with some topographical data, but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as the data it gathers comes from people who use the Alexa tool in their browsers.

You could choose your top 5-10 keyword phrases and search within Google, AOL, Bing and other engines to see how the rankings generally fall as well as if your competitor appears in the paid listings. Keep in mind that search engines have thousands of servers across the US and the indexed content on them at any point in time may not produce the same ranking results.

Using the Links: domainname.com directive in Google’s search box will give you an idea of how many links there are for a site and you’ll see the sites that provide those links.

There are free tools such as Compete.com for web traffic comparisons. MarketLeap.com lets you compare how well you and 4 other sites are ranked across search engines for various keyword phrases. SpyFu has a free component to it and SpyFu Kombat lets you compare up to 2 sites to see howthey overlap for paid keyword bidding strategies. Other free tools are Web CEO, SEO Toolset, iWebTool.com, iSpionage.com and SocialMention.com

The above comparative sites also offer paid services. There are also a number of other paid services that will allow you to dig deeper, but be prepared to also dig deeper into your wallet. Some of the most popular competitive analysis tools are: SEOMoz PRO, SpyFu, Trillian’s KeywordDiscovery, Keyword Spy, SEMRush.

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