The affiliate field keeps developing and growing. With so many changes happening every day, it is important to keep up with how your competition is doing traffic-wise. Spying on your competition for user data is a common practice and can even out the playing field. Of course, it is important to distinguish spying to get information or inspiration from spying with the intention to steal ideas. Our performance marketing network is here to show you how to find out what your competitors are doing in an ethical way.
We understand the term ”spying” may be a little overwhelming. However, in most cases spying on your competition means doing your due diligence and researching the ins and outs of the market. Knowing your competition‘s strengths means having a model of success in front of you. Knowing their weaknesses means understanding where you fit in. Look at your statistics and see which actions and strategies can propel you above the rest. It doesn‘t matter if you are a newbie or a seasoned veteran, competitive research is a must.
You can go about competitive research in two ways. The first one is hiring a professional consultant or agency to do the research for you. The second one is to do it yourself. The method you choose depends on your means and experience, as well as your own understanding of the results you want.
Spying On Your Competition: whom to track?
As we have previously mentioned, the competition in basically every imaginable field is fierce. Hence, if you wanted to track every single competitor, your work would never be done. In other words, it is important to know how to select your direct competition – those running campaigns most similar to your own, with the most similar target audience. It is important to scale your research according to your own reach and success. Watch out for the campaigns most similar to your own in scope and size, but also keep an eye out for up-and-coming newbies with a fresh vision.
Competitor website analysis
When you have identified your competitors, it‘s time to think about spying strategy. Your final goal should be to get a complete understanding of what makes their sites successful and then develop your own brand accordingly. This doesn‘t mean stealing ideas, but getting inspired and building upon an existing foundation. The factors you should be looking into include
Spying On Your Competition: Traffic
While you can‘t get a complete and accurate overview of your competition‘s traffic, there are different online tools every affiliate manager needs to use that offer insights into other sites’ traffic sources and number of visits. Additionally, it would be good to find out the location of your rival‘s audience. Then you can compare their strategies to your own. Whether the results show your competitor is more or less successful than you, it is good to know what works and what doesn’t and plan your own next steps.
Analyze your rivals’ content
While you need special tools to see how your competitors are doing traffic-wise, we recommend analyzing their content yourself. The reason for this is the fact that so much of our personalities register in what we do, and seeing your rivals‘ approach can be very inspiring. Again, we do not condone stealing ideas from others. However, making small changes in your own approach while still expressing yourself can be very beneficial. We recommend studying the ways other content creators incentivize audience interaction and applying it to your own content. This step can be especially fulfilling and pleasant to do as you can expand your research to different verticals and niches and still get some great guidelines from creators you appreciate.
Competitor keyword research
SEO is a sensitive topic for many content creators. This is true because understanding search engine algorithms is only the beginning. After you learn what to do to propel your content to the top results, you will have to keep updated on different changes happening within the ranking system. This can become tiring and discouraging. In this case, studying your competition’s keyword use can be beneficial both because it helps your site grow and shortens the time you invest in learning the newest SEO trends.
Relying on a keyword research tool exclusively is not bad in and of itself. Yet, if you want a more complete cross-section of the state of your rivals’ content and SEO strategies, it is time to do competitive analysis as well. Our biggest tip when it comes to competitor keyword research is to target both high and low volume keywords. This way you can become an authority both to the general population aficionados and experts alike.
Of course, having all the right keywords isn’t enough if it isn‘t paired with providing your audience with great content as well. The top-rated and undervalued keywords are there to inspire you to create that content.
Spying On Your Competition: Backlinks
Competitor backlink analysis is another great way to get an insight into their success and find solutions for areas where your own campaigns are under-performing. Even basic knowledge about this topic can be extremely beneficial. For example, even knowing only how many backlinks an average competitor has gives you a very concrete guideline to work toward. Not to mention understanding the quality of the sites backlinking to them.
After you conduct traffic and backlink analysis, you will be able to create a list of sites that drive the most traffic to your competitors. This, in turn, will allow you to build your own backlinks on those sites as well, in most cases.
As you can see, analyzing your competition can give you a cutting edge if you utilize the results you get in a smart way. Don‘t miss this opportunity to not only follow their path but also upgrade it to something more powerful.