Find Competitor’s Top Performing Keywords & Use Them To Your Advantage

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Ever wonder what your competitors’ top keywords are?  Would you like to know if your competition is down in traffic the same times of year you are?  I’m sure you wish you could find out how many unique visitors your top competitors are receiving.

With Compete.com you can get all of this information and more. This is not a sponsored post by the way!  I knew of Compete.com when I first began doing paid search and SEO for clients, but just now have I really begun to use it and actually do something with the information.

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So what is Compete.com?  Compete.com is a website statistic analysis tool.  However, you don’t just use it for you own site, the main purpose is to compare your website to your top competitors – hence the name, compete.com!

The free version of Compete.com gives you plenty of information that you can use to help enhance your PPC campaigns, but to also gain a better understanding of how your competitors are doing in the present economy.

While I enjoy seeing visitor data and traffic increases/decreases for my top competitors in comparison to my own site, it’s the keyword information Compete.com gives you that I get the most use out of.

When you go to Compete.com, there is an option to compare sites. At the top of the page you should see 5 white open field boxes in which you can enter your website, as well as 4 of your top competitor websites. Here’s a tip, don’t include the http://www.  Just enter the site name without the prefix for best results.

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Once you enter your websites, click ‘go’, Compete.com will then produce a graphical representation of your site visitor statistics in comparison to your competitor site visitor statistics. Here you can see who’s on top and who’s on bottom – which is pretty cool info to have. But that’s not even the most useful part.  If you scroll down, you can get even more detailed information about your site in comparison to the other sites. To the far left, there is a top search terms column.  Here you can see your sites top search terms but also your competitors!  I think this is a great way to find and add additional keywords into your PPC campaign to target.  If you click on a specific keyword, you can get the sites that drove a majority of visitors via that keyword.

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Other information will include the monthly normalized unique visitor stats for each site, the monthly percentage change of unique visitors, yearly change, as well as top referring sites, top destination sites and if available top tags.

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The top referral sites are a great bit of information too.  If you find that most of your competitors are getting a lot of traffic from another search engine, perhaps you could add PPC for that search engine too and increase traffic/leads for your own site.

It’s also great to see how well or poorly you are doing in comparison to other sites in the same industry. Seeing the yearly change of visitors tells me I’ve made great strides over the past year (if positive) and to keep doing what I’m doing. And the unique visitors tell me I’m dominating the search engines results pages via PPC and SEO.

There are many more tools and bits of information you can get out of Compete.com just by playing around with the features. I’d highly recommend creating a free account and use the free features to help gain more insight into your competition and to find additional keywords to add to your PPC account.

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  • kyle

    I have actually found this service to be very inaccurate. I have compared to many of my clients, as well as my companies info, and have found it to be way off (especially the statistics).

  • Eddy

    As with all these competitor comparison sites/apps I’ve only ever been able to get data if the client or competitor is popular in terms of traffic etc, compete.com was no different, I could only get data for one of my clients.

  • http://www.wordstream.com/blog Tom Demers

    Yeah Compete has the same issues as any competitive tool (no data for unpopular sites, sometimes wildly inaccurate data) but I really really like their referring sites and destination sites features. As you said referring sites can be a great way to find sites to buy traffic from (via the content network or just a one to one buy) and looking at where people are going after they visit a site can provide some really interesting insight.

  • http://www.ppchero.com Amber

    @Kyle, Eddy, and Tom, yes, I have heard also that the competitive reporting tools are somewhat inaccurate – however if everyone’s numbers are off I still think it can give you an idea of where you are in comparison to competitors – and the keyword numbers may be off, but if you can find new keywords from what your competitors are using – you can at least try it in your account and see how well it works for you. Personally, I think all free analytics tools or competitive analysis tools are somewhat inaccurate! Thanks for your comments – I appreciate the feedback!

  • Datajunkie

    I use compete.com every single day, and while it is not perfect, it gives me a great angle when looking at competitors. The keyword and referral data helps me build out my clients’ keyword lists and understand which affiliates and partners are sending their competitors the most traffic.

    Not perfect but definitely valuable if you know what to do with the reports.

  • http://www.bestwebimage.com Rob

    Your tip about the no www does make a difference. Thanks!

  • http://www.freeclassifiedsdirectory.com free classifieds directory

    Any validation? Tools should be free but genuinely workable.

    Regards,
    Alexander

  • http://www.kensfi.com ken the tech

    I’d used compete for a while now but I never try the comparison tool. Thanks for tip :)

  • http://www.desitara.com Showcase Talent

    Very good article and its helps me lots in my link building work.

  • Fallon-Jade Manger

    im looking for some software so i can see what keywords my competitor are using so i can do link building for these keywords for my site but im not getting any right software for this  any one here to suggest. http://www.drivefly.co.uk

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  • http://twitter.com/polobus82 paul_bussenius

    can’t find  “At the top of the page you should see 5 white open field boxes in which you can enter your website, as well as 4 of your top competitor websites.” Plus no free trial?! Guess i’ll just stick to spyfu.

  • Herman Jooste

    Is the free version still available?