As a marketer, you need to be able to understand what your competition is doing not to steal but to save time and money by learning what they are doing.
Guide On How To Spy On Your Competitor
By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can learn from their successes and failures. You can use this guide to either learn to spy on others or to protect yourself from getting spied. This is not an exhaustive list of way to spy on competitors but it will get you started.
Pixels & Sitemap
This may seem obvious, but it’s a good place to start. Look for any clues that they may be up to something new, such as a new product launch or a change in their marketing strategy.
If there is something new coming out, they might publicly put it out for everyone to see, but you might find clues in two different ways.
To start, Right click on their website and click VIEW SOURCE. Then just scan to see if you see something out of the ordinary that looks like the name of the company
By looking at your competitor’s website source, you will sometimes be able to see traces of codes that will tell you what they might be using on their site.
On the Following example, you will see that they are using Google Analytics or sometimes you will see them using Adobe Insights, or Crazy Egg.
To Track Pixels, we can use a Chrome Extention like “Pixel helper” to see if they are running ads or have anything that’s tracking the users.
A sitemap is like a hidden list of links to everything on the website. It’s used to submit to the search engine to crawl to help them rank.
We can check a site’s sitemap to see what articles they have published recently that are not on the surface or any website pages they might have created that they forgot to exclude from the sitemap.
The common practice to find sitemap is on root of the domain or subdomain.
So, you can start by typing up sitemap.xml after their domain to see if you find something. Most of the time, you will find either a nice-looking sitemap or something that’s a mess. If i were the website owner, i would name my sitemap URLs something else and keep it messy.
From here, you can go snooping around.
A robot.txt file is a text file that tells a web crawler what pages on a website to index and what pages to ignore. The file is placed in the root directory of a website.
These files have to be called “robot.txt” and must be on root of the domain or subdomain. These will show you folders, and files that the website is trying to hide.
Set up Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a free service that will notify you whenever your competitor is mentioned online. This is a great way to stay up-to-date on what they’re doing. This is useful for finding out any content about them that gets leaked, their press releases before anyone else, so you can act.
Buy Their Products Anonymously
One of the best ways to learn from your competition is to actually go through their sales funnel and buy from them. This will show you how they lead people, their strategies, their actual product and their customer service. All you have to do after this is improve your product to do it better in a shorter time.
Spy On Their Ads
There are a few ways that you can spy on your competition’s ads. The first way is to simply search for their business on Google and see what ads come up. You can also use a tool like SEMRush to see what keywords your competition is bidding on. You can also see their ads from Facebook Ad Library as well.