I want to show you how you can spy on your competitor’s keywords, traffic, and visitor demographics. Good e commerce web designers will do this research for you but you can also do it yourself for free using two websites. The first website is Compete dot com and the next is Alexa dot com.
Compete dot com allows you to look at the traffic, keywords and demographics of the people visiting your website or your competitors. You can compare websites to see graphs of traffic, or visitor demographics and keywords. You can look at reach or you can see how popular a particular website is in a country, such as just the US or UK.
Compete get their data from internet service providers.
Number two is Alexa dot com. They way Alexa works is you install a tool-bar or an add-on in Firefox, IE, or whichever browser you use, and it tracks the websites you go to, and it sends the data back to Alexa, they compile the data, and they create reports. You can see traffic, demographics, reach, everything like that.
With Alexa they give each website a number. Number one is Google, which means Google gets the most traffic in the world. Number two I think at the moment is Facebook, and then it goes all the way down from there, so you won’t show up on Alexa or you won’t have an Alexa rating unless you are a top 100,000 website in the world.
A good example is Big Commerce, at about 14,000 on Alexa. CNN would be in the top 50. TechCrunch for example is about 300, and then it goes down. So, the most popular site; number one, number two, number three, etc. down to the less popular sites that might rank at 50, 60,70,80 or 100,000.
There are 100s of millions of websites on the Internet and it is only the top 100,000 that Alexa tracks. So, if you go to Alexa and you search for your domain and you don’t come up, that means that your website isn’t one of the top 100,000 in the world.
If we look at compete dot com, let’s assume in this example that I own and run shoes dot com. Let’s say I wanted to look at 2 competitors, Shoebuy and Zappos.
I type in my domain with a few competitors, click on compare and the first thing I see is the traffic chart for the last year. I can use that to look at how my competitors are doing relative to how I am. I can drill down and I can see top search terms for each domain. I can see top referral sites which I can use for my SEO. I can see top tags and top traffic changes.
If I drill into a particular website, say shoes dot com, I can see top keywords that people are using to get to my site. I can see my search share and traffic overtime.
On Alexa if I search for shoes dot com I can see reach, which is a measure of global internet users who visit in the site. Click on traffic rank and I can compare to Shoebuy, Zappos and any of my competitors.
I can see how my domain, or a competitor ranks in different countries, where traffic goes and top search queries, i.e. what people are using to get to my domain.
If you have the Alexa toolbar installed you can see a lot of other good stuff here as well. This is a good way to get competitive intelligence on your competitors. Just click on audience and you can see age, gender and related links not only for your site, but for competitors.
You can see your Alexa rank overall and how you rank in the countries you do business in. Click stream shows where users visited immediately before coming to a site, and where did they go after as well.
So that’s an overview of Compete and Alexa. Both are great additions to your ecommerce web design toolkit.