SEO Tips from Professionals: Find out what your competitors are doing

Joe: Welcome to the Being Found Show. We are the local business guide to being found by more buying customers. In learning the Internet and how it all works, marketing and sales and stuff. One of the most relieving things that I’ve found was that there are tools that the pros use and these tools make life easier. When you’re working with online marketing or really anything complicated you need to recognize that there are specific tools for a job and if you use a socket wrench when you’re supposed to use a screwdriver, you aren’t going to get anywhere.

It works the same way with the internet or marketing. It’s always been a great relief to me when I’m up against something that’s challenging, and I come across the right tool, especially if it’s one that’s well done or popular. What I like to do every now and again is share those tools that the pros use because these same tools are made for you and me, for regular people, who are running businesses. If nothing else, you can use these tools to check up on your pros. And so I want to talk about a tool called Ispionage.

In short, it helps you. This may not sound ethical, but it helps you steal the keywords that your competitors are using. It’ll help you see which landing pages they are using.

Chauncey: Let’s put that in nicer terms. It will give you; it will give you a better understanding of what other people in your industry are doing as far as advertising for SEO.

Joe: So it’s not stealing. Here’s why; it’s all public, right? These tools are the equivalent of sitting down and recording every result that showed up on Google for your competitors when you search all the billions of different keywords that could be related to them. They do the searching for you. They record which ad showed up when certain keywords are searched. They then follow that ad or that result in Google, and they go to the landing page and record that landing page. These tools are searching through billions of keywords and an endless amount of sites and nicely display that information.

Chauncey: It is really clean and easy to understand. In the past, I would have used something like SpyFu, but I enjoy the look of this.

Joe: So for example, I have put in Best Buy, which is a public website, and this tool has found that there are at least 17,000 keywords that Best Buy is being found for. We know that their ad position in things like Google Ad Words is number two. We also can guess what their spending based on an algorithm which isn’t completely correct, but we can get a general idea.

I’m looking at the ads that are being found. For keywords, they’ve got Geek Squad, Louisville, Kentucky, Best Buy headphones, Best Buy computer chairs, TVs, and a few more. I can see that those keywords are related to this Ad: Geek Squad, Official Site; Tech Support for pcs and tablets. I can see their keywords and ads and then I can also see the landing pages that those ads are going to. If you are a small and local company who wants to compete with Best Buy and want to have an AdWord campaign and start to use AdWords, you have a couple of options.

Google AdWords is an online advertising service developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy, product listings, and video content within the Google ad network to web users. Wikipedia

You can pay someone to do it, which I think a lot of cases you should and can do it yourself. You could start from scratch and hope to figure out what keywords or ads will work for you and which landing pages will work for you. Or you can use something like Ispionage where you have a strategy laid out in front of you, and you can reassess and change the keywords up, so they fit you. You can see ads that work, then you can use similar style ads and you can make sure you have landing pages with the same kind of content or answering the same kind of questions. You are now starting better off with your ad campaign then you would have had you started from scratch. Did I explain that OK Chauncey?

Chauncey: Yeah, you did. If you couple that with the fact that a lot of people don’t know that if you were to do AdWords, you just frankly call up Google and say, hey, I need some help. They’ll help you and can be up and running with a fairly decent understanding of the plan and how everything works. Now I wouldn’t suggest that every business go out and take care of their own ad words. But having some concept of your AdWords before you paid somebody else to do it is a very good idea. If I am going to check up on someone I am paying to do my AdWords; I am going to look at some of my competitors and see what is working and apply that information to my game plan. This is competitive research.

Joe: This is also known as opposition research and what I’m doing is I’m seeing what the competitors are doing, which helps inform and prepare me for when I talk to that company I’m hiring or the person I’m hiring to handle my AdWords. I always advocate that as a business owner, you have to know what is going on with your business. Don’t let your accountant or your sales reps say or do things that you don’t understand the impact it’s going to have on you and your business. You can’t let one of the most important parts of your business, which is being found, to occur without knowing what a good ad campaign looks like or what is happening without your own business.

Go to They’ll let you search a couple for free. Try a couple of your competitors or sites that you think are doing a great job and find out what they’re doing. One of the things you can click on is a tab called ‘Competitors,’ and I’m using a free account so I can only see around 5. It tells me who else this tool recognizes that competes for the same Adwords or terms as Best Buy. It works the other way as well where I put in a term and see who else is competing for that specific term. I can see all of my online competitors and make an educated plan for my AdWord campaign.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard businesses claim that they don’t have competitors for what they sell and they dominate the area as all the customers know their business because they sell certain services.

That is not necessarily true because everybody is going online to look for services and products or to find out if you know what you’re talking about. Your competitor is anybody that will distract your customer from finding you. It might not even be that someone’s selling your product, it might be a blogger who talks about products that you might also sell that will send somebody to a whole different company. You can use these tools to find out what that competitive landscape looks like.

Chauncey: Businesses need to recognize that they always have competitors and they need to take the time to make sure they are being found first for their products and services and Ispionage can help you do that.

Joe: Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode #46 or subscribe to our podcast.