So you think you can only learn a little about your competition?
We always tend to assess the performance of some one or some business online. Everyone knows Alexa, and it is a lovely tool with some nice and rich insights like the global and local ranking as well some demographic data(though one can challenge its accuracy)
Still, tools like Alexa only performs checks on domain names. For many other items, it can’t be of a good help
If you wonder about how someone, some place or a product is performing, ThenGoogle trends for search will help a lot. So for example, you can get to know which city is more popular; Hurghada or sharm El-Sheikh, and learn that Austrians go Hurghada while Italians go Sharm, or you can watch the rise and fall of blackberry over time.
This can help a lot when, for example, planning to launch a niche content site, an app or a business related to wedding. If you lookup “wedding cakes” , you will instantly get to know that you better launch around summer and that December is the worst time to startup your business.
This tool gives you a heat map for the location performance index. Really a useful tool, but…
Use Google Trends with caution:
You can not depend on such info only for your assessment.
A product could have gained its hype for the many complains of latest release, or a place is suddenly popular simply because it has been under terror attacks. Try Mumbai or Gaza.
Are you in Gas Masks business?
So high is not always good. Another example, is “Cairo” top search was in Feb. 2011, unless you are selling Gas Masks, you shouldn’t actually be targeting this market at that time 🙂
Performance in Social Networks:
Yes, check the number of followers, and likes on twitter and Facebook, but this is not the full image.fanpagekarma.com can help you get a broader picture even with the free version.
You get to monitor more charts, like growth rate, number of posts per day, Engadgment, response time and many other records that can help you understand this market type of audience and work accordingly.
Actual traffic generated (by your competition)
bit.ly is such a nice tool (specially when your competitor is using it)
I love this one, we might use bit.ly to shorten URLs for twitter or SMS use, but did you every try pasting your competitor’s shortened link in bit.ly and see what happens. Try this one from AlmasryAlyoum for an article they shared on twitter and Facebook bit.ly/1o1bL6b. you can see how many clicks actually generated by this link from Facebook, twitter and otherwise. You can see more about locations bringing this traffic in as well as times per day so you can optimize your similar posts, this is when such audience are available to consume such content.