Jessica Hupp from virtualhosting put together a great list of online tools that you can do to gather more intel on your competitors in the article Webmaster Intel Basics: 25 Tools to Compile an In-Depth Dossier on a Competitors’ Site. The major quotes on the list are as follows:
Domain Name and Ownership Intel
- Whois: Check out the Whois on your competitors to find how who owns the site and where they operate. You can also gather contact information through this tool.
- Mark Alert: Mark Alert lets you know if a domain name is registered with a term or phrase that may violate your trademark. This can help you defend your trademark and make sure that competitors don’t get too close.
- Company Profile Report: Look up a competitor’s Company Profile Report to get information on sales and contacts. This can be used as a comparison tool.
- Domain History: Domain History allows you to see the historic ownership of any site. In the case of private registrations, you can view contact information for the site before it was privatized.
- Compete: Compete offers SnapShots of any site. They provide visitor information, growth and traffic counts, If you register, you can compare up to 5 sites at once, save them to a portfolio, and vote to rank sites.
- Alexa: Alexa’s Traffic Rankings offer stats on the percentage of internet users who visit a site, its traffic rank and page views. You can compare up to 5 sites at a time on Alexa’s Traffic Graph, too.
- Search Engine Optimization Analysis Tool: Use the SEO Analysis tool to see how a search engine spider sees any website. This is a great way to discover your competitor’s SEO weaknesses and consider how you can improve on your own.
- Statsaholic: Statsaholic’s website statistics offer information on competitors’ ranks, page views and more. You can create a permalink to any site’s stats for quick reference at a later date.
- Who is Hosting This?: Who is Hosting This? offers a way for you to find out who is hosting any domain name. Whether they’re just using Blogger, a traditional host, or running their own server, you’ll be able to find out.
- WebSitePulse: WebSitePulse monitors how fast a website’s host is. Find out response time, size and more.
Marketing Intel and Backlinks
- SpyFu: SpyFu’s web scraping tools let you know how much your competitors are spending on pay per click ads so that you have a reference point to work from. You can also find out how many clicks per day they get and which keywords they are advertising for.
- URLtrends: URLtrends provides SEO data like Page Rank, incoming links, ranking trends and more.
- Backlink Checker: Find out who your competitors are sharing links with and use this information to set up link trades of your own.
- Market Leap: Another SEO tool, Market Leap lets you test the ranking of a competitor’s pages. You can enter your own URL and see how it compares with up to 3 competitors’ sites at a time.
Trademarks and Filings Intel
- Trademark Electronic Search System: Use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to perform basic, boolean and advanced searches for trademarks.
- SEC Filings and Forms: Check out the Securities and Exchange Commission’s database for company filings.
- Patent Electronic Business Center: Search the patent office’s records for full-text and full-page image returns on your competitors’ issued and published patent applications.
- Better Business Bureau: Search the Better Business Bureau’s database for reliability reports on your competitors. You can search by name, address, and phone. You can even check out businesses of a specified type within a certain mile radius.
- KnowX: Use KnowX to search lawsuit public records by defendant, plaintiff, case number, date and type of case.
- Credit eValuator Report: The Credit eValuator Report gives information on creditworthiness and payment history. Using this tool, you’ll be able to find out if your competitor is struggling or flourishing.
- Business Background Report: The Business Background Report provides information on a company’s history, background, operation and data on senior management.
- Yahoo! Finance: If your competitor is a publicly traded company, you can check out stock quotes and analysis on them using Yahoo! Finance.
- BusinesScope: Use BusinesScope to directly compare your financials and credit with your competitors. This report is good for a year and updated quarterly.
Browser Compatibility and Accessibility
- Watchfire WebXACT: WebXACT tests the quality, accessibility and privacy of single webpages.
- Wave 3.0: Wave 3.0 tests website compatibility with WCAG 1.0 and Section 508.
- Browsershots: Use Browswershots to see how any website looks in various browsers like Firefox, Safari and Iceweasal.
- Ready.mobi: Ready.mobi lets you test any web page to see how it will look on mobile phone browsers.
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