Spying on your competitors has become very important in the modern day business where almost all companies, big or small have an online presence. But the question is how? How is this spying possible? Is there anything illegal involved?

First things first, the things that I am going to talk about here are both old and new school, none of which however is illegal.


1. Google knows a lot:
From time to time, you can google for your competitor’s name and their website and try to find the places they are putting their hands in.

2. Social Media Handles:
Facebook and Twitter tell a lot of about where the company is and what are they doing. Often you would find a lot of customers divulging experiences, feedback and a lot of secrets online.

3. Find employees on LinkedIN:

A company often lists out its employees on LinkedIN which help you get a deeper insight into what their own are saying about the company and what activities are being carried out apart from the ones reported officially.

4. Quora:
It is a big platform today where you could find questions and answers by the company which can help you understand their future plans.

5. Monitor Ads:
There are tools online that let you see where your competitors are placing ads. AdBeat and AdGooroo are few of such services that let you track ads by particular advertisers.

6. Social Mentions:
You could also use Social Mentions (http://socialmention.com/) to track mentions based on particular keywords. You enter in a search term, either a keyword or a company, and the tool will tell you what’s being said about that term across blogs and social platforms.

7. SE Rankings: It is often very helpful to find out where your competitors rank on their search index. SE Rankings (http://seranking.com/) is a tool that enables this. You can get detailed reports on main competitors, including data on their average positions, traffic forecast, and website visibility.

8. SpyFu: It lets you view all competitor keywords in both organic search and AdWords and get even more related keywords. You just need to add competitors’ keywords and get an overall view of their strategy.