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Capture Competitor Intelligence

A Few Tools That Automate Social Spying

Probably only Google truly knows the SEO value of social media. At least, it’s debatable that there is significant direct SEO value in likes and followers.  Site visitors and brand awareness always increase brand value; however, whether or not Google incorporates those referred from social media into an algorithm.

How well you’re performing in social media should be factored against your competition. The recurring theme of assessing the SEO-leading competition is now in its fourth phase, having examined keywords, metadata and backlinks previously.

This is more of a subjective exercise than those previously. But it begins with data.

Sensing Something Similar

SimilarWeb provides a list of websites similar to whatever you’ve entered into its search box. But it also provides a link to social media intelligence, showing an estimate of traffic generated to the particular site from social media sources. It provides an estimation of the percentages produced from each platform, something like 83 percent from Facebook, 11 percent from LinkedIn and 6 percent from Twitter – or whatever the case.

Who’s Buzzing Socially?

Compare the social media data from competitors to your own. Social is all about conversation, and you want people talking. Examine where top-ranking competitors are doing better, and try to figure out why.

So, now it becomes highly subjective.



‘Examining the social media of the competition should make it easier to contrast your services, and better define your USP.’
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and other social media icons

Log on to the social media sites of a competitor. The best way of making sure you’ve hit the right location is to access them from icons posted on each company’s website.

What do you think of their posts? Engaging? Good photos? Calls to action? Hyperlinks? Video gets about 12 times the response of just text or photos.

How many likes, followers, pins, posts, tweets, or whatever the activity metric?

The key question, naturally, is how does the performance of a competitor compare to your own. Ideas should flow similarly to how they would in a brainstorming session.

Examining the social media of the competition should make it easier to contrast your services, and better define your USP (unique selling proposition).

Moz Analytics

This comes free for 30 days, and thereafter it’s almost $100 per month, one of the applications in Moz Pro. It currently extracts data from only Facebook and Twitter, promising to add other platforms soon.

Keeping in mind that Moz Pro includes other programs as well, its usefulness in social media consists of it enabling SEO engineers to:

  • View a report of fans you’ve gained each day, along with fan acquisitions of your competitors.
  • Construct a dashboard that provides the size of your network for each account, along with a snapshot of the interactions that have taken place (likes, shares, retweets) and traffic to your domain from each account, assuming you have Google Analytics connected.
  • You can see not only who has tweeted, but also the size of their network.
  • Check the number of Facebook fan posts, mentions, admin posts, likes and comments for a given period.
  • Examine Twitter retweets, mentions, and replies to tweets.
  • Reports can be downloaded in CSV.

Go Pro

Keep in mind that Moz Pro provides this data for any website you enter, enabling comparisons and a chance to close the gap in search rank. It even provides Klout Score of those who’ve tweeted about either you or the competition, enabling you to identify influential parties.

Moz is extremely helpful in providing information about its products. It would help to check the company’s blog posts relating to analytics. 

The relationship of social media to search-engine horsepower is unclear but you can probably bet Google is working on a way to factor it in. Its hesitancy is based upon verification of authenticity in social media conduct, it would seem, but don’t bet against them figuring it out – and soon.

Meanwhile, it’s a safe assumption that those excelling in SEO are probably whizzing along with social media, too. Learn from them.

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