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Competitive intelligence is one of the most important aspects of doing business online. Keeping tabs of your competition and what they are up to will allow you to respond more quickly to market developments. The following 4 tools are free and will enhance your competitive intelligence efforts and make your overall marketing much more effective.

  1. Google Alerts – This is a mainstay in every online marketer’s arsenal. It’s been offered by Google for a very long time. You can enter as many search terms as you want to and any mention of those terms will be e-mailed to you almost as soon as they are indexed.
  2. Twitter – You’ve no doubt heard a lot about Twitter, but you don’t often hear about it in terms of competitive intelligence. In actuality, it’s a great way to keep tabs of your competitors. Follow them and you know immediately what they are talking about. It’s a direct line to their communications team.
  3. Yahoo! Site Explorer – There has been talk that Yahoo! might do away with this tool, but until they do it’s a great way to check the back links of any page on the Internet. Enter your competition’s web pages and see who is linking to them.
  4. SocialMention – Type in an important key phrase for you and see who is talking about it, what they are saying and whether the sentiment is positive, negative or neutral. A great way to keep tabs on your competition’s social media campaigns.

These 4 spying tools are a necessity in today’s online competitive marketing culture. They’re all free and in just a few minutes each day you can know what your competition is up to.

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