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Competitive intelligence relies on information, more precisely, data in the form of raw numbers or words. Just looking at a competitors pages can provide you with a lot of information, however, knowing what keywords they may be targeting, who is linking in to them, and what sort of traffic they may be receiving can all be important to your forward planning.  To obtain this information, you need a good set of tools – a set of tools that you are comfortable in using.

When it comes to SEO for example, Firefox is generally the browser used by most professionals. There is huge assortment of add-ons available for Firefox, all free and many of them fairly easy to use. The hardest part is actually building your tool box of tools – sorting the good from the bad, then learning how to gain the most from each tool.

Forums can be a good starting point. Talking to others, finding out which tools they prefer and why. You can also find some good tips on how to get the best our of a particular tool.  Visiting mozilla.org is another good place to start. You can search the database of add-ons, many of which have user reviews along with information on what each add-on can do.

Learn about each tool before putting it to use otherwise you will either not be getting the best out of the tool, or you will be receiving misinformation rather than valuable information. Used effectively, you can learn a lot about your competitors web sites, who links to them, and how well placed they are in the search results.

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