One of the best ways to expand your own business is to observe what other successful marketers are doing. I’m not saying to go out and steal people’s landing pages or anything like that, but just become more aware of what other people in your niche are doing. You will probably learn some things you haven’t thought of before and you can take some of the best ideas you’ve found and improve them in your own unique way. To help with this, I’ve been using a tool called KeywordSpy which is one of the best market research tools I’ve found to see what your competitors are doing.
KeywordSpy is a web-based service, that’s especially suited for anyone into paid traffic (PPC/PPV) or even SEO. You’ll get access to a huge database of keywords (over 127 million) that can be searched in a wide variety of ways. By performing queries with KeywordSpy, you will be able to dig up large amounts of competitive data that you can use to see what the competition is doing.
Where KeywordSpy is especially useful is for pay per click advertising (PPC). First of all, you can do a search on KeywordSpy for any CPA or affiliate product, and see if it’s being advertised via PPC. If it is, Keyword Spy will show you the ads affiliates are using to promote the offer along with a useful ROI metric which indicates how profitable it thinks the ad is. Again, you don’t want to steal people’s ad copies, but you can get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t by seeing what ads are being run most frequently.
My favorite way to search KeywordSpy is by destination url and you can do a lot of creative things with it. Here’s on cool trick you can use. Do a search similar to this “guitar t202kw”. T202kw is the signature in destination urls from the very popular Prosper202/Tracking202 tracking script that many marketers use. By including a specific niche with the Prosper202 signature, you’ll be able to find some really profitable ads in that niche. Marketers who use a tracking solution tend to be more sophisticated than those that don’t, which is why this techniques works so well.
You’re not limited to using KeywordSpy for just PPC though. I’ve found that it’s also really great for PPV campaigns as well. You can use KeywordSpy to quickly and easily generate lists of keywords and domains to use as PPV targets. Most people use some sort of scraper to do this, but by using KeywordSpy, you can filter your lists by ROI, and save time and money by not testing worthless targets.
If SEO is your thing, KeywordSpy can show you what keywords your competitors are ranking for. You can then try and target these same keywords on your own site as well. You’ll also see CPC data for each keyword, so if you monetize your site using Google Adsense, you can get a general idea of which keywords will generate you the most adsense revenue.
As you can see, KeywordSpy can help you in many different ways as a marketer. Whether it’s PPC, PPV, or even SEO, KeywordSpy has the market research capabilities to be useful for you. I’m personally using the Professional plan, which is $139 a month. That sounds like a lot, but just finding a couple of good ideas from the tool is well worth this price for me. There’s also some cheaper plans you can look at, albeit with reduced functionality. And if you can’t afford KeywordSpy at all, I still would suggest signing up for the free account. Although, the results are limited, you can still gather a decent amount of market research using it as well.