Research the Competition: Strengthen Your Google Search Skills

Want to gain greater insight into the competition? Leverage some advanced Google search tricks and tips and see how using Google for a research tool takes on a whole new meaning.

image of a muscle man to underscore the importance of Strengthening Your Google Search Skills so you can research your competition onlineGoogle as a research tool: let it flex its muscle

Most people don’t realize how powerful a research tool Google can be. To get a better sense of how much more helpful and insightful Google for research can be, let’s pretend we’re in the coffee and donut business and we want to know more about the industry and some of our competitors. To do so, we’re going to employ advanced Google search commands  that are very easy to use and, as you will see, very insightful ways to gain details on your competition and industry.

Google Advanced Search Tips & Tricks: #1 How to Google search a website

One of the keys to search engine optimization (SEO) and ranking well in the Google search results is determining which keywords you should be using in your company website. A great starting point for getting keyword ideas is to explore what your competitors are employing. You can do this by conducting a Google search of a specific website. For example to research how many times the term “filled donuts” appears on www.timhortons.com, you would type the following advanced search command in the Google search box:  filled donuts site:www.timhortons.com

Google Advanced Search Tips & Tricks: #2 How to Check Backlinks to a Website

The number of websites that link back to a competitor’s website has an impact on where they place in the Google search results. Knowing how many backlinks your competition has will give you a sense of how much time you should spend on your backlinking efforts. To check the backlinks to a website, type the following advanced search command in the Google search bar: link:www.timhortons.com

Google Advanced Search Tips & Tricks: #3 How to Find Related Websites

Your current company website is seven years old. You’re ready for a redesign. Before you start giving direction to your website developer use this advanced Google search command to produce a list of competitor websites in your industry that you can then reference for ideas for your website’s new design. This time in the Google search bar, type this advanced search command: related:www.timhortons.com

Google Advanced Search Tips & Tricks: #4 How to find related blogs

One of the best ways to gain timely insight into your competition and your industry is by reading related blogs. Google Blog Search makes it easy. To use Google Blog Search, just go to the Google search page. On the left side, you will see a list under the Google logo. Click on the “more” button at the bottom of the list. This will reveal the word “Blogs”. Click on “Blogs”. Google is now set up to search through just blogs found on the Internet. Check it out. Type the word “donuts” in the search bar and click on “search”. Google will return a list of related blogs about donuts.

Google Advanced Search Tips & Tricks: #5 How to get the definition of an industry term

During the course of your research you may come across an industry term that you’re not familiar with. Let’s say the word is “cruller”. No need to head over to dictionary.com or bug the person next to you. Just use this advanced Google search command. In the Google search bar type: define:cruller and within milliseconds Google will produce a definition for you.

These are just a few of the search tricks and tips that can turn Google into a more powerful tool for research. To discover even more helpful Google search commands visit these websites:1stwebdesigner, hubspot, GoogleGuide.

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