X-ray vision Analyze competitor sites with Builtwith.com

Posted by tom klein August 24, 2007

While we don’t like to admit it, sometimes the best ideas can come from studying competitors or similar industries. That said, how much have you learned from your competitors by analyzing the technology of their website?

One tool that will give you some insight is builtwith.com. All you do is plug in competitor sites and see what turns up. For example, let’s say you’re in the news publishing business and want to analyze the CNN site to see what makes it tick. You learn that CNN is using Omniture’s SiteCatalyst for analysis, Doubleclick for advertising placements, and Scriptaculous for javascript libraries.

Hmm, if these are good enough for CNN, might they be something to consider for your site?

While there’s more than one way to skin a technological cat, you can learn about your competitors’ approach and strategy by understanding what tools they use and how they go about developing their site(s). If you can’t decipher the results, ask a geek on your team.

When it comes to gathering competitive intelligence, you have to consider everything, not just what shows up in the marketplace. By understanding what systems others use, you will have more insight to know how they can or can’t respond to something that you do.

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