A recent post on Aaron Wall’s blog had me toying with a few services I had never thought to mess with before. Recently there has been an introduction of website services which are adding competition to Alexa’s research tools. Most feel these newer sites provide data that is not as skewed as Alexa’s results. I thought it would be interesting to share the results here. For this blog I chose to use NextStudent’s corporate website as the focus of my tests.

Check it out:

Compete.com provides a snapshot of your website showing everything from the amount of traffic your website receives to the average minutes a person spends on your website during each visit. Interesting seasonal traffic trends plotted there eh?

Quantcast.com is a site resource composed of web analytic experts that give users a picture of their website, providing valuable demographic information. Quantcast includes a break down of your site visitors and traffic volumes.

There are also some neat tools that have been introduced that show which keywords your competitors are ranking for.

For tough keywords such as student loan consolidation (score!), a website called SpyFu shows adword, organic, and related term results. SpyFu also displays your competitors organic and advertisement results when entering your website. Our competitors would have a field day with this info if it where more accurate! (not to say his site / service is bad, it can easily do the trick to give you some rough ideas on what is going on in a certain vertical)

Urltrends.com provides a trend report for your domain as well as your current rankings on the major search engines. Very cool graphs and data.

At a glimpse, it seems all of these tools can be valuable resources for tracking your competition in the online market. Compare with Alexa and with each other and see if you notice differences.