Want to get an edge on your competitors? Sure you do. You can do this by spying on them. No, you shouldn't hire a personal investigator. All you need is a little time and a few online resources.

In this video, entrepreneur and online marketing expert Neil Patel shares his top three tips for spying on the competition online. He suggests:

1. Find out what's driving their website traffic.
You can use an online resource like SEMrush.com  to find out how your competitors are driving traffic to their websites. Is it paid ads? Organic search? Keywords? 

"If your competitor is spending a ton of money on paid advertising, chances are it's working," Patel says. "No one's going to spend $1 million if they're only going to make $5."

2. Take cues from their blog posts.
Look at the blog posts they're writing, then determine which ones performed the best. You can easily see which posts have the most social shares and comments. This can give you ideas for the topics you should be writing about.

"You should ideally try to innovate and push the needle forward," Patel says. "This should give you a starting ground of what's working in your space and what's not working."

3. Keep your eyes on their design.
If a competitor has tweaked or completely redesigned their website, you should know about it. After all, web design isn't only about looking sharp -- it's about maximizing conversions.

For more expert tips, check out the video above.

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