Identifying and monitoring your web competition is a key to success for any business with an online presence.  There are a few easy ways to keep constantly updated with knowledge on your competitor’s activity.

Following the steps below will enable you to spot opportunities or even threats and overall gain insight into the minds of those competing for web space in your industry.

1. Subscribe to competitor email newsletters

I would recommend this method as a means of tracking competitor marketing efforts.  This is a great way to see how they communicate with their customers.

Head over to your rival’s website and have a look to see if they have anything you can sign up for. Use an old Gmail or Hotmail address for this rather than your company one. It almost goes without mentioning, but if you are well known in the trade, use a pseudonymous address.  Most companies will monitor subscriptions to newsletters and special offers as part of their marketing strategy and will blacklist you otherwise.

 2. Social Media Activity

Another way to track your opponent is to check out their social media assets. Do they have a Facebook page? A Twitter account? A LinkedIn profile? Like them, follow them and even connect with them and their updates will appear instantly in your news feeds. You can have a look at who they follow, who is following them and how they use this space to talk to your shared target market. Maybe they are initiating successful social marketing campaigns; or, it could be that they are out there dropping a few clangers. Either way, this technique will keep you in the know.

3. Google Alerts!

Last but not least…. The Google Alerts tool is fabulous for keeping tabs on your online business rivals and setting up alerts to go to your email inbox is as easy as pie.  You can use it to receive notifications each time your rival gets a mention. Login in to your Google account and navigate to the Alerts page. Try putting in search queries related to your competitor brands. A combination of brand names alongside products that you both sell (eg. “Bob’s Bathrooms + Electric Showers”) could result in some interesting review, comment or content notifications on your adversaries.

You can also set up alerts as a means of monitoring your own brand. A few well-made Google alerts could help you keep tabs on what people are saying online about your company. This could make you much quicker in responding to feedback from customers or industry critics.

Knowing your rival’s Achilles Heel or their strong points will ultimately strengthen your own marketing strategy.


Recommended Reading:

A while back we brought you a guide on how to find out what your competitors are doing in Google search. Have a read if you’d like to learn more about competitor research, or alternatively, contact us.

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