Do you think of competitors as your opponents in a business world battle? In fact they can be a source of valuable intel that can help boost your bottom line. Monitoring your competitors online can show you what they are sharing, as well as who is talking about them, what influencers are saying, which of their digital strategies are most effective and what their customers like and don’t like. Insights like these can help you more effectively reach new customers and improve service to your existing clientele.
Check out our 5 favourite tools to help you keep an eye on the competition.
A free account with Feedly lets you easily monitor competitors’ RSS feeds and notifies you whenever they post new content online. Your selected feeds and topics are organized in a single, easy-to-read format and can be saved for later, tagged by topic or keyword, and shared with team members. Feedly’s collaboration tools also allow you to curate and share items with Slack, Evernote, and OneNote.
Tracking what your competitors share socially is easy with Social Searcher, a free service which allows you to search publicly posted information on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, Dailymotion and Vimeo, without even registering for an account or logging in. Even better, the service also allows you to track mentions, to learn who is posting about the competition and what they are saying. Of course if you do choose to register and / or pay a fee, enhanced services are available including notifications, email alerts, analytics tools and automatic language recognition.
How popular is your company website compared to competitors’ sites? Alexa knows. The “Alexa Rank” estimates the popularity and relative ranking of websites around the globe. Alexa’s competitive analysis tools allow you to find websites that share similar audiences with yours, learn what content and keywords those audiences search for, and which popular sites they frequent. You can also find and compare competitors’ web traffic stats with your own, learn which marketing channels are working best for them and identify changing industry trends.
You spend a lot of time, money and effort on search engine optimization; WebCEO promises to make sure your SEO efforts pay off. In addition to standard tools such as keyword research, and social media metrics, the platform’s Competitor Metrics Module promises to show you which key competitor metrics you should analyze on a regular basis to improve your own site’s performance. Track their best performing keywords, site traffic, backlinks, online mentions and more.
Ok, it won’t tell you how may Twitter followers a competitor has, or how their PPC ad campaign is performing, but don’t underestimate the insights review site such as Yelp can provide. Not only do they offer easy access to customers with a confirmed interest in your product or service, reviews tell you precisely what customers like and don’t like about your competitors’ business. Use this information to tailor your own strategies; reach out to new potential clients and influencers with targeted offers; and ensure your business excels in areas where your competitors are lacking.