No matter which industry you’re in, you’re going to have competitors. In fact, you should be happy you have competitors—it validates that there is a market for what you offer and it gives you a benchmark so you can strive to improve your business. While competitors can be a problem when they take away your customers and make it harder to acquire new ones, knowing your competitors and how to differentiate from them is crucial to the success of every business. In marketing, the saying is more like “keep your customers close and your competitors closer.” That is why in this article we’ll go over 5 ways to monitor your competitors.
1. Follow Their Social Accounts and Blogs
A great and easy way to monitor your competitors is to follow all of your top competitors on social channels, observe their blogs, and subscribe to their newsletters. This will give you insight into all of their updates and promotions so you know exactly what they’re doing. There is a free tool called Social Searcher that lets you plug in any business name and see all relevant social posts from various channels. Facebook also has a tool that lets you watch other pages, showing things like the increase in page likes, their top posts this week, and engagement levels. You can access this by going to the bottom of the overview tab in your Facebook page insights and adding the pages you want to watch. Following your competitors’ social media and blogs will allow you to discover their weaknesses and improve where they are failing.
2. Learn What Tech They’re Using
Sometimes you may want to see the technology a competitor is using on its website. There is a great tool called BuiltWith that will show you all of the plugins, widgets, and tags that a website is using. You can learn a lot about what your competitors are using on the back end of the website and adopt them as a part of your marketing strategy if it makes sense.
3. Discover Keywords They’re Targeting
There is also a tool called SpyFu that lets you plug in any website and analyze both organic and paid keywords (if they are using paid search). This can be useful when determining what keywords you want to aim for with your website. You may find that they are ranking very well on some keywords but are missing out on some keyword opportunities that you can take advantage of. Ubersuggest is another tool that gives you an analysis of a website’s SEO. This tool tells you a website’s domain score, traffic, top pages, and keywords, and will give insight into strategies your competitors are using, so you can improve on them.
4. Analyze Their Ads
There are several tools out there for analyzing competitors’ ads, such as this tool by SEMrush that allows you to see a competitor’s paid traffic, and what keywords they are ranking for. Understanding what keywords your competitors are bidding for can help you when choosing what keywords you want to add to your search campaigns. Furthermore, if you want to look at your competitor’s Facebook ads, Facebook now allows you to see all the ads a company is running in its ad library.
5. Get Alerts for New Content
Google Alerts is a free tool that allows you to follow your competitors’ new content by setting up alerts for keywords so you can see who is ranking for them. Of course, you can set up alerts for branded content as well and get notifications anytime your brand or a competitor is mentioned in web pages, newspaper articles, blogs, or scientific research.
The Bottom Line
Monitoring your competitors is important if you want to differentiate your brand and stand out among your target audience. By analyzing your competitors’ content, ads, and websites you can figure out their strengths and build off of their weaknesses. At Madak, we do an extensive competitor analysis to make sure that our clients stand out and these are just some of the tools and strategies available to help.