If you want to succeed in a competitive market, you need to understand your customers' needs faster and create better offers than your competitors.
But how do you avoid getting blind-sided by competitors? You need intelligence. You'll have a future-proof strategy when you know how they think, promote, and work.
That's where competitor tracking comes in! Competitor tracking shows you what your competitors are doing, how they’re doing it, and if they’re doing it well.
And in this post, we'll walk you through the world of competitor tracking: selecting the right competitors, identifying key metrics, and streamlining the process with the top 10 competitor tracking tools.
Competitor monitoring is the process of keeping a close eye on what your competitors are doing, both online and offline.
It can involve anything from checking their social media accounts and website updates to attending their events and tracking their advertising campaigns.
For instance, let's say you run an online store that sells athletic shoes. By monitoring your competitors, you can find out which types of shoes are trending, what prices they are charging, and what promotions they are offering.
Armed with this knowledge, you can adjust your own products or pricing strategy to stay competitive and attract more customers.
In short, competitor monitoring can give you valuable insights into your industry and help you stay ahead of the curve. It's a smart strategy for any business that wants to succeed in today's crowded marketplace.
In the world of business, it can be challenging to stay ahead of the competition. With so many companies vying for customers' attention, it can be difficult to know who to track and who you can safely disregard.
There are two main types of competitors to monitor: direct competitors and indirect competitors.
Direct competitors are those who sell the same or very similar products or services as you.
Indirect competitors, on the other hand, offer products or services that are related to yours, but not exactly the same.
Understanding the differences between the two can help you prioritize your monitoring efforts and focus on what matters most.
Direct competitors are often the most obvious targets for monitoring since they sell products or services that are similar to yours.
By keeping an eye on their activities, you can gain valuable insights into their pricing strategies, product offerings, and marketing campaigns.
Let’s say you run an online store selling sporting goods. You could look at what retailers that sell similar products are doing.
You can see how they're pricing their stuff, what promotions they're running, and what types of items are selling well. Now you can adjust your own tactics to grab your own slice of the market.
While indirect competition isn’t selling exactly the same products or services as you, they still have a significant impact on your business.
Let’s take the same sporting goods store example from before. A company that sells athletic clothing or fitness equipment could be considered an indirect competitor.
While their products may not be identical to yours, their marketing strategies and tactics can be an invaluable source of knowledge and inspiration.
By monitoring them, you can see what types of marketing campaigns are resonating with customers, what types of products are popular, and what types of customer interactions are leading to the most sales.
The key to effective competitor monitoring is knowing what metrics and data points look at it.
Of course, the exact ones are specific to your business, but here’s a general outline of 8 key metrics you’ll be looking out for from the competition.
1. Pricing: Knowing what your competitors are charging for their products or services can help you stay competitive and adjust your own prices. Also, it can keep you out of pricing wars like Tjommi.
2. Product Quality: Understanding the quality of your competitors' products can help you identify areas where you can improve your own offerings.
3. Reviews: Keeping an eye on your competitors' reviews can help you understand their strengths and weaknesses, and adjust your own strategies accordingly.
4. Targeted Keywords/Rankings: Knowing what keywords your competitors are targeting and how they're ranking for them can help you optimize your own SEO strategies.
5. Social Media Mentions/Engagement: Monitoring your competitors' social media presence can help you identify trends, engage with their audience, and adjust your own social media strategies.
6. Ad Campaigns: Keeping tabs on your competitors' advertising campaigns can help you understand their target audience and messaging, and adjust your own advertising strategies.
7. Events: Knowing what events your competitors are attending or hosting can help you identify industry trends and adjust your own event strategies.
8. Email Strategies: Signing up for your competitors' newsletters can give you insights into their email marketing strategies, including how often they send emails, their open and spam rates, and the content they're sharing.
Here are some methods you can use in your own competitor monitoring efforts.
One effective method to find relevant keywords and uncover opportunities your competitors may be overlooking is to track their keyword rankings.
You can use a variety of SEO tools (like SEMRush) to see what keywords they are ranking for and where they are positioned on the SERPs.
You can also identify gaps in their keyword strategy and capitalize on those opportunities.
Social media is a powerful tool for competitor monitoring.
By following your competitors on social media (you don’t have to be a fan), you can see what type of content they are sharing and what is getting the most engagement.
You can also interact with their customers to understand their needs and preferences, and catch emerging trends that your competitors may be taking advantage of.
Your competitors' blogs and email newsletters can provide a wealth of information about their marketing strategies.
With regularly reading their content, you can gain insights into the topics they cover, the language they use, and the overall tone of their messaging.
You can also sign up for their newsletters and emails to see what types of promotions and offers they are using, how often they are sending them out, and what their open and click-through rates are like.
This information can help you tailor your own marketing strategies and stay ahead of the competition.
You can use Google Alerts, a free tool, to receive updates on any keywords related to your industry or specific competitors. You'll be able to track any new developments, marketing campaigns, or products launched by your competitors.
You can even monitor your own brand to see how it's being talked about and what the sentiment is like.
SEMrush is a complete digital marketing solution that helps you with SEO, keyword research, social media content, PPC, and so much more.
It also includes comprehensive competitor analysis tools, including finding competitors’ keywords, analyzing keywords and ads, finding your competitors’ best-performing ads, and more.
Ultimately, SEMrush gives you insights into your competitors’ overall online presence, marketing strategies, and their SEO, paid ads, and social media performance.
If you already use SEMrush for keyword analysis, it may be time to explore further.
Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools on the market. And it’s easy to see why when you consider the features it offers, especially when it comes to competitor analysis.
For example, Ahrefs lets you monitor your competitors’ backlinks, analyze their keywords, and track individual keywords to see how you stack up.
You'll see what keywords your competitors rank for and how much traffic they drive. You'll also understand the core reasons behind their positive rankings, so you can learn from them (and beat them at their own game).
Unfortunately, if you're looking for a more comprehensive solution, consider other tools. Ahrefs specializes in SEO.
The favorite tool in the PPC arsenal, SpyFu, gives you deeper insights into the keywords that specific websites buy on Google Ads.
And it’s effortless to use, too. You just need to enter the domain you want to search for. The tool will show you all the keywords the domain has ever ranked for or bid on Google Ads.
This information gives you an idea of which keywords perform well and which ones you should skip. You don't have to learn everything first-hand; learn from your competitors and avoid ineffective keywords from the get-go.
BuzzSumo is a content marketing tool that you can use to see your competitors’ best-performing posts and pages. It’s as simple as typing your competitors’ domain name into the search bar.
You'll get information on the top-performing content on your competitor's website to gauge performance and extract insights. You'll also see how much engagement and backlinks every post receives.
While you're in your BuzzSumo dashboard, you can use it to generate content ideas for any keyword. When you're ready to distribute your content, you can quickly identify and get in touch with the top influencers in your industry.
SimilarWeb is designed to analyze SEO and content, so you can use it to see how much traffic your competitors are getting, where this traffic is from, their top keywords, and more. It also displays your competitors’ global, country, and category rank.
This is great for benchmarking your strategy against your competitors and identifying trends in the market. You'll uncover new opportunities earlier, so you can capitalize on them before the news spreads.
Brand24 lets you monitor mentions about your brand on social media platforms. It goes further than this, and you can also monitor brand mentions about your competitors and track social mentions of any keyword, hashtag, service, or product.
This lets you see not only what people are saying about your brand or products but also those of your competitors, and you can see if what they’re saying is positive or negative.
From there, just apply their negative (or positive) feedback to your product and provide a better experience than your competitors.
If you wished you could be a fly in your competitor's inbox, Owletter has just the thing for you!
Owletter is a competitor tracking tool that provides insights into your competitors’ email activity. When you run an analysis, you’ll learn more about your competitors’ email marketing efforts, what’s working for them, and what’s not. Apply their learnings to your own strategy and win more customers!
Owletter provides extensive information, including how often your competitors send emails, if they change their schedules during certain times, whether they have a spam reputation, and more.
Wappalyzer delves into the technical aspects of your competitors’ websites. It’s a browser extension showing you what technologies a website uses.
If your competitors' websites are faster than yours, Wappalyzer will let you peek under the hood and analyze their stack.
You can learn what your competitors use for content management, eCommerce, SEO, servers, analytics, web frameworks, and more.
BuiltWith takes Wappalyzer's functionality a step further. It identifies what technologies a competitor’s website is using and allows you to track a specific market trend, market share, or technology.
If you're worried about keeping up with the times, BuiltWith will allow you to track whether a specific technology is gaining or losing market share. It also monitors how fast the trends change and alerts you to how competitors switch out their legacy stacks for modern solutions.
Finally, our platform, ScreenshotAPI, allows you to take bulk programmatic screenshots of any website. Since it's an API, you can use it for virtually anything. Then, simply export the screenshots in your preferred format.
ScreenshotAPI allows you to, for example, take daily screenshots of your competitors’ websites to track product prices, stay informed about the latest offers and product launches, monitor website changes, and track reviews about their products or services.
You can even monitor your website for compliance, sponsorship verification, and content archiving.
Why work hard when you can work smart?
Learn more about ScreenshotAPI and how it can help you stay ahead of your competitors! Get started for free today.