It isn’t enough to just be good at your calling and expect customers to troop in. You need to have your finger on the pulse of the market, but more importantly, you also should know what your competitors are up to.
Short of peeping into their office or sending in a spy, what can you do to know your biggest competitor’s business strategy?
Say hello to technology. Thanks to numerous business tools, it is easy to keep a tab on what competition is doing from the comfort of your air-conditioned office. Or even when on the go.
Let’s get cracking, shall we?
#1 Google Alerts
One of the best ways to monitor the web for interesting new content, google alerts is not just easy to use but it’s free too as well. The features are simple and well-suited to beginners.
Here’s how to get started and leverage this tool to the fullest:
Click here and based on your specific query, such as your firm name or any topic you wish to track, create your alert.
Next, you can customize your alert based on whether you wish to track all your online mentions or simply news, videos, etc. Select how often you want to receive these alerts and choose to track all results or only the best ones. To refine your search further and to eliminate unrelated additional notifications, remember to add quotations around your search query. This way Google will send you a notification only when the words are strung together in order.
Besides playing music and being a family’s digital companion, Alexa has plenty of tricks up its sleeve for businesses as well.
Several organizations already rely on Alexa’s ability to rank websites and display traffic related data. However, not many are aware that it can perform competitor analysis too.
Most competitor research tools require you to know who your competition is – brand name, domains, and keywords. But what if you aren’t aware who you are competing against? That’s where Alexa can help you.
With Alexa, you can track other websites in real time and also compare your website to industry benchmarks. Additionally, Alexa can help you discover sites that you can partner with or even write a guest post for.
#3 Social Mention
A vast majority of small businesses understand the importance of using social media to gain customers. With Social Mention, you can track competitors on all social media platforms and see what people are saying about them.
All you have to do is type in keywords or brands, and the tool will do the rest. You can use the tool better by understanding why a competitor received a lot of negative comments and avoiding making the same mistakes. Likewise, for positive comments, where you can improve upon their strategies.
One of the challenges of competitive analysis is converting data into actionable insights. SEMrush makes it so easy. This all-in-one tool takes care of various digital marketing aspects, like PPC, SEO, content, and much more.
Enter the website URL that you wish to study and SEMrush will conjure up a graphic report with relevant data including traffic, rank, ads, and keywords. You can also use the tool for a comparative analysis of various sites, including your own.
Do check out alternative tools Woorank or Ahrefs for detailed competitive analysis, including link targets and backlinks.
#5 Pro Rank Tracker
As the name says, Pro Rank Tracker is one of the smarter tools out there to research keywords.
All you need to do is input your competitors’ websites and the tool will throw back a bunch of keywords and their rankings. You even have the option of deciding which search engine you wish to track these keywords on.
The kicker with Pro Rank Tracker is that you can localize your search and thus optimize your local SEO strategy. If you’re a small business that is still operating locally, this is a fantastic tool to have in your competitive analysis arsenal.
SimilarWeb is quite the handy tool to have when you’re conducting competitor research. It’s been designed to help you keep a sharp eye on your competitors’ online strategies and analytics.
This resourceful tool will help you dig deep into various sites, apps, and platforms. Simply type in the website or mobile app, and click ‘search’. With SimilarWeb you can compare statistics from multiple competitors, identify emerging industry trends, and even understand customer behavior. The tool extracts data, processes and organizes it, and then prepares a report with all that you need.
The last one on our list turns the whole competitor analysis into a spy game. This tool will unearth all the information that you could need on their online strategy.
SpyFu can tell you which keywords your competitors have bought on Google Adwords recently. You can check their organic search rankings and even view the variations of their ads. Other information, like how many clicks they got, or how much they pay for each key phrase, is critical when planning your PPC campaigns.
Your competition is one of the biggest factors to influence your business. To stay a step ahead of them, you need to keep an eye on what they are up to. Pick the tool that you think works best for you, and build and improve your marketing strategy accordingly.