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How to Track Your Competition Online

To survive in this competitive world, business owners should keep a track of their competitors’ activities. Tracking the moves of your competitor physically is neither practical nor advised. The only way to know, or even get an idea, about what your competition is up to, is track them online. Businesses, small and big, use the internet for marketing. When someone uses the internet extensively, tracing their footprints on it is not very difficult.

Tips for spying on your competitors online

Here are a few tips you should remember to watch your competition online.

First stop – competitor’s website

The first step to tracking your competitor online is to check out their website. Checking out here means that you explore the website thoroughly and figure out what it is that sets them apart. Find our what makes them better than you? What makes their site more attractive than yours? Is it the aesthetics, the usability factor or is it simply the quality of products they offer? Once you have your answer to these questions, and many others, you can make the necessary changes in your website, your marketing strategy or the quality of your products as required.

Subscribe for Google alerts

An easy way to stay updated about each and every business that competes with yours is to create a Google Alert for the business’ name and their URL. As and when there is news about the business, Google will send the links for it to your mailbox. For example, if you wish to stay informed about XYZ company’s activities, just create a Google Alert for the keyword XYZ Ltd and you will have news and reports from every corner of the world delivered to your mailbox.

Follow them on social networks

Social media marketing is the hottest online marketing trend these days. If you have a page on sites like Facebook or Twitter, you are bound to find your competitors there. To watch them anonymously, create an alias account or have one of your marketing team members follow the competitors’ page and track their every move. So every time a rival company posts an offer or is giving away discount coupons to snatch your customers from you, you can always hit them back with a counter-offer before any damage is done.

Use tracking tools

Another effective way to spy on your competition online is to use tracking software. Tracking software will help you trace your competitor’s every move on the internet, without giving them a hint that you are following them. Some of these tools include Change Detection, which is a free software you can obtain from the internet. This particular software creates a log file for your competitors site and alerts you when the web page has been changed in any way.

Howsociable is another tracking tool that can be used to analyze the brand visibility of all your competitors,based on 32 metrics such as TabTwitter, Magnitude, TabLinkedIn etc. Social Mention is a tool that lets you know what people are saying about your competitor’s company or products on social networking sites.

Majestic SEO is a tracking tool that focuses on the effective SEO strategy of link-building. It lets you know about all the sites that are linked to your competitor’s site and also compares them with the links to your site.

Learn about their search engine marketing activities

Finally, it is important to know where your competitors stand in terms of search engine page ranking to know how well they are doing. If they are ahead of you in the top 1 or 2 pages in the organic search list, then it is time you beefed up your SEO campaign to improve the ranking and with it your online visibility. You can also keep a track of the traffic on your competitor sites using tools like Alexa’s Traffic Rankings, Google Trends for Websites or Compete Traffic Estimator.

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