Nowadays, it’s pivotal to use software to spy on competitors.
Famous rivals do it all the time. Uber’s “secret software” used technology to how many Lyft drivers were available and where, so they could offer faster pick-up times. Amazon gouged data from its sellers to launch its own competing private-label products.
Competition is fierce, and competitive tracking software is critical to keep up. Executives, product developers, marketers, sales people – across departments, competitive tracking needs to be in place to record important updates online, for the purpose of keeping your competitive intelligence up-to-date.
Automated software tools make this easier and more efficient, because you can monitor more information, at scale, with less effort and time.
With a competitive tracking tool, like Visualping, you can monitor any web pages on the internet, for the exact changes you care about. When a change occurs, the tool sends you and your team an email alert, with the changes highlighted for you to see.
From companies dominating the market to the up-and-comers who may start to creep up the search engine results for your target search queries, your competition should influence how you choose to sell and market your products and services.
In this post, we’ll cover the importance of using automated tools to conduct your own competitive tracking, how you can get set up with your own to monitor the specific changes you care about, and some sources of website changes worth checking out for your competitive tracking.
Competitive tracking is the process of continuously keeping an eye out to updates from your competitors – these days, that’s often online – so you can inform your own marketing, sales and product strategy.
Staying on top of the comeptition’s whereabouts, and reviewing it over time, can help you come up with insights to best position your business to stay one step ahead.
The right tool should enable you to automatically monitor updates to the exact information you and your team are interested in – whether that be changes to their products, pricing, SEO, content, news, funding, PR and team, or whatever else.
Visualping is a competitive tracking tool that automatically checks any web pages on the internet for the changes you want to stay on top of. When a change occurs, the tool sends you and your team an email alert, with the changes highlighted for you to see.
Sign up with Visualping to monitor any competitors’ web pages for the exact changes you’re after – changes to their products, pricing, SEO, content, team, etc.
With Visualping, you don’t have to spend time and resources manually rechecking websites for potential updates. At the frequency you speciify, the tool automatically checks pages for changes for you.
Visualping for Business offers real-time monitoring options, so you can become aware of updates within 5 minutes of them occuring.
With Visualping, you can choose which page on the internet to track, and also which parts of the page you want to monitor.
To only get alerted of exactly what matters to you and your team, you can apply custom monitoring filters – to only get notified whether certain keywords or phrases are added or removed from a page, for example. You can also adjust the level of change that triggers alerts.
After gathering the highlighted web page pages in your user dashboard, use Visualping to generate advanced custom reports to review many web pages at once, in a glance. Analyze many updates over time in a single glance, to generate insights and adapt to changes in your industry or market.
Not everything on the web is real or accurate. Without the right competitor tracking tools, you could find yourself with dated information, waste time tracking the wrong data, and miss important updates that could significantly influence your strategy.
That’s why you should use competitive tracking tools to monitor competitors directly at the source. Websites, for example, are the facades of every business. They’re an open door to a continuous stream of data on competitors’ new marketing tricks, product offerings, pricing strategies, news and press releases.
But beyond competitors’ websites, you can also monitor competitors directly by using competitive tracking tools to watch customer reviews and social media pages.
Demand for businesses to monitor competitors is rising tenfold. Below are various data sources to understand as much as you can about who you’re up against.
Competitor websites have become a key source of competitive intelligence data. Crayon’s 2020 competitive intelligence report, which sampled 1,000 executives of small, mid-sized and large businesses, says 98% of businesses rated competitor websites as the top source of competitive intelligence data.
Competitors constantly test new marketing strategies through changing up design layouts on their homepage and landing pages – everything from moving web page elements to a different spot, to the wording in their call to actions.
Keeping an eye on changes to the sitemap can also give you an efficient snapshot of new updates to competitor websites.
Visualping is a competitive tracking tool that can be used to catch changes to website hompepages – including the subtle ones you’d likely miss if you were checking manually. When there’s a change to your competitors' homepage, Visualping sends you an emaiol alert with the changes highlighted in a screenshot, so they’re easy for you to spot.
Websites are rich with product marketing messages – the problems customers face, and how their product and services ease these pain points. Insights about the stories your competitors tell about their business, and the way they tell them, can help you make decisions about how you want to tell your own story on your website.
If a company restructures their navigation or adjusts their value proposition statement, this can also be a sign something new is being prepared – such as a product or initiative being released.
Staying up to date with how your competitors tell their story on their website – even just the subtle changes – is pivotal to anticipating their next moves and maintaining your own relevance in the market.
Another way to keep tabs on your competitors is to track changes to product pages. You can stay up to date on their newest product releases, and keep track of changes to product features – including color, size and functionality.
By tracking the product pages, you can also get marketing insights into how your competitors articulate the value of their products – through their wording in the product descriptions, and how the products are organized into bundles.
Maybe it’s changes to competitors' prices you’re interested in. Automation is especially useful for competitor price tracking, because the top competitive intelligence tools can notify you of changes to listed prices.
You can pick up on any patterns behind these changes to help you understand competitors’ pricing strategies, and place your product at an advantage in relation to the market.
You can also keep an eye out for their latest promotions, so you can strategize accordingly and consider taking action with your own promotions to stay competitive.
Tracking your competitors’ newest headlines and press releases from their website can give you plenty of clues to their future plans. By tracking competitor successes, you can also see if you can benefit from their publicity. Many businesses have a news and press releases page on their website that you can track, and in which they update regularly.
But beyond competitor websites, competitive tracking tools can also monitor new headlines in external news publications – that’s positive and negative publicity, and everything in between. Competitors’ public missteps can be turned into key insights for your own business to avoid potential losses in the future, and to know when to leverage your products and services advantageously.
Competitors’ customer reviews offer a way for you to view your competitors through their customers’ eyes; you can see where your competition is checking the boxes, and where they’re underperforming. You can watch how they respond to feedback for clues into your own customer service strategy.
Many businesses turn to social media to build brand awareness and establish authority in their industry. Many businesses post new content weekly, if not daily. By tracking changes to their profile and new posts, you can gather more insights into how they position themselves in the market, and source some creative inspiration from their content ideas.
Many businesses also post their future plans on social media – new partnerships, upcoming products and promotions. Monitor their social media to get a strong understanding of their branding strategy, and always have a sense of what’s coming next.
To compete strategically, you should track competitors on a regular basis and use your findings to foster competitive intelligence for informed business decisions.
But manually tracking these sources of data for changes is tedious and time-consuming. Not to mention, over time, important competitor updates are bound to slip through the cracks and go unnoticed.
Instead of manually checking these sources of data for changes, you can use competitive tracking tools like Visualping to automatically track changes for you.
When a change is detected on the page, Visualping sends you an email alert. Attached is a screenshot of the page with all the highlighted changes, and a link to your dashboard where you can view all the content changes over time.
By setting up automatic email alerts for various competitor pages you’re interested in – their homepage, product and pricing pages, press release pages and social media – you can streamline the process of watching these updates unfold.
You’ll be the first to know about new developments on your competitors’ websites – and without the hassle of manually checking the pages and scanning them for changes yourself.
Visualping also stores screenshots of web page changes, so you can see how the changes take place on the page over time. Track the evolution of colors, positioning of elements, special offers, banner ads and marketing statements.
Alerts act as catalysts for your team to explore what your competition has introduced. And maintaining this archive of change data over time can help embed visual data collection into the DNA of your organization, and provide an essential tool for decision-making.
Staying on top of new data from your competitors’ websites and other activities online can make a big difference in your own strategy. Implementing powerful, automated web page monitoring can have a significant impact on your business.
Make use of competitor tracking tools, like Visualping to easily monitor website changes for you and integrate these insights into your team’s competitive strategy so you can rise above the competition.
Want to find out more about how Visualping can help support your competitive tracking strategy? Reach out to our team – We’d be happy to help.
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