6 simple ways to monitor your competition online

The ‘why’ of doing so should be obvious, but the ‘how’ might be a bit more elusive. Here are a half-dozen methods to stay abreast of your rivals.

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I’m always surprised when I talk to our competitors and they have no clue what we are up to (especially as we are such an open book at our company). There is no excuse for not monitoring your business competition, especially with all the tools available online.

Here are six things you should do to keep on top of what your competition is doing:

1. Subscribe to their blogs. This is pretty obvious, but whenever your competition posts to its blog, you should be the first one to read it. Usually company blogs contain information regarding new features, partnership launches, and hires, and they can give you insight into the company’s culture. Don’t forget to read the comments to see what their users’ reactions are to what is being posted.

2. Use their products. You should have an account set up on each of your competitors’ websites (if needed), and every couple of weeks, poke around. A lot of your competitors will soft-launch their new features weeks before they release them to the press. If you are using their website, you will know about their featured launches long before they are announced. (On a side note, make sure you subscribe in your account settings to their email newsletter and other brand communications.)

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