Competitors. Thank God for them! Nothing gets us to success quicker than an aggressive competitor. Checking up on your competition from time to time helps avoid costly mistakes or may teach us some new tactics.

Certainly, it can be quite challenging to follow competitors on so many social media accounts and online resources. Just imagine logging into different platforms to track the activity of all your competitors (you know them all, right?)… Sounds like a lot of work.

Luckily, there is an easier way. Fortunately, a lot of interesting information can be taken from different sources free and without much effort. Best of all, it only takes 5 minutes to set it up once and then use it from time-to-time when we have a spare minute.

Below is a quick guide that explains how to pull different information together into you “Competitor monitor” dashboard. We use Octoboard templates here to demo some of the data.

What can we monitor?

  • Your competitor’s website ranking.

Monitoring your competitor’s website traffic rankings is very useful. It helps you to see where your website is relative to your competitor’s. This gives you a good idea of how well your website ranks in search and authority compared to your competitors. If you are behind, you should definitely put your effort into making your rank higher. Alexa and Moz widgets will help you with that. You don’t have to go to Alexa daily to check your rank or that of your competitor. Modern technology allows you to put all the information you need in a dashboard and it will keep updating the ranking daily for you.

Here is a comparison of rankings between TESLA and FORD.

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You can also compare your 2 competitors on the same dashboard or separately, it’s up to you. This is a very useful feature to see Alexa performance of your competitors at the same time, with Rank, Reach and Views per Visitor metrics in the real time.

  • Social Media Activity.

Monitor your competitor’s various Social Media accounts to get insights of what they are doing and how they are promoting what they are doing. Also, you can see the number of followers of your competitor and compare that number to yours.

Latest Posts is a useful metric that gives you insights both on how often you competitors post on their Social Media accounts and what content they post.

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These widgets can give you insights into your competitor’s social media strategy including how active and successful they are at gaining and engaging their users.

  • Content tracking

Content is one of the most important parts of your business’s marketing strategy. Monitoring your competitor’s content will enable you to understand what topic ideas resonate well with your audience. In order to do that you need to see what your competitor is writing about. Using the RSS Feed widget, you see the updates on their blog and look at their latest posts.

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You can put several of your competitors on one dashboard and monitor their content. All feeds will be updated automatically.

This can help you analyze posts to figure out the topics that work best. But don’t stop at that! You now have tools (for example, Alexa, Moz, SEMRush) that will help you analyze data more deeply, including headlines, keywords and much much more!

Google News widget will also keep you updated on the news that appears on Google. This will help you to see where your competitors publish their posts and who publish your competitors’ posts. This information gives you opportunities on where to publish your content so that you have the highest possible reach and engagement with the audience.

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  • Customers and customer feedback

As you analyze competitor’s content, you can also use insights from their customers to analyze their solutions or products. For example, if your competitor has a separate Social Media account for customer support, you should monitor all posts on that account. It will enable you to see which features or products users like or complain about. Again, use it to learn from other’s mistakes. For this kind of monitoring, you will need to track the Social Media accounts of your competitor. As before, just put this info to a dashboard and check it from time to time. Don’t forget that Social Media users love to share stuff! Don’t forget to do the same for your own products. Stay connected to your audience, engage timely and build relationships with existing and future customers!

Using hashtags or mentions on Twitter Search will also tell you what people think about products.

Here is an example of Google News on AUDI and Lamborghini (below). Add these to your dashboard once and always stay on top of changes and customer feedback (make sure you spell Lamborghini correctly).

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So here you have it. From news to posts, website rankings, and customer feedback – a lot of information is available. It is a matter of pointing the right tool in the data and it will collect it and keep updating.

Start learning from your competitors now and build your automated dashboards. After all your competitors are already doing it so why not you?