Being responsible for search and/or content in your organization, you are likely acutely aware that it is a bit like peeling an onion. No, I don’t mean it makes you cry (your secret’s safe with me).

I mean that there are many layers. Each time you feel that you’ve reached a point of understanding, more layers appear.

An important layer that can be incredibly empowering for your digital marketing strategy is tracking your competitors.

What is competitor tracking & why is it important?

Let’s face it, online businesses are operating in a complex and competitive landscape. Businesses are spending more and more of their marketing dollars on content. If you want to be strategic, knowing what is working for your competitors from a search and content perspective can provide you with a strategic advantage.
These insights build upon the data you have to support what is already successful for your brand and can challenge you to explore new keywords and content topics. You will not just be creating content, but you’ll be creating the right content. You’ll also be more knowledgable regarding industry trends and anticipating what will come next.

How can I get started tracking competitors?

The first step to competitor tracking sounds simple enough, but don’t underestimate it. You need to start by identifying your competitors. There are a variety of methods to do this.

  • If you are not in a customer-facing role, you can talk to members of your sales team. They run up against competitors on a regular basis and likely have insight into competitors that you may not have  even considered competition.
  • If you have close relationships with your clients, you can have conversations with them about others they have considered and why. Talking to your customers is important and should not be overlooked in your competitive strategy.

Getting to know the competition before you start to analyze and compare their data alongside yours is an necessary step. Don’t assume that you already know who your competitors are. Share your list with others in your organization and get input from those in different roles.
Once you have a strong list of your competitors, you can easily set up Google Alerts to track their news and create private Twitter lists that feature only these companies. This will ensure that you stay up-to-date on their messaging and offers.

How does competitor tracking work?

With GinzaMetrics, you can monitor, analyze and compare competitor data alongside insights into your own data.
You can enter a specific competitor name and get detailed, daily insights into their strategies – as they unfold. Armed with insights into what’s working for competitors, you can optimize your content and keyword strategy to drive more traffic to your pages.
Upon logging into the platform (get our free trial), you access a snapshot of competitive performance in the Findability Score and Average Rank graphs. You can also use the Top Keyword Activity module to see where competitors are gaining momentum. Social signals from Facebook, Twitter and Google+ allow you to keep tabs on what is popular on social media.
All of this data is easily exportable from the GinzaMetrics platform so that you can share with others on your team or clients via automated or manual reports.
Watch our video on how competitive tracking works in our platform.