Tracking your competition is a very important tool to online marketing. You can gain insight on what is working, what is not working, and where you need to improve your efforts. There are so many companies out there offering monitoring tools such as HubSpot, Radian6, Lithium, etc . . . But if you don’t want to make the investment, you can monitor your competition yourself. Below we will go through 3 tools that allow you to track your competitors online.

  1. Google Alerts – This tool allows users to set up alerts with keywords and phrases that trigger an email notification every time that word or phrase shows up on a site, blog or press release. For example, if you interested in a competitor, set up a Google alert on that company and their top executives and you will be notified. You can set up how often you are emailed notifications, so you don’t have to worry about your inbox getting overloaded with emails.
  2. Twitter – This tool allows you to do searches according to trending topics and companies. Usually if you pay close attention to tweets they give away hints to upcoming events/movements of a company. The important thing to remember is that you must participate as well in the conversation. If you just sit back and listen, no one will connect with you.
  3. RSS FeedRSS Feeds – This tool is an easy way to condense all of the various channels into one place. Many experts are fans of feeds for intelligence gathering. You can keep up with industries, customers, and competitors by feeding things like Google Alerts, Twitter, and all of your other RSS feeds into one feed. You can save a lot of time using one RSS feed versus going on several different sites to get insight.

As you can see monitoring what is going on in the industry is very important. This may seem very overwhelming at first, but once you have all your feeds set up, it’s very easy. How do you currently track your competition? Do you use RSS feeds?

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