I remember when I started my last startup, Monitor Backlinks, that almost every day I was tracking my competitors’ websites, blogs, social media and try to figure out what they are up to, why did they do the things they were doing.
You have to be honest with yourself; competitors know a lot more than you do about your niche; they have been working for years trying to optimize their business, increase leads and conversion rates, while you are just starting. You don’t need to copy their every move, but at least stay up to date with what they do so you don’t waste time making the same mistakes or optimize your website and startup faster.
Strategies that will help you decide what can you learn from your competitors
Tracking your competitor site changes
You only need to review once most of the pages of your competitor, to get an idea on how they organize the information they publicly display to their visitors. Some pages will require you to come back and figure out if they have changed anything.
From my research, I saw that the homepage and pricing page could change every month (usually small stuff, like adding a testimonial, a certificate or an award badge, the copy of the text …). As an entrepreneur, you will most likely try to remember everything in your head, but you can also try Competitive.Business tool to track the website changes and have a clear history (visually and text) on what changes; also you will get alerted via email when something changes.
Monitor the blog and social media accounts
The blog and social media are where your competition marketing employees will write articles about their niche (so your niche).
Do not think that this is random text, just to have some content on their website; the topic of the articles are usually well planned, targeting specific keywords that are well researched to get high keyword rankings on Google and drive free inbound leads that their sales team can work.
You do not need to read all the articles from beginning to end carefully. It’s enough just to scan their headlines and try to figure out if that article was written to target specific keywords to rank in Google or if it’s a very long article, to be very well documented and their audience will find it excellent and link to them, boosting their startup website.
Also, your competitors’ will announce new or improved features on their blog and social media. That means that you are already a step behind when you read that article, but it’s better to know and think if it’s worth implementing for your startup or not. And don’t worry, you are working on something else that your competitors are not working on while they improved their app.
Trial emails and their newsletter
Create an account on your competitor website and keep track of what emails they are sending. You will learn their free trial conversion funnel and apply some of the strategies to your startup. It’s common that they might offer a discount after the trial ended, or invite the user to a 1-on-1 demo call.
Also, their newsletter may contain invitations to webinars. If they are doing this, it is a confirmation that that marketing channel works for them.
Takeaway for your startup
All of the above strategies are free to do manually, and they provide a ton of knowledge, you have no excuses if you don’t do it!
There is a lot more to talk about when tracking your competitors, but just remember, knowledge is power, but also, knowledge is time-consuming. Find a balance, focus on building your startup while keeping an eye on your competitors.