- What is website monitoring and how is it performed?
- There are 5 important benefits of using a website monitoring tool.
- 10 factors to take into consideration when choosing a website monitoring tool.
Most organisations operate in fiercely competitive markets. According to recent studies, 88% of executives believe competition will increase in their industry over the next few years. While 90% believe their industry is more competitive than it was five years ago.
To stay ahead of the competition, organisations need to make smarter decisions faster – and not just with their marketing or sales strategies. It’s increasingly important for organisations to get smarter as one, ensuring every department is equipped with the intelligence needed to outsmart the competition.
It’s little wonder then that so many organisations are being more proactive when it comes to monitoring their competitors in an attempt to understand their strategies.
78% of businesses now use competitor analysis tools, up from 74% in 2020, while the global website monitoring market size is projected to reach USD 6.39 billion by 2025, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.8% from 2020.
So let’s take a closer look at website monitoring tools and the benefits it’ll deliver to your business.
What Is Website Monitoring?
Competitor website monitoring is the practice of monitoring your competitors’ websites to gain insights into their strategies and performance. It involves tracking and analysing various aspects of their websites, such as content, pricing, promotions, messaging, design, traffic and engagement metrics.
By monitoring your competitors’ websites, you can identify their strengths and weaknesses and benchmark your website against theirs. The insights you gather will enable you to make data-driven decisions to improve your online presence and optimise strategies to gain a competitive advantage.
How Is Competitor Website Monitoring Performed?
Competitor website monitoring was traditionally performed manually by visiting competitors’ websites and analysing their content. This was a slow, laborious process carried out periodically or occasionally. While useful, the insights captured were often out of date by the time they were found, making them less useful for strategic decision-making.
Increasingly, website monitoring tools have been adopted by companies to overcome these issues. This is performed by automated software platforms that track competitor websites in real-time and capture insights in a dashboard.
What Are The Different Types Of Competitor Website Monitoring Tools?
There are a number of tools that track traffic, keywords, backlinks and other SEO metrics. Examples include SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, SimilarWeb, and SpyFu.
However, this article is focused on competitor website monitoring platforms that are used to gather information about competitor websites, such as the following:
- Pricing changes – when a competitor changes their prices or approach to pricing.
- Promotion changes – when competitors launch, change or end a promotion.
- Messaging changes – when a competitor alters their brand messaging.
- Page changes – when a competitor adds, removes or changes the structure of website pages.
- News – when a competitor announces news, such as key personnel changes, investment news or other company news.
- Content – what content your competitors are creating, exploring topics, content styles and formats and other aspects that inform their content strategy.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Automated Website Monitoring Tools?
1) Save time
Automated tools can monitor competitor websites 24/7, allowing you to receive alerts in real-time when changes occur. This can save you significant time compared to manually checking competitors’ websites on a regular basis.
2) See and learn more
Automated tools monitor multiple competitors’ websites simultaneously, giving you a more comprehensive view of the competitive landscape compared to manually tracking changes on a few websites.
3) Ensure data accuracy
Automated tools use advanced algorithms and machine learning to analyse changes on competitors’ websites, reducing the risk of human error or oversight. Manual tracking has often been left to junior members of the marketing team with limited experience.
4) Gain better insights
Automated tools can provide detailed reports and analytics on competitors’ website changes over time, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of their online strategy and performance.
5) Make smarter decisions faster
By using an automated competitor website monitoring tool, you’ll discover changes immediately and be able to respond faster and smarter to threats and opportunities in the market.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Website Monitoring Tool
It’s essential to select a platform that meets your specific needs. Here are some of the key functionalities to consider when evaluating different tools:
1) Automated monitoring
Look for a tool that provides automated tracking. This will save you time and effort, by tracking changes to your competitors’ websites in real-time. Unlike with manual tracking, automated website monitoring ensures nothing is missed. This gives you more time to focus on analysing and using the data you capture.
2) Comprehensive coverage
Your tool should be able to monitor all aspects of your competitors’ websites, including content changes, design updates, promotion and pricing changes and more. This will enable you to access and store insights via one platform. You and your team won’t need to train in or jump between multiple platforms, saving you yet more valuable time.
3) Real-time alerts
Your competitor website monitoring tool should capture intelligence in real time, so you are the first to learn about changes that could affect your organisation. The faster you learn, the faster you can respond to minimise impact or jump on a commercial opportunity.
4) Historical data
The ability to view historical data and trends is essential for understanding how your competitors’ websites have evolved over time. It will enable you to identify patterns that help you to anticipate and prepare for future changes. This could include periodic changes to messaging, promotions or pricing.
Look for a tool that allows you to customise the monitoring to meet your specific needs. Whether it’s the number or types of competitors you want to track or the types of intelligence you’re most interested in, creating a dashboard that makes your life easier and provides the most relevant insights is a must.
6) User-friendly dashboard
There’s nothing worse than having access to lots of valuable data but having a hard time navigating to find it. Your competitor website monitoring platform should make it easy to find and analyse the insights that matter.
7) Data visualisation
The tool should be able to provide data visualisation in the form of charts, graphs, and tables. This will help you to identify trends and patterns more easily. Being able to export these graphics will also be useful when creating reports or sharing intelligence with other people in the organisation.
8) Battle Cards
Battle cards are a bite size form of competitor intelligence whereby insights are presented side-by-side for various competitors, enabling you to make fast comparisons. They particularly help sales teams to outsmart a competitor going for a lucrative contract. Your website monitoring tool should provide the ability to identify the criteria you need to track and present it in a digestible, easy-to-analyse format.
If you already use other tools or software in your business, look for a competitor website monitoring tool that integrates with them. This will save you time and effort in transferring data between different systems. Such integrations will enable you to create a flow of relevant, timely competitor intelligence into the right people’s workflows, making it more usable and key decision-making moments.
10) Expert human analysis
While most competitor website monitoring tools provide automation, that can still present challenges with handling large volumes of tracked data. Look for a tool that offers analysis by market experts. They’ll cut through the noise to identify the most relevant intelligence, making it easier for you to use when making decisions.
Make Smarter Decisions Faster With WatchMyCompetitor
Unlike other intelligence solutions that serve up hard-to-mine unfiltered data, or which collate insights into periodic reports that lack immediacy, WatchMyCompetitor is the complete competitor intelligence platform.
We use AI to track your competitors’ global digital footprint in real-time, so you don’t miss anything important. While our market experts analyse and curate the most relevant competitive insights on your behalf.
That means no more sifting through unmanageable volumes of data. You get fast access to relevant, timely intelligence to optimise strategies, outsmart the competition and protect and grow your revenue.
Don’t let your competitors gain an advantage. Book a demo today.