7 Easy Ways Small Businesses Should Track Competitors

Most small business owners often undervalue the power of competitor monitoring and tracking. As a business owner, you need to keep tabs on what your competition is charging, their business operations, what’s new in their product or service offering, and the type of clients they have. You are not doing it as a way of obsessing over them but to remain abreast with price fluctuations, market demand changes among others. Here are seven ways you can effectively track what your competitors are doing.

Review their website

Thanks to the advent of the internet you can effectively monitor your competition operations without knocking on their doors. You can just visit their website and check their product offerings and try identifying what is new. Alternatively, you can use web tools and companies which will monitor your competitor’s website and notify you when something changes. That way you will effortlessly be notified when a new product or service has been added or when they review their prices.

Follow them on social media sites.

Social media is a good way to spy on your competitor. Take keen interest on their social media success strategy. If their engagement is bigger than yours, learn and duplicate their strategy to your advantage. Monitor the number of followers they have, how they engage and how often, these might be the reasons they are beating you in your market.

Do an SEO effort comparison.

Since you are in the same business, you already know the keywords they are likely to use. Do frequent searches on these keywords to find out if your business appears on the top pages of search engines or your competitor is dominating. If they are ranking higher than you, you need to revise your keyword optimizing strategy. Take the keywords they are ranking and implement a competitive keyword optimization strategy. Promote your business for the same keywords until you take the lead.

Visit customer review sites.

From these sites, you can easily tell what their customers are saying about them. Monitor for the compliments as well as complaints they are receiving. Are there compliments you can adopt or complaints you can avoid? That is up to you to decide. The review websites give you honest sentiments from the customers your competitors have interacted with. By improving on what they are complaining about and taking it to social media can lure them to start buying from you.

Buy from your competition.

Although an old-fashioned way of tracking your competition, it is still effective today. Visit your competitor’s website or their physical store, engage with their staff and find out about their products and services, also monitor how they have customers. With the information you gather, you can implement on your business. Also using the products you have purchased, you can tell how good their quality is compared to yours. Then make the necessary adjustments.

Harness the power of Google alerts

You can set up alerts regarding a certain company or industry that is competing with you. That way you remain updated on news and stories related to your competition. For instance, you will be notified when the competition hit the news on a new product offering or downsizing, or they are expanding. Since googles search engines monitor web activities, the services send email notifications regarding content changes, scientific research, relevant news that matches your search terms. You are thereby able to keep tabs on what the competition is doing.

Engage your customers

Chances are your customers also purchase from your competition, and hence they can offer you invaluable information regarding your competition so do not underestimate them. Ask them questions about what they find attractive and what they detest from your competition. Then use this information to make necessary changes to your business strategy.


The business landscape is drastically changing, and small business owners cannot afford to lag behind. Business owners should remain updated on changing trends, price fluctuations among other factors affecting their respective industries. Using these easy to use healthy spying techniques business can keep tab with what their competition is doing hence leveling the landscape. The best thing is some are DIY tips, and the others will not cost you much.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.