How to start tracking your competitors, SEO, rankings, and reviews - AlertBits

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How to start tracking your competitors, SEO, rankings, and reviews

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AlertBits Team  •  15 May 2023

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Competitive intelligence has always been valuable.

But considering today's rapidly changing business environment in our fast-paced world, it's especially important to know what your market & competitors are doing.

The good news: most of the information you need is already on the internet.

The bad news: knowing where to look and keeping track of the info as it changes is hard.

That's why I want to share with you how you can efficiently track your competitors and other key sources easily.

In this article, I'm going to break down how you can track 3 important areas of your business:

  1. Track important data & insights to stay ahead of your competitors
  2. Track SEO, backlinks, and rankings
  3. Track reviews and what people are saying about your brand

Although I'm going to focus on these 3 cases, there are many other valuable sources worth tracking as well, as explained in this article that you can check out:

How to supercharge your business growth with website tracking

But before we dive in, let's quickly talk about why tracking your competitors is so important...

Why bother tracking your competitors?

If you're unsure about the benefit and value of tracking your competitors and other sources, then think about this:

By monitoring your competitors, you'll know about their activities, moves, and decisions.

This wealth of data and competitive intelligence can be a big advantage for you and your organization.

You'll be able to not only keep up, but stay ahead of your competitors.

You can react faster to key market changes by monitoring industry news and trends.

All the business insight and information you gather will allow you to make better and more informed decisions.

You can use website tracking to automate, track, scale, and improve your sales & marketing efforts.

All these benefits can result in higher growth and success for your organization, allowing you to thrive in your industry.

And if you use an automated website change monitoring tool like AlertBits, then you won't need to waste your valuable time on slow, tedious, and tiring manual tracking.

You can save time, costs, and frustration; and numbers-wise, you'll get a big ROI (return-on-investment).

AlertBits makes your life & job easier and allows you to be more productive.

Okay, now that you know the benefits and importance of tracking your competitors, let's see how you can actually start doing it...

Track important data & insights to stay ahead of your competitors

You already know the importance of staying ahead of your competitors and keeping track of them.

The problem is, that even simple competition tracking (like checking products/prices) takes a lot of time.

Checking websites manually every day isn't exactly an exciting job.

But that's where AlertBits comes in, to automate those pesky tasks that no one wants to do!

But the question is: how do you get started?

First, you need to figure out exactly what information or data you want to track changes to and receive alerts for.

Usually, they will fall into 2 broad categories:

  • Tracking your competitors
  • Tracking your own business or some resource important to your business

You have to first decide what competitors to track.

You likely already know who your main competitors are in your industry, so pick from that list.

You can find new, unknown, or indirect competitors of your business through some simple market research (e.g. search on Google).

Or, ask your leads, clients, or customers.

Your product, sales, or marketing team might also have insight into this.

You can also dig into your SEO data or use tools like SocialMention or SimilarWeb to find new competitors worth keeping an eye on.

Once you've identified the competitors you want to track, you have to figure out exactly what information to track.

This will largely depend on your current goals and what you want to achieve.

If you want to improve your business's marketing efforts, you might want to track your competitors' sales, marketing, and advertising activities.

You can also track their products, pricing, and stock/availability to see how your own offerings stack up.

You can also track your suppliers, dealers, partners, or clients.

When it comes to tracking your own business, you can track landing pages, campaigns, product launches, social media, or any other page.

There are likely third-party websites and resources with information that you care about.

For example, you could track news, trends, updates, and opportunities in your industry.

You can also monitor your own website for unauthorized or unintended changes, bugs, security issues, and downtime.

Website change monitoring also comes in handy if you want to protect your IP (Intellectual Property) as you can track others for trademark or copyright infringement.

After you've decided what to track, you have to choose how to track it.

With AlertBits, you can save and track visual changes as screenshots.

Or, select and track individual HTML elements with conditions.

You can also track certain words or phrases on a page, or monitor JSON API responses for changes.

Choose specifically what you want to track according to your situation, and add that page to AlertBits.

For more details on how the different Tracking Types work, check out this article: How to monitor a website for design & code changes and catch security/defacement issues.

And with that, you'll be on your way towards easy, automated, and efficient business insight and competitive intelligence gathering.

Track SEO, backlinks, and rankings

Search engines and social media are major drivers of traffic, leads, and sales for businesses.

So improving your rankings on these platforms is crucial.

But to improve, you have to measure and track your progress.

Here's how to start doing just that...

First, you'll want to find the platforms that bring the most traffic to your business.

It could be a search engine like Google or Bing; or social media like Facebook or YouTube.

For search engines, you'll want to track your rankings and SERP information.

Start by compiling a list of keywords or search terms your business already ranks for.

Your marketing team can give you these keywords, or you can find them with a little research on Google's Keyword Planner or other tools.

Search for these terms on Google, and add those URLs to track inside AlertBits.

You can also choose a specific location for country-specific results.

You can track these rankings with either Visual or Element Tracking.

If you want to improve your organic rankings, you'll also want to build up solid, organic, authoritative backlinks.

If you have a backlink that's important (e.g. it's from a high-authority site), you can track that link with Element Tracking in AlertBits.

Simply select the link on the webpage and you'll be notified when that backlink's code, content, or visuals change.

This will help you keep track of the HTML <a> tag containing the backlink, and you'll be able to see any changes made to it, such as the link text changing or attributes like "nofollow" being added.

So pick whatever is most important to you and add that to track in AlertBits.

Track reviews and what people are saying about your brand

Customer success is extremely important.

You want your product or service to solve people's problems and help make their lives easier.

You also need to continuously innovate to improve your product and advance your brand.

And to do all of this, you need to know what your customers are saying.

That's why feedback and reviews are invaluable sources of business insight.

So you'll likely want to keep track of the reviews of both your own business and your competitors.

Here's how to do that...

First, you'll need to identify where your customers are leaving reviews and voicing their concerns.

This will largely depend on your specific industry and market.

For example, if you're an e-commerce store selling physical products, you may have reviews on your own website or on Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, eBay, Target, etc.

If you have a physical location, you may have reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Google My Business.

Many businesses will also find reviews on Trustpilot, ConsumerReports, and Glassdoor.

Social media like Facebook or Twitter can also be great review sources.

For SaaS/software businesses, often the best place is Capterra or G2.

So, find the websites that have reviews of your own business or your competitors, and make a list of them.

Then, you'll want to go to AlertBits and add those webpages to track.

You can monitor them with Element or Visual Tracking.

But what exactly to track?

If the review site has an aggregated score (like 4 out of 5 stars, 8.5/10, etc.), you could easily select that specific HTML Element with our selector to be notified either whenever it changes, or when it matches a certain condition (e.g. your score falls below 3 stars).

Many review sites will also show how many reviews are in each score category: 40 5-star reviews, 20 3-star reviews, 15 1-star reviews, etc.

So you could track the number of 1 or 2-star reviews to be notified when they change (e.g. someone left a negative review).

If you have a specific word or phrase that's important in your reviews, you could track it with Keyword Tracking.


The 3 cases above are just some simple ideas.

With Visual, Element, Keyword, and API Tracking, you can track almost any resource on the web that's valuable to your business and get timely alerts when your desired changes happen.

If you want to test out automatic tracking and see the benefit for yourself, you should definitely try out AlertBits, it's free:

But either way, hopefully, you found this guide useful.

Let me know if you have any questions...

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AlertBits Team

AlertBits content and editorial team.

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