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Spying on competitors is not that hard. There are some simple tools that make it a little easier, but I’d go beyond just the basics and really put emphasis on competitive intelligence. Nevertheless, one of the most basic tools for spying on your competitors is Google Alerts.

Just as you monitor your own name brands and important keywords, you should monitor your competitors’ brands as well. This does a few things for your competitive intelligence strategy:

  • Any time anyone mentions your competition, you know about it and can gauge the context more easily.
  • Whenever your competition updates their website or blog you are notified
  • You keep tabs of important social media where your competition is active
  • If your competition adds new products or services then you will be one of the first to know about it when it is announced publicly

But understand that Google Alerts won’t tell you everything. It will only keep you notified of public comments made by or about your competition, not what they are talking about in their board meetings. Still, it’s an important place to start.

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