By Rachael Chapman | InGeneral

The online market is a very aggressive trade in today's world. When you check out the price of any products, you will see a drastic variation in the prices depending on a few parameters like the website you are on, the country you are checking them from, the type of commodity being sold and how frequently you visit the same site. You can even be fed false data depending on your online behavior.

The other aspect of this is keeping track of your competitors, which plays a huge role in your business. In this digital era, even though not simple, there are quite a few tools that can come to your aid. Let us see a few of these tools and also know how a proxy can give you an edge overall.

Ways to track your competitors

Google Alerts is one of the most preferred and versatile tool out there, which is very user-friendly at the same time. You can use it to set alerts of a specific keyword or brand, which, whenever mentioned online, will send you notifications.

When you set up the alerts, make sure you create alerts for at least the following keywords:

The brand -> The competitors

The products that you wish to follow

  • Competitors’ websites

  • Competitors’ tagline

Google Alerts is also helpful to watch out for your name or your brand, to see your market presence

1. Social Mention is popular because of its capability to stalk your rival on any social media platform. If their name or the keyword is mentioned anywhere on the social media platform, you get an update.

Once you have narrowed down your competitors, the tool will automatically try to evaluate, based on circumstances, whether the update about your competitor is positive or negative.

Keeping an eye on this over a period of time can help you understand the trend and where the market is headed. This will help you improve your own social media strategy

On the other hand, you can also see what others are saying about your brand online. Such tools will always help you stay ahead in terms of your online presence and eventually improve any negative aspect of the brand.

**2. Topsy **is specifically designed for Twitter. Microblogging sites, like Twitter, are the 21st-century virtual warzone, where every company or brand is trying to prove its worth and outsmart its competition.

Using Topsy, you can go way back to a competitors' tweet, and other statistics like the number of shares, daily and weekly impressions, etc.

So what will you do with this information? It is actually very simple; you now know what type of offers they ran or what type of consumer they targeted the most. Did any particular tweet trend highly? If so, why? All this information will help you create your own perfect Twitter campaign which will be backed up by real data.

All the above tools are a great way to spy on your competitors, but what if you want to see how their website looks, what updates are being done, new features being offered, what their pricing structure is, etc. This can only be done by visiting their website, either manually or using a bot.

Just the way you keep an eye on your competitors, they also do the same to you. When you crawl their website frequently, using the same IP, not really purchasing anything, they tend to know who they are dealing with and eventually block access to their website or as mentioned at the beginning, you can be fed false information.

This is done by monitoring your IP address; the heat trail that you leave on the website eventually leads to your competition blacklisting your IP address.

How does a proxy help?

Now, this is the situation where a proxy or proxies come in handy. You can use the proxy to mask your original IP and spoof your location, providing you with great stealth and the opportunity to grab all the data you want. To your competition, what looks like just random people accessing their website would actually be you, gathering key information to use as part of your own marketing strategy.

It is always good to look for a reliable proxy provider like Limeproxies, with a pool of thousands of proxies that can go up to $1/proxy depending on the plan you select. With a strong proxy in place, you do not have to worry about getting shunt by your competitors.

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About the author

Rachael Chapman

A Complete Gamer and a Tech Geek. Brings out all her thoughts and Love in Writing Techie Blogs.

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