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Question: What’s the best source of information for conducting a competitor analysis?

Answer: Your competitors!

Some of the best information you can incorporate into your research process for a competitive analysis is the information directly from the competitors themselves. Knowing how they are talking about their products or services, how they approach the market, and what they consider their own value propositions are some of the most critical data points to consider.

And the best part is, they tell you all about it, right on their websites!

This article is meant to help you understand what the best places within their websites are to monitor for great intel. The top sections of their websites to keep track of are:

  1. Pricing
  2. Investor Relations
  3. Press
  4. Developer Blog or Product Release Notes
  5. Social Media
  6. Product or Service Pages
  7. Company Blog

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Pricing

The first thing to monitor on competitor websites, and probably the answer you already had at the top of your list, is pricing. One of the easiest aspects, and most important, to compare between yourself and your top competitors is pricing of products or services.

What do you do for those competitors that don’t publish pricing? I’d suggest you take it one step further and set alerts, ideally through a competitive intelligence platform, which searches across the web for mentions of competitor pricing.

Read this example of how we did just that for a competitor of ours that doesn’t publish pricing on their website.

Investor Relations

The investor relations section of most websites contains hidden gems of information. It is here where your competitors will be doing their best to provide investors the information they’d need to decide to invest in that company.

This means providing details on company financial performance, future plans, and business strategies. A thorough competitor analysis should always include a review of these pages for your top competitors.

Investor relations pages of the past may have provided the bare minimum, but today many websites have full and robust microsites built out to cover investor relations information. These microsites often include:

  • Company story and investment proposition
  • Press Releases
  • Earnings Calls
  • Investor Presentations
  • Stock Charts
  • Regulatory Filings
  • Financials

In between analysis cycles, having a tool that monitors for changes in the investor relations section of your competitor’s websites can alert you the minute there is a change you should be aware of, so you can act immediately.


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Press

While some websites may choose to incorporate this under the investor relations section of their hierarchy, many companies still elect to keep press releases, or mentions of themselves in the press in a separate area.

Press releases offer major insights on future plans, the announcements of major partnerships or product launches, and potential changes in strategy. Understanding where your competitors are going is a huge part of your competitor analysis process.

Make sure to stay on top of any press releases your competitor’s release as soon as you can. Manually checking each company’s press section on a daily basis can become arduous (and they actually may be slow to even update their own website with press releases), so having a tool that also monitors news sources for mentions of their name will help give you the information on a more timely basis.

Developer Blog or Product Release Notes

If your competitors have software products in particular, they may maintain a product release or developer blogs letting their community know of feature releases and new enhancements to the product. 

This is a treasure trove of information for you to know the direction a specific product is moving in and if your competitor releases features that suddenly change the game. This information will be especially useful in keeping sales battlecards up to date with accurate comparison information for sales to use.

Social Media

Monitoring an organization’s social media accounts (while not part of their website) is incredibly important. It will be your fastest route to the “newest” public information. If there are big announcements or important things happening for an organization, they’ll definitely be shouting it from their social platforms.


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Product or Service Pages

You likely won’t see much change on the primary product and/or service pages of a competitor website, but it is still good to keep an eye on them. Usually, marketing puts a lot of effort into getting these pages just right and so they stay pretty static.

But monitoring them will help you catch if there are major changes to messaging around a product or they update their value proposition around a specific offering.

Company Blog

Staying on top of the content that a competitor releases is a bit lower down the list than some of the rest of these items because it may or may not be helpful in your competitor analysis. In today’s age of content marketing, most companies are regularly producing content and publishing it through their blog.

Much of this content, if executed correctly, will be helpful in nature for prospects, but may or may not give you a glimpse into their corporate strategy. It will probably give you a great feel for who they believe their primary audience to be, and some articles may be more directly about what it looks like to work with them.

In general, you should keep an eye on the content they produce but don’t expect every piece to provide you value. Decide based on a cursory overview if it requires deeper inspection and monitoring.

Final Thoughts

Monitoring your competitor’s websites is incredibly important in keeping your competitor analysis up to date. 

Rather than thinking about competitor analysis as a single point in time event, you should view it as an ongoing process. So simply checking all these pages manually is likely not going to be a sustainable strategy for staying on top of updates. To get started, check out some of these great free tools that can help you improve your automated monitoring.

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