RSS feeds have made it easy to monitor and track news stories, blog posts and certain websites for important updates. But not every site has an RSS feed that you can track, nor does every change made constitute an RSS update.

In the world of online marketing, tracking changes to competitor, client and industry related websites can not only help you stay current on important issues, but can also help you gather additional competitive intelligence data simply and easily. RSS is great, but it's not everywhere. For tracking what you can't with RSS, we have developed the CodeMonitor Page Tracking tool.

While your reasons for wanting to track pages may vary, here are a few common reasons that don't always lend themselves to RSS.

Competitor Tracking
Tracking even minor changes to your competitor websites. You want to know whenever a competitor adds a new product, reduces prices, or even makes changes that are designed to improve their search engine rankings. Changes in their title and meta description tags as well as on-page content can all provide you important business intelligence.

Industry Updates
When respected web developers make new tools available to the public, you want to know about it. Or you want to keep updated when informational sites add industry relevant articles or links to other important industry related information. Infrequent monitoring can often put you at a competitive disadvantage.

Client Changes
If you are a firm that provides online marketing services you need to keep an eye on all your clients. Even the smallest changes made, without your knowledge, can be devastating to both rankings and conversion performance.

If you are the client, you want to know whenever your search marketing firm makes changes to your own site, no matter how small. You know that their changes can effect your public image so you need to stay on top of what changes are actually being made to your website.

Without sounding too much like a commercial, if you want to track pages for any of the reasons above, you really ought to give CodeMonitor a try. Here is a quick rundown of the benefits:

  • Tracks page changes. This included code changes such as title and description tags as well as on page content. SEO changes, pricing changes, product additions would all be included.
  • Provides multiple comparison views. You can see the changes in html code view, text only view, or visible (browser) view.
  • No hunting for the changes. In each view changes between the old and the new versions are highlighted for you.
  • Track any and as many pages as you want.
  • 24-hour updates. If any change is made to any page you are tracking you'll receive an email first thing in the morning notifying you.
  • Completely web based so there is no program to install.

Let's face it, competitor tracking can give you a competitive advantage and in the world of online marketing every advantage counts. While not every change your competitor makes to your website is meaningful, knowing when and why such changes are made can significantly help you stay ahead of the marketing game.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

December 15, 2006

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Monitoring Competitor Changes and Collecting Business Intelligence Data