January 29th, 2019

3 Secrets to Help Businesses Keep Ahead of Their Competition

Being conscious of your competition has its perks. It can help you get noticed and lead to business opportunities. Then when people recognize you, gaining brand loyalty isn’t really far further. But much needs to be done to stand out as new players emerge, and monitoring them requires tools that show what they are made of. 

As their websites hold a lot of information, it’s well worth to keep an eye on competitors. One way to do that is by examining their domain data. You can check as early as when they register a domain name, indicating that they might be up to something. Even more details can be culled with domain API services.

Here are three secrets on how domain-related knowledge can keep businesses one step ahead in today’s competitive landscape.                                                                                                           

1. Digging into WHOIS Records Uncovers First-Hand Information

Website content does not always reveal relevant details. WHOIS data, and more particularly Whois API, is an instrument that allows getting useful information.

First of all, a new domain name by itself can show that a website or entity has new business plans. Plus, as domain owners register, relevant contact data (email, phone number, etc.) and registration activities (dates, activity history, etc.) are recorded — enabling the tracking of competitors’ history of actions. 

Aside from that, WHOIS data also comes in handy during operations such as e-commerce and website building. An example is when SEO builders check the quality of domains before purchasing them. They can look into the domain’s history, verify if it might be connected to shady activities, or if it shares an IP address with malicious sites.  

2. Track Competitive Content with Screenshot Data Stream

Tracking updates on how competitors’ websites are changing over time can say a lot. But the most relevant messages and deep insights can only be identified by regularly checking each and every site pages. In this case, content changes, explicit or not, will allow you to detect updates in your competitors’ strategies as well as where they have struggled. 

Of course, manually, it may not be easy to scan through pages quickly as it involves a lot of legwork. However, there are tools like domain API services that let you take screenshots without much input required. In turn, a screenshot data stream is refreshed periodically while older screenshots are stored in another location. 

Additionally, with regular screenshot updates, you can also review changes on your own web pages, for example, if you want to oversee third-party maintenance or if someone new in the team wants to get an overview of what your website has looked like over time.

3. A Domain is Legitimate If People Are Listening

How can you know about the social status of your competitors? Observing WHOIS records helps you discover potential competitors in your niche. But oftentimes, to ensure a domain is legitimate, you need to see if audiences are paying attention. Here’s where such instruments as social APIs can help.

Being aware of how many times a brand was mentioned on social media platforms tells a lot about the popularity of a company, how established it is, whether it remains steady despite trends and more. Moreover, supplementing domain monitoring with social listening gives a holistic context to how your competitors are doing and will allow you to hear about new entrants. 

On top of that, you can also do the same for internal analysis. How many times was your brand mentioned on various social platforms? How well is your marketing team working? What can be improved? Are there social media strategies that require changes? Deploying social tools, notably through Whois API, will help get some answers to these questions.

Many business owners fail to stay on top of competitors’ doings. Leveraging domain information, visual recordings, and social instruments and placing these insights into processes can help to remain competitive and innovate.

Jonathan Zhang

Jonathan Zhang is the founder and CEO of JsonWhois — a domain API service provider that enable cybersecurity specialists and other professionals to stay on top of whois data, monitor the historical appearance of websites, and gather social data.