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5 tools to use for competitor analysis

Jason Roy

Competitor analysis is an extremely important aspect of formulating a solid and effective online marketing strategy. Whether your goal is to drive more traffic to your website, rank higher in the search engine results pages, or increase conversion rates on your landing pages, reverse engineering and spying what makes your competitors so successful can be the key to success.

We have already discussed the basics of competitor analysis in another blog post. If you are completely new to this, please read that blog post first and then come back to this.

In this blog post, we highlight a few different tools and software that you can use to start analyzing your competitors, their websites, and the strategies that have been working for them.

And there’s a surprise bonus addition at the end.

Let’s begin.

1. SpyFu

SpyFu is a wonderful tool for beginners to start analyzing their competitors’ websites, organic traffic strategies, as well as paid search marketing tactics. Moreover, if you do not have a paid SpyFu plan, you can still work it out because SpyFu offers a wealth of information for free.

Just paste the URL of your competitor’s website, and let SpyFu does the rest of the magic.

Here is a screenshot of how SpyFu’s free report looks like.

Following are a few things that you could learn from running a competitor URL through SpyFu and the free report that you get:

  • Take a look at the total number of organic keywords that your competitor is ranking for. With the help of this figure, you can have a better idea about the content marketing strategy your competitor is going for.
  • Also, take a look at the number of paid keywords (if any). That number highlights the total number of keywords your competitor is ranking for by buying search engine positions.
  • If you click on the paid keywords tab, you can see the exact keywords that your competitor is running search engine ads for. If you’re using SpyFu for free, you can see up to 5 keywords. A paid subscription would unlock everything.
  • Similarly, click on the organic keywords tab to reveal the top keywords your competitor is targeting and driving organic traffic from.

  • This list of keywords gives you a direction. You should be targeting these keywords — based on their traffic volume and value to your business — through blog posts, video content, titles, meta descriptions, product pages, etc.

2. SimilarWeb

New businesses and business owners are often curious about knowing the exact traffic that their competitors are getting. It not only helps you formulate a strategy to target those website visitors, but it can also give you an idea of the overall potential of your industry — especially if you are new to it.

Unfortunately, unless you have access to their Google Analytics account (which you just can’t), you cannot have even a rough estimate of their monthly traffic.

The good news for you is that SimilarWeb can solve that problem for you.

It is as accurate as a tool could be with traffic estimation, so you can have a solid idea.

Just paste the URL of the competitor that you want to analyze, and SimilarWeb will show you the information you seek and then some.

A great thing about SimilarWeb is that not only it gives you an estimate of the total monthly traffic your competitor’s website gets, but it also dissects their traffic sources.

The following screenshot shows you multiple traffic sources.

If you see a particular traffic channel being responsible for the majority of your competitor’s traffic, you know where you should start. In our opinion, it is the perfect way to formulate your online marketing strategy instead of blindly throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.

3. Alexa

Alexa markets itself as “your complete web analytics toolkit”. It is a bold claim, no doubt, but it isn’t too far off.

Alexa is arguably one of the most powerful competitor analysis tools on the web, and depending on your needs and requirements, it can offer you a wealth of information.

In fact, you must use it at least once to make sure that your marketing and business strategy isn’t flawed right from the start.

Just pick up a competitor’s website that fulfills the following criteria:

  • It has to be popular, profitable, and well-established. For most businesses, it is the often the biggest name in the industry.
  • It shouldn’t be too different than your own business. In other words, it must share the same audience and groups of customers that you are going to target.

After running the competitor’s URL through Alexa, you would be able to see insights into the site’s visitors and audience.

Take a look at the following screenshot.

With Alexa, you could see whether your competitor attracts more males or females. What is the education status of its audience? From where do they browse? And much more.

Based on this information, you can create — or alter — a content marketing strategy that is especially relevant to that particular group.

Moreover, it doesn’t end here. You can use this information to learn more about your ideal target audience — which will also come very handy when you are later running social media ads, e.g., Facebook ads audience targeting.

4. Siteliner

By now we have covered analyzing competitors for organic keywords, paid keywords, content marketing strategies, website traffic estimation, traffic sources, and audience insights.

We have one more very important aspect that every online business must analyze, i.e., backlinks.

For actual backlink analysis, you can use Ahrefs or MajesticSEO. These tools would help you find the total number of backlinks your competitor has and, to some extent, the sources and strategies. For more information, read the step-by-step guide to analyzing your competitor’s backlinks.

However, here we are talking about something slightly different. We are talking about specifically finding broken links that you could start using right away.

Siteliner is the tool that can help you with it.

Siteliner finds duplicate content, broken links, and much more. For our purposes, the tool can give us a list of broken links a website has — we are specifically interested in broken links that lead to our competitor’s websites.

If you have a more useful and richer piece of content than the dead link leads to, you could get in touch with the website owner and have it replaced by your content.

As a result, you will get a high-quality backlink that your competitor once had.

5. Social Mention

The last piece of the puzzle is the social authority and social presence. In today’s digital marketing world, social media is of paramount importance.

From customer support to sales to brand awareness, pretty much everything happens on social media websites, and it is imperative that you are fully active there.

Social Mention is a tool that provides real-time search on brand mentions — which gives you multiple opportunities to close more leads, stamp your brand’s authority on social platforms, and increase brand awareness.

There is no shortcut here. Use Social Mention to leverage brand mentions and gradually build your social influence. It pays off in the end.

You could also create a blog post, use a social monitoring tool to identify people who already shared, liked, and linked to similar contents, and reach out to them — just like retargeting. Robbie Richard used a similar technique and grew his website traffic by 272% in just a month.

Feelunique.com also use social brand mentions to drive backlinks and saw a 198% increase in website traffic and 41% increase in sales.

Bonus Tool #6: SEOSiteCheckup

Our very own SEOSiteCheckup is a powerful all-in-one tool that enables you to analyze multiple aspects of your website.

Just visit SEOSiteCheckup, create a free account, and setup your account. After that, you can access numerous tools that will help you analyze competitors.

To start you off, our SEO Site Checkup tool lists several competitors while you are setting up your account. In your Dashboard, you can access several useful tools, e.g., backlink analyzer, broken link checker, SEO checkup, website speed test, etc.

More importantly, you can actually put your website up against a competitor and see the results of our analysis side-by-side.

If you scroll down from the basic overview, you will see the full results and step-by-step information. The following screenshot illustrates that.

As you can notice, our tool checks almost everything that can help you beat your competitors and grab the top search engine positions.

With this detailed and insightful competitor analysis report, you can see exactly where your website is lacking and what you need to improve on. Sign up for free now.

Conclusion

A word of advice.

You shouldn’t just pick one of these tools and rely on it.

As you must have noticed, each of these tools covers a different aspect of online marketing and business development. Therefore, you must use all — or at least most of them — simultaneously for the best possible results.

If you have any questions about competitor analysis or our SEO Site Checkup tool, please contact us.

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