Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.” That is absolutely true when it comes to your SEO, PPC and content marketing strategies. If you want to achieve truly great rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to know where your competitors stand in the SEO realm and the efforts they are currently putting into their SEO and digital marketing efforts.
Fortunately, there are a wealth of tools that can do the nitty-gritty research work of competitor analysis for you, simply by entering competitor URLs or keywords you want to rank for. The tools below are the top platforms for digital competitor analysis. These tools will help you learn everything you need to know about your competitors.
The 15 Best Competitor Analysis Tools
While Ahrefs is most widely known for its expertise on the SEO blog element of the platform, it has a proprietary Keywords Explorer tool that is one of the best out there. The Keywords Explorer tool approaches keyword research by doing a “top pages” analysis, identifying dozens or hundreds of keywords that are relevant to a blog or article’s topic rather than just certain keywords.
Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer tool also flexes some strong SEO muscle with a huge toolbox of specific competitor research tools. In this mega-toolbox you’ll find keyword information and data on CPC, traffic gained, average SERP position (currently and historically), keyword suggestion, and search result volume.
To learn more about Ahrefs and pricing, visit their website.
Marketers love Alexa because it gives you the equivalent of logging onto your competitor’s Google Analytics account, at a modestly higher level. It provides an estimation for your competitor’s various rankings for keywords and search terms. Alexa also provides you with the top search engine queries that are actively bringing visitors to their websites.
You can also see a list of other websites linking to competitor sites. You can view their website’s traffic volume, bounce rate, high-level demographic information, and more. You can also view the analytics Alexa provides to your website to compare with what your GA account shows you.
To learn more about Alexa and pricing, visit their website.
BuiltWith has a wealth of capabilities that allow you to learn about what your competitors are doing in the digital space. It gives you the ability to create a list of competitor websites. You can then see the technology their website is using, the platform it is built on, and any integrated marketing platforms they are using, such as the customer relationship management (CRM) tool they use.
BuiltWith enables you to see their monthly website marketing spend, website technology use, and more. You can benefit from knowing what your competitors are using to make sure that you are doing at least as much, ideally more, than they are as far as flexing your digital muscle.
To learn more about BuiltWith and pricing, visit their website.
This is a popular tracking tool that focuses specifically on social media networks, but it still helps with SEO research by analyzing content share-ability and the volume of backlinks built. It helps you find the content or content topics for various competitors that were shared the most or engaged with the most. For any search term you enter into the platform, BuzzSumo gives you the total number of shares for links related to that search term. This is very important knowledge for any content marketer to have. It tells you what articles, topics, and types of content are being shared the most, giving you a concrete idea of what content you should be writing about. It also shows you social metrics like engagements and shares.
BuzzSumo also gives you the ability to compare the content strategy of multiple websites side by side. You can then breakdown content shares by specific types such as general article, list, infographic, how-to article, video, and then provides an overview of share metrics for all articles. From there, you can break down a ranked list of what content on each site you enter is shared most. Powerful stuff, isn’t it?
Marketers love BuzzSumo because it doesn’t just do very intricate competitor analysis, it will help dig up potential competitors that you might not even be aware are out there.
To learn more about BuzzSumo and pricing, visit their website.
This platform primarily focuses on competitor research regarding AdWords campaigns and keywords. You have the power to find profitable keywords by viewing statistics on the PPC keywords your competitors are bidding on. You can also see the volume of PPC keywords they are bidding on, average position each ad is shown in, click volume from AdWords each month, and monthly PPC budget for every competitor you research. iSpionage utilizes a proprietary Keywords Effectiveness Index that helps you find profitable keywords that have the highest search volume, while also assessing cost per keyword, and adds those high-performing keywords to your campaign.
You can also use iSpionage to gain a comprehensive list of keywords your competitors are bidding on in AdWords. The extensive list shows you specific ad copy, average rank for each ad, number of days each ad has been showing, and first and last seen date for each ad. You can also view the landing page(s) associated with each ad displayed for specific keyword groups. This information helps you find keywords that are generating the most traffic to incorporate into your SEO or paid strategy.
To learn more about iSpionage and its pricing model, visit their website.
6. Keyword Competitor
This all-in-one tool does competitor analysis with a focus on keywords. It shows you keywords that your competitors are focused on, bidding on in AdWords, using within their internal content, incorporating into their blog, and more.
Seeing what keywords your competitors are using can be helpful when establishing your website and blog content marketing strategy, SEO and paid ad buy strategies. It can also uncover keywords that you may have been missing, give you content ideas for high-ranking keywords, and fuel ideas for traffic-driving long-tail keywords you can start incorporating into the content on your website, boosting your on-page SEO.
To learn more about Keyword Competitor and pricing, visit their website.
Moz boasts the fact that its competitor analysis tool helps you steal your competitor’s website traffic. It does a deep dig when researching keywords, links, spam scores, and more. MOZ uncovers the keywords you should be targeting, topics your blog and page content should be covering, places that are prime for you to gain quality backlinks to your site, and so much more.
Marketers love Moz because of the depth of its research. They also like it because it doesn’t just analyze your known competitors by the URLs you manually enter, it researches and determines who are your actual SEO competitors. The platform also outlines what you should be doing and need to be doing online to beat your competition for the best rankings on SERPs.
Moz also is notorious for its Link Explorer tool that gives you complete link information and data for any website. This tool offers a lot of megaphone and gives you things like domain authority for both pages and the overall domain. You can also find broken inbound links to your own site, check the spam score of all the websites linking to yours, find link-building opportunities, and see what pages on your site have the most inbound links and are performing best.
To learn more about Moz and pricing, visit their website.
Quantcast utilized Artificial Intelligence (AI) and specializes as the leader in audience analysis. It is touted as an Alexa alternative that gives highly-detail information on any website’s audience demographics. It provides insight like geographic location, lifestyle information, interests, and basic demographics like age.
Understanding the audience base of your competitors can help you get a better idea of the demographics they are resonating with. It can also provide you with insight into key demographics that you may be missing with your digital efforts.
To learn more about Quantcast and pricing, visit their website.
If you have a blog for your business, QuickSprout is the tool for you when it comes to competitor analysis. If you want your blog to succeed as an industry-leading blog, you will need to know what kind of traffic your competitors are getting to set the bar for your own success.
QuickSprout enables you to analyze sites similar to yours to see how they are performing so that you can work to outrank them in key searches or for keywords. You will have the power to see key indicators like estimated traffic score, social networks, SEO score, site speed, and social sharing metrics
To learn more about QuickSprout and pricing, visit their website.
10. Raven Tools
Raven Tools is an entire suite of tools for competitor analysis. These tools offer an in-depth analysis of metrics like keywords, domain authority, page speed, traffic volume, backlinks, social media data, and more. Raven Tools also has a very granular backlink analysis tool that shines because it analyzes
Established backlinks for your competitors’ websites, identifying external sites that would be a good fit to get additional backlinks for your own site.
Raven Tools is unique because it has a suite of tools that also aggregate data from other established platforms like Moz, Majestic, Google, and Bing. It also provides a complete SEO audit for both your competitors and your own website, with the ability to white label the report.
To learn more about Raven Tools and pricing, visit their website.
One of the most difficult aspects of a true competitor analysis is collecting all that data only to wind up unsure about how to use it. SEMrush gives you the power to establish actionable insights that you can actively use in the development and execution of your brand’s content marketing and digital strategies.
SEMrush is beneficial to use because it is a highly versatile platform when it comes to conducting competitive research, actually integrating that research into your brand’s marketing campaigns, and so much more. SEMrush gives you access to a full-scale competitor research audit. It also helps your site by doing keyword research, a full site audit, and conducts backlink analysis (of course, it does these for your competitors as well during the competitor research audit).
To learn more about SEMrush and pricing, visit their website.
Serpstat prides itself on being a “growth hacking” tool for content marketing, SEO analysis, and PPC analysis for competitive research. The platform offers detailed keyword research, SERP historical data for keywords, backlink analysis, rank tracking, It also offers a full site audit of competitors as well as your site, giving you a side-by-side comparison of how you measure up.
To learn more about Serpstat and pricing, visit their website.
Ever wanted to know how many unique visitors your competitors’ websites are nabbing each month? Enter SimilarWeb. This competitive analysis tool gives you the power to dig deeply into any website, platform, or app.
You can access complete traffic stats from more or more competing websites. You can also see an overview of where that traffic is coming from. Is it from SEO? Referrals? Social Media? Direct Traffic? SimilarWeb really allows you to dig into your competitors’ traffic and get a better picture of how they are succeeding in gaining that traffic, helping you know what is working for them and what isn’t.
To learn more about SimilarWeb and pricing, visit their website.
Peek behind the door to reveal the search marketing formulas that your competitors are using and seeing success from. You can get a complete look at their Google rankings, the keywords they are bidding on in AdWords currently, and see any ads they have bought in the past 5+ years.
This competitor analysis tool also shows the organic keywords they are ranking for as part of their SEO strategy.
To learn more about SpyFu and pricing, visit their website.
15. WordStream’s Keyword Tool
Most marketers know of WordStream as a leader in AdWords analysis. Instead of searching on a specific keyword, WordStream’s Keyword Tool enables you to find a range of competitive keyword data on any competitor website simply by plugging their URL into the search bar. WordStream one of four key metrics the research provides for keywords: Google Search Volume, CPC, Competition, and the Opportunity Score.
This platform’s keyword research is unique because it provides a proprietary Opportunity Score for each discovered keyword. The opportunity score is a rank on a scale of 1-10 that shows marketers which keywords have the most opportunity for ranking results and to gain SEO traffic from those keywords.
WordStream’s Keyword Tool is always free. To learn more about WordStream’s Keyword Tool and other tools offered by WordStream such as the AdsGrade, visit their website.
Conclusion: Use the Right Tools to Beat Your Competitors Online
Spying on your competitors isn’t just beneficial to your digital marketing and SEO efforts, it can also just plain be fun! Taking the time to do a holistic digital competitor analysis can reap you an unimaginable amount of beneficial insight. You can learn exactly what your competitors are doing digitally such as what keywords they are bidding on, what search terms are bringing traffic to their website, what keywords they use internally on their own site, the verbiage of the ads they are running, the technology platforms their websites use, and so much more. Remember, no matter their pricing structure, most of these platforms offer some type of free trial so you can get a better feel of which one works best for your specific needs. So, why not take the day or a few days and become the Sherlock Holmes of digitally analyzing your competitors?