Watching your competition can remove the focus of important items such as sharing advice or taking care of your clients. It may be safer to ignore them.
On the other hand, you can analyze your competition’s websites to gain ideas regarding your own web marketing. While you are unable to see their analytics, many free competitor analysis tools exist to give you quick and important insights.
Below are 14 of the best competitive analysis tools for you to use when comparing your website to the others in a multitude of ways: social media, digital advertising, search optimization, traffic and technology. The list below will contain some overlap, but each has free tools and even more powerful paid versions. Read through the detailed descriptions for more information.
Read about each type of analysis to determine the different aspects of digital marketing and any criteria towards evaluating websites.
Pay Per Click and Digital Advertising
If you are wondering where they are investing their ad budgets, what these ads look like, or the phrases they bid on, you should explore this aspect.
Like organic rankings, you can watch a competitor’s ad spending to gain insight into what could be a great investment for you. If their campaigns are well-organized and enhanced, you can determine which words and phrases could gain traction for your target audience.
Search Engine Rankings and Keyphrase
If you question your competitors’ ranks, battles they win, or if they are truly fighting the same ones as you, explore this part of analytics.
By checking on your competitor’s rank will assist you in giving ideas about content and keyphrases. Without the use of a tool, you would only be able to search for any possible keyphrase.
If your questions deal with whether their sites are more popular than yours, receive more traffic, or if their visitors stay more engaged, check into this feature.
No tools can offer a complete view of their Analytics; however, you can still find ways to gain website traffic estimates. These tools share the big picture, when visitors come, the top line consider the highest traffic gainers, any demographic and behavior data.
Link Popularity and Authority
When you want to know if their website is trustworthy or famous or if their pages seem more likely to rank or if you can target more competitive phrases, you should explore this feature.
This level of SEO competitive analysis remains about links. Sites that contain links from other websites increase their authority and this increases if the sites contain high authority themselves.
The novel metric of authority is Google’s own “PageRank,” but Google does not share this information with anyone. Therefore, these tools can offer proxy metrics. Aside from the numbers, you can use these reports to obtain PR chances. If any media sites or blog mentioned and linked to your competitor, it could be a good site to pitch for yourself.
Link popularity data’s multiple sources
Many tools track lines and offer authority metrics. Each contain its own name for the number, by all measure the same item: the possibility of ranking and a scale of 1-100.
- SEMrush: Domain Score
- Ahrefs: Domain Rating
- MOZ: Domain Authority
- Searchmetrics: Page Strength
- Alexa: Competitive Power
If you wonder what framework the competition builds their site on or what tracking tools they use, consider this aspect.
Most website technology is shockingly visible, and the tools assist in determining what is powering your competitors’ websites and the tools and plugins remain bolted in. It allows for your visibility into the tactics you will likely use and could very well work for you.
If you need to determine which of their articles are shared the most or which social networks is gaining the greatest results and sharing the content, you should follow this aspect.
While social media accounts can be watched, it is tougher to be analyzed. At one look, you will be able to determine the posts that gain audience engagement, but, without these tools, these pictures are unbearable to check without tools.
The perceptions remain quite useful and can include ideas regarding thoughts or views into what to write about, where to remain active, and who could be collaborated with.
Websites: rankings, authority
This has no free version, yet you can receive a 2-week free trial. If you join, you will have access to the biggest databases of keyphrases for any of those analysis tools: four billion keyphrases. This remains a powerful user tool containing multiple features aside from just keyphrase tracking. If you are thinking of targeting a phrase, you can use Ahefs for specific reports containing search volume, competition, projected traffic, and SERP analysis.
Ahrefs gives many reports with tracking keywords and links and they move beyond competitive analysis. For anyone serious about SEOs, these can be powerful tools. When a search is critical for your company, you can use either of these options: 1) the free version with a 14-day trial or 2) the paid version for $82/month.
Website: links, social media
Blog post ideas and social listening need these super popular tools, but they work for competitive research. If you drop into a competitor website, you can check their highest shared posts to any social media network within any time frame. Plus, if you dig deeper, you can see who share it. Buzzsmo will tag if they are bloggers, influencers, and journalists. Also you will be able to see who has linked to it. In a matter of seconds, you will be able to view who is checking in with your competitors and the topics that get the most love. If you use use the free version, you gain the top five results. If you want more, you can gain the paid version for $99/month.
Website: authority, rankings, advertising
With this tool, you can explore deeper analysis quite easily. See which phrases are ranking on page one and determine which are top organic competitors. Plus, it holds a Kombat feature to make these comparisons easiest to compare. It is simple to find any insights with SpyFu.
Aside from keywords, SpyFu tracks PPC advertising and links. It is a complete tool to allow for tracking of both your competitors and yourself. The free version allows for unlimited searches with limited data and the paid version begins at $33/month.
Website: social media, rankings, traffic
Of all traffic estimators, this one is the oldest and most trusted. It ranks sites both globally and nationally through traffic. Also, it adds each website is in a category and assigns a rank.
Their free version remains quick to learn; however, it only portrays the top five ranking keyphrases making it less than perfect for SEO comparisons. On the other hand, it gives you the top referring websites which cannot be found with other tools. The free version gives you 5 results per metric and up to 3 months of traffic data while the paid version places no limit on metrics and their cost can be negotiated.
- Majestic SEO
Website: authority, advertising, rankings
Majestic contains two metrics to indicate the credibility of a domain: “trust flow” and “citation flow.” Citation flow likely contains more relevance and accuracy in many comparisons. If you are lagging behind in citation flow, you can try outreach, guest blogging, and PR. Make sure you have something written that can be worth linking. Their free version places a limit on daily usage and the paid version is $52/month.
Website: rankings, advertising
While you need to create an account for either version, iSpionage does a great job in grouping the phrases together in regard to their corresponding page. It will give you specific trends instead of a long list of phrases making it easier to complete analysis if you are working with a minor amount of high value phrases.
Finding the phrases competitors bid on and how those bids change is easy as well. They do not offer a free version; their plans start at $29/month. They also offer a money back guarantee good for 30 days for any first-time users who do not pass 1,000 downloads.
Website: authority, rankings, social media, advertising
SEMrush allows access of both organic and paid search rankings for all sites, whether mobile or desktop, within any country. You only need to drop the URL in.
Paid users can utilize the advanced filters in order to grab the most important phrases quickly. You can filter out any branded phrases, low ranking phrases, and low volume phrases to assist with this. If you opt for the paid version, it will include site audits, brand tracking, and more. It takes so long to figure everything out that it can almost be viewed as a downside. If you use the free version, you receive the top ten phrases; the paid version costs $99/month.
If you need to learn more about analyzing codes of website, this free and fast analysis tool can show you it all. It can be an overwhelming amount of information Enter a competitor and automatically see which software and systems they are plugged into. Their marketing strategies are accessible to you with these powerful tools.
BuiltWith contains a popular Chrome extension that is free. You only need to add this to your browser and determine what technology stands behind the websites with one click. The free version allows unlimited searches for individual site lookups while the paid version has two options: $295/month allows limited results, but for $495/month you gain Pro with unlimited results.
- MOZ/Open Site Explorer
All kinds of useful reports come from this impressive SEO tool. Open Site Explorer remains quite relevant for competitive analysis. It remains one of the most popular tools for measuring link popularity. For their metric, they utilize “Domain Authority.”
You can use this service easily. All you need to do is add your site and see your Domain Authority. After you explore yourself, add a competitor or you can use “Compare Link Metrics.” Whatever site has the higher authority is likely to rank for more competitive phrases. The free version allows for 3 searches/day while the paid version is $99/month.
Website: traffic, rankings, authority, advertising
Alexa is a well-known competitive metrics and tools regarding website analysis. It provides a number marketers can obsess over. The Alexa Rank contains an estimate of ranking and popularity for every website everywhere. It ranges globally and is in every country.
The paid version holds great tools to allow for sneaking on competitors’ rankings. One of the favored reports remains the “Audience Overlap Tool” and it can share which sites that are your competition then it shares the phrases you compete with. It will put everything on the table.
It is one of the few tools that can predict behavior data such as time on site or bounce rate and demographics likes education levels and gender. People remain crazy for this one. Their free version offers unlimited site info reports and you can try out their full toolset for 7-day free trial. The paid version is $99/month.
Website: social media
While FollowerWonk only analyzes Twitter, it works great for speedy analysis. You can determine where followers are for each account, the times of day the stay active, if their following is influential, etc.
In the “compare users” section, you should be able to measure any overlap for the two accounts. Furthermore, it shows you the growth rates of accounts. Its free version allows for personal use and the paid version is $99/month.
Quantcast’s paid version gives users behaviors, lifestyle data, and demographics about visitors across apps and websites. This is a popular tool in which 15% of the top marketing websites utilize the tracking tag for Quantcast.
On the other hand, the free version won’t give much. It will show traffic estimates, but you need to create an account. From there, you will see estimated traffic levels with any website found on their system. The free version gives basic traffic levels and the paid version is negotiable.
If you know any competitors using display ads, Moat is a quick way to see ads and their creativity, at the same time. Simply enter the brand name and search. It will give you ideas as to what designs and messaging work best for your company. Be sure you look for the more sophisticated brands because they will likely be the ones testing for optimizing and engagement. The free version allows you to see display ads while the paid version gives you impressions, video ads, placement, etc., but you can negotiate the price.
Website: authority, rankings, advertising
It takes little effort to jump in and view top phrases with any site. You will be able to see the top five without an account, but the top ten comes with a free account. With the paid version, you see all. Reports remain incredibly easy to read and contains PPC competitive metrics as well as social media competition. You will gain detailed accounts of trends and the specific pieces of content’s performance. The free version gives you those top five phrases within any domain while the paid version offers more for $69/month.
When to do this kind of competitive analysis
You do not always need to check out the competition, but it is helpful when:
- beginning any web-based business
- redesigning your website project
- twice a year you need to keep track
That’s it. You have fourteen tools to sneak peeks at your competition. Do not look too closely to the competition, but do not miss the opportunity to work towards better decisions.