One important aspect of a marketer’s job it to keep an eye on what the competition is doing, and in a digital environment the task is certainly more challenging. With hundreds of new websites being launched every day, marketers are quite unsure of emerging competition unless they start ranking on their targeted keywords in search results. Another problem that marketers face in extracting information like, what keywords their competitors are targeting, how much traffic they are getting and who is linking back to their websites, is little knowledge of available tools to get accurate analysis in relatively short amount of time.
In this article I’ll discuss some useful tools for marketers to get an idea of their competitor’s search engine strategy and how much traffic they are getting and through which sources paid or organic and if the traffic is organic what keywords they are actually targeting and ranking on. Similarly, analyzing backlinks will identify sources as to where you competitors are getting the links form and how efficient is their SEO strategy. Following are important tools you can surely take advantage of when spying on your competitors.
The very first step in achieving competitive intelligence is to identify your top competitors. However, it is not always obvious as to who your actual competitors are because they may differ on the basis of channels or targeted keywords. Keyword Spy offer organic competitor report free of cost which identifies your online competitor against a certain keyword. This is simple to use and highly efficient which not only helps you identify your competitors that you are not aware of, but evaluates how these competitors differ around different keywords.
SEMRush is a great tool to assess website search engine traffic on the basis of keyword traffic and ranking. It is free to use and allow 5 uses per day with limited information. However, the provided data is quite helpful for marketers to get a clearer picture of their competitor standings. The tool identifies top 5 organic and paid keywords that drive traffic in comparison with the search volume of the selected country and estimates the traffic that keyword contribute to the website. A graph on the left indicates the total search engine traffic and analyze if the website is getting popular or not.
Just like SEMRush, Ahrefs offers few daily reports for free which gives a clear idea of your competitor backlinks and anchor text; however, you can always go for a paid plan in order to get extensive information. The tool allows you to check all the anchor text your competitors are using to get the links back to their website. You can assess their link building process and account the number of backlinks being added every day. With detailed data on site backlinks you can actually monitor if the site links are increasing or decreasing.
Open Site Explorer
Evaluating the link profile of competitors is a good indicator of different keywords a website may be targeting. For instance if a certain website has a lesser link authority in comparison with its competitors it would not make sense to target highly competitive keywords, as it would be difficult to rank for. Open Site Explorer does a great job in identifying most powerful backlinks and understands the competitive landscape through authority signal standpoint. The tool helps you identify websites that are linking back to your competitor’s site to find potential link partners that provide a great authority value.
Site Comparison is one of the best tools for on-page site comparison. It compares various on-page elements of two separate URLs including body text with content to code ratio, keyword density, headlines, meta tags, internal and external links. It will help you analyze what on-page elements your competitor has better optimized for a target keyword so you can make necessary adjustments.