You can learn a great deal from competitor analysis. And while that doesn’t mean you should be obsessed with them – we certainly encourage focusing on yourself – it doesn’t hurt to check in every now and then.
So let’s talk about the kinds of tools you need to have in your box to get ahead.
SEO and Ranking Tools
Searchmetrics isn’t just one tool. Oh no. It’s a full suite of incredibly powerful digital tools. There’s a free taster available but to unlock its potential there are a number of paid options to choose from. One of these tools is the SEO visibility score that shows how well a particular domain is ranking. Feel like analysing? You can also keep an eye on your competitors too.
Backlink Analysis Tools
You want to know everything there is to know about your links? This tool emails you once your account is set up with news regarding new links, lost links, weekly domain changes and, best of all (for this article, at least) new links to your competitors’ website.
This bad boy has a variety of different tools under its belt to help you keep an eye on backlinks, including determining link age, an industry and country breakdown and a detailed overview. It works from as little as 90 days too. The free account is detailed enough but a full range costs $49.95.
Need to keep an eye on what content your competitors are producing? Buzzsumo is a free tool (for the basic version) that allows you to search for content by keyword or by typing in a competitor’s URL. You can filter down by the type of content, the number of shares it has across different social media sites, and the publish date. You can also check the trending section for information on different industries.
This news aggregator site lets you customise the types of sites that you want to follow so you can stay up to date on the content they are putting out. You can organise by industry, client, competitor and by trend, and the browser extension lets you add new sites at the touch of the button. There is a paid version but the free one will tick things for you just nicely.
Recognise the name? That’s because this tool is also owned by Amazon, and it takes a look at sites and then ranks them based on their traffic volume. It also shows the number of daily page views per visitor, time spent on site, bounce rate and visitor demographics. The tool costs $79 a month but there is a seven day trial.
Social Media Tools
Social media is where it’s at nowadays, so not only do you need to be posting regularly on your own accounts, you need to be looking into what your competitors are up to as well. Brandwatch Analytics monitors more than 85 million websites with detailed searches, rules, categorisation and alerts, this platform can be customised to suit you.
There are specific channels for Facebook and Twitter – arguably the most popular platforms out there – that let you monitor the output of your competitors. It lets you track any and all mentions of other companies, stay up to date with their content and news stories they are mentioned in. Track entire conversations that are happening about you and your competitors, see how people are talking about brands and discover new potential business opportunities.
This tool allows you to see where on the web your competitors are showing their adverts, what they look like and, most importantly for your own analysis, how effective those ads are in their locations. It comes with a hefty price tag, with prices starting from $299 per month, but what this gets you is campaign data from the 150,000 top performing display publishers.
For a peek at your top PPC competitors, look this way as you will get to see their AdWords strategy and what they are spending each month. For a PPC Manager, that kind of information can be invaluable. For $29 per month you can have access to seven years of SEO and PPC keyword data.
Media Monitoring Tools
Agility PR Solutions provides media monitoring services that ensure you’re never in the dark when it comes to exactly how and where your competitors are earning media coverage, what they’re saying and what’s being said about them. With their tools, you get to know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, things you need to know if you want to take advantage. Whether they do it for you or help you do it yourself, Agility PR Solutions gives you what you need to stay on top of your competitors’ moves.