10 Competitor Analysis Tools You Need to Know

Tom
March 31, 2021 ・ 11 min read

Competitor analysis and tools to perform it are an important, but often overlooked area of business. Even if the process seems dull and all but adrenaline-pumping, it’s the outcome that can give tremendous value. Here’s what it’s all about.

The wisdom of keep your friends close and your enemies closer goes beyond Sun Tzu’s thoughts on war strategy. It’s a school of thought that resonates in business and marketing alike.

Some may wonder is keeping an eye on your competitors a bad thing and the answer is: absolutely not!  

It’s the right thing to do for every business that thinks strategically. Competitor analysis and relevant tools have nothing to do with spying or eavesdropping.

Competitive analysis is 100% legal and relies on publicly available data. Competitor analysis tools make the process quick and effortless.

Having an in-depth insight into various areas of business and marketing efforts of your competitors has plenty of benefits for your business. Competitive analysis will help you:

  • Understand how to differentiate your product and stand out in the market
  • Win over your competitors’ customers
  • Discover your audience interests
  • Spot link building opportunities
  • Improve your content strategy
  • Track ad campaigns of your competitors
  • Avoid losses
  • Discover keyword opportunities
  • Predict your competitors moves
  • Spot emerging threats
  • Identify  gaps
  • Asses the performance of your business
  • Identify market opportunities

There’s plenty of business areas that can be analyzed online. Social media presence, marketing campaigns, brand awareness, sentiment, SEO performance, paid ads, backlinks, or PR activities.

Competitive analysis can be a piece of cake, given you have the right set of tools to spy on your competition.

The 10 best competitor analysis tools

Competitive analysis is an all-encompassing project. You can track different KPIs, starting with social media presence, through brand awareness, ending with SEO metrics, such as domain score and keywords rankings.

Competition can make or break your brand. The more you know about your industry, the better decisions you can make. That’s why before you get into any marketing activities or product development, you need to conduct competitor research.

We present a wide range of tools — from tools that will help you monitor your online presence, through SEO efforts, to end with social media competitors tools.

In this blog post, we present 10 competitor analysis tools that can help you look into those areas and gain competitive edge over your competitors: 

  1. Brand24
  2. Similar Web
  3. SEMrush
  4. Siteliner
  5. Rank Signals
  6. Spyfu
  7. Buzzsumo
  8. Alexa
  9. Hootsuite
  10. Owletter

Brand24

One area of business these days we all compete in is the presence in online media. As faintly as it sounds, it can be reduced to a few aspects: 

  • Online sentiment around a business, its product, service, or anything else
  • Share of voice in their industry
  • Volume of mentions in online media 
  • Social media reach of content talking about a business 
  • Engagement around content mentioning a brand
  • Most influential authors chatting about brands
  • Customer feedback

In this context, Brand24 is one of the best competitor analysis tools for the job.

It’s an online media monitoring tool you can use to track web and social media mentions of predefined keywords, that are relevant to your competitors. More than that, the tools offers extensive analytics to put this data into perspective.

If you try it for free, it’s good to start tracking competitors using the following keywords:

  • Their company name
  • Their product name
  • Their service name
  • Hashtag they use
  • The name of marketing campaign
  • Their CEO’s name 
  • Any keyword which is relevant to your industry

With an online media monitoring tool, you’re able to track:

  • What their customers talk about them online?
  • Are there any influential sources that mention them?
  • Are they getting a lot of negative and positive customer feedback?
  • What are their customers’ requests?
  • What are their product pain-points?
  • Do they struggle with some fuc*ups?
  • What are their newest product improvements?
  • How often their company, product, or hashtag get mentioned online?
  • What is the social media reach of these mentions?
  • How fast, and it at all, their recent marketing campaign spreads?
  • What sources mention them most frequently?
  • Are they getting a lot of engagement (likes, comments, shares)?

This kind of insight is a source of powerful knowledge you can operate on, and use to fill the market need your competitors are missing out on.

Here are some examples:

  • By monitoring influential sources that mention your competitors, you discover blogs, websites or authors that are likely to get interested in your business.
  • You see that the customers of your competitor complain online about something. It so happens that your business is way better at it. In such a case, you need to reach out to the disappointed customers of your competitor and show what you have to offer.
  • Your competitor launched a hashtag marketing campaign promoting something new. You monitor it and see how it spreads and what’s the response of their audience.

First of all, to collect social mentions about your competitors, you need to create a project and enter relevant keywords.

Then, you’ll see the Summary tab which contains the most important pieces of data regarding your competition:

  • The most popular mentions
  • Latest mentions.
  • Numerical summary of your project: the number of mentions, social and non-social reach, interactions, positive and negative mentions.
  • The most influential profiles and websites mentioning your competitor.
  • Graphs showing the number of mentions and their social media reach.
dashboard of brand24, competitor analysis tool

The most important information is in the Analysis tab. Check it out, it’s completely free.

Conduct competitor research! Try it for free!

Similar Web

One of the best competitor analysis tools our there is Similar Web.

Similar Web is a go-to tool for search traffic analysis and much more in paid version. With its help, you can gain the following competitive intelligence:

  • Volume of traffic: with this knowledge, you can estimate market share of your competitors, at least when it comes to website traffic
  • Sources of traffic: this knowledge can tell you quantities in which your competitors acquire traffic between paid acquisition, referral, and organic traffic. 
  • Ad display: what ads and where they display them

To compare the performance of your website to your competitor’s, enter your site address first:

A screenshot from SimilarWeb – one of competitor analysis tool

Next, provide your competitor’s web address:

An image from SimilarWeb showing adding competitors for comparison – one of competitor analysis tools

In the free version of the tool, you can see global rank, country rank and category rank:

An image from Similar Web showing website ranking – one of competitor analysis tools

Also, the free version of Similar Web offers traffic overview:

An image from Similar Web showing traffic overview – one of competitor analysis tools

And site traffic sources:

An image of Similar Web showing traffic sources – one of competitor analysis tools

These are features you can investigate using the free version of Similar Web.

On the basis of traffic source, you can see the differences between you and your competitors. For example, if you see that your competitor performs well in organic traffic, you can concentrate your efforts on social traffic.

How?

By addressing your audience’s needs and creating highly shareable content.

At the same time, it’ll boost your referral traffic, grow brand awareness, and build your expert authority. In the long run, it’ll also improve your SEO reputation as Google bot likes content that engages readers.

The pro version of Similar Web offers much more in competitor analysis:

  • Referrals
  • Social
  • Display
  • Content
  • Audience
  • Competitors
  • Mobile apps

SEMrush

You say SEO tools, you think SEMrush.

SEMrush is another great keyword tool you can use for competitor analysis, particularly if you want to compete for users in Google search engine. 

Search engine optimization is a fundamental part of marketing efforts. It’s because the quality of your website’s content and its technical performance determines how visible your website in search engines for potential customers is. It’s an arms race to win organic users and organically promote your brand.

SEMrush is the right tool to screen the SEO performance of your competitors, for example:

  • Traffic
  • Organic keywords they rank for
  • Backlinks they acquire
  • New and lost keywords
  • External links to their website
  • Increases and decreases in rankings
  • Best performing sites 
  • Paid keywords
  • Keyword trends
  • And much more!
  • Sources of traffic 

Similarly, it’s a perfect tool to look after your search engine performance, too.

One of the most valuable pieces of data about your competitor you can get from SEMrush are top organic keywords. This is where you can see the keywords your competitor ranks for particular URL’s.

dashboard of Semrush, competitor analysis tool

In backlinks, you can see all sites that link to your competitor’s site:

dashboard of Semrush, competitor analysis tool

How you can use this knowledge?

For example, you can reach out to websites linking to your competitor with a message asking to mention your website, too. Backlinks give massive boost to SEO and increase visibility.

Moreover, the data can inform your SEO strategy. Based on insights and recommendations made by SEMrush you can develop a keyword planner to plan your content distribution. You will be able to build a robust domain that ranks high in any browser. That’s a competitive advantage you can’t pass on.

You can try SEMrush for free.

Siteliner

We cannot talk about competitor analysis tools without mentioning Siteliner. The tool offers a more technical insight into the performance of your competitor’s website. Technicalities influence a website’s ranking. 

Using Siteliner, you can discover weaknesses in website performance of your competitors, for example, broken links, both external and internal.

With this kind of data, you can, for example link to your competition broken links.

Linking hugely influences browser rankings and without links to your content, you won’t be able to rank high in Google well.

The free version of Siteliner allows analyzing up to 250 pages within one domain.

dashboard of Siteliner, competitor analysis tool

Rank Signals

It’s another SEO piece of software that helps you analyze your competitors’ content marketing strategy and draw actionable insights.

Using Rank Signals, you can track your competitors backlinks. This will give you an idea of sources that link to your competitor and boost your competitor’s Google ranking.

dashboard of Rank Signals, competitor analysis tool

Rank signals shows you title and URL, link anchor text and URL.

Backlinks add up to your website’s reputation in Google’s eyes. Also, it’s absolutely crucial that sites linking to your site are of good quality. It’s quality over quantity scenario here.

You can try Rank Signals for free.

Spyfu

Competition expands beyond organic traffic and online presence.

One of ways to acquire search engine traffic is to use GoogleAds and buy yourself exposure. Similarly to organic traffic, competition here is based on keywords. In this case, however, you pay for to display your advertising in top search results, or in other places in Google. 

dashboard of Spyfu, competitor analysis tool

Spyfu is one of the competitor analysis tools you can use to gain insight into paid traffic of your competitors.

The tool lets you see what paid keywords your competitors rank for currently, and ranked in the past. 

With Spyfu, you can do much more:

  • Recognize threats 
  • Track your competitors’ changes in ad spending
  • See what keywords you buy and your competitors don’t 
  • See suggestions for keyword groups
  • Sort keywords by cost per click to discover quick wins
  • Aaaand more!

Buzzsumo

When it comes to competitor analysis in social media and content shares, Buzzsumo is your go-to tool here. It’s a social media analytics tool that handles influencer marketing, content marketing, or PR.

With its help, you can discover how social shares of your competitors perform: which networks, who shares their content, and how your content compares against theirs.

dashboard of Buzzsumo, competitor analysis tool

Highly shareable content in social media has a few advantages:

  • It increases brand awareness and helps it spread
  • It’s a signal for Google that the content is valuable because sparks interest among readers and encourage them to share the value with others

At the same time, Buzzsumo is a sort of a media monitoring tool, because you can get alerts every time your competitor is mentioned online.

Alexa

Alexa is a SEO and competitive intelligence software.

The tool consists of a few modules: Keyword Research, Competitive Website Analysis, SEO Analysis, and Target Audience Analysis.

What’s really important here is Target Audience Analysis. You can use it to discover the audience of your competitors and, at the same time, understand the competitive landscape you’re entering. Target Audience Analysis is a source of demographic data which comes useful on numerous occasions: customer persona, content strategy, pid traffic targeting, and more.

dashboard of Alexa, competitor analysis tool

Apart than that, you can:

  • Discover new competitors
  • Benchmark your site against your competitors: compare your website popularity, traffic sources, and engagement metrics
  • Discover the share of voice of your competitors for particular keywords
  • Discover SEO opportunities

You can give Alexa a free try.

Hootsuite

It’s one of the most respected and recognized social media analytics tools in the game. It can help you track the performance of business’ profiles on 35 social media platforms.

Using Hootsuite, you can precisely keep track of social media activities of your competitors.

dashboard of Hootsuite, competitor analysis tool

This is how you can see how they engage their communities, what type of content they post, if they run any contests, and how their marketing campaigns resonate with their audience.

Also, you can keep track of specific keywords and hashtags to be even better informed.

You can test Hootsuite in 30 days for free.

Owletter

Owletter is a competitor analysis tool you can use to discover and understand email marketing activities of your competitors.

Owletter gets insights from email messages your competitors send you. Here’s what you can learn about email marketing of your competitors:

  • SPAM reputation
  • Do they follow a specific schedule
  • Changes in frequency
  • Trends developing over time
  • Topics they contain
dashboard of Owletter, competitor analysis tool

With this kind of knowledge will help you come up with your own email marketing plan that it doesn’t overlap with your competitors.

You can test Owletter in 14 days for free.

How to track your competitors?

Finding the right set of tools is not enough to succeed. To implement the insights into your company, you need a robust competitor analysis plan.

That’s why it is so important to take a few steps back and focus on what you want to achieve first.

Why are you conducting competitors research in the first place.

If you are just entering the market and looking for your place in the competitive landscape, competitor research will give you data on positioning, marketing, and product development. You will have a clear overview of what you have to do, to become an industry leader within your market.

The process can bring valuable recommendations for companies with established position on the market. You will spot any emerging threats and will know what is going on within your business niche.

Social media competitor analysis

Social media is a goldmine of data when it comes to your industry and other brands. Social media competitor analysis tools should be a part of your marketing tool stack.

It’s tempting to focus on keyword data and build your SEO rankings, but if your competitors are social media savvy, your clients will expect the same type of content from you. It’s vital to track your competitors social media profiles regularly.

What competitor analysis tool should you choose?

There is no one size fits all solution. Competitive analysis will bring you data about your rivals. That data will help your business become an industry leader on many different fields, including:

  • search rankings and keyword rankings
  • display advertising
  • overall business strategy
  • market share
  • and much more.

Competitive analysis is a must-have these days. Whether you want to become one of the industry leaders, increase market share, or just check your competitive landscape, I strongly suggest using one of the tools to make the process easier and more effective!