Did you know that there are currently 1.24 billion websites in the world? To say that it’s hard to stand out from such massive competition and attract visitors would be an understatement. No wonder that many website owners believe that all their efforts are in vain and that reaching the first page of the SERPs is next thing to impossible. Luckily, there are some sneaky tools that can help you gain a competitive advantage by spying on your competitors and using their own weapons to outrank them.
Check our latest post: Website Analysis SEO Tools for 2018
Know thy enemy
First things first. In order to beat your competitors, you need to identify them and see what you’re up against. Without this step, all your other efforts will be shots in the dark, so make sure to do your homework properly. There are three types of competition: direct, indirect, and alternative. Obviously, what you should be focused on is your direct competition, as those are the websites that can easily steal your thunder and push you down the ranking ladder. Google Trends is the best starting point for your research. This website will fill you in on what searches, topics or videos are trending at the moment, and give you a clue about what your target audience is interested in and which websites are grabbing their attention. Another cool tool that you can take advantage of is Google Alerts. Simply pick the topic that’s within your area of interest, set an alert, and you’ll receive notifications whenever fresh content on the subject has been published.
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This popular tool allows you to track both your own and your competitors’ global traffic, as well as to obtain a valuable insight into any website’s ranking both in the U.S. and worldwide. Although it doesn’t provide as many details as some of the latest high-end tools, Alexa is still a goldmine of information, and it will tell you which keywords are driving the most organic traffic to the website, list top search engine queries, as well as give you data about visitor demographics. With this web analytics tool, you’ll be able to pinpoint what your competitors are doing better and improve your SEO.
Having all the data that your analytics tools collect and analyze in one place, and being able to access this data real-time, as well as compare and turn it into detailed and easily understandable reports, can do wonders for your productivity. This tool lets you create an intuitive digital marketing dashboard and integrate it with all the analytics tools that you’re using, including Google Analytics, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and many others to easily track your content marketing performance, social media efforts, or SEO KPIs. Last but not least, Reportz will speed up otherwise time-consuming tasks of compiling reports for your clients.
Conveniently named, this tool spies on your competitors’ keywords both organic and those they’re buying in AdWords, thus giving you a glimpse into their overall strategy. Once you type in the domain name for one of your competitors’ websites, SpyFu will show you their keywords, paid ads, as well as their organic rankings for the past 10 years. With such insider information, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and study their successful marketing strategies in order to improve your own.
Open Site Explorer
We all know how important high-quality backlinks are. To be more precise, Backlinko analyzed more than 1 million Google search results, and they concluded that the number of domains linking to a page affected rankings more than any other factor. Open Site Explorer is an excellent and user-friendly tool for monitoring your competitors’ backlinks, analyzing anchor text, and identifying top pages. All these details will help you improve your link-building strategies and find link-building opportunities. Since the authority of any website heavily relies on how unique, relevant, and fresh its content is, it’s only logical that producing such content is a must. This tool helps you identify your competitors’ top performing content, understand what they’re doing right, and finally implement (or steal) their best ideas.
Although Google doesn’t explicitly take social media into consideration when it ranks websites, this portion of the traffic still contributes to your SERP position. Namely, the links you publish on social media send important signals to search engines about the relevance and quality of your content. That’s why social metrics shouldn’t be put aside. Simply Measured gathers and analyzes raw data for social metrics, and you can see your competitors’ performance when it comes to their branding, trending, traffic, and conversions. Browse through detailed analytics for each social media channel and reveal their vital stats such as audience engagement, the number of followers, or response rates.
If you want to eavesdrop on your competitors and see where and how often they’re mentioned in blogs, videos, and social media, this is the right tool. You can track keyword and company mentions, and compare the results across various channels.
Browsing through your competitors’ websites requires a lot of time if you want to dig deeper and find out the secret of their success. When you’re in a hurry, use Instapaper and simply save the web pages you want to read and analyze. You can later access these pages on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, even if you’re offline. In case that you come across a blog post that you like, you can bookmark it, add your own comments, or highlight interesting sections to easily find them.
Here’s another tool that will help you find out what the best performing keywords are. You can track both organic and PPC keywords, and even obtain the information how much your competitors spend on both these search categories. Apart from that, iSpionage will show you the most effective ad copy and help you understand what makes it so catchy and attention-grabbing. Although Google is by far the most popular search engine as it controls 65% of search, it’s still a good idea to boost your rankings on other engines, which is why this tool monitors and analyzes how your competitors are doing on Bing which controls one-third of the share.
No matter how fierce your competition is, with an arsenal of reliable website competitive analytics tools, you can give your search engine rankings a significant boost.
Author: Nate Vickery is a marketing consultant and an online author mostly focused on startup and SMB digital marketing efforts. He is also the executive editor at Bizzmark Blog and an author on The Next Web.