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7 Innovative Tools to Spy on Your Competitors

Many people are quick to claim SEO is dead, but statistics say otherwise. Not only is it alive and well, it’s actually on the rise. 54% of marketers said they thought there would be an increase in SEO in 2015, and 96% of marketers say they use search engine marketing (SEM) to provide educational and informational content to their audiences.

You can’t beat them if you don’t know what they’re doing to get ahead of you. Okay, so maybe you could, but it would take a lot more time and effort than if you used tools available to help you spy on your competitors and see what’s going on. Knowing what the competition is doing helps you see what you’re not doing, and what else you can do to get the edge.

#1. Serpstat’s Page Analysis

SerpStat is a competitor analysis tool, to help you get your on-page SEO done faster. The URL to URL comparison lets you compare your page to that of up to two other competitors at a time. Let’s say you have a “Service” page, but you want to make sure yours is better than what’s already out there. Compare the same pages on your competitors’ websites and make sure you are using the same keywords. Essentially, you can find direct competitors on a page by page basis, rather than on domain alone.

SerpStat will provide you with a list of pages in competition with you, and then generate a list of keywords they’re using, but you’re not using. This way, you can add them to your overall strategy and beat the competition. You’ll likely end up with more keywords they’re not using, which will make you the better site in the long run.

SerpStat Analysis Screenshot

Image Source: Youtube – SerpStat

The page analysis tool also allows you to see the pages that are ranking on the second page of Google and beyond, so you can adjust your linking strategy to boost them up through the rankings to get them on the first page.

#2. SpyFu

SpyFu is a tool for keyword and ad monitoring. It lets you see which keywords your competition is targeting, in both organic search and in AdWords.

SpyFu Analysis

Image Source: SpyFu

Once you type in your competitor’s website, you can download an entire list of their keywords. This way, you’ll be able to see which ones you are both targeting, and get some ideas on new ones to target.

#3. SEMRush

SEMRush is a keyword tool that allows you to get information on the organic keywords and rank, ad keywords, and traffic – for free. While there is a paid version of this tool, the information you get comes in a graphic format, which makes it easier to digest, and easier to include in client reports, if you so choose.

Semrush Screenshot

Image Source: SemRush

The pro version will cost you $69.95 a month, but will provide more detailed information.

#4. Similar Web

SimilarWeb is a tool for web rankings. You can get traffic insights for any website on the web. Type in your competitors and you’ll get: global rank, country rank, category rank, and a visual graph of site visitors within the last six months. This information makes it easier to see which leads come from social, search, display ads, referrals, and other methods.

SimilarWeb Screenshot

Image Source: SimilarWeb

You’ll also get suggestions for other websites to search to make sure you cover all of your competition. You’ll pay $99/month for a basic account, $599/month for the advanced account, and $2,999 a month for the enterprise account. An added bonus is you can also see how your mobile app stacks up against the competition with this tool.

#5. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a tool for monitoring backlinks. With it, you can see the top pages, IPs, and external links your competitors have working to their advantage. The free version of this tool allows for three different competitor reports and 10 results.

AhrefsScreenshot

Image Source: ahrefs

Beyond the site explorer, additional tools are available to help you explore positions in the search engine and track them over time, and a crawl report that lets you see websites as Google sees them. This way if you have an issue, you’ll be notified right away and can fix it before it has a chance to wreak havoc on your rankings. With the alerts tool, you’ll never miss another mention or backlink again.

If you want more detailed information, you’ll need to upgrade and pay $79/month, but a free trial is available.

#6. Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO is another tool for backlinks. You can get a link profile for any of your competitors’ websites, with up to thousands of results. You’ll be able to export the file and work with it as you wish – seeing which sites you can also get a link from to boost your own SEO juice.

Majestic Screenshot

Image Source: Majestic SEO

There is a free basic option, but plans range anywhere from $49/month to $399.99/month, with discounts for annual purchases.

#7. Fanpage Karma

Fanpage Karma offers clear reports on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube activity. You’ll learn more about how well you’re doing with your audience, but also see how well you stack up to the competition in terms of engagement, influencers, and more. It’s possible to compare your fan page to a single competitor, or to use the benchmarking tool to generate competitive analysis reports for an unlimited number of profiles. Best of all, the tool is completely free.

Fanpage Karma Screenshot

Image Source: Fanpage Karma

It may feel sleazy to spy on your coompetitors, but in reality, since the information is there for the taking, why not use it to your advantage? No one really knows exactly how the search engine ranking algorithms work, but with experience, we’ve learned several things matter: quality content, backlinks, and even social signals play a role.

With these spy tools, you can make sure your content not only includes the keywords it needs to but is written in such a way that it provides greater value to your audience. You can even check how you compare in terms of social media to make sure you’re always growing, giving your competition a run for their money.

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Daan is a Cloud Computing, Web Security Expert and Blogger for Hire. His current interests include enterprise automation, cloud-based security and solutions.

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