Let’s talk about a topic that, let’s be honest, makes marketers a little uncomfortable.
No matter what industry you operate in, marketing is a game in which you must compete for the attention of your audience. With so many marketing channels available today, this competition is only fiercer.
Think about it.
Competition for traffic, ad placements, followers, and sales. The list is endless. And while the idea of performing a competitor analysis isn’t particularly exciting, it’s absolutely necessary. What is Competitive Analysis? How To Do Competitive Analysis? Why is it Important?
Here’s Why Competitor Analysis Tools Are Absolutely Indispensable
What’s the good news about all of this? There are a whole host of competitive analysis tools out there to help you quickly and efficiently assess where you stand against your main rivals.
And with the right tools, you can spend less time trying to find compromising information about your competitors and more time marketing.
Rather than spending too much time trying to spy on your competitors, why not let smart tools do the work for you?
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of competitor analysis tools that will help you do this effectively:
- Competitor analysis tools for social networks
- Competitive Analysis Tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Competitive analysis tools for content
- Competitive Analysis Tools for Email, Ads, and Industries
Competitor analysis tools for social networks
Since social networks are ranked as the #1 channel for interacting with customers, it is undoubtedly the best starting point for analyzing the competition.
Sprout Social lets you know how competitors are performing on social media from multiple angles and data points.
You can use Sprout’s suite of competitive reports to assess and optimize your social media strategy using rich data points you can track across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Whether you want to get an overview of what your competitors are posting or benchmark your growth against the average of the profiles compared, all information is available at the click of a button, eliminating tedious manual research and messy spreadsheets.
Take your analytics to the next level with Sprout’s Premium Analytics tool that brings a more comprehensive view of your social media, plus interactive charts and graphs that you can customize to suit your goals.
Sprout offers the same competitive analysis on Instagram as well.
And you can go even further with Sprout’s Advanced Listening tool.
By using publicly available conversations on social media, you can quickly determine what your customers think of your competitors’ products and services, as well as examine your own share of voice within your industry.
With direct access to customer sentiment, Sprout helps identify opportunities to differentiate your brand from your competition. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Beginners
This Instagram engagement calculator gives you an idea of how active an account’s followers are. This is an amazing resource for analyzing your competition’s presence on Instagram. In addition, it can serve as a means of knowing if an influencer has a legitimate follower base.
The Phlanx engagement ratio is calculated based on the number of followers of an account compared to the level of interaction of these followers with the content (likes, comments, etc.).
For example, Trader Joe’s has an engagement rate of 2.56%. That’s a decent rating for a big brand that posts regularly.
But compare that number to the likes garnered by Denny’s, a brand well known for its ardent followers and die-hard fans:
This note is not the panacea, the omega of a brand’s presence on Instagram, but it does offer a welcome perspective.
Take Adidas, one of the most followed accounts, for example. The brand receives an incredible level of engagement for its posts, but it’s low compared to its huge number of followers.
This allows us to address a major point concerning the analysis of competition on social networks. Context is important. It’s easy to get fooled by the number of followers, but engagement is unquestionably a more important metric. What Is Data Analysis? Methods, Techniques, Types & How To
3. Social Blade
Social Blade is a fun tool for reviewing big brands. It gauges the number of followers from likes on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube among other services. Although it’s often used to gauge the popularity of celebrities and YouTubers, there’s other useful information for marketers here.
For example, its Twitter competition analysis applies a “score” based on the average number of retweets and likes.
In particular, Social Blade provides a daily follower count update as well as a real-time count.
Another cool feature is the ability to compare various social media presences.
Competitive Analysis Tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEMRush is one of the most widely used SEO tools, but its competitive analysis features really set it apart. For starters, you can use SEMRush to extract your competitors’ backlinks and track their rankings.
Here is an example dashboard after performing a domain analysis for FreeCodeCamp:
And here is the specific analysis that shows an accurate overview of competitors for their keywords:
It’s a valuable tool for understanding who your competitors are from an SEO perspective. In the same way, highlighting which keywords are targeted by competitors directly influences your own content strategy. Analysis Specialist: What Is It? and How to Become One?
Another must-have competitor analysis tool for SEO is Ahref’s Site Explorer, which lets you look at a URL’s top organic keywords. Also, you get a rough estimate of how much traffic a competitor is getting from those keywords.
It’s easy to see a site’s top-performing content based on backlinks (as opposed to shares) as well. This information teaches you what types of products or messages work best for a brand.
And, in addition to high-performing content, you assess which keywords drive the most traffic to a competing site.
What should be remembered here? Your competitor’s traffic isn’t based on guesswork when you regularly run your own reports.
This browser extension from Moz provides a surface view of a site’s authority level in the eyes of Google. Based on Moz’s own Domain Authority (DA) metrics, MozBar assigns sites a DA score based on how likely it is to rank on search engines (based on factors such as backlinks). The higher the DA score, the better.
Placed at the top of your browser, the MozBar is a useful tool for quickly determining a site’s potential search performance at a glance.
When enabled, you will also see a comparison of competitor sites in a Google query.
MozBar lets you perform a kind of passive competition analysis when you examine competing sites to determine how long they’ve been around and whether or not they’re getting backlinks.
Competitive analysis tools for content
Buzzsumo allows you to watch the top-performing content for the topics most relevant to your brand and specific competitors. This tool looks at a portion of content engagement on social media as well as its total share on the web.
Not only does it tell you who is doing well when it comes to industry content, but it also helps you potentially identify trending topics to explore on your own.
Whether you’re looking for influencers within your industry or just new ideas for blog posts, Buzzsumo has the definitive answers.
Similarweb is an incredibly comprehensive tool for both content and SEO. The tools help you dig deep into your competitors’ content and understand where their traffic is coming from.
For example, you can determine a site’s referral traffic but also find out where a site ends up sending its visitors.
And even more important for content marketers, you see what topics visitors are searching for and what other relevant sites they visit. What is Activation Analysis?
If you’re looking for a way to keep tabs on a competitor’s content without constantly checking their blog, look no further than Feedly.
Feedly is a content aggregator that stores and organizes content as it is published, including that of your competitors. It allows you to see trending topics that your competitors are discussing on a single page.
Competitive Analysis Tools for Email, Ads, and Industries
Email marketing is arguably one of the most tedious channels for competitive analysis.
Recognizing this fact, Mailcharts aggregates emails from competing campaigns to influence your own. In addition to capturing email subject lines, Mailcharts pulls in data like send frequency and compares it to your company’s campaigns to see where your emails are ranking.
Plus, the tool compares your campaigns against its own huge library of email marketing to make sure you’re following best practices (think: timing, frequency, subject line length, etc.).
Not only is Mailcharts a powerful competitor analysis tool, but its website also offers a bunch of sample emails for inspiration. By tapping into the biggest campaigns out there, you get a better idea of what top-performing emails look like.
This tool automatically aggregates competitor emails and organizes them in a simple and user-friendly dashboard. Owletter’s analytics detect changes in how often your competitors send emails and similarly use trends to help you optimize when you should send your own emails. emails.
This represents an effective and data-driven alternative to maintaining a fake email account to spy on your competitors.
If you’re interested in a competitor’s paid ads, iSpionage is for you. This tool analyzes several aspects of PPC (cost per click) ads, including the number of keywords a brand is targeting on AdWords:
Plus, you see what their target PPC keywords are.
You also need to see who the competitors are for PPC ads for a particular topic, in addition to knowing their projected monthly budget:
For brands considering PPC, a tool like this is key to keeping ad spend expectations realistic.
Last but not least, this industry analytics tool uses community data to curate data and content from startups relevant to your niche. With this other top-brand-only tool, you enter brands to create your own personalized dashboard of industry names to watch.
And that concludes our list!
Some tips for conducting a competitor analysis
While each of these tools can effectively help you analyze your competitors, you also need to keep in mind what happens after you review the numbers. Below is a “final word” on how to get the most out of any competitor analysis tool.
Analyze your real competitors
It is useless to look too high. A neighborhood cafe with 1,000 followers shouldn’t blame itself for not having as many followers as Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.
As noted above, context is important. Of course, watch what the behemoths in your industry are doing. But when evaluating your competition, focus first on those that are most similar to you in terms of size and target audience.
Focus on measurements first
When looking at competitors, it’s tempting to focus on messaging.
Still, it’s safer to take a data-first analysis approach. Try to select as many metrics as possible before trying to explain the “why” of their marketing.
For example, how often do your competitors post new content? What is the ratio of promotional posts to non-promotional posts? What are their top-performing keywords and hashtags?
The answers to these questions are certainly as important as understanding someone’s message.
Turn insights into action
Finally, make sure that the data you uncover turns into the action of some kind.
Maybe you discovered a set of keywords to target in your content based on your research. Maybe you haven’t pushed your content far enough based on your competitors’ activity.
Either way, the purpose of competitor analysis is to improve your own marketing strategy. The more competitor information you get, the better.
What competitive analysis tools do you use?
Competitive analysis is an essential part of a well-crafted marketing strategy. By using the right set of tools, you can get your analysis done quickly and spend a lot more time focusing on your own efforts.
So how often do you spy on your competitors? Are there any tools that you consider essential for conducting your competitive analysis? Tell us in the comments below.