One of the best ways to keep tabs on your website traffic is by analyzing what your competitors are doing right or wrong. Nothing is more insightful in digital marketing than studying your competitor landscape to find out why others are outranking you on search engines.
Below, we have gathered our top 5 favorite competitor analysis tools to help you with your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and website traffic.
Alexa – Yes, it’s the same company by Amazon, but this Alexa is best known for ranking all websites in order of traffic statistics. It lets you benchmark yourself against your competitors by giving you various tools to better understand the marketplace.
Alexa’s main tools include target audience analysis, keyword research, checking backlinks, SEO analysis, and competitive website analysis. By giving you more information about your audience, such as their demographics, education and browsing times, you get an understanding of what you may be doing right or wrong to reach them.
Other data, such as site metrics (monthly page views, monthly unique visits, bounce rates, etc.) will also help you come up with a better content strategy to pull more traffic.
Alexa is free with a limited amount of options but it offers 7-day, 14-day and 30-day free trials for different packages. For website traffic analysis, we recommend the $79/month insight package which lets you do things like identifying content that will perform best on your website, based on aggregated social engagement. It also includes site overview, comparisons, keyword analysis and top sites.
SerpStat – Probably the best all-in-one digital marketing tool that offers the most premium features in its free membership package is SerpStat. As a complete SEO tool, not only does it give you a comprehensive competitor analysis report, but it also provides keyword research, backlink checker, PPC research, rank tracker and a site audit.
You can use SerpStat to get up to 30 queries a day, or enter up to 30 domains a day to get useful competitor info. That is more than enough if you are just starting out in SEO.
Below, you can see a snapshot of a the competitor analysis report for Shopify.com, one of SerpStat’s clients. While the data is limited because it’s a free account, you can still get a ton of useful information without paying a dime.
SpyFu – This is a competitor analysis tool that helps you research and download all your competitors’ most profitable keywords, both paid and organic.
It’s simple. All you have to do is go on the SpyFu website, enter your competitor’s website address and the platform will give you graphs, charts and lists of exact paid and organic keywords your competitors are using to target their customers. The data includes the amount of SEO clicks per month and cost per click they are paying for each keyword.
After one use, the platform does require you to sign up for a free account, and if you need more data, you can sign up for a monthly or yearly membership.
Now, if you want to put more focus on finding content that will perform the best on your website, Buzzsumo is the tool for you. Its main function is to track popular content shared on social networks. You can search by either direct URL or content niche to discover what were the most shared posts or who has produced the most popular content on a specific topic.
SimilarWeb – Top brands use SimilarWeb because it’s so versatile and provides some of most accurate data.
The dashboard on SimilarWeb is also pretty elaborate and useful. It offers a wealth of data broken up into a General View plus Geography, Referring Sites, Search Traffic, Social, Display Advertising, Audience, Similar Sites and Mobile apps.
SimilarWeb is a free platform, but like most other tools, offers more data and features with a paid account. For example, the free version enables comparison of up to 2 websites side by side while the PRO version, gives you a comparison of up to 5 sites.
SimilarWeb PRO is more on the pricier side, with its basic package starting at $199/month, which shows 6 months of data and 50 results per website metric.
So Is a Competitor Analysis Tool Worth It?
In the end, you may ask yourself, is a competitor analysis tool really worth the time, effort and resources?
Our answer to that is YES, for sure. If you are serious about actually showing up at the top of search engines when people are searching for your products or services, you must know who you are competing against. To do this, you must identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, find gaps in your strategy and benchmark your site.
Knowing what triggers traffic to your competitors’ site versus yours helps pinpoint what you are doing wrong and the opportunities (and keywords) you are missing out on.
Remember, to know yourself and not others, gives you only half the chance at winning. When you know both yourself and your competition, you will always have more leverage to do things differently, better and win.
by Tabasum Lutfi
Lead Digital Strategist at TriVision