13 competitor analysis tools to spy on your competition (2023)

Let’s talk about a subject that’s honestly a bit uncomfortable to some marketers.

Competition.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in–marketing is a game of competing for the attention of your audience. With so many marketing channels available today, that competition is oftentimes fierce.

Think about it.

Competition for traffic, ad placement, followers and sales. The list goes on and on. And while the idea of conducting competitive analysis isn’t particularly “fun,” it’s absolutely necessary.

Why Competitor Analysis Tools Are a Must-Have

The good news, though? There are a ton of competitor analysis tools out there to help you quickly and efficiently assess how you stack up against your top competitors.

And with the right tools on deck, you can spend less effort trying to dig dirt on your competitors and more time actually marketing.

Rather than spending too much time trying to spy on your competitors, why not let some smart tools do the legwork for you?

We’ve broken down a comprehensive list of competitor analysis tools that’ll help you do exactly that:

  • Competitor analysis tools for social media
  • Competitor analysis tools for SEO
  • Competitor analysis tools for content
  • Competitor analysis tools for email, ads and industries

1. Sprout Social

With social media ranked the No. 1 channel for connecting with customers, there’s no better starting point for competitive analysis.

Sprout Social enables you to understand competitor performance on social media from multiple angles and data points.

You can use Sprout’s suite of competitive reports to assess and optimize your social strategy with rich data points you can track across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Whether you want to get a sneak peek at what your competitors are posting or benchmark your growth against the average of the profiles being compared, it’s all a click away, minus the tedious manual research and messy spreadsheets.

Up your analytics game with Sprout’s Premium Analytics tool that offers deeper insights into your social platforms, along with interactive charts and graphs that you can customize to align with your goals.

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Sprout offers the same competitive analytics on Instagram too.

(Video) Competitor Analysis Framework: The 5-Step Guide You MUST Follow

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And you can dive even deeper using Sprout’s Advanced Listening tool.

By tapping into publicly available social conversations, you can quickly find out how consumers feel about your competitors’ products and services, as well as examine your own share of voice in your industry.

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With direct access to consumer sentiment, Sprout makes it easy to identify opportunities to differentiate your brand from competitors.

2. Phlanx

This Instagram engagement calculator clues you in on how active any given account’s followers are. This is an awesome resource to analyze your competitor’s Instagram presence. Plus, it doubles as a way to figure out whether or not an influencer has a legitimate following.

Phlanx’s engagement ratio is calculated based on the number of followers an account has versus the rate that followers interact with content (likes, comments, etc).

For example,Trader Joeshas an engagement rate of 2.56%. This is a fair score for a larger brand that posts on a consistent basis.

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But compare that to the likes ofDenny’s, well known for their cult-like social following and rabid fans:

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This score isn’t the be-all, end-all of a brand’s Instagram presence, but it does offer some much-needed perspective.

Take Adidas, one of the most followed accounts out there, for example. They do get an insane amount of engagement on their posts, but it’s low relative to their massive follower count.

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This speaks to a bigger point about competitive analysis on social media. Context matters. It’s easy to get caught up in follower counts, but engagement is arguably a much more important metric.

3. Social Blade

A fun tool for checking out bigger brands is Social Blade. It assesses follower counts on the likes of Twitter, Instagram and YouTube among other services. Although often used to assess the popularity of celebrities and YouTubers, there are some interesting insights here for marketers.

For example, their Twitter competitor analysis applies a “grade” based on their average number of retweets and likes.

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Perhaps most notably, Social Blade provides a day-by-day follower update as well as a live follower count.

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Another cool feature is the ability to stack brands’ social presences against each other.

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Competitor Analysis Tools for SEO

4. SEMRush

SEMRush is one of the most widely-used SEO tools on the market, but its competitor analysis features set them apart from the pack. For starters, you can use SEMRush to pull your competitor’s backlinks and monitor changes in their ranking.

Here’s a sample dashboard after running a domain analysis forFreeCodeCamp:

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And here’s the piece of the analysis which provides a by-the-numbers view of who’s competing for their keywords:

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This is an invaluable tool for understanding who your competition is from a strictly SEO perspective. Likewise, highlighting what keywords are targeted by competitors directly influences your own content strategy.

5. Ahrefs

Another staple competitor analysis tool for SEO is Ahrefs’site explorer, whichallows you to check any URL’s top organic keywords. Additionally, you get a rough estimate of how much traffic a competitor receives on those keywords.

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It’s easy to check out a site’s highest-performing content based on backlinks (as opposed to shares) too. This information teaches you what sort of products or messaging is working best for a brand.

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And in addition to highest-performing content, you assess what keywords bring in the most traffic to a competing site.

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The takeaway here? Your competition’s traffic doesn’t have to be a guessing game when you’re regularly running your own reports.

6. MozBar

This browser extension from Moz provides a surface-level view of how authoritative a site is in the eyes of Google. Based on Moz’s own metric ofdomain authority(DA), MozBar assigns sites a DA score based on its likelihood to rank in search engines (based on factors such as backlinks). The higher the DA score, the better.

Settled atop your browser, the MozBar is a useful tool to quickly determine a site’s search potential performance at a glance.

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When enabled, you also see how competing sites compare in a Google query.

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MozBar allows you to conduct a sort of passive competitive analysis as you examine competing sites to figure out how long they’ve been around and whether or not they’re winning backlinks.

Competitor Analysis Tools for Content

7. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo allows you to look at the top-performing content for relevant topics for your brandand specific competitors. The tool looks at a piece of content’s engagement on social sites as well as its total shares across the web.

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Not only does this clue you in on who’s killing it in terms of industry content, but also it helps you identify potentially hot topics to explore yourself.

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Whether you’re looking for movers and shakers in your industry or simply a new idea for a blog post, Buzzsumo provides you with definitive answers.

8.Similarweb

Similarweb is an insanely comprehensive tool for both content and SEO. The tools helps you dig deep into your competitor’s content and where their traffic comes from.

For example, you can determine a site’s referral traffic and likewise where a site ends up sending its visitors.

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And more importantly, for content marketers, you see what topics visitors search for and what other relevant sites they visit.

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9. Feedly

If you’re looking for a way to keep an eye on a competitor’s content without checking up on their blog constantly, look no further than Feedly.

Feedly is a content aggregator that stores and organizes content as it’s published, including that of your competitors. This allows you to see hot topics covered by your competitors, all on one page.

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Competitor Analysis Tools for Emails, Ads and Industries

10. Mailcharts

Email marketing is arguably one of the most tedious channels for competitive analysis.

Recognizing this, Mailcharts aggregates emails from competing campaigns to help influence your own. In addition to grabbing subject lines, Mailcharts pulls data such as send frequency and compares it to your business’ campaigns to see where your emails stand.

Additionally, the tool compares your campaigns to their own massive library of marketing emails to ensure you’re in tune with best practices (think: timing, frequency, subject line length, etc).

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Not only is Mailcharts a powerful competitor analysis tool, but its website offers a ton of email examplesto draw inspiration. Pulling from some of the biggest campaigns out there, you get a better idea of what today’s top-performing emailslook like.

11. Owletter

This tool automatically aggregates emails from competitors and organizes them into a simple, user-friendly dashboard. Owletter’s analytics spots changes in your competitors’ email frequency, and likewise picks up on trends to help you optimize when you should send your own emails.

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This representsan efficient, data-driven alternative to keeping up a dummy email account to spy on your competitors.

12. iSpionage

If you’re interested in a competitor’s paid ads, iSpionage is definitely for you. This tool analyzes multiple aspects of PPC campaigns, including how many keywords a brand is targeting on AdWords:

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Additionally, you see what their target PPC keywords.

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You also see who else competes for PPC ads for a particular topic, in addition to how much they’re projected monthly budget is:

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For brands considering PPC, such a tool is essential for keeping realistic expectations for ad spend.

13. Owler

Last but not least, this industry analysis tool uses community data to curate data and content from startups relevant to your niche. Again another tool reserved for bigger brands, you input brands to create your own custom dashboard of industry names to watch.

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And that wraps up our list!

Quick Tips for Conducting Competitive Analysis

While each of these tools can effectively help you analyze your competitors, you also need to keep in mind what happensafter you run the numbers. Below is a sort of “final word” on how to make the most of any competitive intelligence strategy.

Analyze Your Actual Competitors

There’s no use in trying to punch above your weight. A local coffee shop with 1,000 followers shouldn’t beat themselves up because they don’t have as many followers as Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.

As noted earlier, context matters. Sure, take a look at what the big players in your industry are doing. But when assessing your competition, focus first on those who are the most similar in terms of size and target audience.

Focus on Metrics First

When looking at competitors, it’s tempting to obsess over messaging.

However, it’s more prudent to take a data-driven approach to analysis first. Try to pick out as many metrics before trying to break down the “why” of their marketing.

For example, how often do your competitors post new content? What’s the ratio of promotional versus non-promotional posts? What are their top-performing keywords and hashtags?

The answers to these questions are arguably as important as understanding someone’s messaging.

Turn Analysis into Action

Finally, make sure the data you uncover translates into some sort of action.

Maybe you uncover a new set of keywords to target in your content based on your research. Perhaps you haven’t been pushing your content nearly hard enough based on how active your competitors are.

Either way, the end game of competitive analysis is to improve your own marketing strategy. The more information you glean from competitors, the better.

Which Competitor Analysis Tools Are You Using?

Competitive analysis is a crucial component of fine-tuning your marketing strategy. By using the right set of tools, you can run your analysis quickly and actually spend more time focusing on your own efforts.

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So, how often do you spy on your competition? Any tools that you consider essential to conducting competitive analysis? Let us know in the comments below.

FAQs

How can I spy on my competitors? ›

Here's how to get started spying on your competition:
  1. Use social listening to monitor your competitors. Close up Woman hand Using a Smart Phone with blank screen at coffee shop. ...
  2. Use tools to monitor your competitors' web traffic, performance and SEO strategy. ...
  3. Monitor and understand your competitors' social media strategy.
22 Mar 2019

How do you investigate your competitors? ›

  1. 10 Tips on How to Research Your Competitors.
  2. Become a customer. ...
  3. Where to find your competitors. ...
  4. Utilise social media. ...
  5. Go further than a Google search. ...
  6. Talk to your competitors customers. ...
  7. Talk to your customers. ...
  8. Attend industry conferences and events.

How can I spy on competitors on Google ads for free? ›

The best PPC tools to help you spy on your competitors
  1. Auction Insights via Google Ads Campaign. The Auction Insights tool allows you to see other domains entering the same Google ad auctions at the campaign, ad group, and keyword level. ...
  2. SimilarWeb. ...
  3. Ahrefs. ...
  4. SEMRush. ...
  5. iSpionage. ...
  6. SpyFu. ...
  7. KeywordSpy.
28 Jan 2021

How do you measure competitors performance? ›

Competitor Research: 7 Key Metrics to Measure (with Tools)
  1. Monitor Competitors' Rankings.
  2. Monitor Competitors' Social Media Mentions.
  3. Monitor Competitors' Backlinks.
  4. Monitor Competitors' On-Page Changes.
  5. Monitor Competitors' Unhappy Clients.
  6. Monitor Their Customers' Questions.
  7. Monitor Competitors' PPC Advertising.
30 Sept 2021

How do you collect competitors data? ›

Here are six steps to getting started on competitive research:
  1. Identify main competitors. ...
  2. Analyze competitors' online presence. ...
  3. Gather information. ...
  4. Track your findings. ...
  5. Check online reviews. ...
  6. Identify areas for improvement. ...
  7. Tools for competitive research.
25 Feb 2019

Is spying on competitors illegal? ›

Key Takeaways. Industrial espionage is the illegal and unethical theft of business trade secrets for use by a competitor to achieve a competitive advantage. It is often done by an insider or an employee who gains employment for the express purpose of spying and stealing information for a competitor.

What is KeywordSpy? ›

KeywordSpy is a keyword tool and software for performing keyword research & tracking activities. New York, New York, United States. www.keywordspy.com.

Is it ethical to spy on your competitors? ›

Don't call them pretending to be a client, or the representative of a client, in order to attain information about their pricing and to access materials they would not share with a competitor. It's dishonest, fraudulent and, in many cases, against the law.

How do you find your competitors target audience? ›

7 Ways to Determine Your Target Audience
  1. Analyze Your Customer Base and Carry Out Client Interviews. ...
  2. Conduct Market Research and Identify Industry Trends. ...
  3. Analyze Competitors. ...
  4. Create Personas. ...
  5. Define Who Your Target Audience Isn't. ...
  6. Continuously Revise. ...
  7. Use Google Analytics.

How do I find my competitors for free? ›

Free Competitor Analysis Tools: 15 Top Picks in 2021
  1. Google Trends. Find when and where your competitor is being mentioned on the web in real time using Google Trends.
  2. Social Mention. ...
  3. SimilarWeb. ...
  4. BuzzSumo. ...
  5. SpyFu. ...
  6. Crayon. ...
  7. Ubersuggest. ...
  8. SEMrush.

What is SWOT analysis of competitors? ›

What Is SWOT Analysis? SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis is a framework used to evaluate a company's competitive position and to develop strategic planning. SWOT analysis assesses internal and external factors, as well as current and future potential.

What are two tips to examine competitors? ›

Here are 10 tips from entrepreneurs and small business owners on how you can start gathering information on your competitors.
  • Go beyond a google search. ...
  • Do some reporting. ...
  • Tap the social network. ...
  • Ask your customers. ...
  • Attend a conference. ...
  • Check in with your suppliers.
11 May 2011

What is a competitive analysis grid? ›

Definition (1): A competitive analysis grid is a tool for organizing the information a firm collects about its competitors to see how it stacks up against its competitors provides ideas for markets to pursue, and, perhaps most importantly, identifies its primary sources of competitive advantage.

How accurate is SpyFu? ›

Over time, we've made many improvements including the example about taking shopping, video and other results into account. Realistically, these days, you can expect our roll-up estimates like Ad Budget and SEO clicks to be accurate about 90% of the time.

How can I see what keywords your competitors are using? ›

1. Google Keyword Planner Tool
  1. Select “search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category”
  2. Enter your competitor's URL and click “get ideas”
  3. Review the list of competitor keywords.
13 Mar 2019

Is SpyFu legit? ›

SpyFu is one of the best known names in the SEO game due to a deep feature set, excellent reporting, and solid support for digital marketing and advertising. While it might be a bit complex for novices, it remains an excellent pick for Editors' Choice. PCMag editors select and review products independently.

What is a competition Matrix? ›

A competitive matrix is a way to visualize your competitor analysis. There are different kinds of competitive matrices you can use to compare yourself to your competitors. You can use a competitive matrix to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats to your company.

What are competitor metrics? ›

Competitive metrics, which you can see in columns in Google Ads, will help you gain insight into your competitive position. You will observe how often your ads display in comparison with sellers advertising for the same keywords or targeting.

How do marketers identify and analyze competition? ›

This presentation is based on Brand positioning which refers to “target consumer's” reason to buy your brand in preference to others. This presentation is based on Brand positioning which refers to “target consumer's” reason to buy your brand in preference to others.

What are the types of espionage? ›

Pages in category "Types of espionage"
  • Clandestine cell system.
  • Counterintelligence.
  • Counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism organizations.
  • Counterintelligence failures.
  • Cyber espionage.
  • Cyber spying.
  • Cyber spying on universities.

Do companies spy on other companies? ›

Corporate spies can run legitimate offices and are usually hired by firms to spy on other firms. If business is slow, a corporate spy may pick a company without being hired and then collect information to sell to interested bidders.

Is competitive Analysis illegal? ›

So, based on the law, competitive intelligence is completely legal. Depending on the means in which you gather the intelligence impacts the ethics behind it. Gathering information by not disclosing who you are to a competitor or by lying would be considered unethical, but it's not illegal.

Is competitive intelligence legal? ›

Key points. Competitive intelligence is a legal business practice, as opposed to industrial espionage, which is illegal. The focus is on the external business environment. There is a process involved in gathering information, converting it into intelligence and then using it in decision making.

Is competitor research illegal? ›

1. Trying to get information from current or former employees of your competitors. If someone from your company reaches out to a competitor's employee to gain information that's not publicly accessible, that's both unethical and illegal.

How do you do consumer analysis? ›

Here are the first basic steps you should take.
  1. Segment your customers. No two customers are alike, and they all interact with your brand in unique ways. ...
  2. Identify their needs. ...
  3. Determine how your brand meets those needs. ...
  4. Apply your analysis.

How do you identify market potential? ›

Here are some tactics to help you identify your target market:
  1. Analyze your offerings. Ask yourself what problems your products and services solve, and, in turn, to whom they appeal. ...
  2. Conduct market research. ...
  3. Create customer profiles and market segments. ...
  4. Assess the competition.
30 Apr 2019

How do you analyze an audience? ›

Tips for Analyzing an Audience
  1. Define target audience. In most audiences there will be a mix of opinions about any topic. ...
  2. Research. At times, a presenter may be able to learn about their audience by researching in the library or on the internet. ...
  3. Survey. ...
  4. Interview. ...
  5. Reminders so nice they need mentioning twice:

Which tool would you use to track your competition on Facebook? ›

Sprout Social

It helps you understand the performance of your competitors on Facebook from multiple angles. The tool tracks important social metrics across Facebook and compares them against your profile.

How do you analyze a competitor website? ›

Bring your website online with Jimdo.
  1. Evaluate your competitors' website content.
  2. Pay close attention to their brand.
  3. Find out what website tools they're using.
  4. Monitor competitors on social media.
  5. Look at their pricing page.
  6. Get a picture of their SEO strategy and traffic.
  7. Become a customer.
2 Jul 2019

Which data provides competitor information? ›

Competitor analysis evaluates competing companies, products, and marketing strategies. Data used in competitor analysis includes insights from company technographics to performance data and beyond. Done properly, the analysis gives companies data to back their business decisions.

What is the best SEO tool for competitor site analysis? ›

Best SEO Competitive Analysis Tools (and How to Use Them)
  • Ahrefs.
  • SEMrush.
  • Page Optimizer Pro.
1 Dec 2021

What is the best SEO tool for competitor site analysis? ›

Best SEO Competitive Analysis Tools (and How to Use Them)
  • Ahrefs.
  • SEMrush.
  • Page Optimizer Pro.
1 Dec 2021

Which analysis tool is used for Analysing company's resources and competitive position? ›

CORE CONCEPT: SWOT analysis is a simple but powerful tool for sizing up a company's resource capabilities and deficiencies, its market opportunities, and the external threats to its future well-being.

What tools are used to assist executives in examining direct competitors? ›

Comprehensive Competitor Analysis Tools
  • SEMRush. SEMRush is a comprehensive competitor research tool that provide insights and data on your competitors' strategies in SEO, paid search, social and content marketing. ...
  • Serpstat. ...
  • Owler. ...
  • Kompyte. ...
  • SimilarWeb. ...
  • Ahrefs.
10 Jan 2019

How do you Analyse competitors website? ›

  1. Evaluate your competitors' website content. ...
  2. Pay close attention to their brand. ...
  3. Find out what website tools they're using. ...
  4. Monitor competitors on social media. ...
  5. Look at their pricing page. ...
  6. Get a picture of their SEO strategy and traffic. ...
  7. Become a customer.
2 Jul 2019

Which of the following online tools can be used for competitor analysis? ›

1. SEMRush. SEMRush is undoubtedly one of the most widely-used SEO tools on the market, but its competitor analysis features set it apart from the pack. For beginners, you can use this tool to pull your competitor's backlinks and monitor changes in their ranking.

Which sites helps in competitor research? ›

Ubersuggest, SEMrush, AHrefs, Moz, and Buzzsumo are some of the most popular competitor analysis tools.

What is the most frequently used tools for company analysis? ›

Excel. Microsoft Excel is the most common tool used for manipulating spreadsheets and building analyses. With decades of development behind it, Excel can support almost any standard analytics workflow and is extendable through its native programming language, Visual Basic.

What is a SWOT and PESTLE analysis? ›

SWOT and PESTLE are strategy frameworks used to analyze a company's financial health and competitive advantages or disadvantages. These strategy tools were created to analyze internal and external forces affecting a company or industry.

What is the best tool in conducting strategic analysis discuss? ›

The 8 best Strategic Analysis tools:
  • Gap Analysis.
  • VRIO Analysis.
  • Four Corners Analysis.
  • Value Chain Analysis.
  • SWOT Analysis.
  • Strategy Evaluation.
  • Porter's 5 Forces.
  • PESTEL Analysis.
15 Jun 2022

How do you find your competitors target audience? ›

7 Ways to Determine Your Target Audience
  1. Analyze Your Customer Base and Carry Out Client Interviews. ...
  2. Conduct Market Research and Identify Industry Trends. ...
  3. Analyze Competitors. ...
  4. Create Personas. ...
  5. Define Who Your Target Audience Isn't. ...
  6. Continuously Revise. ...
  7. Use Google Analytics.

Can you see competitors on Google Analytics? ›

No, Google Analytics does not track if your users visit your competitor's websites after visiting your website. Google Analytics shows only your website's bounce rate and click-through rate. However, you can compare your results with a competitor using other third-party tools like SemRush.

Which tool would you use to track your competition on Facebook? ›

Sprout Social

It helps you understand the performance of your competitors on Facebook from multiple angles. The tool tracks important social metrics across Facebook and compares them against your profile.

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