Everyone has a theme – online rivals, enemies, competition. One of the first questions we often ask our clients is ‘who are some of your biggest competitors’ and you know what – people never say ‘oh, no one’ or ‘we don’t know, we try to focus on ourselves’. No, they all spit off three or four competitors that they want to beat, or that they want to model their digital marketing plans on.
Knowing your competition is a good thing because it means you have somewhere to start, but what do you do once you know your rival? How do you catch up and pass them?
With these 8 competition research tools.
Not only is Buzzsumo an adorable word that makes me think of both bumblebees and sumo wrestlers, but it is a great tool for content creation, finding trending topics by industry, and spying on the competition.
This tool can look at the engagement a particular piece of content is getting on the big social platforms, as well as shares across platforms and all over the web.
We promise, we don’t work for SEMRush and gain nothing for namedropping them. We just mention them in almost all of our tool posts because they are so helpful, easy to use, and detailed.
Additionally, SEMRush has many different tools within its platform, such as content creation or checking tools, keyword researching tools, technical SEO helps, linking strategy information, and – competitor analysis.
You can use this analysis to discover your biggest competitors, see their rankings, backlinks, even the words they are ranking for and probably targeting. Then, you can go to their page, look at how they are using their H1/H2/H3 tags and one-up them. You can go through their meta descriptions too, you sly dog.
Ahrefs Site Explorer lets you see your competitions organic traffic and keywords in a convenient chart. So, if numbers aren’t your first love, this tool is for you. The visual way it lays out the data makes digital espionage easy.
Plus, you might just find some high-volume keywords that your competition is getting traffic from that you never even thought to use.
Similarweb helps both SEO and content endeavors, as you can actually look at your competition’s content, their traffic, as well as where that traffic is coming from and where they are sending it (to which end page).
But for the content-interested agent, you can spy on your competitor’s topics and see what their traffic is searching for, and what they ultimately visit.
This is actually a browser extension from Moz that gives you an immediate view of how authoritative a site is by Google’s standards. That means that Mozbar tells you the domain authority of any site you see in the SERPs, and domain authority (based on backlinks) is a large SEO factor.
So, essentially Mozbar tells you how trusted (and rankable) your competition is. Also, you can compare yourself to the competition based on domain authority and see how long they’ve been gaining backlinks (and begin creating your own strategy – learn more about backlink building here).
Instead of merely looking at page factors like content, keywords, or even backlinks, Owletter helps you spy on your competition’s email marketing. It mainly can be used to show you when (and with what frequency) your competition is sending out their emails.
This, in turn, can help you know when to send your own emails. Back in the olden days, we would use a ‘fake email’ to sign up for all of our competition’s email lists and spy that way – but this is a much less time-consuming option. Plus, it is all laid out in an easy-to-understand visually organized format.
Just like you can use Owletter to check up on competitor’s email game without checking your junk email account daily, Feedly lets you check up on content and blogs without looking at your arch enemy’s blog daily and giving them traffic.
Feedly collects and shows you content that has been published by your competitors, so you can know what topics are being posted about, as well as trends in content strategies and posting schedules.
Now that you know content, keywords, emails, and even blogs of your competitors – only one major area is left: paid ads.
If you want to really dig into your competition, then knowing their paid ad spend (not just organic traffic) is imperative. iSpionage analyzes PPC (or pay-per-click) ads by telling you the number of ads, as well as the keywords they are targeting within those ads.
You can also see your competition’s competition and see who they are trying to beat out with their ad. From all this PPC data, you can even extrapolate what their budget is for their ad spend and top it (or see how their campaign goes to decide if you want to make a similar investment).
Pretty Neat, Right? Want Help Defeating Your Foe? Let JSL Marketing Be Your Superhero!
Contact JSL Marketing & Web Design today to have us deep dive into your competition and create an individualized digital marketing plan on how to beat them. We can’t wait to work with you.