10 Competitor Analysis Tools To Reverse Engineer SEO Success

Aaron Haynes
Jun 24

Are you concerned that you’re falling behind the competition?

Are you struggling to understand how they’ve landed better search positions, more traffic, or stellar links?

If you want to change this situation, you need to get a better look at the strategies that are leaving you in the dust.

There is something you can do right now if you want to know more about how your rivals are winning: Start using one of the internet’s many popular competitor analysis tools. These tools are designed to give you an inside look, and the insight you need to take back the lead.

In this guide, you’re going to learn what these tools are. Then, you’ll get an introduction to 10 of the best ones online.

By the time you’re finished, you’ll know what options are out there for someone who wants to break ahead of the pack.

Let’s go.

Competitor Analysis Tools

What is a competitor analysis tool? A competitor analysis tool is a program that helps you track, evaluate, and understand your competition.

These programs work by scraping important data about factors like keyword usage, customer demographics, and link locations.

No two tools deal with the exact same data. That’s why you need to review as many of them as you can before you choose the one that’s best for your niche or industry. The following tools are some of the most respected and widely-used to consider adding to your SEO tool stack.

  • Ahrefs
  • Majestic
  • SpyFu
  • SiteProfiler
  • SEMrush
  • Serpstat
  • Moz Pro
  • SE Ranking
  • SimilarWeb
  • BuiltWith

Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail.

1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the largest and most popular tools online. Competitor analysis is just one of its features it has, but that feature is one of the reasons it has so many fans. This part of the tool is very robust, with some great data-driven ways to pull out any competitor’s strategies.

Features

  • See the exact keywords your competition is ranking for.
  • See how much organic traffic they’re getting.
  • See which of their content pieces are performing the best.

Pricing

2. Majestic

Majestic is a tool that is focused on links. It has many different features that tell you more about them. One feature called Site Explorer can give you insight into what the competition is doing with links. The data Majestic provides can tell you about where they’re building links and what anchors they’re using.

As an added bonus, it lets you compare your site’s backlink profile with up to 4 different competitors simultaneously. This could make it very simple for you to find out what links you need most.

Features

  • See the number, source, and history of any site’s backlinks.
  • Compare sets of to determine subtle changes in strategy and performance.
  • Measure and analyze topic and trust flow for each website.

Pricing

3. SpyFu

SpyFu is built specifically for competitor analysis. This is the inspiration for the “spy” in the name. While some tools focus on general stats, SpyFu wants to show you how your competitors are spending their advertising dollars.

To that end, the tool comes complete with features to help you see all of your rival’s ad spending. The tool had decades of this data saved, including the exact ad images that were being used at the time.

It’s a good tool to use if your competition is getting ahead using PPC. This tool will help you find all of their strategies.

Features

  • Find every place a domain has shown up on Google.
  • See every keyword your competitor has ever bought on AdWords.
  • See their ads from as far back as the last 13 years.

Pricing

4. SiteProfiler

Siteprofiler is a tool that examines websites from more angles than most. It uses a lot of different data points to make a judgment about a website’s popularity. The data provided includes domain scores from some of the other biggest tools and even some social media tracking.

It allows you to easily make lists of your competitor’s most popular content for analysis. It also helps you find how and where the content is being promoted on Facebook.

Features

  • See Domain Authority (Moz), Trust Flow (Majestic), Alexa rank, and stats from other major tools.
  • Track deleted backlinks.
  • Track any competitor’s Facebook and other social media shares.

Pricing

5. SEMrush

SEMrush is a large SEO suite of tools built around a commitment to data visualization. Most necessary types of SEO data are available here, splashed onto lush charts and graphs.

Many of SEMrush’s features are geared toward understanding your competitors. The Domain vs. Domain tool that is part of the subscription gives you a rapid way to see what sets you apart from your competitors.

Features

  • Find out who the biggest competitors in a niche are.
  • Discover where competitors are generating leads.
  • See regional breakdowns to find out where the audience is buying from.

Pricing

6. Serpstat

Serpstat is a data-driven tool that generates reports for a variety of different circumstances. Using it, you can easily get positions tracking, backlink analysis, and some insight into how your competitors are using keywords.

The tools help you identify “niche leaders” so you can prioritize the most successful sites for research. You can see the history of ranking to see how quickly their strategies work or get a keyword map that covers their entire website.

Features

  • Discover the top competitors in a niche.
  • Browse up to 2 years worth of backlinks history.
  • See whole-site keyword maps of the competition.

Pricing

7. Moz Pro

Moz Pro is Moz’s collection of analytical tools, and they’re varied enough to help you answer all the questions you have about your competitors.

Using the tools, you can perform advanced searches to locate who your current and up-and-coming competitors are. You can also learn their keywords and links to find gaps they aren’t exploiting.

Features

  • Learn what keywords you’re really ranking for to better identify competitors.
  • Organize your competitor’s most effective content, and see improvement suggestions.
  • Organize the links of multiple competitors to find missed opportunities.

Pricing

8. SE Ranking

SE Ranking is a tool that places just as much emphasis on PPC insights as SEO insights. It allows you to reverse-search keywords and domains to find out who the big competitors are in a given niche.

It also collects Ads history so you can see how your competitors advertise. Through the tool, you have access to the words they’ve bid on, the ads they’ve used, and how their methods have changed.

Features

  • See a list of all competitors when searching by query/keyword.
  • See a history of your competitor’s keyword/ad spending.
  • Get notifications when your competitors change or update content.

Pricing

9. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is a tool that is focused on helping you understand your competitor’s advertising strategies. Like many tools here, it helps you find out who your competitors are with searches by keyword or topic category.

The competitor-focused tools help you look into how and where your rivals are paying for ads. They also help you look into who is referring customers through affiliate relationships.

Features

  • Track both traffic and engagement on your competitor’s pages and posts.
  • Discover your competitor’s affiliate partners.
  • Review your competitor’s publishers and ad network partners.

Pricing

10. BuiltWith

Builtwith helps you find out what a given website is “built with”.  It draws data from over a billion websites to reveal their strategies and priorities. You can see their traffic, keyword analytics, and even the implementation of features like shopping carts.

In addition to technical stats, you can see broad market share information to find out how many competitors you’ll be facing with a new venture.

Features

  • Learn more about the prospects that are approaching your competitors. Find out where they’re coming from and what makes them click.
  • See what features are being used by your competitors.

Pricing

Sidenote: Useful Browser Add-ons for Auditing

Looking for more options to understand your competitors? If you don’t have the budget for a tool, you may be able to benefit from a smaller browser extension that can provide you with on-page notes.

  • Wappalyzer: Scans and lists the technologies that are used on websites. Get a list of the content management systems, e-commerce platforms, and other apps and widgets.
  • Built With: This is the browser extension for the larger toolset. It scans for on-site technology, contact information, and tag history.
  • SimilarTech: Tracks and delivers prospecting information for the site’s traffic, as well as technologies installed and other website information.

Summary

There’s no faster way to the top than jumping right to the strategies that already work. Competitor analysis is how you learn what to do, and any of these tools can help you.

Take advantage of free trials to find out which one of these tools prioritizes the information that your niche needs most. Use what you learn about your competitor’s links, content, and social engagement to level the playing field.

Written by Aaron Haynes on June 24, 2020

CEO and partner at Loganix, I believe in taking what you do best and sharing it with the world in the most transparent and powerful way possible. If I am not running the business, I am neck deep in client SEO.

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