6 SEO Tools for Competitor Analysis That Pros Use
Are you investing in content marketing for search engine optimization (SEO)? You’re putting in a lot of hard work to dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs), but quality content alone might not get you to the top of the search engines.
You also need to outdo the efforts of your competitors. That’s why every digital marketing strategy needs to include an SEO competitor analysis. Not only will you better understand your competition, but you’ll also get a better idea of their SEO strategies — and gaps in their target keywords, content topics, and more that you can take advantage of.
It’s hard to manage SEO manually, which is why so many companies use a mix of SEO tools to check their competitors’ websites. Let’s look at why SEO tools are so helpful for checking your competitors’ content, plus the six best tools for the job.
Why Do I Need SEO Tools for Competitor Analysis?
SEO can’t happen in a vacuum. You need a solid understanding of your competitors’ keywords, backlinks, content, and more to inform your own SEO strategy.
Sure, SEO tools usually require an investment, but it’s well worth the money. Businesses that use SEO competitor analysis tools are able to:
- Create better content: Look at your competitor’s content to see what they’re doing well. Whether you want to do content marketing optimization or create new content, competitor analysis tools will help you learn how to create high-ranking content that your audience wants to read.
- Target top keywords: SEO can feel like a never-ending quest to find the right keyword opportunities. But a quality keyword research tool will help you spot organic keywords with the right mix of search volume and competition to boost your content performance. Some tools will even help you track your keyword rankings over time.
- Improve their search rankings: If you want the best SEO strategy for your business, you can’t ignore what other companies are doing. When you write better content tailored to the expectations of both people and search engines, you’ll steadily start to increase your domain authority and rankings over time.
The 6 Best SEO Tools for Competitor Analysis
SEO is complex, and competitor analysis isn’t easy, either. The good news is that you don’t have to do any of this manually. These six SEO research tools will help you learn everything there is to know about your competitors and dominate Google search.
- Keyword gap analysis
- Backlink analytics
- Keyword metrics reports
Pricing: $119.95 to $449.95 a month
Semrush helps businesses optimize their search engine marketing (SEM), which also includes SEO. This is a powerful tool with a lot of functionalities, so you can also use Semrush for PPC, social media, and (of course) competitor research. Just enter your competitor’s domain and Semrush will do the legwork for you.
Use the Semrush Competitor Analysis Tool to:
- View your competitor’s organic search and paid traffic performance.
- Compare as many as five competitors side-by-side to find gaps in their keyword strategies.
- Look at a single keyword’s metrics.
- View your competitor’s backlinks, referring domains, and more.
- Track your own performance in the SERPs.
If you’re looking for a tool that gives you more for the money, Semrush also has features for content planning, market research, advertising, and social media.
- Website domain comparison
- Historical SERP tracking
- Traffic analysis
Pricing: $16 to $299 a month, billed annually
SpyFu started out as a research tool primarily for PPC ads, but you can also use it for SEO. Simply enter your competitor’s websites into SpyFu to see backlink information, keyword rankings, and historical performance data.
SpyFu really shines with its historical information, which gives you in-depth insights into Google Ads and organic rankings for the past 16 years. If you want to see how your competitors changed their PPC or SEO game over time, SpyFu is a must.
SpyFu also allows you to compare multiple website domains at once, which makes it easy to pit your competitors against each other. But because SpyFu leans heavily on the PPC side, this tool is best suited for businesses that also run paid ads alongside organic SEO campaigns.
- All-in-one SEO metrics dashboard
- Backlink analysis
- Webpage backlink and social share tracking
Pricing: $99 to $999 a month
Ahrefs is one of the most trusted SEO tools on the market. In fact, Growth Machine uses Ahrefs for our own website and for our clients!
Ahrefs boasts the fastest backlink crawler in the industry, so if you’re trying to boost your backlink research for linkbuilding, this is a solid tool for the job. Ahrefs also allows you to monitor the number of backlinks and social shares associated with your competitors’ top pages.
If you want insights into your own website’s performance, Ahrefs offers a free site audit. Just enter your domain name and start the audit to see both technical and on-page SEO performance recommendations. Best of all, this audit is free if you connect Ahrefs to Google Search Console.
- Custom suggestions for page optimizations
- Backlink opportunity identification
- Competitor website audits
Pricing: $14 to $720 a month
Moz offers both free and paid SEO tools for competitor analysis, so it’s accessible to both startups and enterprise businesses.
On the free side, its Competitive Research checker gives you a free analysis of your top SERP competitors. This can help you:
- Find your competitors’ top pieces of content
- Check competitors’ site metrics
- Identify your competitors’ keyword gaps
You’re limited to just three reports a day, though, so make them count.
If you want to get more out of this platform, Moz Pro is a solid place to start. It allows you to target specific keywords, pull accurate keyword volumes, and check difficulty metrics to find low-hanging fruit for your keyword strategy. You can also track your own webpage rankings and keywords — as well as your competitors’.
- Competitor performance leaderboard
- Timely trend-spotting
- Custom SEO performance suggestions
Pricing: $167 a month
Similarweb offers a free tool on its homepage for competitor research. Just add your competitor’s URL and it will generate a high-level report. Similarweb allows you to look up websites, Android apps, or iOS apps, so it’s ideal for SaaS businesses. The free tool will show your competitor’s ranking, bounce rate, visit duration, and much more.
The free report is a good place to start, but it probably won’t have enough substance to it to help you build a better digital marketing strategy. Try Similarweb’s paid Digital Marketing Intelligence SEO tool for competitor analysis.
In addition to competitive analysis, it also displays keyword, PPC, and affiliate data. If you’re trying to roll out an affiliate marketing strategy, Similarweb can help you see exactly what the competition is up to.
Similarweb’s competitive analysis tool gathers a lot of data and makes suggestions for you. Scrappy SEO and marketing departments use this to quickly identify opportunities without sifting through data manually. Best of all, it provides solid industry benchmarks to help you understand your performance.
- Automatically identify top competitors
- Proprietary Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)
- Ad Effectiveness Index (AEI)
Pricing: $59 to $299 a month
Its name might sound like a cloak-and-dagger film noir, but iSpionage is a solid SEO tool for competitor analysis. Just visit its homepage and enter your competitor’s URL to “start spying” (their words, not ours).
You’ll need to create a free account to view the data, but iSpionage will provide high-level information on your competitors’ PPC and organic keywords, as well as their top-performing paid ads.
Their AdWords Competitor Keyword Tool is ideal for paid ads, but you can use it for SEO, too. If you don’t know who your competitors are, iSpionage will suggest a few to start. It displays 7 years’ worth of PPC and SEO keyword data for your competitors. Check their organic search traffic values, the number of first page organic keywords, and much more.
Competitive Analysis Tools Are Great — But They Only Get You So Far
While it’s important to stay in your own lane, businesses still need to keep a careful eye on what their competitors are doing. This way, you can write competitive content that stands out both to your audience and to search engines.
The good news is that you don’t have to analyze your competition manually. These SEO tools for competitor analysis can handle the heavy lifting:
But tools alone will only get you so far. What do you do next?
That’s where we come in. Growth Machine’s team of SEO experts can assist you with everything from content strategy to results tracking. We’ll make your brand shine and help you beat out other brands on the SERPs.
Ready to overhaul your SEO? Chat with Growth Machine now to outdo your competition.
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