The best online tools to legally spy on your competitors

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We’ve recently talked about the importance of knowing your competition, known as competitive intelligence. Remember, competitive intelligence means seeking, analyzing and exploiting information about its company, its competitors and its sector of activity, with the aim of increasing its productivity and competitiveness.  Not only will it make you aware of some of the changes in the industry, but it will help grow your own business.

Now we know that it is easier said than done, to be aware of your competitive environment, and this is why we are offering you some tools that will help you through the process. It is easier than you think to peak into your neighbor’s rankings, used keywords, traffic and demographics. Some of these tools are completely free, some cost some money: you obviously don’t need to use them all, just pick and choose the ones that works best for you and your business.

TIP: you can use these tools to spy on your business, and analyze your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you be more efficient in adding or modifying elements in your business, since you will know where to focus your energy!

1. SEMrush

SEMRush is an online tool that you absolutely need to get on, today! Plus, it’s free (you can update to premium). The only thing you need to do is to enter a domain name or website (your own, or your competitor's) and you get access to a load of important data. You will get the # of organic searches, the keywords used, their main competitors, the number of backlinks, the top paid keywords, sample ads, and much more! Also, most of this information is live updated, so don’t worry about those numbers being incorrect or irrelevant.

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2. AHrefs

AHrefs isn’t a free tool, but you might want to try it free for 14 days and see if it works for your type of business! It works similarly to SEmRush, it divides the information it gathers about your competitors in three different sections:

  • Organic traffic research - See what keywords your competitors are ranking for and which pages bring the most traffic from the search.
  • Backlink checker - See which websites are linking to your competitors and gauge the quality of their backlink profile.
  • Paid traffic research - Learn whether your competitors are doing paid search advertising and where they funnel their paid traffic.

3. WayBack machine

WayBack Machine is an interesting tool because it is an Internet archive! It’s free to use and it will tell you how many times over the course of the year your competitor’s had modifications added to its website. If you see that your competitor’s homepage hasn’t been modified in a while, it may be because it actually works and its conversion rate is good!

4. Marketing Grader

This tool is interesting because it will give you a company overview score based on marketing efforts. This will allow you to compare yourself to your competitive environment and analyze what areas you need to work on.  Simply enter a domain name you wish to analyze and it will give you insight about four distinct categories: performance, mobile, SEO and security.

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5. Google Alerts

Google alerts is the perfect tool to use if you want to legally spy on your competitors. Activity reports will come automatically to your email every time your competitor is mentioned. You can also use it to monitor your competitor’s backlinks, and the efficiency of keywords. This is a free tool!

6. Alexa

Alexa is a tool for web rankings. For as low as 9.99 per month, you will gain unlimited access to your ranking on the web! This tool is pretty complete as for the amount of information you can get. Linking, traffic, keywords, audience demographics, bounce rates, etc.) This is easily one of the best tools if your competitors are international.

To spy on your competitors, you first need a beautiful website! Create yours for free with WebSelf today!

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