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“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles” wrote Sun Tzu in The Art of War in 5th century B.C.

The quote is timeless as 2500 years later, in the 21st century, the quote can still be re-imagined as the defining principle of the economic battle among various growing businesses that are spearheading themselves into an endless war of getting ahead of each other. In simple words, in order to succeed a company needs to calculate every move that its competitors are making.

In order to track changes, stay updated and evade obstructions in the free flow of business, every company needs answers to some of the many basic questions like, what are the marketing strategies of their competitors, what keywords are they using to raise their SEO rankings, what is pulling their website traffic or how often does their sponsored ads appear in social media?

There are countless tools available that help you spy on your competitor. We have carefully chosen 15 tools that we believe are the most useful ones in terms of their accuracy, content-diversity and layout.

1. SIMILAR WEB | [website rank, web-traffic details and visitor information]

Of all the tools available, Similar Web gives you maximum diversity when it comes to types of content and information. The process of search is very simple. You simply have to visit their website – https://www.similarweb.com and then type the company’s website or domain name on the search box. You will have a hoard of details right on your screen within a second. Beginning from basic company details like estimated employees, headquarters and mobile apps availability they provide you with other details like their global, country and category rank. You can scroll down to see their website traffic details, including traffic by countries as in from which countries they are getting maximum traffic from and traffic sources.

 

When you scroll down further, the details of other traffic sources like search, social and display is statistically explained. Apart from this, details like which other domains they are on and what is the audience looking for when they visit the website can be analysed through Similar Web.

PAID OR NOT: Free with paid option for advanced features.

2. SEMrush | [keywords]

SEMrush helps you understand your competitor’s SEO strategies, primarily through keywords. Type the website name of your competitor after opening website homepage- https://www.semrush.com/?l=en&1538126731. It gives you a domain overview of the brand.

The data that it provides as you scroll down is a comprehensive mention of the keywords that your competitor is using and what percentage of traffic is being generated through that. Alongside, there are other details like – organic and paid competitors, map of how they are positioned, branded and non-branded traffic, root domains, landing pages and backlinks.

PAID OR NOT: You can register for free although there is a paid option as well.

3. BUILT WITH | [technology management]

You want to know what your competitor’s website is built with? Built With will give you all the answers. It is a platform that specializes in providing complete information of technologies used in digital handling by brands and companies. The website – https://builtwith.com is easy to access and here’s the list of complete technological record provided by the website that you might find helpful –

  • Analytics and Tracking

  • Widgets

  • Language

  • eCommerce

  • Frameworks

  • Content-delivery network

  • Mobile

  • Payment

  • Audio/Video Media

  • JavaScript libraries and functions

  • Advertising

  • Verified Links

  • Email Hosting Providers

  • SSL Certificates

  • Web Servers

  • Operating System and Servers

  • CSS Media Queries

  • Web Master Registration

PAID OR NOT: Free.

4. ISPIONAGE | [PPC and keywords]

The website https://www.ispionage.com welcomes you with the line “Steal Your Competitors’ Traffic/ And Uncover Their Conversion Strategy.” The welcome line itself leads you directly to the point. The website helps you track your competitors’ keywords and you can modify your own based on that and most importantly understand their PPC strategy, what is their budget, how much they are spending, how many clicks is it receiving etc.

Apart from that other details include, top ads, top competitors and their offers and landing pages. You can survey and compare and analyse accordingly.

PAID OR NOT: Free

5. AHREFS| [backlinks, rankings, keywords, domains]

https://ahrefs.com is widely used and is believed to be a must-have SEO tool.

It is primarily designed to give you answers to all SEO related queries, especially backlinks. But it also provides real time rankings, keywords, detects position and content, crawled pages and domain related information.

PAID OR NOT: Paid (Free Trial- $7 for 7 days, Lite – $99,Standard – $179,Advanced – $399,Agency – $999)

6. ALEXA| [rankings, website traffic and comparisons]

https://www.alexa.com gives a complete overview of website traffic, keywords, SEO tools, Complete Analysis Tools, among others. By understanding where your audience is moving, it helps you strategize alongside to improve your own site traffic, demographics and content-audits based on keywords.

PAID OR NOT: Paid (insight $79/month, advanced $149/month, agency $299/month, advanced high traffic $799/month)

7. SPYFU| [keyword and ads]

Spyfu is majorly designed to help you recognize the keywords that is benefitting your competitor the most and how is it possible to outrank them using such information available. It also helps you make a profitable choice and sends a customized report every month to keep you updated.

You can also learn about how the brand was built overtime beginning from their ad campaigns to visuals to better conversion rates to lower costs per click. The competitors best ads and ad words, current trending ads and organic ranking history are some of the other information provided by the web tool- https://www.spyfu.com

PAID OR NOT: Free access is granted but a paid version is available for complete information. (starting from $25 goes up to $299)

8. BUZZSUMO| [content]

This tool specializes in finding out about the most successful content, top influencers and top performing posts. The website’s { https://buzzsumo.com/} home page describes it as:

By analysing what content is working for your competitor you can create a content-marketing strategy for yourself and also learn how to promote your content. You can also analyze your competitors’ content by applying for its paid version.

PAID OR NOT: Free but a Paid version is available for advanced features.

9. WHATRUNSWHERE| [ads]

https://www.whatrunswhere.com/is specially designed to help brands in online media buying but at the same time it also tracks the ad campaigns of the brands. It accesses data from 1,20,000 sites and tracks the domains where the competitor is advertising. It supports over 40 ad networks and has an option where you can get alerts every time your competitor launches a new ad campaign. Thus, you can use the information for modifying and designing creative ad campaigns.

PAID OR NOT: Paid ($299/month for basic version and $700 for premium version)

10. SOCIAL MENTION| [keywords and mentions across social media]

As the name suggests this tool, http://socialmention.com/, tracks the social media and finds out how a brand image is being created and perceived. Through videos, blogs and posts it finds out how many times a brand has been mentioned across social platform, the top keywords, the frequency of mentions etc. The knowledge of social media mentions helps you to target the correct platforms for your own sponsored advertisements.

The details of what it monitors are stated below:

  • External backlinks

  • Referring domains

  • Referring IPS

  • Referring subnets

  • Educational and governmental backlinks

  • Educational and governmental domains

  • Crawled and indexed URLs

  • Site and incoming languages

  • Backlink history and breakdown

  • Anchor test

PAID OR NOT: Free but a Paid version is available.

12. ADBEAT| [ads]

www.adbeat.com is a website that pulls the spider, crawler and collector to pull data from over 100,000 websites and gets updated every 24 hours. Every time your competitor updates his strategy, you get an alert. On top of that, it gives you details about the native ads, standard ads, history and ad channels, video ads and landing pages.

PAID OR NOT: Free but Paid version available (Standard – $249/month, Advanced – $399/month, Enterprise – need to contact for price)

13. AWARIO| [social media monitoring]

As the name suggests, https://awario.com/ keeps a record of which social media is working most for your competitor. Here’s a list of what else it records:

  • Positive and negative mentions

  • Reach

  • Top influencers

  • Statistical details of all mentions

  • List of top influencers and their reach in all kinds if media

  • Comparisons with competitive brands

PAID OR NOT: Free, upgraded version available.

14. ADGOOROO| [keywords, ads]

https://www.adgooroo.com helps track the current and historic data on expenditure, keywords and ad campaigns.

PAID OR NOT: Paid.

15. PRO RANK TRACKER| [rank, keywords]

https://proranktracker.com welcomes you with a video tutorial to understand its workings and services provided. It is very easy to use. You can easily track the keywords that your competitors are using to pull their SEO ranks and optimize your own.

This was our list of top 15. Share your views and let us know about your preferred tool among or outside the list and why you believe it is the best.