Digital Marketing

10 Best Tools for Spying On Your Competition

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10 Best Tools for Spying On Your Competition

Have you ever considered spying on the competition as a way of improving the market position of your cleaning company?

If your answer is no, then you should start doing so now. Why? Well, because in today’s hyper competitive market place, you need to know what your competitors are up to if you want stay relevant.

Still not convinced? Ok so consider this – you are a cleaning company with a solid footprint and brand standing in the market. You want to introduce new services or expand your business reach. One way to know if the services you want to introduce are in demand is by checking what your competitors are offering. If your competitors are operating in the same space, then it automatically means there is a space for your business in the market.

Furthermore, spying on the competition also allows you to identify and understand what they are doing right or what they are doing wrong. If something is working for them, then you can make the necessary tweaks to your marketing/sales strategies to benefit from similar results. Likewise, if you know that something is not working or did not work for your competition, then you can avoid making similar mistakes.

In other words, you are simply analyzing your competitor(s) to strengthen your own market position. Doesn’t sound so bad after all does it?

Understand your Market and Target Audience Better

The digital space is vast and in a state of constant churn shaped by new tech advances, new marketing tools and trends, ever evolving consumer mindset, and a universe of data.

At the cost of sounding clichéd, it is a jungle out there and it all bottles down to “survival of the fittest.” Within this space, competition is actually a good thing as it inspires innovation and creativity. For this reason, spying on the competition is something that brands do actively.

There are a number of SEO tools which can help you gain a competitive edge in your market. Armed with analytical and data capture features, these tools make it easy to know what is trending and what your competitors are doing right with their marketing.

Of course, you don’t have to blindly follow their strategy – the idea is for you to understand what works and then use that information to tweak or improve your own marketing approach. And regardless of how competitive your marketing landscape might be, if you have the right kind of insight into your competition, you can make a dent to benefit your brand.

There are three critical factors to consider when you start out spying on the competition;

  • What kind or information/data are you looking for exactly?
  • What are the best tools to access for the above purpose?
  • How can you use this intelligence to enhance your cleaning business?

Different tools are designed with different capabilities and features – in other words, there are several different levels or categories of data and analytics that can help you achieve your goals.

However, when spying on the competition within the digital space, there are a few critical areas that you should absolutely focus on. These include the following;

  • SEO.
  • Website traffic.
  • PPC and Ads.
  • Social Media.

Based on the above mentioned categories, it would be judicious for you to focus on tools that can help you with each of the categories.

10 Best Tools to Spy on the Competition

Spying on the competition or monitoring their moves is something that brands freely do – both within the brick and mortar market space and within the digital ecosystem.

 Here are the top 10 tools you can use to spy on the competition.

  1. Ahrefs

If you are new to the digital space and SEO, or even if you are starting afresh, things can quickly get overwhelming. So it is best to start with a tool that helps you keep up with the different aspects of competitor analytics.

Ahrefs is a great tool that can cover various aspects of SEO and in particular – link targeting and backlinks analysis.

Here’s what you can get using Ahrefs;

  • Website traffic analytics.
  • Keywords analysis.
  • Backlink analysis.
  • Domain rating.
  • Rank tracker.
  • Content and site explorer.

If you want to beat the competition, then you definitely need intelligence within each of the above categories. Although Ahrefs has a free trial option, once you use it, you will discover that using the premium version can really serve your purpose a whole lot better.  

An effective tool for link-building and analyzing the performance of a website is Majestic. Majestic can be extremely effective when it comes to analyzing the backlink profile contained within specific pieces of content of your interest.

So for example you want to create a post targeting a particular keyword within the cleaning business market space. Your goal obviously would be to ensure that your post performs better than other posts targeting the same keyword. And one way to do this is by making sure your post gets more quality links.

So how can Majestic help you with this? Well, start by conducting a Google search to find a top ranking post for your target keyword within search engine results pages (SERPs).

Next, put the URL of that post in the Majestic search bar to gain insight into the number of backlinks that particular post has received. Armed with this information you can then decide where you stand on how your post could potentially rank in SERPs.

Majestic offers a free version and a paid version so you have the liberty to choose which one suits your needs more.

A critical website performance metric is site traffic. So having intelligence on this aspect of your competitor’s position within the market can be invaluable.

SimilarWeb is a great tool if you want to analyze the monthly traffic your competition is pulling. It is equally important to know where this traffic is coming from and the pathways via which their site is garnering traffic – these are things that SimilarWeb can help you with. So you can expect to get crucial insight into the referring sites of your competitor’s site as well as top search keywords (both paid and organic) and their social traffic.

Free and paid versions of the SimilarWeb are available. For more information on their pricing, visit here.

When it comes to an effective and free SEO tool, then one of the first names that comes to the mind is Google Alerts.

Given how Google is the biggest search engine and has its footprint all over the digital ecosystem, Google Alerts is a tool you definitely want to consider when spying on the competition. If you want to receive alerts every time your brand name or company or if you want to be notified at any mention of your important keywords anywhere on the web – then Google Alerts can directly deliver the reports to your mailbox. Even if the mentions you earn over the web are via a complaint, then Google Alerts can notify you of the same so can address the issue.

In addition, with Google Alerts you can;

  • Find out all the places where your competitors are being mentioned (backlinks).
  • Monitor those keywords which can trigger better audience reaction or response and then use this insight to create matching content.

Plus, it is a free tool so you really have no reason to not use Google Alerts!

Spying on the competition also means that you gain insight into their social space. One tool that can help you here is Social Mention. In addition to gaining intelligence into social networks, Social Mention also focuses on blogs and videos.

So what can Mention do for you? Well, the tool allows you to search for everything that is being said about keywords of your interest, or a brand name, or even a particular term over social platforms or in blogs. If anything has been mentioned about these, then Social Mention can tell you about it.

You can track how often a term or keyword of your interest is being mentioned and then go ahead and subscribe to an RSS feed for that keyword and be notified of all future mentions of that term or keyword. Furthermore, you can cross-check how the term if performing over different social sites – if something is performing well within the social space you use, then you can use it to your advantage.

Social Mention is a free tool so that’s another reason why you want to have it in your arsenal when spying on the competition.

If you are looking to gain insight into winning strategies of your competitors within your market space, then a great free tool for the job is Ubersuggest. Having this kind of intelligence can help you identify your weaknesses and make the necessary changes or tweaks to propel your brand among target audiences.

So how does Ubersuggest work? It provides you information on what makes certain sites tick with Google for given terms or keywords – enough to make them top ranking sites in SERPs. This tool can also help you identify specific target watchwords that are relevant to either your own site or that of your competition.

When spying on the competition you will come across a plethora of data. It is not possible to remember everything you read or come across much less keep all that information neatly organized. With Instapaper you can do just this.

Using Instapaper you can easily save pages or videos over the web to go over at a later date. And like their tag line states “Save Anything. Read Anywhere” – your saved articles and videos will be synced by Instapaper across all your devices so you can easily access them anything and anytime.

Upon registering with the free tool, add a bookmark to your bar to simplify the organizing of all your saved pages and resources.  

One tool that is popular among marketers and SEO analysts across all market domains is Semrush. Using the tool you can gain critical data from your competitors and do so much more.

Semrush is designed to provide data on the following;

  • Top organic keywords.
  • Distribution on the ranking of top organic keywords.
  • Paid keywords.
  • Primary organic competitors.
  • A view of where they are organically positioned.
  • Landing pages.
  • Branded search traffic.
  • Backlinks.
  • Referring domains.

With this kind of comprehensive data available, you can see easily why Semrush is a favorite among digital marketers.

Enter the URL of your competitor’s site and access information on aspects such as keywords your competition is ranking for, traffic, their ads, as well as organic searches. The reports you receive are presented via a graphical model which makes them easy to comprehend.

Semrush offers a 7 day free trial so you can get a taste of what the tool can do for your brand. The paid version of course will provide you with a comprehensive view of all the relevant data from your competition.

Google Keyword Planner is among your top options when you want to start with keyword research. Master the tool and you can easily access all the juicy data from your competition. Just so you know, a number of keyword tools actually use Google Keyword Planner as their data source.

With Google Keyword Planner there is so much data to be had – you can get data on things such as new keyword ideas that are based on the URL of your competitor site, get information on the average traffic for specific keywords, or even get keyword or ideas for ad groups.

It always helps to have information on keywords used by your competitors and how the keywords are performing.

Not to mention, this is a Google offering and it is free.

  1.  Mozbar

Mozbar is essentially a web browser extension designed to provide you with on-page metrics for specific web pages. This is a free tool so you simply have to go to Mozbar site and then easily download it from there. Once it is installed, make sure the tool is activated.

From here on you can go ahead and carry on Google searches. Mozbar will provide you with information on important SEO metrics within SERPs on your competitors’ content. With this information at hand, you can then decide how you will rank for a given keyword(s). 

Bonus Tool

Hootsuite

If there is one more tool which deserves to be mentioned along with all the other tools mentioned above it is Hootsuite.

Why does Hootsuite deserve a mention? Because it is a great tool for tracking social media analytics. And also for the fact that Hootsuite integrates with multiple (35) social platforms.

What this means for you is this – using Hootsuite you can not only identify your competitors but you can also easily set up several social media streams and track your competitor’s activity from your dashboard while also tracking hashtags and specific keywords.

In Conclusion

Operating in a competitive market space can be challenging if you are flying in the dark. You need all the data and intelligence you can get your hands on to make informed decisions and to surge ahead.

The above mentioned list of tools for spying on the competition can help you monitor your competition and gain a competitive edge by tweaking your own strategies as and when required.

If there is one suggestion here, it is this – don’t just stick with one tool. If you want to give your marketing a holistic approach, then try out multiple tools and gain access to multiple data types from multiple sources. Of course, once you have all this intelligence, you need to have a strategy to put it to use if you really want to benefit and position your brand for success.

Team HPSEO

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