19 Best Tools To Spy On Your Competitors And See If They Copy You
Smart people learn from other’s mistakes and achievements. This also holds true for brands willing to reach success, learning from their competitors’ experiences.
Proper competitor analysis allows you to elicit their strengths and weaknesses as well as compete on link-building and content strategies to overtake them and develop your inbound marketing for more traffic and leads.
Yes, spying may hurt you if done wrong. However, sometimes it would also come in handy to spy on your competitors to see if they copy your content. I believe you don’t work in a niche where competitors are sly and ready to apply black SEO techniques, but anything can happen, right?
Learn from Your Competitors to Stay Ahead of the Game
It is fair enough to say that there is no such strategy that works well for each business. However, conducting a depth competitor analysis is a kind of obligation whatever your business specializes in.
The depth of competitor analysis has to be variable as each business has unique needs. But, as a business owner, you need to dig into every aspect to outline the big picture. At this stage, you should take advantage of the benefits of technology. It will be your buddy along the way.
Every business owner is eager to build their brand successfully but there is no magic button to do that. It is highly important to keep an eye on your competitors who are in the same industry as you. If you don’t know your competitors well, you won’t be able to create smart marketing strategies. Luckily, there is a myriad number of tools that will help with competitor analysis.
So let’s spice things up a bit! Here are the best tools and services that will help you with doing competitor analysis and also allow you to spy on your competitors to see if they copy you.
How To Spy on Your Competitors’ Websites: 8 Powerful Tactics
Tactic 1: Take a closer look at their online presence
It is a good starting point to have a look at what they are sharing online. Subscribing their newsletters, tracking their social media sharing, and following their blog posts are just a few of the things you can easily do to spy on your competitors. These may sound to you like time-consuming things to do, along with your daily matters but there are tools specifically created for this. You may find below the best social monitoring services to ease your job;
One of the most popular services for online marketers, Semrush counts about 800,000 users, including giants like Forbes, PayPal, and Hyatt. It will monitor your competitors for traffic, keywords and backlinks types, anchors, SERP positions, and much more.
About 500,000 companies use Mention for real-time monitoring and competitive analysis. Among them are Microsoft, Spotify, ASOS, and others. That’s why Mention comes at top of the best tools to spy list.
Mention monitors brands in 42 languages, using sources like news portals, forums, social media, blogs, and any other publications online. It will help to see where, how often, and in what tone people mention your brand or the websites of your competitors.
Also, you can use this service to find influencers and custom insights. A free 14-day trial is available, and you’ll be asked to choose one of three subscription plans afterward. Registration is simple: create an account on Mention, or connect with your social media accounts.
More than 100,000 brands such as Panasonic, H&M, IKEA, and others work with Brand24 to monitor their own and competitors’ mentions as well as customer insights.
Using this service, you will know who and where talks about competitors. You will analyse the quality of their feedback, see the sentiment they use to describe the experience with brands, and spot their problematic areas to avoid the same mistakes; also, you’ll see what influencers say about competitors and decide if you could work with them for your benefit.
Brand24 measures the buzz around brands and allows you to get social insights, reach customers, and detect sales opportunities for your own company.
This one is a free service to monitor brand mentions on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and WordPress. Among the 10+ million users of Hootsuite are well-known brands such as Hershel and NYC.
Hootsuite searches competitor mentions by keywords provides you with daily analytical reports, measures conversion, and schedules social media posts.
A demo version is available for 30 days, and prices start at $19/mo. Signing up is via email or social media accounts connection.
Tactic 2: Track them profoundly
Just keeping track of their online presence is not enough. Businesses allow you to see what they are doing now and what they will be doing in the future but they don’t provide you with what people think or say about them. As today’s world has become more open to sharing, it is highly possible to come across people’s thoughts online to understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. If you can highlight their weaknesses as your strengths, you can use them in a clever way for your business.
One of the best tools to spy on Fanpage Karma monitors your website presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. With Fanpage Karma, you will analyze competitors’ profiles and manage your own customer conversations.
Compose, plan, and publish posts on social media with Fanpage Karma. Check how many followers your competitors have, see what posts get better feedback, find pages your readers follow and find out what tags to use in publications, depending on their topics and content.
The service contains more than 22 million keywords. iSpionage identifies competitors in Google Adwords, shows their SEO and PPC strategies, shares their lists of keywords you can sort and find the most efficient ones, and sends notifications about found data.
To start using the service, a free registration is needed. It will give you an opportunity to create ten reports a day, get three notifications about competitors’ data, and learn online advice on digital marketing.
As for pricing plans, they provide an unlimited search, allow you to determine KEI, AEI, SEO, and traffic of competitors, as well as download all given data in PDF.
Tactic 3: Find out what technologies they use
Deeply analyze your competitors to learn what they are good at. One of the best ways to do this is to implement software technology into your business. For example, once users visit one of your competitor’s websites, they can simply follow their activities with simple ads. So, they can build strategies based on their moves: showing the related ads to get users to click on them. Sounds excellent, right? If you would like to know what tools they use and implement similar strategies in your business, here is various options below.
Although Builtwith.com is not a specific spying tool, it helps maximize your internet marketing, SEO, PPC, and digital display ads strategies. Simply put, Builtwith.com is a business intelligence tool that provides technology adoption, eCommerce data, and usage analytics for the internet.
Let’s say, you are a store owner on Amazon who wants to boost your sales through Amazon PPC ads. By getting help from Builtwith.com’s intelligent technology, you can reach how many users currently use Amazon, what the hottest trends are, and also advanced data about the company.
Tactic 4: Check their website traffic
One of the metrics that are easy to find out and give you great insights is traffic to the website. Numbers are important but there is more vital information which is the growing trends. What does that mean? If you don’t consider some of the competitors according to their websites that get low traffic, you shouldn’t do that! There might be accelerated traffic growth in a month you are missing.
Here are the solutions to spy on competitors’ traffic;
This monitoring tool provides great data on your competitors such as their traffic, activity, engagement, and much more. Similarweb is mostly known for its benchmark capability. It answers the question “How to spy on your competitor’s website?” by providing a comprehensive overview of your competitors’ digital traffic, marketing strategies, tactics, and long-term decisions.
Tactic 5: Track their keywords
How to spy on competitors’ keywords? Observing all existing keywords on Google might be time-consuming and could not give you reliable results every time. So, it’s better to use the software. By doing that, you can streamline the process. Finding out which keywords your competitors rank highly for and how you try to outrank them would not be too complicated. It also helps find niche keywords and save some money too!
One of the top tools to spy for online marketers, Ahrefs helps to learn competitors’ rankings and see what you can do to overrank them. Here you can research keywords, backlinks, content, organic traffic, and more.
Ahrefs tools also include domain comparison, broken links checker, and site audit for you to get a clear picture of what happens to your and competitors’ websites online. You are welcome to try the 7-day trial to see if this tool meets your marketing needs, and then choose one of four pricing plans to explore Ahrefs to the fullest.
Developers claim that Majestic has the biggest link base for you to get the most detailed information on any website.
Use this service to find backlinks, keywords, and anchors, and compare up to five websites simultaneously. A free version allows 15 checks per day, while three pricing plans provide more features and give an opportunity to use API.
To start competitive analysis, just enter a website URL into a Majestic search box on the homepage.
Alexa is a great service to find keywords and check those from your competitors. It also compares traffic metrics of several websites, allows one to compare websites, and see the geographic location of a target audience.
Pricing plans – with a 7-day free demo version each – provide you with an opportunity to see visitors’ demographics and your website’s popularity on social media. To start using Alexa, sign up and choose a plan to activate your trial. All features will be available at once for you to decide if this service meets your marketing needs.
Bonus Service: SEO Site Check Up
SEO Site Check Up is a professional SEO monitoring tool that quickly and easily creates white-label SEO audits for internal and client use and instantly analyses the SEO issues of your site and competitors.
It includes ‘how to fix tutorials’ for SEO issues, gives useful information about the quantity and quality of backlinks, and also checks the broken links. That includes SEO Site Check-Up in the best SEO tools to spy on your competitors’ list.
By monitoring and notifying users of weekly changes for more than 30 SEO variables as well, the tool helps thousands of small-business owners, webmasters, and SEO professionals improve their online presence.
What is more, the service also offers a 14-day free trial upon registration.
Tactic 6: Check how they position themselves and backlinks
Wondering which marketing strategies of your competitors are working or which platform would be great to be featured on? You need to analyze well who is linking to the websites of your competitors. A link to your website on a website that is well-matched with your target audience can boost your SEO efforts. There are dozens of solutions that automatically check your competitors’ backlinks and help you find new link-building opportunities as well. Don’t hesitate to get help from them!
An SEO and marketing checker, WooRank analyzes websites to provide in-depth reviews on weaknesses they have. Brands like Amazon, Deloitte, FIAT, and 500,000 others use this tool to get marketing checklists on technical problems and content issues to pay attention to and improve for better usability.
It allows you to compare several competitors as well as monitor KPIs, keywords, and backlinks. You’ll see the information about traffic, visitors, and their attitude (sentiment) towards a brand.
This service provides an auto search of competitor backlinks and keywords, allowing filtering them by tags (nofollow, wrong anchor, meta nofollow, not found, meta noindex), anchor texts, domain, and web page status in Google Index, social media shares, links number, and more.
Monitor Backlinks sends detailed reports via emails. To start a free trial, you need to create an account. It will allow monitoring two domains with two competitors for each, managing up to 500 links with SEO metrics for each, and checking keywords rankings in Google.
For more features, numerous pricing plans are available.
This one is about keywords search only, allowing you to see how much competitors spend on Google Adwords. KeywordSpy is quite popular: big dogs such as American Express and Toyota are among its clients.
No registration is needed to search keywords and domains competitors use for their ad campaigns. As for subscription plans, they provide you with an opportunity to watch partners, export data to text and Excel files, check data in Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, and get notifications about new competitors by email.
Tactic 7: Create content that will feed users
Ranking on the first page of Google results is tough, but if you can create compelling content that would not be a dream. If you find out your competitors’ weaknesses in their content strategies, you can make this situation useful for your business. What I’m trying to say is if you identify an outranking keyword on your competitor’s website which is a target keyword for you, you can produce content to earn a high position on the results.
This service will allow you to find out if competitors copy your content. PlagiarismCheck.org is a hassle-free online checker that finds rearrangements in word order, synonymization, poor paraphrasing, and any other indirect matches of your text content.
Use it to see if others steal your writings, presenting them as their own. Advanced algorithms of PlagiarismCheck.org provide you with detailed reports about the number of matches and places where they are found.
Sign up with an email or social media account to try if the spy tool meets your marketing needs, and then choose from three subscription plans to join the networks of 70,000+ satisfied users of PlagiarismCheck.org to avoid duplications in content.
Copyscape is another useful tool to spy when if someone copies your pages on the web. Copyscape will show who steals content and if yours is still original enough to use with no harm to reputation and search engines’ mercy.
The service is free to use if you just want to find copies of web pages online. Its premium version provides more powerful detection and extra services such as batch search, API, copy-paste checks, and private index.
Copyscape will scan the web daily and email you once it finds copies of your content on third-parties resources.
Tactic 8: Improve web page speed
Have slow-loading pages been history? As we all want to experience fast-loading web pages, this becomes more of an issue for each business owner. If you don’t satisfy your visitors with the loading speed of your website, they don’t ever want to come back to your website. That will automatically increase your bounce rate. Start with compressing the images on your website to load them faster. Some handy tools we mentioned below;
Marketing Grader is a free service providing a total evaluation and detailed analysis of websites. It will let you see strong and weak points of on-page SEO, usability, mobile traffic, and many other details to check competitors and your own brand.
To get a report, just enter a website URL at the Marketing Grader home page. No registration is needed.
The Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine is a free archive of all sites. It allows you to learn how competitors’ web pages looked in the past and, therefore, compare what they did to improve the results.
To see what a website looked like, open a calendar and choose dates. You’ll see screenshots made that day.
For instance, this is the DAN homepage on May 2016:
And this is the new version of the same page on DAN:
The service contains a huge amount of old books, movies, music, pictures, and programs. It’s entertaining and quite educational to check.
Do you spy on your competitors? If you think you need to be better and ahead of your competition here is the list of the best digital marketing tools. Also, explore our best digital marketing agencies for startups directory if you’re looking for one.