Smart people learn from others’ mistakes and achievements. This also holds true for brands willing to reach success, learning from their competitors’ experience.
A 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 to 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 the niche where competitors are sly and ready to apply black SEO techniques, but anything can happen, right?
So here you go, best tools and services that will help with competitor analysis and allow you to spy on your competitors and see if they copy you.
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 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.
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 paraphrase, 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 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.
More than 100,000 brands such as Panasonic, H&M, IKEA, and others work with Brand24 to monitor 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 feedbacks, see 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 own company.
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 and improve for better usability.
It allows you to compare several competitors as well as monitor KPI, keywords, and backlinks. You’ll see the information about traffic, visitors, and their attitude (sentiment) towards a brand.
WooRank sends detailed reports via emails. A free trial and three pricing packages are available.
5. Marketing Grader
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 own brand.
To get a report, just enter a website URL at the Marketing Grader home page. No registration needed.
This one is a free service to monitor brand mentions on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and WordPress. Among 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 with $19/mo. Signing up is via email or social media accounts connection.
7. 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, open a calendar and choose dates. You’ll see screenshots made that day.
For instance, this 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.
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 for 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.
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.
10. Monitor Backlinks
This service provides an auto search of competitor backlinks and keywords, allowing to filter 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 send the 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.
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 they 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, 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 a competitive analysis, just enter a website URL to a Majestic search box at the homepage.
13. Fanpage Karma
One of the best tools to spy Fanpage Karma monitors your website presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. With Fanpage Karma, you will analyze competitors’ profiles and manage 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.
Alexa is a great service to find keywords and check those from your competitors. It also compares traffic metrics of several websites, allows to compare websites, and see the geographic location of a target audience.
Pricing plans – with 7-day free demo version each – provide you with an opportunity to see visitors’ demographics and your website 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.
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 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 to email.
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, free registration 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.
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 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 14 days free trial upon registration.
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.