Businesses like yours need to stay on top of competition in order to get ahead. Fortunately, there are many resources you can use to keep tabs on your competitor’s websites as well as your own.
The information you gather from these resources can paint a picture of what you need to accomplish to level the playing field -- and eventually become a leader in your industry.
The list below details a few of the top free websites and tools you can use to stay one step ahead of your competition:
1) Marketing.grader.com by Hubspot is an excellent starting point to understand how your website stacks up against your key competitors. Enter your URL and it generates a grade from 0 to 100 based factors like the number of indexed pages, readability level, meta data, links, domain name quality, social media presence and more. If your website scores significantly lower than your main competitors, you need to start working on the suggestions produced to improve your site right away.
2) Alexa.com by Amazon provides a ton of useful information on a website’s ranking, the top search queries leading visitors to the site, related links, bounce rate, and even the average number of pages viewed. This is like having access to your competitor’s Google Analytics data. *Requires signup for free trial.
3) SEOProfiler.com provides a lot of similar information to Alexa, but excels at allowing you to enter multiple competitor sites or keywords to track and see a graphical breakdown of the traffic trends, top search terms, and sites sending traffic their way. This helps you visualize how your competition stacks up on several key metrics. *Requires signup for free trial
4) SEMRush.com shows valuable keyword information about the visitors for any URL. With SEMRush, you can Get insights into your competitors’ strategies in display advertising, organic and paid search, and link building.
5) tools.pingdom.com is a very simple website that focuses on one very important aspect of web pages: their load time. With Google’s Caffeine update, one of the factors in their ranking algorithm gaining importance is the load time. With the explosion in mobile devices accessing search, Google wants to provide results of websites that load quickly. You can also see how your pages compare to competitors to see where you need to get to.
6) Google.com/alerts is vitally important for staying abreast of the most recent Google results for a particular keyword phrase or competitor name. Simply enter the search term, and the frequency you want the alerts emailed to you, and you will never miss out on important news, video, blogs, or discussions on your competitors.
7) Spyfu.com is one of my absolute favorites. It allows you to see how much your competitors are spending on pay per click, what keywords they are bidding on, their top ad competitors, and even their top organic competitors. If you aren’t topping the list of their competitors, it may be time to put a plan into action.
8) Waybackmachine.org is as unique a tool as you will find. By entering a competitor’s URL, you will open the vault to all of the previous iterations of the website this tool has stored going back over a decade. What features have stayed on your competitor’s website through multiple re-designs? These are likely their best converting features that you need to potentially use.
9) https://moz.com/link-explorer Open Site Explorer by Moz is a vital tool to analyze the incoming links of your competitor’s websites. By entering the URL, Open Site Explorer will show you all of the incoming links to that UR. This is an excellent place to look for link possibilities for your own site, because they are already linking to your competitor. Getting all of the same incoming links will even the playing field. Remember, the amount, relevance and quality of incoming links to our website’s pages is a key factor in ranking highly for any competitive search term.
10) developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ is last, but certainly not least. With PageSpeed Insights you can identify ways to make your site faster and more mobile-friendly. Google offers a lot of useful developer tools, so feel free to explore their core developers.Google.com domain for more.
The best way to use these tools is to monitor the results over time to see how they fluctuate, and compare them with the results you find on other sites. Having a game plan to continually monitor your competition will keep you one step ahead of the game.