Online marketing is perhaps the best way to attract new clients, retain current customers, and increase your brand’s recognition. There are dozens of website marketing tools that you’re probably already using to monitor your own performance. These tools can also be used to gain competitive intelligence.
As tricky as online marketing can be, some companies do it fabulously, and your competitors may be some of them. By using online marketing tools to see what your competitors are doing, you can get inspiration for new ways to connect with customers and thereby improve customer retention; find out if competitors are doing anything better than you are and how you can match it; and look under the hood of their search and marketing optimization strategies to see what you can legally steal. Here are fourteen awesome website marketing tools you can use to legally spy on your competitors:
Keyword Monitoring Tools
Keywords are an essential part of online marketing, crucial to driving traffic to your site, keeping content relevant and interesting, and increasing your Google ranking. If you’re curious about what keywords your competitors are using that are contributing to their success, check out these keyword monitoring tools:
1. KeywordSpy: This application is perfect for knowing exactly how much money your competitors are spending on AdWords as well as providing you insight as to which combinations of keywords are most successful.
2. The Search Monitor: If you can afford it, it might be one of the best purchases you’ll ever make for your business. The Search Monitor monitors everything from who’s talking about your business on the web, how your competitors are faring in comparison and watches affiliates and trademarks.
3. SEMrush: The basic version of this tool is completely free, and will provide you with the ability to check out the number of your competitors’ pay-per-click ads, has a variety of SEO tools available, and allows you to observe the organic keyword positions of your competitors.
Ad Monitoring Tools
Advertising is a key aspect of an online presence and a successful marketing strategy. If you want to know exactly how your competitors are advertising, including where they’re advertising and which type of strategy they’re employing, choose one of the these spying tools:
4. AdGooroo: The most basic version of AdGooroo will allow you to monitor the ads of ten competitors based on the number of page views the ads receive.
5. WhatRunsWhere: If you want to know where it is your competitors are placing their ads, WhatRunsWhere is one of the best monitoring tools available. This tool can also help you understand your competitors’ overall advertising strategies.
6. Adbeat: Adbeat allows you to view and discover competitors’ online strategies. The basic package is $99/month, but you can upgrade to the Professional version for $199/month. With the basic version, you’ll have access to the Google ad network and be able to view and generate PDF and Excel reports.
7. Moat: Moat is a great tool that allows you to view what types of ad banners your competitors are using; see the types of ads your competitors are running on a variety of websites, including Groupon, Apple, and Netflix; and provide you with ideas on how to generate creative and effective ads of your own and for free.
Web Ranking Tools
After all is said and done, you need to know how your website is ranking in comparison to your competitors. If you want to understand consumer data and view how customers are interacting with your site and others, check out the following:
8. Alexa: Alexa is essentially a web traffic-tracking tool that’s been around for years.
The site will provide all the ranking information you need on both a national and international level.
9. Similar Web: you can purchase an upgraded version of this web tool that will provide you with the ability to collect data on traffic sources, social media, content, and more. You can also use a basic version of Similar Web for free.
Website Content, Mail, Linking, and More
While ad and keyword monitoring tools may be two of the most important spy tools available, you can also observe how your competitors are designing their websites, including changes to landing pages and sales pages, as well as know what types of mail pieces your competitors are sending out and your competitors’ backlinks using these tools:
10. Copernic Tracker: This online marketing spy tool is used for observing any changes made to your competitors’ websites, including everything from changes in headings to new content posts. By tracking changes and updates of successful competitors, you can figure out exactly how an effective website works.
11. WhosMailingWhat.com: While WhosMailingWhat.com only tracks direct mail, it’s still a valuable online tool if you’re doing any direct marking outside of the online world. The website will allow you to track any mail pieces sent out in almost 200 different categories.
12. Majestic Site Explorer: If you want to generate a link profile for your website or one of your competitor’s, Majestic Site Explorer is the website for you. The website is free for limited use.
13. Ahrefs: If you’re looking for a more in-depth way to track links and backlinks, the $79 per month package offered by Ahrefs may be the tool for you. Ahrefs can provide you with information about external links, IPs and domains, anchor text, and more.
14. Compete: Compete offers a variety of services and can be used to monitor online competition, unearth potential business opportunities, and compare your business performance to others in the industry.
If you want to remain competitive in your business, it’s important to learn from your competitors and incorporate successful strategies. For an understanding of the best practices your competitors use, take advantage of website marketing tools that allow you to view how your competitors are marketing their businesses.