The Importance of Monitoring Your Competitors
One of the most important things that you do for your site is to monitor what your competitors are doing. There is a constant battle for SEO ranking and you should never assume that your competitors will become complacent with their rankings and stop building their online marketing strategies.
When you monitor your competitors, it allows you to see if there are strategies that are or are not working well for them as well as see if there is a gap in their content that you are able to fill for a niche audience.
10 Ways You Can Monitor Your Competitors Online
Here are 10 ways and tools that can help you in your efforts.
This is by Hubspot and is an excellent starting point to help you understand how your website stacks up against your key competitors. After you enter the URL it will generate a grade from 0 to 100 based on factors such as the number of pages indexed, readability level, metadata, domain name quality, links, social media presence and more. If you find that your website scores significantly lower than the main competitors, you’ll want to start working on the suggestions given to improve your site.
Created by Amazon (yes, *that Alexa*) this site provides a ton of useful information on a website’s ranking, top search queries that lead visitors to the site, bounce rate, related links, and the average number of pages viewed. (Requires a sign-up for free trial)
This site is very similar to Alexa but it is great at allowing you to enter multiple competitor sites and/or keywords to track and see a graphical breakdown of traffic trends, top search terms, and see the sites sending traffic. These tools help you visualize how your competition stacks upon several key metrics. (Requires a sign-up for a free trial)
This site semrush.com is one of my favorites. It shows you valuable keyword information about the visitors from any URL. You can get insights on your competitor’s strategies in display advertising, organic, and paid search as well as link building.
This website is very simple and focuses on the load time of a webpage. This is a very important factor when it comes to SEO. Google wants to provide results with websites that load quickly. You can see how your load time compares to your competitor as well as what you need to do to optimize your site.
This is a free service from Google. It allows you to stay abreast of the most recent Google results for a particular keyword phrase or competitor name. You enter the search term and the frequency that you want the alerts emailed to you, then you will never miss out on important news, videos, blogs, or discussions regarding those terms.
Spyfu is another favorite with lots of great information. This site allows you to see how much your competitors are spending on pay per click campaigns as well as what keywords they are bidding on, who their top ad competitors are and even who their top organic competitors are. If your site is not topping their list of competitors, you may want to put a plan into action.
This site is helpful because it allows you to go back to previous iterations of a website going back over a decade. You’ll be able to identify features that have stayed on your competitors’ site as well as see if they’ve had multiple redesigns. This information is helpful to you because it reflects their best-converting features that you may be able to implement as well.
Moz has an Open Site Explorer tool that allows you to analyze the incoming links to your competitors? site. When you enter the URL the Open Site Explorer will show you the incoming links for that specific URL. This is beneficial to you because it allows you to look for link possibilities for your own site. The amount, relevance and quality of incoming links to your website’s pages is a key factor in ranking highly for any competitive search term.
PageSpeed Insights, by Google, helps you identify ways to make your site faster and mobile-friendly. There are many useful developer tools that you can explore here as well.
You may notice that many of the websites in this list include tools that produce very similar information. It is important to remember with any tool that you use the information can be inaccurate. The best option is to use a plethora of tools that allow you to paint a picture of the average information found. It is never a good idea to rely on a website to have 100% accurate information. As you monitor results over time, you will be able to see how they fluctuate and compare those results to the ones found on other sites. Creating a strategy to monitor your competition will help keep you a step ahead.