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In Digital Marketing Last updated: June 30, 2023
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Competitor research is the process of gathering and analyzing information about your competitors. This research aims to gain insight into business strategies and decision-making. To make this competitor analysis effective, businesses use competitor research tools to find areas of improvement and gaps that need attention to match the market trends and meet customer requirements.

In this article, we’ll understand what competitor research is and how it can help you grow your business online for a better content gap analysis. Plus, we’ve listed the top competitor research tools so that you make the most of your digital presence!

What is Competitor Research?

Competitor research is a process of checking out your industry’s competitive niche online. The process involves gathering information about your competitor’s organic metrics, their execution strategies and analyzing their market position.

It involves activities like auditing their websites, studying their SEO, checking their backlinking profile, and using their products and services to understand customer requirements.

By assessing your SEO competition and analyzing the information you uncover, you can improve your website’s search engine optimization. As a result, you can climb up the organic rankings. Keeping an eye on your rank is important for building digital visibility; thus, using rank tracking and keyword tools will help you make the most out of your competitor research.

How Does it Help Your Business Grow?

To outrank your competition in search engine results, it’s best to reverse engineer what they’re doing right. It helps you find their strengths, weaknesses, online presence, marketing tactics, and other essential stats.

Here’s how competitor analysis can help you:

Product Knowledge: Using your competitor’s products gives you a clear understanding of their offerings, the features they offer, their product pricing, and the reasons why customer buy their products or services.

Online Presence: You get deep insights into their content distribution, social media posts, content quality, and content marketing strategies. This will help you better maneuver your social media content management.

Customer Reviews and Feedback: You can check your competitor’s Trustpilot reviews and G2 reviews and understand the customer feedback they get. You’ll also understand the primary features that most customers pay for.

Marketing: Analyzing competitors’ marketing campaigns will help you come up with your messaging ideas. It also helps you stay updated with the market trends in your industry landscape and identify emerging opportunities.

New to digital marketing? Don’t worry! Here’s everything you need to know about Digital Marketing!

The Importance of Competitor Research Tools

There are many ways to conduct competitor analysis. You can do it manually by checking their website content, types of landing pages, the keywords they use repetitively, checking their social media posts, and so on.

However, if your business landscape is densely competitive, you need to utilize online competitor analysis tools for detailed research reports. Most of these tools are simple to use, and you just need to enter your competitor’s website URL to get deep SEO insights.

You can use these competitor research insights to inform your marketing strategies, product development, pricing decisions, and general business planning. After all, proper keyword research is just the tip of the SEO iceberg🧊! Some of these competitor tools are free, while others are available for use at a small fee.

Let’s start exploring some of the best competitor research tools to spy like a pro.



Since its founding by Oleg Shchegolev in 2008, SEMRush has become the premier SAAS tool for spying on competitors’ paid and organic marketing campaigns. It’s a premium tool that covers most of your SEO needs, helping you keep a watch on your competitor’s activities.

SEMRush has a powerful Domain Overview Tool that provides a piece of detailed information about your competitor’s website performance, backlink profile, traffic from organic results, paid traffic, and targeted keywords used for PPC. The information is enough to help you understand your competitor’s content strategy and identify potential keywords for your website’s organic growth.

If you want to monitor your competitor’s social media performance, you can use SEMRush’s Social Media Tracker. It supports popular platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You’ll find it essential because it provides you with social media metrics like the number of followers, engagement metrics, popular hashtags, and more. 

You can save your competitor’s domains as projects to keep things handy in your SEMRush dashboard. You can view your competitors’ information at a glance and download the data in PDF format. For more information about SEMRush, you can check this: Why Does the Company You Work for Need Semrush?

SE Ranking


With SE Ranking, you can track competitor keywords, track backlinks, conduct SEO audits, and report website performance on search results pages for all the SEO-related tools you need.

You can start by entering your competitor’s domain name in SE Ranking Competitive Research tool. Once you click the analyze button, you’ll get the list of keywords your competitors are ranking for, their top-ranking pages, and the subdomains that are bringing them traffic. The tool also helps you identify your direct competitors in SERPs, and you can handpick your competitors from the list of suggested websites.

Additionally, you can conduct PPC competitor research to find out what keywords your competitors target. As a result, you’ll discover what types of ads work best for them, and you’ll build better ones for your campaign.



Similarweb is a web analytics and web traffic performance tool that comes with many competitor analysis features. The platform helps you check the estimated traffic on a website, it’s country rank, global rank, and many related SEO statistics.

You can start using Similarweb by creating a free login account and entering the domain name of your competitor. Then, you’ll find basic company details, the total number of monthly visitors, pages per visit, bounce rate, and the average time a visitor spends on your competitor’s website.

Similarweb also shows you the traffic demographics, targeting the country, gender, age distribution, and other similar websites in your competitor’s niche. You can check their top-performing keywords and strategize your content around your competitor keywords to outrank in organic SERP results.

Confused between Similarweb & SEMRush? We’ve got you covered! Read: Semrush vs Similarweb: More Accurate Traffic Estimator in 2023?



Ahrefs is an all-in-one solution for tracking a website’s organic traffic, such as keyword position, anchor text, backlinks, broken links, content gaps, and the number of backlinks obtained from different sources.

Using Ahref’s Site Explorer tool, you can monitor your competitor’s website performance metrics like organic search traffic, top-ranking keywords, referring backlinks, top pages, and most shared content pieces. Getting a better idea about content preferences will help you in improving content readability. Furthermore, you can also use Ahref’s Competing Page feature to find your competitor’s top-ranking pages and identify content gaps between your competing pages.

Another popular feature is the site audit tool. You can use it to check out your website and fix any type of technical issues. Fixing broken links, 404 pages, and canonical URLs will gradually improve your website’s SEO performance and help you rank better in search results.

Raven Tools


Raven Tools is a cloud-based digital marketing platform with SEO and automated reporting tools. It offers competitive analysis features like rank tracking, keyword research, competitor research, website audit tools, backlink research, and reporting features to track essential metrics for search engine optimization.

Raven’s Competitor Analysis tool lets you see how your competitors are ranking, which keywords they target, and where their backlinks are coming from. It combines three analysis tools into one to check your competitors’ SEO metrics and site metrics like website speed and load time.

Competitive intelligence tools have long been used for competitor research, but now with social media, keeping track becomes more complex. Raven Tools takes care of this by also showing the number of Twitter likes, Facebook shares, LinkedIn shares, and content engagement metrics, including likes and comments.



SpyFu, originally named GoogleSpy, shows Google Adwords keyword analytics for websites. Its SEO competitor research feature provides a complete history report on keywords, ranking history of pages, social outreach backlinks, and tracking the impressions of ranking keywords.

SpyFu’s PPC competitor research feature includes screenshots of competitors’ ad campaigns. It also shows suggestions for buying the latest keywords for display ads. It also displays a spherical Venn diagram called Kombat that depicts competitors’ data.

Moreover, it shows many important factors, such as the cost-per-click for the ad keyword and conversion rate. You can even browse your competitor’s entire Google Ad campaign history and split test which keywords worked for them. 

Did you know that you can spy on Facebook Ads as well? With Facebook Ads spy tools to you can keep an eye on your competitors.



With Serpstat, you can analyze backlinks, search keywords, compete with your competitors, and run a website audit in addition to backlink analysis.

Using its deep SEO Competitor Analysis tool, you can find your competitor’s top-ranking keywords in SERPs and compare the results with your landing pages. You’ll find some common keywords and discover missing keywords and their top pages with referring backlinks. 

Serpstat’s competitor research tool also helps you with your competitor’s advertisement, information if any. You can analyze the keywords your competitors used for PPC ads and compare them with your cost per click.

Some other features include keyword batch analysis, where-in you compare data on five search bases and check the keyword visibility based on different parameters like frequency, cost, number of results, competition in the niche, and so on.

The Hoth


The Hoth is a free Pay Per Click Competitor Research Tool powered by SEMRush. You can use the tool to see which keywords competitors are targeting on Google in their paid advertisements.

The tool is simple to use. All you need to do is enter your competitor’s domain URL and complete the reCaptcha verification. Now you’ll find the list of PPC keywords along with ad position, search volume, click percentage, click value in US dollars, and the respective landing page URL. This helps in creating content strategies as you can check interactive and engaging content ideas employed by your competitors.

The Hoth is a digital marketing agency that provides SEO, backlink, and PPC services. You can use their other free tools; however, it’s an agency that takes care of your business requirements based on dedicated pricing plans.


Ubersuggest by NeilPatel is an SEO tool for keyword research and getting insights on keyword stats like volume, keyword difficulty, CTR, and so on. It’s a free tool with limited search results; however, you can access the premium features by purchasing their Pro plans.

To start using UberSuggest, you need to enter your competitor’s website and hit the search button. The platform will give you a traffic overview such as organic keywords, organic monthly traffic, your competitor’s domain authority, and several backlinks, including no-follow backlinks.

You also get the top visited pages, their backlinks, and the position of your competitor’s top pages in the Search Engine Results page. However, Ubersuggest provides you with limited data as compared to other free tools. To access basic information, you can start by creating a free account and upgrading to a monthly plan if you find the platform suitable for your SEO needs.



Moz is a popular resource website for learning online marketing and Search Engine Optimization. It’s a website that offers many free tools like backlink analysis tools, keyword research tools, and spying on competitors using competitive research tools.

Using Moz’s link explorer tool, you can examine the links to your competitor’s website by entering the domain name. It gives you a broad view of the number of backlinks, quality of backlinks, anchor text links, and referring domains. All these insights will help you develop your link-building strategies.

Moz also provides a free keyword explorer tool wherein you need to enter your competitor’s website name. It will provide you useful insights about your competitor’s top-ranking keywords, search volume, keyword difficulty, and probable click-through rates on different keywords. 

All these insights will help you determine their content strategy and the type of customers they are targeting. You can find the content gap and grab opportunities to improve your own content strategy. After all, an integral part of digital marketing is learning from competitor marketing campaigns.

Author’s Take

Keeping an eye on your competitors is an essential activity to match the market and stay ahead in your niche. 

You should observe competitors to get some inspiration and enhance your strategies. It is not advisable to discard your existing workflow under the influence of your competitor’s new activities.

The best way is to keep improving your systems and create a backlog for activities that you may adopt after your research. 

If you find this article helpful, continue reading about the best social media listening tools for growing your business.

  • Rahul
    Rahul is a digital marketer and web developer. He keeps learning about new web development trends and helps people do online business. In his free time, he enjoys watching YouTube videos and reading psychology books.
  • Joy R Bhamre

    Joy R Bhamre is a Google certified Digital Marketing Specialist, Content Writer & Editor as well as a Cambridge-certified English Language Trainer with over 14 years of corporate experience.

    She is an English Literature… read more

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