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Go Behind the Scenes: Apps for Better Competitive Intel

competitive research

With the level of transparency and access in today’s communications, it’s easy to collect competitor intel for both business and marketing. There are many easily accessible company communications, such as websites, social media networks, blogs and downloadable content. If your company participates in public RFPs, depending on the industry, public agencies often make responses available to everyone.

But what if you want to take a closer look at not-so-public competitors’ marketing? There are many free or inexpensive tools that help your marketing team discover what your competitors are doing “behind the scenes.”

  • SEMrush and Alexa will tell you if your competitors have paid traffic, as well as which pages on their website rank highest. SpyFu and iSpionage will inform you of what competitors’ are spending on pay-per-click advertising, and you can also use Alexa to collect demographic information on your competitors’ website traffic.
  • Use Moz to compare your SEO metrics (keywords, backlinks, domain authority and more) to that of your competitors to inform your strategies for improvement.
  • WhatRunsWhere shows you competitors’ landing pages, display ads and more, as does Adbeat, while with AdEspresso you can find out which competitors’ Facebook ads are most effective.
  • Builtwith lets you know what technology your competitors’ built their websites on and what technology they’re using to track website visitors. Follow.net and SimilarWeb also give information about competitors’ monthly traffic.
  • Buzzsumo tracks what content has been read and shared most, telling you not only what your competitors’ content is but also which pieces of content are working the best for them.

Pretty interesting, right? Keep in mind that as much information as you can find out about your competitors, they can find out about you!


For more information on conducting competitor research, read Knowledge Is Revenue: How to Conduct Killer Competitor Research