February 3, 2020

Competitor Tools: Discover What Works and Why

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Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]

Image Credit: NeONBRAND

Butting heads with competitors might unsettle some people. And motivate a few others. Facing your competition might intimidate you initially, but it can be a good thing. It’s especially favourable when you use the right research tools.

Competitor tools give you significant insights into your contenders’ business strategies. So that you can outperform or, at least, match them.

The tools allow you to see what works for your competitors and what doesn’t. And then, it’ll enable you to use those insights to develop your marketing campaigns. More so, recognising your competitors’ strengths helps you match them; uncovering their weaknesses enables you to exploit them.

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, staying ahead of the competition is crucial for businesses striving to succeed. The key to achieving this lies in gaining insights into the strategies and tactics employed by your rivals. Fortunately, with the plethora of competitor analysis tools available, you can unlock valuable data that helps you understand what works for your competitors and why.

In this blog post, we delve into the world of competitor analysis tools, uncovering their power and potential in empowering your business. We will explore a range of cutting-edge tools that provide you with a comprehensive overview of your competitors’ online presence, marketing campaigns, and customer engagement strategies.

By harnessing the power of these tools, you can gain a competitive edge by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your rivals and uncovering new opportunities for growth. Whether you’re a small startup or an established enterprise, understanding your competition is paramount to making informed decisions and developing effective marketing and business strategies.

So what tools should you use?

Competitor Tools We Recommend and Why

Competitor tools help you make the right business decisions. So we’ve hand-picked three of the best options for beginner marketers. We also pointed out why these tools are the best for starters.

Tools We Recommend

There are tons of competitor tools to improve your existing campaigns. Albeit, we can’t cover all of them, we’ll focus on three research and analysis tools in this article. They are our top three picks for beginners.

  • SpyFu
  • SimilarWeb
  • SEMrush

Why are they your best options?

Why You Need These Tools

As a beginner marketer, ambiguity is your enemy. You want to use competitor tools that simplify your work, tools that help you get better results, faster.

SpyFu, SimilarWeb, and SEMrush made the top three competitor tools because

  • They help you learn new means of serving your customers
  • These tools allow you to spot and utilize new opportunities
  • Competitor tools must help you find out why other websites are doing better
  • They provide you with insights into the exact contents you need to be producing to improve customer relations and sales

Now, let’s explore each of these tools.


Image Source: SpyFu

This competitor analysis tool helps in researching and downloading your competitor’s most profitable keywords. It helps you remain ahead of the trends by pushing out the latest and most relevant content.

Some of its top features include

  • Keyword tracking
  • Competitor analysis
  • Rank tracking
  • Keyword research features

Let’s look closely at what SpyFu does for you.

What SpyFu Does

SpyFu shows all the paid keywords your competitors are targeting, and the organic ones to improve your SEO performance. It provides a complete rundown of your competitors’ marketing campaigns by monitoring AdWords activity.

You enter your competitor’s website URL into the search box and hit enter to reveal their profitable keywords. You can export the keywords after studying and comparing them with yours by clicking on the ‘export tab.’

Advantages of Using SpyFu

Why should you consider using SpyFu?

  • SpyFu provides fairly accurate data
  • It’s relatively easy to use due to its efficient user interface
  • The tool gathers a large volume of data
  • It lets you see your competitor’s targeted keywords

But it’s not all butterflies and rainbows.

Where SpyFu Needs Improvement

SpyFu could use some improvements in these areas,

  • SpyFu is quite expensive
  • It only shows PPC details of AdWords
  • The lead generation tool doesn’t filter out many businesses


Image Source: SimilarWeb 

It’s a competitive analysis tool for digging into a website, platform, or an app. It’s used to providing insights about other businesses’ traffic, keyword analysis, rankings, etc.

What SimilarWeb Does

SimilarWeb shows you where most of your competition’s traffic comes from and the pages they visit. The tool allows you to analyze their marketing channels and compare their strategies with yours.

SimilarWeb helps you discover gaps in your campaign and offers you opportunities to make it more efficient. The tool helps you understand where your attention should go in terms of traffic generation. It also shows you the channels that require more effort in the future.

Advantages of Using SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb gives you the upper hand in many ways. Specifically, SimilarWeb

  • Offers extensive analytics functions
  • Gives you a flexible pricing plan including a free plan for starters
  • The tool uses a quote-based pricing system that allows clients to pay for the features they can afford or need urgently
  • Products find use across diverse audiences
  • Optimal user experience and detailed visual data

But SimilarWeb users have spotted some of its failings.

Where SimilarWeb Needs Improvement

Specifically, SimilarWeb users have spotted these lapses,

  • The free version doesn’t provide the number of unique visitors
  • It only estimates desktop traffic (it doesn’t work for mobiles and tablets)
  • There’s an overestimation for sites with low traffic
  • The more attractive features are only available in the premium version


SEMrush is a versatile tool that allows you to carry out competitive research on any domain name and then use the data to improve your campaigns. It lets you spy on your competitor’s marketing strategies.

What SEMrush Does

SEMrush does your keyword research for you – tracking your competitors’ strategies. It most importantly runs an SEO audit of your website or blog, looking for back-linking opportunities.

Advantages of Using SEMrush

Marketers love SEMrush for many reasons. However, the recurring reasons include,

  • SEMrush provides competitive organic research
  • The domain analytics offers an in-depth look into your website and your competitor’s
  • It allows organic keyword research
  • They provide excellent tools for finding links to your website

But SEMrush has lapses too.

Where SEMrush Needs Improvement

Although SEMrush is a great tool, users have spotted its lapses. Here are the frequently occurring issues.

  • SEMrush can be pricey if you’re on a tight budget or starting out
  • Occasional data discrepancies
  • The software doesn’t filter city-by-city, only by countries
  • It lacks proper management of keyword lists at times
  • Traffic predictions can be lacking for some websites
  • Inadequate customer support responsiveness

Put Your Competitor Tools to Work

Competitor analysis tools are essential. You must use them if you want to build a successful business, improve brand visibility, and boost your revenue. Like with any industry, growing an online business requires time and constant effort.

You’ll need to work harder to grow and develop your market.

Any of these competitor tools could do the trick for you. All that’s required is finding the one that works well with your brand, and that you can afford.

Take the time now to decide which competitor tool suites your needs, and start using it.

Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

    Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

      Shout logo in grey

      As Founder and Director of Shout Web Strategy, Michael Jenkins is at the forefront of digital marketing. Since it’s inception in 2009, Shout has built a strong reputation as one of Australia’s leading strategic SEO agencies, assisting online businesses to formulate, implement and track successful marketing strategies. Michael is a respected thought leader and digital strategist, specialising in online strategy, corporate SEO, Google retargeting, email and conversion rate optimisation, and online reputation management. Follow Michael on Google+, connect with him through LinkedIn or visit the Shout Web Strategy website.

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