Revised April 7, 2021
Revised February 5, 2020
Revised December 11, 2019
When evaluating the results of marketing and PR efforts, it’s vital to consider two perspectives: what is the trend of results (e.g., increasing social engagement, website traffic over time, etc.) and how do your results compare to your closest competitors?
There are a wide range of monitoring, listening, and analytics tools available to answer the first type of question. To answer the second, here are the 12 best tools for comparing your brand’s performance to your top competitors in terms of web traffic, social media brand mentions, target keywords, online advertising, organic search visibility, and other factors.
As will be the case for all posts in this series, tools will be shown with the number of results returned by Google on a search for reviews of that tool (not necessarily the actual number of reviews) and example showcase reviews. Links to all showcase reviews are near the end of this post.
Google Review Count:450
Supplies competitive intelligence such as what content is getting traction for your competitors, which networks they are having success on, who is sharing their content, and your content performance compares to theirs. Also useful for content curation, content planning, social media monitoring, and infuencer outreach.
Sample review: “Great content is key to great social media marketing, and Buzzsumo is just the tool for that…Buzzsumo searches through different types of content including infographics, blog articles, and videos, and shows you the popularity of each piece of content in each social media network. It’s a daily go-to tool for me as I’m researching a specific topic or looking for additional content to link to.” — Rebekah Radice
Pricing: $99 to $999 per month
Showcase reviews: Anders Pink, BuzzBlogger, Blogging Wizard, Perception System, Katie Lance, MarketingLand, Cent Muruganandam, Visually, Catherine Pham/SlideShare, Marketing Insider Group, Lilach Bullock, StoreYa Blog, Express Writers, Rebekah Radice, Mention, SnapApp, Robbie Richards
Google Review Count:330
Enter any URL to see details of the technology used to build that website, or search this tool’s database to see which sites use shopping carts, analytics, hosting and many more. Filter by location, traffic, vertical and other attributes.
Sample review: “Have you ever stumbled across a website that uses amazing apps, like beautiful opt-in boxes or social share buttons, that you’d like to use on your own blog? When you use the BuiltWith browser extension, you can get a list of every app a website is using, so you can save time looking for those apps yourself.” — Social Media Examiner
Pricing: $295 to $995 per month
Showcase reviews: Siasat, Social Media Examiner
Google Review Count: 280
Provides visibility into the sources and quality of traffic to other websites.
Sample review: “This is one of the more advanced tools available, and it has been rating websites for a long time (much like a PageRank)…This tool does it all when it comes to spying on your competitors (linking, traffic, keywords, etc.) and is an excellent resource if your competitors are international.” — Kissmetrics Blog
Pricing: $10 to $149 per month
Showcase reviews: Kissmetrics Blog, StoreYa Blog
Google Review Count:267
Lets you benchmark your website against any competitors to see how well you are really doing in terms of overall visits, time on site, bounce rate and page views per visit. Almost like having access to Google Analytics for your competitors’ websites, SimilarWeb provides metrics for SEO and PPC keywords, traffic sources, popular pages, and visitor engagement.
Sample review: “SimilarWeb is very useful for spying my competitor’s sources of traffic. I find it to be very accurate and it’s great that I can see how much of my competitor’s traffic is coming from search engines, and what are their best referrals.” — Robbie Richards
Pricing: starts at $199 per month
Showcase reviews: Kissmetrics, MarketingLand, Lilach Bullock, StoreYa Blog, Hunter & Bard, Robbie Richards
Google Review Count: 266
Spy on competitors from different angles—see keywords they rank for, sites that link to their content, their best-performing pages by organic traffic, their ad spend via PPC, etc., all based on an SEO database of 18.5 trillion backlinks and 526 million keywords. Use features like Domain Comparison, Link Intersect, Content Gap, and Batch Analysis to compare your progress with competitors side by side to understand where you lag behind.
Sample review: “This is (a) popular tool (that) will show you things like top pages, IPs, and external links regarding your competitors. Speaking from experience, the site has great customer service and works with you to make sure you get what you need.” — Kissmetrics
Pricing: four levels from $82 to $832 per month (billed annually)
Showcase reviews: Kissmetrics, Robbie Richards
Google Review Count:263
Monitor and report on social media conversations globally, across the largest social networks, 187 languages. Filter and group search results, benchmark your brand against your industry peers, and view a range of KPIs including response rate, engagement rate and follower growth.
Pricing: free to $3,000 per month
Showcase review: Lilach Bullock
Google Review Count:250
A tool to measure digital results, discover business opportunities, monitor competition, and benchmark performance. Compete.com ceased operations on December 31, 2016. This is a most unfortunate loss, for prospective users as well as everyone involved with the company. It was an excellent tool for an important task.
Pricing: not disclosed
Showcase reviews: RazorSocial (Social Media Tools), Kissmetrics Blog, PR Daily, Lilach Bullock
Google Review Count:188
A competitive intelligence tool for PPC advertisers, iSpionage enables brands to identify competitors’ paid and organic keywords, PPC spending levels, keyword / ad / landing page groupings, and most profitable keywords.
Pricing: $59 to $299 per month; enterprise pricing available by quote
Showcase reviews: Kissmetrics Blog, Lilach Bullock
Google Review Count:130
Offers insight into content performance for you and your competitors across all key channels – including social media, blogs, email, earned media, ads and SEO.
Sample review: “One of the best tools for monitoring competitors and tracking contents, TrackMaven helps you to filter your search what’s working. This tool also helps (you) know what your competitors are doing across all channels. You can…keep up with your competitors and (determine what’s) causing changes in your competitor’s market.” — Perception System
Pricing: not disclosed
Showcase reviews: Perception System, SnapApp
Google Review Count: 108
Uses information from public sources to reveal the websites that likely belong to the same owner. The SpyOnWeb web crawler identifies ip address, google adsense id, google analytics id.
Showcase review: Kissmetrics Blog
11) Rival IQ
Google Review Count:102
Reveals how quickly your competitors are gaining followers on social networks, how often they post, their average engagement rate, and what their most successful posts look like. Also provides competitive SEO metrics (keywords, ranking, brand positioning), and data on paid search campaigns by comparing your adwords spend against others in your competitive landscape.
Sample review: “Rival IQ is a social media competitive analysis tool. You create one or more landscapes of competitors or clients and track their performance across both social media and the web. The platform is really nicely designed and easy to understand so you’ll get benefit from it very quickly…This is a very intuitive platform with good social media analytics.” — RazorSocial (Social Media Analytics)
Pricing: $199 to $439 per month
Showcase reviews: RazorSocial (Social Media Analytics), Lilach Bullock, Robbie Richards
Google Review Count: 30
Keyword research, backlink counts, rank tracking and competitive monitoring of all significant websites in any market segment.
Pricing: range of offerings for individuals, corporate users and SEO agencies from about $3 up to $111 per month.
Showcase review: MarketingLand
SEMrush Competitive Intelligence Bundle
Google Review Count: 113
If you’re searching for a one-shop-stop solution, SEMrush is an option. Originally known for their keyword research and SEO tools, SEMrush has built a broader view of competitive intelligence since then. The complete SEMrush bundle covers the competitor research workflow from the big picture to a detailed analysis of other companies’ tactics.
Pricing: $300/$400/$600 per month
My Codeless Website
Google Review Count: 80
A fast, free version of BuiltWith, My Codeless Website shows what site builder any site was created with. Just enter a URL and instantly discover if that site was developed using a site builder (e.g., Sitejet, Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace, etc.) and if so, which one.
Google Review Count: 53
Klue is competitive intelligence software that helps marketing and sales enablement teams collect, curate, and deliver intel to sales. It enables users to monitor relevant news and data and combines it with internal sources; curate and centralize the intelligence gathered; and create battlecards to help with sales strategy and execution.
Pricing: contact vendor
Google Review Count: N/A
Vaizle is a relatively new tool for social media competitive benchmarking with interesting potential. It offers social media analytics for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Get actionable insights, data to help improve social media strategy, and comparison against competitors.
Pricing: “pay as you want” pricing for early signup; $69/$169 per month; enterprise pricing by quote
Showcase Review Links
Hunter & Bard
Marketing Insider Group
RazorSocial (Social Media Tools)
RazorSocial (Social Media Analytics)
Social Media Examiner
This was the second post in the Best Online Business Tools series.
#1: Best Online Business Tools Series Kicks Off Today
#2: The 12 Best Competitive Intelligence and Benchmarking Tools
Thanks for the list Tom!
Haven’t heard of or used several of these resources before. Will be adding these to my list of future tools, especially Rival IQ – sounds like a useful set of info to extract for a comparison between our activities/results and similar companies.
Thanks Alphonso, glad the list was helpful! Have to say, Rival IQ has put together an impressive tool.
Deebak Akash says
great to have list of business tools, most of the tools that you listed are very useful. thanks Tom for sharing this post.
You’re most welcome Deebak, happy to know there’s value in the list.
What is your personal favorite out of this list?
I will give SpyRanks a try. Thanks Tom. I see you have SpyOnWeb on the list. Do you mind taking a look at http://analyzeid.com and tell me what you think?
Hey Dai – all of these tools are strong in their own way. I like BuiltWith and Serpstat a lot for being somewhat out of the ordinary.
Shad Shez says
Tom, should Compete be removed from this list? They ceased [public] operations as of December 31st.
Tom Pick says
Hi Shad – thanks for the heads-up on that, and yes, I’ll at least have to add some sort of note about Compete.com. I am stunned. That was a really nice tool for a very important function. Wow, tough market.
Very informative, I probably try first BuiltWith to see if I get any benefit. To find out back links recently Market Samurai provides as part of their package. In reality they get from Majestic Site Explorer which is already list here. I’ve booked mark this for my reference.
Tom Pick says
Hi Victoria – thanks for the positive feedback. I will check out Market Samurai.