10 Tools You Can Use for SEO Competitive Analysis

A successful search engine optimization strategy includes competitive analysis. The tools available today offer incredible value at generally reasonable rates.

They help users do more in less time, and many may find that the tools are so useful that they essentially end up paying for themselves. Here are 10 popular SEO competitive analysis tools, their prices, and how you can use them to enhance the success of your SEO strategy.

1. Semrush

Semrush not only offers good data for analyzing search results, but everything works the way you expect it to – it’s so easy to use.

There is no need to read a manual to use Semrush’s SERP analysis tool.

Every link, button and header has a tooltip that explains what it is so it all makes sense.

Semrush Tooltip Explains SERP Analysis Tool Data

Screenshot from Semrush, January 2023

Semrush Tooltip Explains Jargon

Screenshot from Semrush modified by the author, January 2023

The Semrush Authority Score is assigned to each URL listed in the SERP Analysis.

Like any third-party metric, the Authority Score is simply a score based on factors such as backlinks, traffic, and referring domains.

The metric makes it easy to make a quick judgment on a web page without having to spend hours researching all the factors for each web page.

The research is already done; this is what Semrush’s Authority Point is.

It’s only one part of Semrush’s SERP analysis, but it’s the part that’s directly related to competitor research.

Semrush is useful for researching competitor backlinks. Ease of use makes the link research workflow a pleasure.

No need to read a manual. Everything is self-explanatory.

The start of an analysis consists of entering a domain name or a full URL.

The resulting page displays various metrics that help you see the competition at a glance, literally.

There is a graph that shows the growth of referring domains and also backlinks per year, which provides a quick idea of ​​how aggressively they build links, organized by time.

Screenshot from Semrush modified by the author, January 2023

Below this graph, there is another visual representation of backlinks organized by referring domain categories.

Categories are the general niche areas that the backlinks belong to.

Screenshot from Semrush, January 2023

When you click on a category, the tool presents a filter where you can add a word, a phrase, or a TLD, meaning Top Level Domain (.net or .org), to find all relevant links.

There is also a drop-down menu to select “zones by TLD”, but I find that typing in the TLD works best.

Or you can get granular and click the View Full Report button to see all the categories in granular detail.

It’s easy to recommend Semrush because it’s really designed for competitor research and link building.

The tools for competitive research are easy to use and give a visual snapshot of their activities and offer a useful user interface for drilling down by category.

2. Ahrefs SERP Checker (Free And Paid)

Ahrefs has a free SERP checker that shows the same SERP data as the paid version, only for the top positions.

The paid version has more data. But if you’re on a budget, the free version is a useful start.

Below is a screenshot of the SERP overview that lists featured snippets, people are also asking, and sitelink improvements.

This extra data gives a good overview of what the SERPs look like, plus page and domain ranking metrics.

Screenshot from Ahrefs, December 2022

Here is a screenshot showing more data from the SERP analysis tool.

All column headings display a tooltip that explains what each column means.

Screenshot from Ahrefs, December 2022

Ahrefs is a solid choice for competitor analysis of search results.

3. Serpstat

Serpstat is an affordable SEO platform that offers SERP analysis tools. It is possible to sign up for free to try.

Serpstat is focused on the analysis of search results and is useful for Backlinks Analysis and Competitor Analysis.

4. SpyFu

SpyFu is a very reasonably priced service that is dedicated specifically to competitive research and offers many useful features.

The benefit of the tool is that it generates all the necessary data for competitive research.

SpyFu basically takes the “research” part out of competitive search jobs and provides the data.

The SERP Analysis tool, which can be used for free, offers unique information, such as indicators that signal that a website is rising or falling in the search results.

Screenshot from SpyFu, January 2023

Another interesting feature is that it offers a Ranking Difficulty score, data on whether the .gov or .edu sites are ranking, and the number of homepages that are ranking in the first 100 positions.

Screenshot from SpyFu modified by the author, January 2023

SpyFu Backlinks Report

Another unique feature is how SpyFu identifies what it determines are the strongest web pages to get a link from.

Just enter a keyword phrase in the search box, and SpyFu searches the backlinks of the top 5,000 ranked sites, even for similar keyword phrases, and identifies all the backlinking domains that the ranked sites have in common.

Even better, SpyFu allows users to filter those web pages by backlink types.

The types of backlinks one can filter are .gov/.edu/, sites with affiliate links, blogs, news sites, forums and directories.

The forum filter reveals all the strongest forum backlinks, the .edu domain filter shows the best .edu sites to link from, and so on.

Another interesting feature is called Backlink Kombat.

Screenshot from SpyFu, January 2023

This tool allows you to enter two competing domains and then exclude your own domain. Then it will show you all the links that your competitors have in common that your site doesn’t have.

I like to use tools in creative ways to get even more or better data.

What I suggest you do with the SpyFu Backlink Kombat tool is to compare sites that are not your direct competitors. This can help you discover opportunities that you might not otherwise.

So if your topic is fountains in X city, compare rooftops in X city.

Finding competitor backlinks with SpyFu is incredibly easy. I would like the flexibility to filter by keywords (like favorite sites) or by TLD (to find .org or .us domains).

A limited amount of this data is free, and the full set of data is available to paid subscribers.

SpyFu is an interesting tool because it takes the extra step of presenting the data while minimizing search.

It is easy to use, specific to the search of competitors, and reasonably priced.

5. Sandboxweb.io SERP Analysis Tool

Sandboxweb.io offers a SERP analysis tool that provides data on top ranking competitors.

This tool displays schema types, Core Web Vitals data, and word counts.

You can click on each competitor in the SERP to research more.

The free version of this tool offers a lot of information. But it is limited to 10 keywords per month.

The data is somewhat limited, but it offers a quick analysis.

6. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog has a SERP analysis feature. It is not easy to use, but it is not too difficult.

I’d like to see Screaming Frog make it easier to run this type of analysis without being technical.

If you take the time to figure it out, Screaming Frog can scrape the SERPs and provide analytics.

It is also useful to analyze competitors one at a time to get a sense of which sites they link to, how much content they have, interlinking patterns, headings used on the site, and many other competitor data points.

7. Inlinks

Inlinks is a tool focused on content optimization that can extract relevant data points from search results and competitors.

Inlinks features a SERP analytics feature that offers multiple data points about sites in search results, such as semantically related topics and user intent data.

The user intent data and topic suggestion features are quite unique.

There is also a Topic Analysis feature that provides related competitor topics and other data that is useful for creating content.

Other SERP analysis tools look at the top 100 through the top 5,000 for their analysis.

But in my opinion, what really matters more are the first 10 search results because not every site in the top 100 or even the top 10 is a competitor.

So, I really appreciate that the Inlinks SERP analysis tool focuses on the top 10.

The Inlinks SERP analysis tool offers data on the following:

I asked one of the founders, Dixon Jones, to explain what Inlinks does in terms of competitor analysis.

“Inlinks analyzes ten competing pages for each Keyword. It aggregates the combined number of times the entities are used in the SERP and uses this to build a Knowledge Graph of entities related to a given search.

This is then compared to the entity in the content on YOUR competition page, highlighting the material gaps in your content.

At the site level, Inlinks can build a knowledge graph of any site, but it doesn’t currently have many tools to compare entire sites.

Let’s look at the verbs used to describe entities (on competing pages for a SERP) and group them into verb-based intentions.

This helps content publishers respond to a real user request, instead of using words in the wrong context.”

Inlinks offers more tools; it’s more than just competitor analysis.

There is a free, professional and enterprise level.

8. MarketMuse

MarketMuse is an AI-based content analysis tool that works across the entire content creation workflow, from research to content brief and more.

What I appreciate about MarketMuse is that it looks at the top pages and offers a keyword overview of the topics.

A key competitor analysis feature in MarketMuse is called Compete.

The competition tool analyzes the competition and suggests what to write and ways to do better than competitors, such as covering neglected related topics.

The unique selling point of Compete, in my opinion, is that it is focused on helping users create content that is better than the competition.

My understanding of MarketMuse is that it is not only focused on helping users beat their competition.

The tool streamlines the entire content creation workflow, with competitor research being a part of the process.

There is a learning curve at MarketMuse.

9. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is a unique competitor analysis tool.

It focuses less on SEO and more on providing a clear picture of the differences between the two websites.

There are several data points related to traffic, keywords, traffic share by country, and even a comparison of audience demographics.

SimilarWeb offers a free and paid version.

The free version offers a generous amount of data that helps users compare competitors.

10. LinkResearchTools

LinkResearchTools is an enterprise class link research tool.

It is the most sophisticated and comprehensive link building tool I have ever used.

One of the qualities that I like the most is that it feels like it has a complete inventory of raked links.

The tool makes it easy to find links with normal search, such as adding a TLD, but you can also find links that many sites have in common.

Most of the functionality is geared towards companies that want to disavow backlinks, which is useless for link builders.

I’d like to see a tool that removes all disavowing link features and focuses only on finding competing backlinks.

One can subscribe to most other lower priced tools and use their combined competitor backlink research features and still pay less than LinkResearchTools.

For most people, that’s more than enough.

But the data in LinkResearchTools is, in my experience, possibly the most comprehensive backlink data available.

Backlink Analysis

Backlink analysis is more than just competitor keywords.

It’s a way to understand what the barrier to entry might be, which means how easy or difficult it might be to compete.

Competitive links can be a starting point for building better links.

Sometimes a group of links can come out, giving an idea of ​​a direction to take.

Building solid links requires a flexible backlink analysis tool.

Competitor Research

There are many useful SEO tools available today. They don’t do the SEO for you, but they make it easier to get better results faster.

The tools also provide timely access to huge amounts of data that would ordinarily take days to compile.

Saving time, being more productive, and having the data to make informed decisions is the hallmark of all these SEO tools.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

How do I create a competitor analysis template?

How to do a competitive analysis

  • Create a competitor overview. In the first step, select between five and 10 competitors to compare with your company. …
  • Do some market research. …
  • Compare product features. …
  • Compare product marketing. …
  • Use a SWOT analysis. …
  • Identify your place in the market landscape.

What should a competitor analysis be? A competitive analysis should examine your competitors’ characteristics, market share, pricing, marketing, differentiators, strengths, weaknesses, geography, culture, and customer reviews.

Is Porter’s five forces a competitor analysis?

Porter’s Five Forces is a model that identifies and analyzes five competitive forces that shape any industry and helps determine an industry’s weaknesses and strengths. Five Forces analysis is often used to identify the structure of the industry to determine corporate strategy.

What is Michael Porter’s competitive analysis? Michael Porter’s five forces is a model used to explore the environment in which a product or company operates. Five forces analysis looks at five key areas mainly threat of entry, power of buyers, power of suppliers, threat of substitutes and competitive rivalry.

Who developed Porter’s five forces competitive position analysis? Despite being developed by Harvard University professor Michael E Porter in 1979, Porter’s Five Forces Framework (also called Porter’s Five Forces Analysis or the Five Forces Model) remains a popular analysis tool that is still widely used today when defining business strategies.

What is Porter’s 5 forces analysis for? What is the purpose of Porter’s Five Forces? Porter’s Five Forces model can help you analyze the attractiveness of a particular industry, evaluate investment options, and assess the competitive environment in your market.

What is the difference between SWOT analysis and Porter’s five forces of competitive position analysis?

SWOT analysis looks at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an individual or organization to analyze its internal potential. While Porter’s 5 Forces are all external factors, SWOT analysis examines internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) forces.

What is Porter’s competitive position analysis? Five forces analysis looks at five key areas mainly threat of entry, power of buyers, power of suppliers, threat of substitutes and competitive rivalry.

What are the similarities between SWOT matrix analysis and Porter’s five forces model?

Both are strategic tools for evaluating potential positioning in a market. While Porter’s Five Forces are useful for addressing the state of competition in a market, SWOT analysis helps address the internal and external factors that affect a company’s competitiveness over time.

What are the similarities and differences between strengths and opportunities in SWOT analysis? A strength is a resource or capability that the organization can use effectively to achieve its objectives. A weakness is a limitation, flaw or defect in the organization that will prevent it from achieving its goals. An opportunity is any favorable situation in the organization’s environment.

Is SWOT the same as competitive analysis?

It is essentially a decision-making tool. SWOT is a competitor analysis framework developed by consulting firms to get an overview of a current business situation before putting together a corporate strategy. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Can you use SWOT analysis for competitor analysis? A competitor SWOT analysis is just one way to assess your competitor’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so that you can better understand their business and, in turn, your own.

Why is Porter’s five forces better than SWOT?

While both help you assess your company’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to industry opportunities and challenges, a primary difference is that SWOT focuses more on specific elements of the company while Five Forces involves a look at five important competitive factors when making a strategic decision.

Are Porter’s five forces better than SWOT analysis? Both tools are important for managers to use, and are more suitable for different types of analysis. SWOT identifies specific strengths and weaknesses of the business and where there is room for improvement. Porter’s 5 Forces look beyond a single firm at the competitive landscape that will come into play.

What is the tool used for competitive advantage?

Michael Porter’s value chain model can be used as a tool to diagnose a competitive advantage and find ways to improve it.

What are the 4 different methods of competitive advantage? The four primary methods of achieving a competitive advantage are cost leadership, differentiation, defensive strategies and strategic alliances.

What tool can be used to design competitive strategies? SWOT is an effective business planning tool used in companies to form strategies. It helps to analyze the internal factors (Strength and Weakness) that affect and external factors (Opportunities and Threats) that can have an effect on an organization.

What is a competitive analysis tool?

Competitor analysis tools will help you track, analyze and learn from your competitors’ strategies. So, you can use this information to boost your marketing campaigns and win big!

Is competitive analysis the same as SWOT analysis? Key Takeaways Porter’s 5 Forces is a comparative analysis strategy that analyzes competitive market forces within an industry. SWOT analysis looks at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an individual or organization to analyze its internal potential.

What are the 4 components of competitive analysis? There are four key components to a solid competitor analysis framework: Porter’s Five Forces. SWOT analysis. Business models. Mapping the customer journey.

What is the best way to find the competitiveness of your keywords and why?

Evaluate the competition by looking at the search engine results (SERPs) to determine how many sites are competing for the exact keyword phrase and if these sites are well optimized and have link authority. In Google, search for the keyword phrase in quotes to find the number of indexed pages for the exact phrase.

What is competitive keyword analysis? Competitor keyword analysis is the process of discovering the keywords for which your competitors are ranking highly, with the goal of using that information to create content that outperforms them in search results. The selected keywords should be relevant to your business and related to your current content production.

Which type of keyword is the most competitive? When it comes to ranking, short tail keywords are harder to rank for because they are more obvious. People thought of skiing or skiing as a key phrase and because they individually have a high search volume, people also want to rank for those phrases.