By William Furney, PR & content strategist, Reachology
Every business needs to keep a close eye on their competitors, to see what they’re up to, if they’re doing anything different – and better – and how you’re shaping up against them in your industry. They may have developed a new marketing strategy that’s really working and that you could adopt, if you only knew about it.
Thankfully, staying aware of your competitors and their digital activity is possible, and we’re going to show you the best tools to use right now to maximise competitor research for your campaigns, giving you a deep dive into what rival firms are doing to promote themselves online.
Top 5 digital PR tools for competitor research
While this list isn’t exhaustive, these are some of our favourite tools for competitor analysis when researching a digital PR campaign:
What they say: “Do SEO, content marketing, competitor research, PPC and social media marketing from just one platform.”
The reality: Semrush is among the best digital PR tools because it’s comprehensive and powerful. It features more than 55 tools for digital PR including:
- Keyword research
- Competitor analysis
- Content marketing
- Local SEO
- Content optimisation
- Market analysis
Semrush has a number of competitor analysis tools for Digital PR, allowing you to compare your website’s traffic against your rivals, conduct organic search and advertising research and track your competitors’ activities on social media.
You can also look at how competitive your rivals are from an SEO perspective, and another useful tool, Keyword Gap, lets you look at a maximum of five rivals at a time and see places in their keywords strategies that you can take advantage of.
The cost: Can try for free, and thereafter between $119.95 and $449.95 monthly.
What they say: “Everything you need to rank higher and get more traffic.”
The reality: Ahrefs is also one of the leading go-to tools for digital PR, although it doesn’t offer quite the amount of services as Semrush. Its Site Explorer feature gives you the ability to directly see how your rivals are doing with organic as well as paid (PPC) search.
Importantly for us, when weighing up the different competitor analysis tools for Digital PR, Ahrefs tells you what your competitors did to get to the position they’re now in online – and how you can use that knowledge to leap ahead of them.
Along with Site Explorer, Ahref’s tools for digital PR are:
Keywords explorer – giving you the right keywords for your digital PR campaigns.
Site Audit – a scan of your website to unearth any SEO problems.
Rank Tracker – allowing you to keep an eye on your progress with ranking for your target keywords.
Content Explorer – helps you to come up with solid ideas for content as well as finding relevant sites for linking purposes.
The cost: No free trials, and pricing ranges from €89 monthly, for a basic service, to €179 for a Standard package, right up to the more substantial €899 per month for Enterprise.
What they say: “Your SEO success story starts here. SEO software and data to help you increase traffic, rankings, and visibility in search results.”
The reality: Moz – best known for its domain authority ranking score – bundles its key tools for digital PR into its Pro offering: keyword research, link building, site audits, optimisation, rank tracking and others.
It has an SEO Competitive Analysis Tool that it advertises as free, but it only provides some basic information, such as domain and page authority and keyword opportunities, before taking you to a sign-up page if you want more data.
Moz also has a guide to doing SEO competitor analysis that it says allows you to “steal your competitor’s traffic”. It includes a free template brimming with lots of helpful example data, including Keyword Gap Analysis, SERP Analysis, Top Competing Analysis and Link Gap Analysis.
The cost: Some tools are partly free while subscriptions are priced between $99 and $599 a month; discounts are available with a yearly payment.
What they say: “SpyFu exposes the search marketing secret formula of your most successful competitors.”
The reality: Along with a range of SEO services, SpyFU’s competitor analysis tools for digital PR allows you to view — spy — on what your rivals have been up to in the digital realm for the past 14 years. It includes:
- Analysis of competitors’ website traffic
- Comparisons of rival domains
- SEO and PPC strategies in use by competitors
- Uncovering new companies in your sector
Punch in a competitor’s website and SpyFu takes you to a dashboard revealing, at no charge:
- Overview of a domain
- Organic and paid competitors
- The rival’s main keywords
- Your competitor’s top website pages
- What they’re doing with Google Ads
- Website ranking history
- Inbound links (backlinks from other sites)
This all provides invaluable insights into competitors, at just one click.
The cost: The free overview may be enough for you, but if not, plans start from just $16 a month, if paid annually, and go up to $299 monthly — all with free trials.
What they say: “Data so powerful you’ll outperform competitors in every marketing channel.”
The reality: Along with a host of free digital PR tools that include ranking the world’s top websites and apps, mobile vs desktop comparisons and website analysis, Similarweb offers Digital Marketing Intelligence as a paid service. It provides:
- Competitive Analysis
- Keyword Research
- Affiliate Research
- Ad Research & Media Buying
Similarweb says its competitor analysis tools for digital PR are better than its own rivals because, unlike them, it relies on “real-user click data” that provides true insights that marketers need. This allows you to change strategy and digital PR campaigns when markets and the economy go in different directions as well as tracking competitive traffic trends and optimising growth to boost ROI.
The cost: While free trials are available, you must book a demo of Similarweb’s Digital Marketing Intelligence solution before finding out how much it costs. It offers a more basic Competitive Intelligence service that starts from $167 per month.
Competitor analysis tools for digital PR – which wins?
You may be able to get away with the various free elements of the above
digital PR tools, but to really find out what your competitors are doing, you’ll need a subscription. Semrush or Ahrefs are the best starting point, combining everything you need for competitor analysis for a relatively low monthly fee.
If you’d like to know more about competitor analysis tools for digital PR, as part of creating a digital PR campaign, book a free call with Reachology now.