Today, webmasters need to do everything possible to keep up with the competitors. Ideally, they should do everything possible to beat them.
This, of course, is impossible without knowing the following essential things:
- Who your competitors actually are.
- Where exactly they are getting all their traffic from.
- What techniques they use and which of them you can use in your own campaign.
- What your competitors changed to rank higher (if they succeed).
Nearly all SEO Tools on the market have competitors analysis modules aimed at helping a user find the right answers to these questions. We’re going to analyze some of the most promising competitors research tools on the market offered by SE Ranking, SEMrush, and Moz, describe how they work, and identify the pros & cons of each of these platforms.
1. Competitor Research By SE Ranking
SE Ranking is one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, in particular, because it offers a lot of competitor research tools that allow collecting specific data on the competitors’ most effective strategies.
By the way, if you have ever used any tools to spy on your “opponents”, you will hardly experience any difficulty when using SE Ranking competitor research tools. If you do it for the first time, you may need some time to get used to it, but it is worth it — after you figure out how the system works, you will be able to do the following.
Find your competitors, do keyword research
- Top pages
- Top subdomains
- Amount of traffic (organic and paid)
- The cost of driving traffic
- Places where they get it from
You can also get the list of websites that are visible for a particular query.
SE Ranking also provides an opportunity to see the list of all websites that are running paid ads using the same keywords that you are targeting in your campaign (you can even select a particular keyword group), filter the information you get, and see more data about every single competitor. All this is needed to expand the semantic core or develop a better strategy for the website.
Track your and your opponents’ ranking regularly
Webmasters who use SE Ranking can manually add (as well as delete) competitors, i.e., make the tool remember them and then regularly check their rankings and compare them to your website’s positions for the target keywords. The best thing you can also find SERP competitors — all users of the SE Ranking platform can track the top 100 results for any keyword in your project.
If you click on any website on the list, you will be able to see what it has changed during the selected period. Additional metrics like the number of backlinks or Alexa rank are also available. Speaking of backlinks — SE Ranking offers a tool called Backlink Checker — it allows you to see competitors’ backlink profiles put in figures, graphs, and tables.
You can also see the top 10 websites that rank for your keywords. That is how you can see who is your strongest competitor.
Pro tip: You can not only track ranking but also see what your competitors do on the sites, what they focus on, what they change, etc. You can create a new project on the platform and add your competitor’s domain like your new project. Add all info you can add, and run the site audit — you will get a lot of interesting and useful data.
2. SEMrush Competitive Research Toolkit
Just like SE Ranking, SEMrush is a platform that offers quality tools to look at a competitors’ strategy. Though these platforms look similar, it may be a bit more difficult for a beginner to use SEMrush. It is a bit pricier, too. However, it offers many tools that will allow you to build an effective strategy.
Domain analysis and keyword research
If you want to get an overview of your competitor’s website, you can get it with a few clicks only. You can also enter your own domain and choose the country from the list to see the basic info about the website, its organic and paid traffic, the number of links, and its overall authority score.
SEMrush uses the old and very effective scheme that is used by SE Ranking — it provides an opportunity to click on a competitor’s site and see more detailed information, not only the basic data we mentioned before but also user engagement metrics.
You will also see what keywords you and your opponent both use and what keywords are different. Of course, you can also find out what keywords of competitors are performing genuinely great and use this information to improve your own website.
Track the rankings
To understand how well the current strategy works and how good the schemes used by competitors are, a user who chooses SEMrush can use the ranking tools. The platform allows getting detailed information on the positions of other sites for particular keywords.
Another benefit of this platform is the opportunity to find rankings for particular pages — this allows webmasters to see all the info of the web page that ranks for a target keyword. You can also see the historical rankings and therefore, understand what techniques worked during a particular period, what did not, and why, modifying your own strategy.
Pro-tip. Apply filters to see the sites that are the best of the best — you can view only keywords in the top 10 Google or another search engine instead of seeing keywords in the top 100, a lot of which can be found on page 7 or worse.
3. Moz Competitive Research
Moz is a platform that provides powerful SEO tools and allows automatizing most processes and getting accurate data on your own or your competitor’s website. Another great thing is that it is quite easy to use, so even newbies will hardly experience any difficulty when using its best features. But what exactly are these features? Let’s see.
Find your top search competitors & do a keyword gap analysis
Looking for competitors manually may take a lot of time, and the team of Moz understands it. Just like both previous platforms, this one allows users to find competitors by the keyword in your own domain. Competitors are ranked by their visibility, so you can see the strongest players in your niche.
All Moz users can also search for the best keywords used by their competitors. You can find the keywords with the high volume and moderate difficulty (there is a separate column for this type of data, so you will not miss it) you could also rank for and also compare a few opponents to get deeper analysis results.
Like SE Ranking, Moz offers a great tool for analyzing competitors’ content: users can see the top-ranked pages and use the ideas to create/improve their own websites.
SERP and backlink analysis
It is no less important to understand the user intent and consider SERP metrics, in particular, link metrics of the top-ranking pages, the difficulty of keywords, etc. Moz allows getting all this data and also getting the crucially important information about the links. The best thing is that it allows finding quality links that are pretty easy to get. So, you can use the places that were already found by your competitors to improve your own positions without much difficulty.
Which Competitor Research Tool to Use: Moz, SE Ranking, or SEMrush?
First, we would like to emphasize that there are no poor-quality or ineffective platforms on the list- all the tools we described before are absolutely worth checking out. However, we could stop ourselves from comparing them, too.
Moz’s interface is a perfect tool for a beginner, but we cannot say the same about the price. Most SEO beginners cannot afford to pay this much for a monthly subscription, and the number of offered features is limited. Simply put, it is not the best offer on the market, especially considering that SE Ranking and SEMrush provide deeper, more detailed analysis results for SEO specialists. How do we know? We did our own research, and that is what we found out:
- Moz showed us only about 4,000 keywords for the target query in organic search and over 100 results in paid search;
- SEMrush found 7,000 keywords and 200 keywords respectively;
- SE Ranking found 5,000 and 500 keywords respectively.
The dynamics are nearly the same when it comes to backlinks: SE Ranking provided more results than SEMrush and Moz. In all cases, data was pretty accurate, but SE Ranking obviously has the advantage, especially considering that this is the cheapest of the options — the Optimum plan costs only $39 per month, and you don’t have to pay for the whole year at once. The price, however, is not its only significant benefit — currently, it offers the a lot of top-quality tools that for website audit, competitor analysis, keyword research, and plenty of other key SEO tasks.
Which platform should an SEO specialist choose? It is hard to say. Just take the information we provided before into account, make your own choice, and outrank your competitors easily!