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39 Competitor Analysis Tools to Crush Your Marketing Campaigns

Our natural drive is to innovate -- to create something unique and original.

Yet, some of the greatest innovations in history came about as the result of emulating others. From technology to art, everything is a remix. As Picasso put it, "Good artists copy, great artists steal."

When it comes to the art and science of digital marketing, the same holds true. We need copying to build a foundation of knowledge and understanding. After that, things can get interesting.

Rather than hope for creative genius to strike and guide your marketing strategy, look to your competitors as sources of knowledge and inspiration. An in-depth understanding of the key strategies being used by your top performing competitors can provide you with the insight and knowledge you need to gain a competitive edge.

Spying on your competitors isn't about undermining their success. Rather, it's a way to gain insight and understand what's working, so that you can model their success.

What works for them may work for you. It’s not about reinventing the wheel; it's about modeling the leaders in your field so that you can emulate or even surpass their results.

In this post, I round up every competitor analysis tool available to marketers today. Many of these tools have multiple functions; I grouped them based on their primary function and benefit to digital marketers.

The pricing for each competitor analysis tool is also included, showing the lowest pricing plan. There are free tools, freemium tools and paid enterprise tools. Many of them have free trials, and I recommend giving them a test before spending any money.

Whether you're a bootstrapped freelancer or corporate CMO, there's something here for everyone.



Adbeat is an enterprise ad analytics tool that reveals the exact ads used by advertisers. There is also split-test feature, letting you test your ads to find winning copy.

Adbeat claims to have the largest repository of advertising data on the web. By using up-to-date intel from ad networks, publishers, and competing advertisers, you're able to get extremely granular with your media planning.

Adbeat was originally built for affiliate marketers but works very well for media agencies. Any marketer looking to better understand which ads perform best in a given market (before spending money on media buys) will benefit from Adbeat's platform.

Pricing: Starts at $79/month for Google-only data


MixRank allows you to see the mix of ads that companies are using. You can see a snapshot of this data (without registering) that covers display ads, text ads, advertisers, and demographics, though you will have to create an account for the full report.

Although it's an Ad analytics tool, MixRank markets itself a "Customer delivery platform that helps sales teams automate lead prospecting and find new customers."

It's no surprise, then, that MixRank targets freelance marketers and small agencies as its primary user-base.

Here's how it works: you search MixRank's ad database based on keyword, and the tool returns the top (and bottom) performing ads for those keywords. For example, you could see that certain images perform very well for a pregnancy-related product. You could also see that, for the same product, which ad copy performs poorly.

Because of this feature, MixRank is a great tool for telling you what not to do as much as telling you what to do.

Pricing: $67/month, contact for details Check it out


Moat is an analytics tool with the ambitious goal of changing the way brands advertise online today by tracking viewability and related attention metrics across display, video, and mobile devices.

Moat’s engineers are looking at the metrics that matter in online advertising. By tracking video impression data, Moat is developing a clear picture of what gets attention on the internet.

For anyone using video in their marketing, Moat is a great competitor analysis tool. You could see exactly which part of your competitors' creatives gets clicked, and videos get the most attention.

As video continues to dominate the web, the importance of Moat's "attention-driven" analytics will continue to grow.

Pricing: Contact to request demo and product details


Open Site Explorer

Moz's Open Site Explorer is a long-time favorite tool of internet marketers, and perhaps the most widely-used backlink checker and website analysis tool online today.

Open Site Explorer shows you a massive database of your competitors' links, helping you target those sites with your link building and content marketing campaigns.

While its backlink index is lackluster compared to Majestic and Ahrefs, its still a useful tool. DA is the new PageRank and is a gauge to help you determine whether a competitor's backlink is worth chasing or not.

Pricing: Free to try, plans start at $99/month


Ahrefs is my favorite competitor analysis tool, bar none. Not long ago, it wasn't much more than a simple backlink checker.

Now, Ahrefs comes with a full suite of competitive intelligence tools running on the database of 18.5 trillion backlinks, 954 million pages, and 526 million keywords.

The main Ahrefs’ tool to analyze competitors’ performance is Site Explorer. With its help, you can track their organic and PPC keywords, backlink profiles, the most linked-to, visited, and shared content, etc.

Besides checking each domain individually, you can use extra tools to compare a few competing domains with yours at once. That’s what Domain Comparison, Link Intersect, Content Gap, and Batch Analysis tools are for. They’ll show you the areas where your competitors outperform you and where you are ahead of the game.

Ahrefs Content Explorer has similar functionality to Buzzsumo. Input a URL or keyword, and it returns the top content for that keyword, ranked by social shares, organic traffic, referring domains, and Domain Rating (Ahrefs' equivalent of DA).

Check it out Pricing: Free to try, then $99/month


Like Ahrefs and Moz's OpenSiteExplorer, Majestic SEO (aka "Majestic") was is a backlink checker that has slowly evolved into a full-stop marketing intel tool.

It's worth adding here, though the tool doesn't introduce any groundbreaking features. When doing competitor analysis, I find that Majestic's "Top Backlinks" and "Anchor Text" reports are the most useful, both from an information perspective but also because of their simple UI.

Multi-site backlink analysis is one feature that Majestic does better than the others. Take a group of your competitors' URLs (up to 150) and pull backlink data for all of them at once. This accelerates link building efforts for a particular keyword.

Pricing: Free trial, then $50/mo

Long Tail Pro

Doing competitor analysis is crucial before you decide to spend your time or money trying to rank for a particular keyword. It's important to analyze the each of the top SERPs and decide whether a keyword is worth going after.

Long Tail Pro does all this for you, identifying the weak points in your competitors' keyword coverage, so you know exactly which keywords to target. To find out which keywords would make the most money just, enter your keyword or group of keywords and LTP returns a long list, ranked by profitability.

Long Tail Pro has been around for a long time, but it seems to keep getting better with age, thanks in part to a group of SEOs and developers who regularly update the software. I should be a linchpin in every marketer's CI toolset.

Pricing: $1 trial, then $37/month

Monitor Backlinks

The new kid on the block, Monitor Backlinks has quickly made a name for itself as a reputable backlink checker tool. When it comes to competitive analysis, it's on par with the other tools mentioned here, providing a treasure trove of competitor data.

Monitor Backlinks allows users to sort their links by several filters, add tags, check backlinks index status in Google, and identify redirects and errors. Just as with Ahrefs, Majestic and OpenSiteExplorer, Monitor Backlinks also provides details about anchor text distribution, even includes a “keywords ranking tracker” for Google.

Unlike the "big three" backlink checkers, Monitor Backlinks does something unique by sending email alerts when your competitors get new links. This is an amazing feature for ensuring that your site or your client is included alongside mentions of competing brands. (For example, in roundups of "Competitor Analysis Tools".)

Pricing: Starts at $25/month

NetPeak Checker

Netpeak Checker is a one-stop shop for finding data about a website. It's a standalone software program that syncs with almost every known marketing analytics platform.

Netpeak gathers data from a long list of sites then displays it all in one dashboard. It's a great tool for marketers who need to look at the landscape of competition with a niche.

For example, you may find a that a certain group of competitors has more Facebook comments than others. You could then inspect those sites to see what kind of social media campaigns they are running.

Pricing: Contact for a quote and product details

Rank Signals

Rank Signals is a simple backlink analysis tool to see your competitors' backlinks. Seeing your competitor's links, you can go after those sites to get a link to your site or your client.

RankSignals differs from other popular backlink analysis tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Majestic in that it specifically looks at your competitors' top links, helping you focus on the highest value opportunities and ignoring the rest.

RankSignals comes with a free Chrome extension to see other important SEO metrics like Alexa rank and traffic data.

Pricing: Free to try, free Chrome extension

Hubspot Website Grader

Marketing Grader (Website Grader) is a HubSpot tool that gives you a quick snapshot of important website metrics, ranking from site speed, social media, and mobile responsiveness.

Your site then gets an overall "grade" based on the cumulative score for all the metrics.

It's free to check one site, but to compare metrics requires a subscription. The website is a fun, lightweight tool for sending reports to clients.

Pricing: Free to use

Keyword Discovery

Keyword Discovery is a powerful keyword research tool that does more than just find SEO keywords to target. Sure, it does that, but it also has the largest keyword database of any keyword research tool on the web.

By pulling data from every search engine, Keyword Discovery finds keywords that most tools miss. It goes one step further still, showing you which of those keywords drive the most traffic to your competitors.

You could see, for example, that a competitor gets a large amount of traffic from the keyword "best seo tools," but not "seo tools." Knowing this, you could design content that targets the long tail.

Keyword Discovery does most of the heavy lifting, too. The tool will tell you exactly which terms you should target, based on a variety of traffic and competition metrics.

Pricing: Free trial, then $30/month

Term Explorer

This tool can be used to find keywords, but also to analyze competition, which is what I’ll focus on.

Your first option, once you create an account, is to run a bulk keyword job:

You enter one or more keywords and it will give you a list of results of anywhere from 1,000 to 90,000, depending on your account type and choice.

Once you run the job, you will get keyword results, along with search volume data. You can easily filter the results according to keywords or search volume.

If you find a few keywords that you like (or many), you can check the box beside them and then click the blue button at the top to send them to the keyword analyzer:

Alternatively, you can enter in keywords from other sources directly into the keyword analyzer. You will get a similar report this time, but you will see an overall “difficulty” score from 1 to 10. This is score is aggregated from the 3 categories to the right: relevancy, link strength and trust.

A higher difficulty means that it’s more difficult to rank for the term. With this particular tool, a score under 3.5 or so is “easy”, while 3.5-5.0 is “normal”, and above that is difficult.

Pricing: Free to try, then $34/month

SEO Quake

To truly understand how search engines see your competitors, install the SEOQuake plugin (free for Chrome and Firefox). Once installed, you will see a plethora of website data right inside the search results.

For the price of free, SEOQuake provides a long list of useful SEO information. PageRank, link data, domain age, social data and more are all shown beneath each SERP.

Using this data, you could quickly ascertain that most of the top SERPs are older pages, suggesting that new content for that particular query may be difficult to rank. Conversely, you may find that the top SERPs for a query have few linking domains, an opportunity to rank quickly with a small amount of link building.

Pricing: Free


Similar to the Website Grader, QuickSprout's site checker tool gives you a quick 30,000-foot view of site health based on speed, social data, internal links and other SEO factors.

What's great about QuickSprout is that it syncs with Google Analytics, so the site recommendations and "grades" go a step beyond the website grader and gives actionable advice based on traffic data.

This is a useful tool when doing outreach or pitching marketing consulting services. You can show a business owner how their site stacks up against the competition with an easy A / B / C / D grade they can understand.

Pricing: Free to use



Buzzsumo is every content marketer's dream. It's a powerful tool for spying on your competitors' top content and modeling their content strategy.

Enter your keyword or competitor URL into the tool, and Buzzsumo will return a list of top content by share count and links.

You could see, for example, which of a competitor's pages have the most shares. Knowing that that content headline and format performed well, you could create something better.

Then, promote your content to the same people who shared your competitor's piece and they'll likely share yours too (assuming it's unique and interesting content).

Buzzsumo comes with a set of helpful tracking tools. Set up content alerts and Buzzsumo will notify you whenever a competitor's page gets a new share or link. You can then immediately reach out to the linker or sharer and request the same for your content.

Buzzsumo is one of my "must have" tools. To get the most mileage out of the tool, here's a tip: use Buzzsumo together with SEMrush. First, find the top content within your niche. Then, check SEMrush to see what keywords those pages rank for. Boom -- now you have a juicy set of keywords to optimize for.

Pricing: Free to try, then $99/month


BuiltWith is a competitive intelligence tool that helps you spy on your competitors and even steal their customers.

Marketers can use the tool to identify which technology your competitors are using. You could see, for example, the exact WordPress theme and plugins used by a competitor.

Using BuiltWith's Competitor Comparison feature, you can see some incredibly data, like who's using their products, and which technologies are growing within a particular region or demographic.

Pricing: Free for one-off checks, plans at $295/month


Most people know for its "Alexa ranking", a number that broadly explains how popular a website is compared to other sites around the world. If a site has a low Alexa ranking, then you know it's popular and gets a fair amount of traffic (the lower the ranking, the more popular the site).

As such, comparing sites' Alexa rankings is a quick and easy way to see how they stack up against each other. But Alexa is much more than a single rating. The platform provides all sorts of data to help better understand web traffic and measure your site against your competitors.

Regarding competitive intelligence tools, Alexa is probably the best at measuring traffic stats, showing views, bounce rate and all sorts of other goodies. It's like the "Google Analytics" of the entire internet. And like GA, you can find all sorts of valuable insights in the data to optimize your content marketing campaigns.

Pricing: Free trial then plans starting at $10/month

Compete is appropriately named -- being the premiere digital competitive intelligence platform for medium to large size agencies.

The platform has a suite of CI features that help you uncover new opportunities, keep tabs on your competitors and ultimately outmaneuver them. Above all, Compete is best for monitoring your competitor's referral traffic.

Using the tool's traffic data report, you can confidently move forward with content creation and link building campaigns, knowing that they will drive traffic to your site.

Pricing: Contact to request demo and product details


SimilarWeb has grown into a powerful competitor analysis tool in the last few years. It's a popular tool amongst major brands, providing crystal clear data and insight on a variety of important marketing metrics.

I use SimilarWeb to see where my competitors are getting their traffic. Social? Organic? Paid? SimilarWeb shows all traffic sources and includes changes over the past few months.

I then correlate traffic data to historical keyword rankings (also part of the tool). This helps me prioritize my marketing campaigns.

If my main competitors rank well for a particular keyword around the same time they acquired a particular backlink, then I know that getting a guest post on that same site will get similar results.

Starting at $199/month, SimilarWeb isn't cheap. But with such a powerful CI toolset at your disposal, it's well worth the price.

Check it out Pricing: Free to try, plans at $199/month


Google Alerts

Google Alerts saves you the trouble of visiting the site to repeatedly perform the same search. Set up an alert and have the latest news about your competitors delivered to your inbox. It monitors news, blogs, video, discussions, and books and more.

With alerts, you can monitor competitor brand and keyword mentions. For a simple tool, Alerts has a great reporting feature. Set up an alert, then receive real-time, daily or weekly email reports in your inbox.

Perfect for the budget-conscious marketer or small agency, Google Alerts are great for organizing competitive intel on a budget.

Pricing: Free


As social media continues to dominate our digital lives, social listening becomes increasingly more important for brands online. Listening and partaking in the conversation about your brand can have amazing benefits (just as tuning out the conversation has dire consequences).

Talkwalker is like Google Alerts on steroids, after twenty years of lifting weights. Like Alerts, the tool monitors keywords and mentions. Then it goes full retard, listening to digital conversations in more than 187 languages across 12 social networks.

To get started with Talkwalker (it's free) just add in your keywords, brand name, and your content and let Talkwalker handle the rest. The tool shows, in real-time, how people are talking about your brand. Are they excited? Afraid? Angry? Enthusiastic? With Talkwalker, you can map out the global emotional response (aka "sentiment") to your content.

The implications for competitive research are huge. For example, you could reach out to angry customers of a competitor with a special offer, effectively stealing large chunks of a market in a matter of minutes.

You could also see, for example, how well received your competitors' ads are by different demographics. A Talkwalker case study found that Americans respond better to visual ads on Facebook, whereas Europeans were more likely to click text-only ads.

Pricing: Free to try, then $700/month

Mention is a tool for monitoring brand mentions. Set up alerts based on keyword or hashtag to know exactly when other sites are talking about your competitors, including everything from simple text mentions to links to tweets.

If a website mentions a competitor (or their product), you may be able to reach out and get a link to your site, without your competitor ever knowing.

Similar to influencer marketing tools like Buzzstream and Ahrefs, Mention sorts brand mentions by influencer/site rating and authority, making it easy to prioritize the top link opportunities.

Pricing: $29/month


Social Mention is a simple social media monitoring tool that helps you spy on competitors on social media. The tool aggregates content from social networks into a single dashboard. From there, you can see what people are saying about your competitors and their products and services, all in real-time.

Like Talkwalker, it has a sentiment analysis feature, though less robust. Tracking over 100 social media sites, Social Mention doesn't miss a thing. Get reports on the exact number of times your competitors show up, where they show up, and know where they fit into major trends.

Pricing: Free API for 100 calls, contact for more



My life wouldn't be the same without SEMRush. It's the backbone of my all my competitive intelligence work. Consistently voted the #1 SEO and PPC competitor analysis app by internet marketers, SEMrush does it all.

It comes with a long list of features, ranging from keyword valuation to SEM insights. But you don’t need to learn them all to get a leg up on the competition. Know the basics and you'll be able to stay a step ahead of competitors both in organic and paid rankings.

SEMrush is useful for both SEO and PPC competitive intel, but particularly effective as a PPC tool. Many advertisers assume that their SEO competitors will also be their main PPC competitors. This is rarely the case. SEMrush shows your most relevant PPC competitors, and also, the appropriate keywords to bid on.

For each paid search competitor, SEMrush reveals their ad copy, average position, top PPC keywords, percentage of ad spend per keyword, and total traffic from each keyword. Armed with this information, you can adjust your PPC strategy accordingly.

SEMrush isn't limited to Google Adwords; the tool also reports on Bing and Facebook PPC data. As more brands flock to Bing and Facebook for cheaper traffic, SEMrush's intel data becomes ever more valuable.

Pricing: Free trial, then $70/month


Success and failure in pay per click marketing come down to one thing: keyword selection. Choose the right keywords, and you'll make a decent profit for you or your clients. Choose poorly and you'll be spinning your wheels, wasting time and money on keywords that don't convert.

To identify profitable keywords, use SpyFu. It's a competitive analytics tool specifically for PPC marketers, revealing brands' most profitable keywords (both pay per click and organic).

To uncover profitable keywords with SpyFu, enter your each of your competitor's domains and SpyFu tells you which keywords are making them the most money. Take a look at their ad copy and landing pages, then replicate their PPC strategies to get similar results.

Regarding pure PPC competitor analysis, SpyFu may have a slight leg up on SEMrush. Notably, SpyFu has no keyword export limits (SEMrush does) and includes up to 7 years of advertising history for each domain and keyword (versus one year of history for SEMrush).

Ultimately, it's a matter of personal preference. Both tools are great for spying on your competitors' PPC strategies.

Pricing: $50/month


AdGooroo is a multifunctional tool that includes, in my opinion, one of the best if not the best SEM intelligence tool available.

"SEM Insight" as it's called, allows marketers to see their competitor's top Adwords ads and PLA strategies. Get data on how your competitors are spending their PPC budget, how well their ads are performing, which keywords they're using, their exact ad copy, and even the landing pages for each ad.

What's more, SEM Insight alerts you when a competitor changes their bidding strategy. This allows you to go after their weaknesses and take advantage of their strengths.

It's no surprise why medium to large agencies love Adgooroo. Using SEM insight, they can quickly bring a client up to speed with the top advertisers in the client's industry.

Pricing: Contact to request demo and product details


Originally designed for pay per click competitive analysis, iSpionage reveals your top PPC competitors, their ad spend, and essentially their entire pay-per-click strategy.

Since its launch. iSpionage has grown into a robust competitive intelligence tool beyond PPC. Now, it let's you spy on your competitors' organic activity as well monitoring social media and keyword ranking.

This is a great tool if you don't necessarily know who your competitors are. iSpionage tells you that, and shows the best keywords for organic and PPC, how much advertisers are spending, and what ad copy converts the best.

Pricing: $59/month

The Search Monitor

The Search Monitor does it all: brand monitoring, trademark use, and competitive analysis across a variety of traffic channels (paid, organic, local, social and mobile). It even shows how you stack up against competitors in Google Shopping.

Built for medium to large digital marketing agencies, it belongs in the same category as Compete and SimilarWeb.

The Search Monitor is perhaps the best tool for protecting your brand with PPC bidding strategies. Using a proprietary statistic called "Knock-Out", advertisers can see when and how brands are being "hijacked" by their affiliates.

Pricing: $399/month

Search Metrics

Like the other PPC CI tools above, the Search Metrics Paid Competitor Comparison Tool shows competitor keywords, ad copy, and ad spend.

However, it set itself apart with a unique dashboard that shows both SEO and PPC data, side by side. This allows a dual analysis of keyword data, with both SEO informing PPC strategies and vice versa.

With the SearchMetrics dashboard, you can easily compare organic and paid keyword rankings side by side for thousands of competitors, identifying gaps in your competitors' marketing campaigns. With the powers of SEO and PPC combined, you can quickly see the profitable opportunities and use them to your advantage.

Pricing: $69/month

Social Ad Ninja

As Adwords and Bing Ads CPC continues to rise, marketers are turning to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for cheap sources of paid traffic.

That's where SocialAdNinja comes in. An ad intelligence platform designed specifically for social PPC ads, SocialAdNinja is a useful tool for Facebook marketers who want to see how brands are advertising on Facebook.

What's cool about the tool, is that you can search it's database of ads based on target demographic and interest, so you know exactly how your competitors are advertising to your target market.

Pricing: $147/month


Simply Measured

Most brands have enough on their plate between publishing content and interacting with their audience across all the social networks. Who has time to keep track of the competition? Simply Measured does.

Simply Measured is an enterprise level social analytics platform that aggregates data from all major social networks and organizes it in easy-to-understand reports. Insights about your competitors are delivered in a variety of report formats, from Excel to Powerpoint.

Every brand, large or small, can benefit from knowing what their competitors are doing on social. Simply Measured helps you identify trends, tactics, and challenges as you plan your marketing efforts.

Pricing: Free trial, then $500/month

Fanpage Karma

Fanpage Karma is my new favorite competitor analysis tool. The tool gives you all sorts of useful information about a Facebook page, from audience engagement to page growth (usually stats only available to the page owner sees).

All you have to do is enter the URL of your competitor's Facebook page and Fanpage Karma spits out the metrics. The tool recently added a similar feature for YouTube and Twitter, expanding your spy operations into other social networks.

Pricing: 49.90 € / month


Despite its problems, and despite claims that its a dying channel, Twitter is alive and well. You can ignore this fact or get with the program and start growing your account. Enter Followerwonk by Moz, a nifty tool for stealing your competitors' Twitter followers and growing your audience.

Here's a basic process for getting started with 'The Wonk'. First, write down the top 3 influencers in your niche and enter their twitter handles in Followerwonk.

If any of the influencers follow your competitors, there's a good chance they'll follow you too. To get on their radar, engage with their tweets, share their content and regularly partake in the Twitter conversation.

To determine who to follow, a simple rule of thumb is to follow the most active Twitter users -- the folks with the most Tweets and engagement. Just remember, if you want to be part of the Twitter in-crowd then you have to participate. Don't be Follow-unfollow Fred, whose only purpose is there to get followers for the sake of vanity.

If you're regularly following and engaging other people in your niche, you should see results in a matter of weeks.

Pricing: Free to try, then $29/month

Other Tools

Who's Mailing What

Who’s Mailing What is one of the few competitive intelligence tools that tracks your competitors' direct mail campaigns.

It's easy to get caught in a digital marketing bubble and forget about more traditional ads: billboards, radio, TV and direct mail. Using Who's Mailing What, you're able to stay on top of industry trends in each of those areas.

And, if you see a competitor investing a lot in one of those channels, it may be worth exploring.

Pricing: $155/month

Google Advanced Search Operators

Google Advanced Search Operator's are words and symbols that enhance standard keyword-based search and deliver more-relevant search results. By adding a couple operators to a search, you can learn a lot about a competitor's site or marketing strategy.

Using a combination of the "site:" operator and your exact match keyword, you can see a competitor's top pages for your target key term. This tells you how difficult it would be to rank for that particular keyword, guiding your keyword & content strategy to focus on keywords that are easier to rank for.

Pricing: free

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive (aka the Wayback Machine) keeps a database of how websites looked throughout the years. For a walk down memory lane, here's a snapshot of the SEO Moz home page back in 2009.

All fun aside, looking at the history of a competitor's page can give you some unique insights. For example, using a traffic tool like Alexa or SEMrush, you may find that a specific page had a large traffic spike at some point in the past. Check the Archive to see if any site changes were made around that time. If there were, those same design changes could boost conversions on your website.

Pricing: Free to use

90 Digital Data Grabber

The DataGrabber tool from 90 Digital is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet loaded with custom functions. The spreadsheet is able to pull in Google, Majestic, and SEMrush data for easy analysis and comparison.

If you regularly work with SEO data, then the Datagrabber will help you speed up competitor analysis. You could quickly see, for example, the top keywords your competitor ranks for (via SEMrush) and the top links to the pages ranking for those keywords (via Majestic).

The Datagrabber spreadsheet is free to download and use, but you won't get far without subscriptions to both Majestic and SEMrush.

Pricing: Free


A common marketing strategy on the web today is the use of microsites for traffic, link bait and lead generation. Want to see what sites your competitors own? Head over to SpyOnWeb.

All you need to do: enter a competitor's URL and you'll see all the sites that belong to the same owner. This is valuable information for businesses in any niche, but particularly so for businesses with a local, physical presence. Many real estate agents use this strategy, creating microsites for smaller counties and towns to capture new home buyers.

Use SpyOnWeb to see what virtual property your competition has claim to, and you may gain valuable insights into their marketing strategy.

Pricing: Free to use, then $5.95/month

Final thoughts

If you made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back. Well done.

As helpful as these tools are, you don't need all of them to start your covert spy operations.. A few tools will uncover 90% of your competitors' secrets.

If you really want to supercharge your competitive intel ops, pick one tool from each category and put them to work. That's plenty.

That said, competitive intelligence is a double-edged sword. It's important to know what your competitors are up to -- what's working for them and what isn't.

However, the best brands lead by example. Don't get too caught up in chasing the competition or you'll get stuck in me-too marketing mode, leaving little time and energy for innovation and experimentation.

May this list serve as a resource for you to go out and conquer the interwebs. If you found it valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague.