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Competitor Spy Tools 2017: Learn from the Top Players on the Market

Wanna get closer to your competitors, figure out their conversion strategies, and steal their traffic? Sounds nasty, but so tempting, right? Come on, let yourself be a bad boy or girl once in a while. Don't worry. TemplateMonster will get you covered. You can rely on us as always. Check out tried and tested competitor spy tools to discover everything you wanted to know, but was afraid to ask.

These tools will help you carry out a comprehensive competitor analysis. You will be able to learn anything from competitors’ keywords and backlinks to mentions and trending content. The times when you had to hire a private detective for spying are long gone. Let Sherlock take a rest.

Your effective SEO, social, and advertising strategies are just a few clicks away. Scroll down and choose one of the most effective competitor spy tools on the market.

BuzzSumo Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: starts at $79 per month (billed yearly)

Free Plan: no (only a 14-day trial)

BuzzSumo is one of the most reliable competitor analysis tools out there. It can help you find out what content performs best for people in your industry. Here’s what the competitive intelligence of BuzzSumo provides.

  • Competitors’ Most Shared Content. You will learn what works for your competitors and what doesn’t. For convenience, you can filter the content by formats (video, infographic, etc) and social networks.
  • People Who Share Competitors’ Content. If someone shares competitors’ posts, there’s a good chance they’ll share yours as well. You can filter sharers by the number of followers and engagement.
  • Alerts on Competitors’ Updates. Every time your competitors post new content or get new backlinks, you’ll receive instant alerts. You can get them to your email box, track as an RSS feed or monitor right in the dashboard.
  • Competitors’ Content Sharing Reports. BuzzSumo provides detailed reports to let you analyze competitors’ content performance by different factors. They include the content format, headline, length, publication date, and network.
  • Competitors’ Comparison Reports. The tool allows you to compare the content performance of two competitors or yours with one of your competitors.


WhatRunsWhere Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: starts at $299 per month

Free Plan: no (they also charge $1 for a trial)

The next on our list of competitor spy tools is WhatRunsWhere. It gives insights into competitors’ advertising campaigns, which will guide you on how to make the most of yours. Check out the main features of this competitor research service.

  • Large Competitive Data. The tool uses the data from over 120,000 sites, 500 classified ad networks, and 7 different countries.
  • Actionable Insights. You can see what ads your competitors use, where they place them, what calls-to-action work best, etc.
  • Potential Advertising Clients. You can learn what companies work with your competitors.
  • Mobile Web Intelligence. WhatRunsWhere unveils the top sources of competitors’ mobile traffic. It analyzes the data from over 50,000 mobile sites.
  • Daily Updates. The data is updated every day so that you could keep pace with the times and track how ad campaigns evolve.
  • Historic Data. You can watch how advertising strategies evolved, what is still in use and what doesn’t work anymore.


SimilarWeb Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: depends on your industry

Free Plan: yes (limited to 5 results per metric, 1 month of mobile app data, and 3 months of traffic data)

SimilarWeb is a perfect choice to find competitors’ keywords, traffic sources, most popular content, and much more. Let’s check the areas to analyze one by one.


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  • Traffic & Engagement Metrics. You can compare your site with competitors by multiple metrics. They include total visits, page views per visit, time spent on site, and bounce rate.
  • SEO & PPC Keywords. SimilarWeb is an effective keyword research tool. It reveals competitors’ organic and paid keywords and how much traffic they bring.
  • Competitors’ Audience Interests. Learn what other sites people visit in the same browsing session when they leave your competitor’s site.
  • Traffic Sources. Check out what sources bring traffic to your competitors, e.g. referrals, search, social media, etc.
  • Most Popular Pages. Find out what content interests your competitors’ audience the most.


iSpionage Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: starts at $24 per month (billed annually)

Free Plan: yes (limited to 10 free competitive reports per day and 3 complimentary competitor alerts)

If you want to boost your relevant traffic, leads, and conversion rates, iSpionage is just the job for you. It’s both an ad and keyword spy tool with the following benefits.

  • Competitor Intelligence Data. The service gives access to 92 million keywords, 108 million ad copy variations, and 45 million domains.
  • Top AdWords Competitors. iSpionage detects your main AdWords competitors, their monthly budget, and PPC strategy.
  • Competitors’ Profitable Keywords. You’ll get a sortable list of AdWords competitor keywords with the highest search volume.
  • Competitors' Profitable Ads. Check out what ads brought profits to competitors. It will let you write the ad copy that will have high click-through rates.
  • Export Competitor Reports. You can download branded competitor reports in PDF.
  • Uncover Competitors. Find out your top competitors in the most popular search engines, i.e. Google, Yahoo, and Bing.


Alexa Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: starts at $49 per month

Free Plan: no (only a 7-day free trial)

Alexa will help you leverage competitors’ data so that you could make smarter decisions and know your next move. You can use this service for a SEO competitor analysis and as a keyword tracking tool.

  • Site Comparisons. You can compare up to 10 sites to see which one takes the lead and has the best SEO rankings.
  • Monthly Unique Visitors. Alexa estimates how many unique visitors your competitors get per month.
  • Engagement Metrics. Besides the total amount of traffic, you can get insights into its quality, i.e. time on site, pageviews per visitor, and bounce rate.
  • Traffic Sources. Discover the channels, from which your competitors generate their traffic.
  • Reputation Metrics. The tool gives an opportunity to evaluate your competitors’ authority. You can see how many sites link back to them and how often people share their content on social media.
  • Demographic Metrics. Alexa gives a clear picture of competitors’ website visitors including their gender, education, location, age, income, parental status, etc.


SEMrush Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: starts at $99.95 per month

Free Plan: no (only a 7-day free trial)

SEMrush is an all-in-one service to conduct a detailed website competitor analysis. It comes with multiple tools to compare competitive domains and estimate keyword difficulty with a few clicks.

  • Competitors’ Top Keywords. You will see them grouped in the top 20 organic search results of Google and Bing based on the domain position. You can also estimate the keyword value using the following metrics: traffic, search volume, competition, etc.
  • Competitors’ Ad Strategies. SEMrush informs of competitors’ PPC marketing activities, their budgets, and most profitable ad copies. You can also discover new competitors in AdWords and Bing Ads.
  • Competitors’ Backlinks. The tool lets you check incoming links for a specific domain, root domain or URL. It’s also possible to evaluate the domain authority, view anchor texts, compare the weight of inbound links on competitors' domains, etc.
  • Video Advertising Research. SEMrush collects and analyzes in-stream video advertisements and channels on YouTube. It will help you strive on the fast-paced market of video ads.
  • Competitors’ Product Listing Ads. This is a cool feature for those of you who run an online store built with PrestaShop themes or any other eCommerce templates. You can define competitors on Google Shopping and see keywords that make their product listing ads appear in paid search results.


Monitor Backlinks Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: starts at $20.75 per month (billed annually)

Free Plan: no (a 30-day free trial instead)

This awesome tool will help you find competitors backlinks that are good for SEO. That way, you’ll easily figure out your own link building opportunities. Here are the main features to make use of for your competitor analysis.

  • Automatic Notifications. You will receive notifications when your competitor’s site gains or loses backlinks.
  • Websites Comparison. The tool allows you to compare your and your competitor’s website metrics side by side.
  • Competitor’s Keyword Rankings. The tool automatically checks for competitive keywords, lets you compare them with yours and find out the ways to outrank them in Google. Rankings are updated every week so that you could access only fresh keyword reports.


Keyhole Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: starts at $132 per month (billed annually)

Free Plan: no (only a 3-day free trial)

Keyhole is a cool tool designed to spy on competitors on Twitter and Instagram. Its rich set of options will come in handy for doing the following things:

  • track competitors’ hashtags and keywords;
  • monitor the activity of your competitors’ accounts, both plain text posts and those containing images and videos;
  • compare competitors’ metrics with yours to benchmark KPIs;
  • focus on specific industry influencers and filter out their engagement.


Ahrefs Competitor Spy Tool

competitor analysis

Price: starts at $82 per month (billed annually)

Free Plan: no (only a 14-day free trial)

If you still wonder why your competitors are ranking so high, Ahrefs will give you a detailed answer. Below, you can find the main aspects you can discover about your competition.

  • Organic Traffic Research. Ahrefs reveals the keywords your competitors rank for and pages bringing them most traffic from search engines. The tool monitors 130 million keywords in the USA alone and even more in 100 other countries.
  • Backlink Checker. You can learn what websites link to your competitors and evaluate the quality of their backlink profiles. Ahrefs comes with the fastest backlink crawler in the industry, analyzing over 15 trillion links.
  • Paid Traffic Research. You will find out whether your competitors make use of paid search advertising.


Hopefully, you’ve learned a good lesson today at MonsterPost. Spying on competitors is a smart step that will speed up your business development. Why not take a chance and start learning from the best if you can? With these competitor spy tools, you can find out who’s the most successful in SEO, social media, and advertising in your target niche. Let your competitors be your teachers, and one day you’ll become as smart as they are now.

P.S.: Help your friends become as successful as their competitors too. Share the post with these competitor analysis tools on social networks!


Nick Campbell

Nerd, tech-savvy writer and website development specialist. Likes to find free alternatives of paid software and knows how to launch a new website really without big losses of time, efforts and money. Follow him on Twitter.

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98 responses to “Competitor Spy Tools 2017: Learn from the Top Players on the Market”

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    10 covers that possibly know better than the originals

    ashton Cash Soft Cell Cyndi Lauper Blondie Whitney Houston Jeff Buckley Jimi Hendrix Joan Jett Aretha Franklin Mark Ronson Amy Winehouse

    original version isn’t always the best.

    offer in your life have you found yourself listening to a song that you think you know inside out, only to discover that that’s not even the original version? We’re guessing one or more times; of course, it has happened to us all. most often when it’s a cover of a cover. Here are ten iconic songs that gained more popularity as a cover than as a genuine.

    amy Cash at Glastonbury 1994 / Photo Credit: Empics Entertainment/PA pics

    tainted because Love Soft Cell

    earliest: Gloria Jones

    Other famous covers: Marilyn Manson

    There has to be a lot of people who are still unaware that Tainted Love, coming from your album Non Stop Erotic Cabaret, Is not in fact a Soft Cell preliminary. The new wave duo took a liking to a 60s Northern soul number actually recorded by Gloria Jones, And their cover became their first in support of number one hit, Propelling them to program stardom. It still remains a legendary 80s floorfiller.

    Hurt arthur Cash

    original: Nine Inch fingernail or toenails

    Other memorable covers: Mumford kids

    It actually sounds like the most unusual pairing of all; An aggressive rock number being re recorded by a country legend; But the person in Black has always had something of an edge to him. This rendition of the Grammy nominated song from Nine Inch Nails’ charmdate scam 1994 second album The unpredictable manner came in 2002, among Johnny Cash’s final big hits before his death. It entailed on his iconic album American IV: The Man comes around, Along with numerous other extraordinary covers.

    All down the Watchtower Jimi Hendrix

    initial: bob Dylan

    Other leading covers: Devlin legs. education Sheeran, Neil babies, U2

    Probably the most famous things about this track is Hendrix’s distinctive guitar riff, Which renders the 1967 Bob Dylan original pretty unrecognisable as the same identical song. It must be said, The guitarist’s rendition from his Electric Ladyland album in 1968 is a hundred times a lot better than Dylan’s, And anybody’s matched it since.

    i prefer Rock ‘n’ Roll Joan Jett the Blackhearts

    malware: usually the Arrows

    Other popular covers: Britney spears

    definitely the most recognisable song from Joan Jett the Blackhearts’ back catalogue, The song topped charts for seven weeks in 1982 gaining inexpensive popularity than The Arrows’ 1975 version. in truth, You’re unlikely to hear many singing as well as original pronouns, especially with the popularity of Britney Spears’ 2001 cover for the movie Crossroads.

    Hallelujah barry Buckley

    original: Leonard Cohen

    Other popular covers: ryan Cale, Rufus Wainwright, Alexandra Burke

    While it’s probably fairly well known that Leonard Cohen was the original maestro behind this soaring ballad, Most of us are probably more familiar with the choice final two verses written by John Cale, Which added a better secular edge to the track. Jeff Buckley’s rendition of John Cale’s re write is still probably famed version out there, But Rufus Wainwright brought it back for followers Shrek soundtrack in 2001, And Alexandra Burke made Christmas number one with the song in 2008 proper her X Factor win.

    reverence Aretha Franklin

    exceptional: Otis Redding

    Other useful covers: Diana Ross the Supremes with the temptations

    This is a huge feminist anthem and signature song from followers Aretha Franklin, But as very as it is, It was primarily recorded by Otis Redding as a plea for respect from his woman. Aretha’s version provides the “R E S P E C testosterone” Chorus because “Sock it to my advice, stay away, Which is arguably what makes it such an infectious tune.

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  30. Hanssy Stoberttr says:

    Nick, thanks for a great article and a useful list of tools!
    But I didn’t find tool I use in your list, it can also be an alternative to competitor spying K-meta tool?

    • Nick Campbell says:

      Hello, K-meta seems to be a feature-rich solution for keyword research. What I especially like is that they offer a free plan to get started at no cost. Thank you for sharing it! Do you use it within a free plan or a premium one?

      • Hanssy Stoberttr says:

        I don’t have big budgets so K-Meta’s Lite Plan is quite enough for my keywords research needs. They also have such a feature as “Kbases” – it’s like google “Keyword Suggestions” to see other related ideas. I use it to see a huge list of potential keywords that can be filtered by monthly search volume,…
        Free Answerthepublic and K-Meta’s Lite Plan work well for me.

        • Nick Campbell says:

          I tried Answer the Republic, but premium services are more effective in keyword research, don’t you think?

          • Hanssy Stoberttr says:

            well, i think they good for big marketing agency… if you have premium services subscription, how many times did you use it in the past month?

          • Nick Campbell says:

            I use it whenever I start writing a new post or actually any other piece of content)

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