Our Favorite Competitor Analysis Tools: Learn How to Identify New Competitors

Author: Whitney Koch

Many things can change as you scale your business: your brand architecture, target audience, branding and even your competitors. In How to Conduct Target Audience Research to Grow Your Scaling Business, we explored the importance of audience research and how you can use your data to craft a marketing strategy to support your growth. Then we gave you concrete steps you can take to ensure your social media profiles and online presence align with your brand and how you want your brand to be perceived The Importance of Brand Consistency: Optimizing Channels and Social Listening.

The next piece of the scaling puzzle is to identify your new competitors, both IRL (in real life) and online. Once you know who you’re competing with, either in your new markets or for your new target audience, you should use competitor analysis tools to learn more about them. In this blog, we’ll help you put the pieces together so you can leverage competitor information for success.


Why You Need Competitor Analysis Tools in Your Toolbox

Though spying on your competitors can be fun, that shouldn’t be the only reason you do it. 

When you snoop with a purpose, you seek to gain valuable information you can use to form your business strategies and get ahead. Sometimes referred to as competitor intelligence, competitor analysis “involves collecting data and insights about competitors’ strategies, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and market positions.

Competitor analysis is highly beneficial–as long as you put the data to good use. Here are four possible results of intelligence-gathering that can help you continue to grow your business. 

  •   SWOT Analysis

Examine your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) and gain insights into your business’s SWOT elements. If you haven’t conducted a SWOT analysis on your own business yet, analyzing your competitors is a great place to start

1. Better Understand Your Business’s Strengths & Weaknesses

Uncovering your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses will help you to identify areas where your business excels or needs improvement.

2. Identity Opportunities

By becoming a student of your competitors, you develop a deep understanding of their offerings and shortcomings. Use this information to fuel innovation and bring new products or services to the market that meet the needs your competitors aren’t.

3. Identify Potential Threats

Emerging trends and marketing shifts aren’t always positive. Ongoing competitor analysis can bring potential risks and threats to your awareness. Instead of burying your head in the sand, you can face risks and threads head-on by adapting your business.

  • Stay Ahead of Trends

Through competitor analysis, you can discover emerging trends and shifts in the market. Spotting these trends and shifts before they happen allows your business to proactively adapt instead of being forced to react.

  • Develop Effective Pricing and Marketing Strategies

Knowing your competitors’ pricing and marketing strategies helps you clearly differentiate your business in the marketplace. Maybe your service provides customers with a better value, or your product’s specifications exceed those of your competitor. Whatever it is, lean into your differentiators in your marketing to strengthen your positioning.

  • Find Opportunities for Collaboration

Your competitors don’t have to be your enemies! Through your analysis, you might discover opportunities for co-marketing, joint ventures, or strategic alliances. 

How to Use Competitor Analysis Tools to Identify Competitors

Did you know that your business has more than one type of competitor? It’s true! You’re likely most familiar with your real-life competitors – those businesses you directly compete with for sales. But thanks to the proliferation of the internet, you also have online competitors. We’ll explain the differences between the two and how you identify them below.

Real-Life Competitors

  • Compete with you in the physical market, offering similar products or services.
  • Compete with you in product quality, pricing, customer service, market presence, and distribution channels.
  • For example, if you own a coffee shop, other coffee shops in your vicinity are your real-life competitors.

SEO Competitors

  • Any websites, blogs, social media profiles, etc. that compete with you for visibility and traffic in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Compete with you for keyword rankings, content quality, backlinks, domain authority and other SEO factors.
  • For example, if you run an online coffee bean store, SEO competitors are other websites that rank for keywords like “buy coffee beans online” or “best coffee beans.”

Digital Tools to Identify and Compete With SEO Competitors

Identifying your SEO competitors isn’t as straightforward as identifying your real-life competitors. You need digital tools to help you uncover what keywords (organic and paid) are driving traffic to their websites. From there, you can analyze their website content for additional relevant keywords to incorporate into your digital marketing.

Here are four popular SEO tools for you to explore:

A comprehensive digital marketing tool that provides insights into SEO, PPC, content marketing, and competitive analysis to enhance online visibility and performance

A powerful SEO toolset that offers detailed backlink analysis, keyword research, site auditing and competitive benchmarking to improve search engine rankings.

An SEO and PPC analysis tool that reveals competitors’ keywords, ad campaigns and ranking strategies to help optimize your digital marketing efforts.

An all-in-one SEO platform that offers tools for keyword research, link building, site audits and rank tracking to boost search engine optimization and online visibility.

Next Steps

The purpose of these digital tools is not for you to copy your SEO competitors but to learn from them and improve your digital presence. 

As mentioned above, SEO competitive analysis can uncover keywords you aren’t targeting that you should be. By examining your competitors’ keywords and content and comparing them with your own, you will uncover content gaps to fill. You want content on your website that answers the questions customers ask – you and the search engines – so they can find you. As with other forms of competitor analysis, SEO analysis can also reveal your competitors’ weaknesses; when you identify high-opportunity keywords your competitors rank poorly for, that is your opportunity to create content to outrank them.


Competitor Brand Perception: How to Find and Interpret the Information

One way to identify opportunities and uncover your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses is for you to research how their brands are perceived. 

You can set up social listening tools, like those described in The Importance of Brand Consistency: Optimizing Channels and Social Listening, to track what people are saying about your competitors on social media. You can then analyze the sentiment of those mentions, comments, and shares to gauge public opinion and identify recurring themes or issues.

No third-party tools are needed to read customer reviews and ratings. Visit review sites like Google Reviews and industry-specific review platforms to see what people are saying about your competitors. You want to look at the overall average rating, read reviews, and make note of what positive and negative things people have to say about your competitors.

For set-it-and-forget-it monitoring, set up Google Alerts for your competitors and your industry. Add alerts for company names and relevant keywords, and then you’ll receive automated emails from Google whenever they’re mentioned. (We recommend adjusting your settings so you receive alerts at most once per week to help keep your inbox under control.) When these alerts land in your inbox, you’ll want to assess the tone and context of the coverage to understand how your competitors and industry are perceived in the media.

For more general information about your industry, consider utilizing surveys and polls. If your business is on LinkedIn, Instagram, or X, you can post a poll on those channels to get feedback from your social media audience. For more detailed surveys, tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms allow you to ask many questions – and different types of questions – and send your survey to the audience of your choice.

These research methods will yield a lot of data. For the data to be useful to you, consider creating a spreadsheet or table to keep it organized as you track. This will also make analysis easier. Designate a tab for each method, as the type of information you’re collecting will vary. For online reviews, for example, you’ll want to have a row for the average rating, the date of the most recent review, and a row for your notes. You’ll then have columns for the review sites you’re analyzing, such as Google and Yelp. You can then copy and paste this for each of your competitors or set it up to view your competitors side by side. 

Once you’ve conducted your competitor research, you want to dig into the data. The primary goal of your analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and the industry at large. 

Pro Tip: Create a “dashboard” tab on your spreadsheet so you can have high-level information about your competitors and industry available to you at a glance.

Armed with this information, you can better differentiate your own brand through your messaging and unique value proposition, take steps to improve the customer experience, develop an effective marketing strategy and even uncover new business market opportunities.



Keeping a close eye on your competitors is essential for gaining and maintaining a competitive edge and scaling your business. Through regular competitor analysis, you can uncover opportunities for innovation, stay ahead of market trends, and gain a deeper understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses. Utilize tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, SpyFu and Moz to gain insights into your competitors’ online strategies and optimize your own digital marketing efforts. Leverage social listening tools, customer reviews, Google Alerts and surveys to monitor and interpret brand perception.Need someone to spy on your competitors for you? We can do that and more, like auditing your brand, giving you messaging tips, auditing your social media, analyzing your website and identifying the gaps in your SEO strategy. Contact us.