If you want to succeed in inbound marketing, you need to know your environment. No business operates in operations, and brands constantly compete with each other for their audience’s attention and engagement.

Through competitive research, you can gain a better understanding of the type of content, ads, and marketing strategies your closest competitors use to gain an edge over you and other brands in the industry. The same concept also helps you better understand the types of messages to which your audience is exposed, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

5 Competitive Research Tools

That all sounds great in theory. But where do you start? To answer that question, here are 5 SEO tools that can enhance your competitive research and gain a better understanding of the landscape surrounding you.

1) SEMRush

Through SEMRush, you can begin to understand how your competitors are using search engine marketing to gain website traffic. The full solution is paid, but a limited free version offers some great insights to get you started.

The process is simple: enter a domain you want to analyze, and watch the tool do the rest. You can use these reports to see what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for, where they buy ads, and much more.

2) QuickSprout

Much of inbound marketing relies on quality content that your audience begins to seek out. Through QuickSprout‘s competitor tool, you can analyze other websites to see which content is most popular, and how it came to be that way.

The results on QuickSprout range from comprehensive to individual pages. In other words, you can analyze anything from entire websites to blog posts similar to yours. Armed with these results, you can begin to generate content that not just emulates, but surpasses that of your competition.

3) Mention

It might be most popular as a social listening tool, but the capabilities of Mention range far beyond that undoubtedly important range. You can track brand mentions, topics, and even influencers of your competitors across the web, from social media to blog posts and much more. Once you know what your competitors talk about, you can insert your voice in a unique way.

4) BuzzSumo

All three of the above have competitive analysis tools, but are ultimately designed to evaluate your own efforts. BuzzSumo focuses specifically on your closest competition.

With just a few clicks, you can track the topics and buzzwords that generate most social shares for your competitors. Study the most-shared content in your industry, and you will begin to see links that help you craft your own winner and increase your viral reach.

5) SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is one of those tools that is popular among both small businesses and some of the world’s largest brands. That’s because of how elegantly it can help you track the performance of websites similar to yours, making it easy to spot the differences and make improvements.

Through the tool, you can track unique web visits, along with their sources – from organic to search and referral. You can even compare multiple competitors to you and each other at the same time. Finally, a simple dashboard helps you keep track of reports to gather valuable data and track your improvements over time.

Putting the Tools to Work For You!

Using these tools, you can begin to understand just how your competitors are using inbound marketing tactics to woo your audience. But of course, that step is only the beginning. Next, you have to build a strategy designed to fill gaps, and position yourself as unique compared to the competitive messaging you have unearthed.

For help in that aspect, contact us. We can work with you not just on a comprehensive competitive analysis, but also on making sure that this analysis leads to a successful inbound marketing strategy and implementation.

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