There are many of guides and tools on how to keep a close eye on your competitors, but not many of them cover all of what you need to do to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer :).  This guide can help lead you to identifying what your competitors are testing, what they are doing that is ineffective, and most importantly what is working.  I’ll share with you the best tool, and the close contenders.

Historic Analysis

Know your competitors site, and archive it.

1) HTTrack

Use this site to scrape the whole darn site, and host it locally on your machine. You can now keep a living breathing copy of your competitors site, and use it as a reference. You are using this for future use, so be sure to keep record of the date of when you pulled the site.  Want to compare two old copies, use the handy quickdiff to see the difference in pages.

Other tools:

2) Use SearchMetrics to view historic rankings analysis.


SearchMetrics allows you to view historic rankings data, even though you don’t have to specify that you want/ed to monitor it.  On aggregate, see how your competitor is doing (or yourself for that matter).

Other Valuable Tools


Keep a real close eye on what today looks like.

3) is free, it’s super simple, and its awesome.  You can even view someone elses monitored pages, for example, someone is monitoring Expedia site changes.


4) Using webkit2png to take daily/weekly screenshots of your competitors website.  Chris Yee from SEOGadget wrote a great post on how to web stalk your competition.

PRO TIP: What I recommend doing is use this same method for taking screenshots of Google Search Results Pages for money keywords.  Use this to keep an eye on those who are introducing Authorship, Images, Videos, Local search etc.  You’ll even identify when a competitor adds breadcrumbs, when you see their result on Google change.

  • Runner up: GrabzIt (free & pretty hacky)


News & Social Mentions

5) Newsle is an amazing tool to be notified when your friends/competitors make the news.

Other tools worth mentioning

6) I use IceRocket pretty regularly to identify what’s going on with top brands, to see what’s working, what’s not, and what I can do better.  All you need to do is hit http://{brand name} , eg: and you’ll see latest Facebook, Twitter, Images and News.

PRO TIP:  KissMetrics wrote a great post on how to spy on your competition using Twitter.

7) AHREFS Mentions Tracker offers a great tool that allows you to search for brands/keywords and identify what’s being said about them.


8) John Doherty made an awful smart recommendation in his competitive analysis deck to use to keep historic record of when a competitor sends an email, and keep it in evernote.  This is of course you are subscribed to their e-mail campaigns.  Use ifttt, and use his ‘recipe‘:



Super fast site review:

9) When it comes to website graders, I would recommend using WooRank. There are many review tools out there, I find this to be the simplest.

Excellent software that allows you to maintain a competitive edge on your brand include:


Competitor Analysis Backlinks & Site Mentions

10) If you’re using this, let me know, but I would be near willing to bet nobody is doing this to investigate competitive mentions.  Outside of social mentioning tools, you may be able to see websites that mention a brand (or their notable spokesperson).  Go to the websites press/media page for the stock imagery of logos/notable figures and do a reverse image search using Google or TinEye, and find all the websites that mention a brand but may not even be linking to that brand.

11) MajesticSEO Site Comarator is an excellent tool to do a head to head analysis of domains.

12) LinkResearchTools Link Alert is pretty much the best I’ve seen to date of link analysis alerting and as real-time as you can get on watching your competitors new links pop-up.  On the expensive side, but worth it if this is what you want to do for a living.


Getting creepy on your competitors

Here are some mega-investigative analysis on your competitors, in case you exhausted all other options:

13) Find the sub-domains that your competitor has, that you may not normally see in your everyday search by using: “”.  Nothing better than seeing the entire picture, including the domains you may typically overlook or not yet have seen.

14) Does your competitor own multiple websites, and use the same analytics account?  How about host multiple domains on the same webhost?  Very possible.  Use SpyOnWeb to see what’s going on with your competitor.

15) Broad Vertical Specific Analysis:


Monitor your competitors using ranking software:

16) Sorry industry, but ZoomRank still makes this the easiest in my book to do this on scale.  They have an API, their GUI is the fastest among them all, and if you’re looking for no-frills analysis, it’s the way to go.

Other sites I still love at ranking analysis for competitors:


Know before they even do:

17) Once you’ve identified what your competitor is doing (prior to just looking at results) try to take educated guesses/assumptions at what your competitor is doing and run an SEO correlation test using  Learn how to run an SEO correlation test here.

Do you think I’m missing any?  Add to the comments section below.  I’d like to start adding case studies to these tools, and making this list grow!