Staying on top of the competition can be quite a feat, especially when you don’t know where to start or what keywords they are using in their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy. One way that you can get leverage on your competition is by utilizing various SEO and SEM tools to analyze the keywords and phrases that your competitors are using. Depending on the tool, you may even be able to tell how much traffic they are getting to their site or how much they are paying per click in their SEM campaigns. These tools can help you monitor your performance and measure it against your competition for better leverage and visibility.

1. Open Site Explorer. One of my favorite tools to utilize for competitor analysis is Open Site Explorer. This SEO tool allows you to research backlinks, find link-building opportunities and discover potentially damaging links. I use this tool for competitive analysis to see if I can leverage any of the link-building opportunities that competitors are using, or to even compare metrics between my organization and the competition by analyzing where they rank in Google and what are their top-performing pages. This tool is free, but if you are looking for more in-depth analytics and full access to link opportunities and more, it will require a monthly subscription.

2. SpyFu. Another SEM tool used for competitor analysis is SpyFu. This tool only allows you a certain amount of reports that you can pull for free, but it’s amazing for paid search competitive analysis. With this tool, you can see how much your competitors are investing in their Google AdWords campaigns and you can even see how much they are paying per click. You can analyze what words they are targeting and create a SEM strategy around those opportunities. This tool also allows you to see what organic keywords your competitors’ organic SEO campaigns are targeting.

3. SEMrush. SEMrush is a paid, but fully complete SEM tool. Not only does it share both organic search and paid search analysis of whatever competitor domain you drop into the search bar, it also allows you to compile keyword research, site audits and backlink analysis. It helps you to create well-crafted SEO-friendly content that analyzes your competitor’s content while giving you ideas for new content – another way to get ahead of your competition and get winning results.

In terms of analyzing your competitors and crafting a strategy that will help you beat your competition, all these tools will get the job done. All it takes is a lot of research and planning, and soon you will be creating content that will draw in potential customers and drown out your competition.

Happy Marketing!