The 5 Greatest Competitor Monitoring Tools To Help You Gain an Edge

While you should always focus on your business’s competencies and objectives first, keeping an eye on your competitors provides you with ideas on how to improve your marketing approach. Competitor monitoring tools give you the power to track your competition’s wins and losses, giving you a competitive advantage within the market.

That said, different competitor tracking tools bring different features and benefits to the table. So, it’s essential that you find the right competitor monitoring software to provide you with the specific information you seek. 

This blog post will detail several principal aspects related to competitor tracking software, like what it can do and how it can benefit your business. We’ll also break down our top five competitor monitoring tool picks to help you find the perfect one.

What is a competitor monitoring tool?

A competitor monitoring tool is software that enables you to track and analyze your competitors’ online activities, website traffic, visitor engagement, and more. It’s like having inside information about the online strengths and weaknesses of direct rival companies.

Typically, competitor tracking software reveals where your competitors’ website traffic comes from, their website traffic market share, their website traffic trends, etc., compared to yours. 

You can use this information to determine whether you should double down on promotion through a particular channel, tweak web pages, focus on specific keywords, and much more.

Before competitor tracking tools, businesses were left to their own devices, scouring the web and going undercover to suss out how competitor websites were bringing in customers.

With a top-tier monitoring tool in your arsenal, your business could have the upper hand with valuable data to help you strategize more effectively and beat the competition.

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What are the benefits of competitor tracking tools?

Using solid competitor tracking software to better your marketing efforts comes with several unmistakable advantages. These are some of the primary benefits associated with employing these tools:

  • Outperform your competition: Gaining insight into what your competitors are up to allows you to spot patterns, predict events, and respond to changes swiftly, keeping you one step ahead.
  • Pinpoint new opportunities: Measuring market trends against competitor behavior could help you identify new opportunities and markets your competition might have overlooked.
  • Stay abreast of market changes: Know what rival companies are up to and adapt your approach accordingly when there are technological advancements and customer demand changes within your industry.
  • Identify your weaknesses: Evaluate more successful competitors to establish what they do differently and how you can adjust your strategy to improve your profitability and growth.
  • Set better business goals: Understanding why customers choose your competitors over your business allows you to set benchmarks to improve in those areas.

5 leading competitor monitoring tools to boost business growth

Knowing why you should bring a competitor tracking tool into the fold is great. But with so many tools offering different features, how do you know which one is right for your business?

Well, we’re here to make that selection process easier with our list of the absolute best in competitor tracking software on the market. If you’re looking for an industry-leading tool, you can’t go wrong with these top picks.

5 leading competitor monitoring tools

  1. CompetitorIQ
  2. Site Explorer
  3. Semrush
  4. MailCharts
  5. BuzzSumo

1. CompetitorIQ

CompetitorIQ traffic strategies chart

Pricing: Free to all Nutshell customers (Nutshell’s CRM pricing starts at $16 per month, and there’s a 14-day free trial option.)

No. of competitors: You can track up to five competitors

Looking for a powerful competitor monitoring tool that can provide you with data-driven insights and inform sales and marketing team strategies, all from one platform? Nutshell’s CompetitorIQ tracking tool is just what the doctor ordered.

CompetitorIQ delivers unmatched competitor web traffic insights right from inside Nutshell’s award-winning and affordable CRM platform. Combining this monitoring software with advanced contact management, lead nurturing, and email marketing tools makes for a potent system that can take your business to new heights.

What does CompetitorIQ include? Nutshell customers can connect CompetitorIQ to their websites by adding and verifying their site URLs for accurate tracking. Users can then add as many as five competitor website URLs for comparison.

Choosing Nutshell’s CompetitorIQ as your tracker of choice means you can look forward to leveraging the following data:

  • Web traffic market share: See how your website traffic measures up against your top competitors and use that information to identify growth opportunities.
  • Primary traffic sources: Get detailed information about which channels deliver the most traffic to your website and your competitors’ websites for more refined strategizing, including social, organic, and paid channels.
  • Historical website performance: View web traffic performance metrics and progress over the lifetime of competitor websites to inform your online growth strategy.

You can also look forward to upcoming features that will give you deeper insight into target keywords and budgets related to paid search traffic and SEO tactics associated with organic web traffic.

Level up your online presence with CompetitorIQ

  • Compare your website’s performance against your top competitors
  • Get insights into your competitor’s online strategies
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2. Site Explorer

ahref's Site Explorer competitor monitoring tool website screenshot

Pricing: From $99 per month, or free limited access

No. of competitors: You can track up to five competitors

If you’re on the hunt for a robust competitor analysis tool, the Site Explorer tool from Ahrefs has you covered. This tool offers several integral competitor insights, including top-ranking content and keywords for your top five industry rivals.

With Site Explorer, you can dive deeper into organic search metrics, including search volume and projected traffic, revealing specific keywords to target in your upcoming campaigns. It’s great for boosting your SEO efforts.

You can also size up your competition’s backlink profiles to see which sites they’ve obtained inbound links from and the type of content related to those links. Using this information to improve your backlink strategy and outreach can significantly impact your search engine rankings.

3. Semrush

Semrush competitor monitoring tool website screenshot

Pricing: From $129.95 per month, with a free trial available

No. of competitors: You can track up to five competitors

Similar to Ahrefs, Semrush is built for competitor SEO and traffic tracking through its Organic Research, Keyword Gap, and Traffic Analytics tools. But there are a few more neat features at your disposal when you opt for their competitor monitoring software.

Semrush’s Market Explorer offers the ability to extract various reports, including an audience report. The audience report provides critical data related to your competitors’ target audience, which you can use to enhance your audience segmentation and targeting.

To evaluate your competition’s paid search ads, Semrush offers its Advertising Research tool. This tool exposes vital information about what your competitors spend on ads, how successful these ad campaigns are, and which keywords these ads target.

With Semrush, you also have access to the Backlink Gap tool for backlink profile analysis and the Social Tracker tool to monitor activity on social media.

4. MailCharts

MailCharts competitor monitoring tool website screenshot

Pricing: From $149 per month or free basic access

No. of competitors: Over 2500 brands and 100 industries to choose from (pre-defined)

Email marketers rave about MailCharts and its unique email marketing analytics capabilities. As a specialized tool, you can expect to drill deep into competitor email campaign data, sizing up your campaigns against your industry peers.

MailCharts offers access to key email marketing information for thousands of brands, including when they send emails, how they promote them, how many they send, and central engagement metrics.

With this data, you can see what has worked and what hasn’t for others in your industry. You can use this information to fine-tune your email marketing campaigns and execute advanced A/B testing to optimize messaging and increase open and click-through rates.

5. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo competitor monitoring tool website screenshot

Pricing: From $199 per month, with a 30-day free trial available

No. of competitors: You can track up to 10 competitors

For those who prefer to dig into competitor content marketing metrics, BuzzSumo offers all the tools you need to monitor industry trends and competition for web and social media content.

Take a peek at web and social content performing well in your industry or niche. You’ll be able to see impression and engagement data for individual social and blog posts published by the competition and use that information to determine the type of content your audience may respond to.

BuzzSumo even lets you see which influencers competitors use for user-generated content on different social platforms and how successful that content is. This information could be useful for future social paid partnerships and similar content.

Competitor tracking FAQs

Want to know more about competitor tracking software? Here are our answers to a few common questions related to competitor monitoring tools.

1. Which tool is best for competitor analysis?

Choosing the right competitor tracking tool for your organization comes down to your specific business objectives, needs, and industry marketing trends. 

For instance, if most of your industry’s marketing strategy relies on social media content, then BuzzSumo or Semrush might be the best option for your needs. If your company leans heavily on email marketing, signing up with MailCharts may be beneficial.

CompetitorIQ offers a broad spectrum of competitor analysis data related to web traffic engagement, sources, and more. And the software is baked into Nutshell’s CRM, giving you access to other powerful contact management, sales, and marketing tools, including email marketing and analytics features.

2. What can I learn through tracking competitors?

Depending on your chosen competitor monitoring tool, you can gain plenty of valuable knowledge about your industry and competition, including:

  • Ranking paid and organic search keywords
  • Web page/post traffic and engagement
  • Email campaign opens and clicks
  • Web content topic popularity
  • Audience demographics and behavior
  • Social media post popularity
  • Industry-aligned influencers for UGC

3. How often should I use competitor monitoring tools?

It’s best to schedule analysis sessions at regular intervals to get the most out of your competitor tracking software. That said, pulling and evaluating the data too often can be time-consuming and may not provide you with enough data to make any significant optimization decisions.

We recommend aiming for an in-depth analysis once every two to three months, which still gives you ample time to spot trends and make swift adjustments.

Unearth competitor insights with Nutshell’s CompetitorIQ

Signing up for Nutshell’s world-class CRM software for as little as $16 per month gives you access to CompetitorIQ, one of the best competitor tracking tools available. With CompetitorIQ, you can evaluate up-to-date data related to competitor web traffic, audience engagement, and organic and paid traffic channels effortlessly.

You’ll also benefit from a best-in-class CRM system offering exceptional features, such as:

Give Nutshell a try and discover why it’s one of the few CRM platforms that sales teams actually enjoy using. Sign up for your 14-day free trial now, or sit in on one of our upcoming live demos to see Nutshell’s many incredible features in action.

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