Want to spy on your competitors? (Don’t worry, this is totally legal.)
SimilarWeb lets you plug in any mobile app or website, receive insights about traffic and rankings, and compare the data against competing sites.
After entering a URL, you can see the website’s global rank, category rank (such as Books and Literature, Shopping, and Marketing and Advertising), country rank, and traffic by country. You’re also treated to an overview of total desktop and mobile visits from the past six months, which are broken down by time on site, pages per visit, and bounce rate.
As you scroll down, SimilarWeb shares other useful data reports, including top referral sites, paid search traffic vs. organic search traffic, a breakdown of traffic from social platforms, the most popular subdomains, a ranking of similar sites, and categories that interest your audience (e.g., News and Media, Business and Industry).
However, if you want to see how your traffic stands against your competitor’s, just click Add Competitors at the top of the screen, and select from the drop-down list or enter your own suggestion. You’ll see side-by-side comparisons of your ranking, traffic overview, and referrals.
To compare more than two sites at a time and obtain more in-depth insights, users can upgrade to a paid version of SimilarWeb, starting at $199 per month.
SEMrush can also help you get ahead of your competitors by researching keywords in display ads, organic and paid search, and link building. Just enter a keyword, domain, or URL in the search bar, and you’ll gain access to a wealth of insights.
Users can see a website or keyword’s traffic breakdown by paid search, organic search, backlinks, and display ads. Below that data, you can see live updates of top paid keywords and paid competitors, organic keywords and organic competitors, and sample ads. There are also lists of indexed pages and backlinks to browse through.
For free, users can make 10 requests per day (e.g., searching a term or viewing a full report). For full access to the platform, as well as API access, you can register for a pro account starting at $69.95 per month.
While SEMrush is often cited as a top keyword search tool, there might be a new sheriff in town since SEO software company Moz launched its own tool in May 2016. It’s more inclusive than most keyword search options out there, and it’s built to take the manual labor out of keyword research. As founder Rand Fishkin writes, the tool “takes you all the way through the keyword research process—from discovering keyword ideas to getting metrics to building a list, filtering the keywords on it, and prioritizing which ones to target based on the numbers that matter.”
At the top of the page, you’ll see five metrics, which can help you determine how valuable the term might be for your content efforts. You’ll also be able to click on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) analysis, which shows you the actual Google search result for that keyword, including any images or AdWords ads that appear.
If you’re looking to include a certain keyword in your content, Moz offers suggestions of up to 1,000 related terms, ranked by relevancy and volume. You can filter those suggestions to show keywords from a mix of sources, keywords that only include the terms your search for, or keywords that don’t include the terms you searched for—if you want fresh ideas.
To save your research, simply add your keywords to a list. From there, you’ll be able to compare, sort, and rank them by importance.
While the service is free, there is a limit on its usage. Anyone can run two keyword searches each day at no charge; community members get an additional five searches. For more comprehensive access to the tool, you can become a Moz PRO member or buy the stand-alone service starting at $600 per year.
Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard that helps you monitor data across multiple sites and applications, such as Salesforce, Google AdWords, WordPress, PayPal, and MailChimp.
Not only can you see all of this data in one place, but you can also customize your dashboard with over 40 widgets for different platforms and sources. And if you don’t find what you want from Cyfe’s widget pool, you can create your own widgets. All you have to do is upload external data from your source, CSV, or Google Sheet. For example, you might want a donut graph of certain results shown in orange, blue, and green.
Once your dashboard is up, you can create real-time reports to download and share. If that’s not enough, you can even connect Cyfe to your TV and rotate one or more dashboards on the big screen.
Google Analytics is the go-to platform for countless of marketers, due to the fact that it’s totally free, chock-full of features, and comes with the clout of the Google brand name.
After you enter the Google Analytics code into your website’s HTML, the service will measure certain goals for you, including which pages a visitor clicks on, how long they stay, and the actions they take.
As Kissmetrics points out, one of Google Analytics’ best features—especially for retail sites and marketers tracking purchases—is the Goal Funnel, with which you can set up a string of URLs that a consumer clicks through when purchasing an item. You can find out not only how many people are going through the process of making a purchase, but also how many are leaving it at a certain stage. This information will allow marketers to fine-tune their strategies and make the purchasing experience simpler for the consumer.
Google will also report the keywords people search that bring them to your site, as well as which devices and browsers they are using—not to mention from where they are being referred.
When it comes to customizing data, you can track certain campaigns that are driving traffic to your site, create your own reports with hand-picked metrics, and set up custom alerts to have your insights delivered at certain times.
Possibly the most frequent complaint about using Google Analytics is the information can be messy and the interface problematic to navigate. However, Google is working to counter these complaints with new tools like Data Studio, which lets users turn data into shareable, visually engaging reports. While the platform still may not be the most intuitive, you should be more comfortable with the settings after a month or so, and, in turn, get the most out of Google’s free service.
Written by Amanda Walgrove
Originally posted on contently.com
J. Fitzgerald Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing communications firm based in suburban Buffalo, N.Y.