12 Online Tools to Spy on Your Competitors

When you start to plan the creation of your website for your business, startup or blog, one of the things I recommend is to check these online tools to help you understand more about your competitors and how they are handling their online resources. The goal is to have a better understanding of who your competitor’s clients are, and the things they are doing online that are working and not.

Good artists copy, great artists steal. – Pablo Picasso

One of the things to keep in mind is that you should not worry too much about what your competitors are doing. Use these tools merely to see what they are doing and is actually working for them. It is important not to follow your competitor’s too closely, it is vital that your personal or corporate brand is if not unique, at least different. I recommend you read Different by Youngme Moon, it’s a book about the importance of being different.

Below are the 5 online tools to help you spy on your competitors (and yourself):

Find competitor’s sites offering similar services and products

These are online tools that help you find out about other sites that provide related services and/or products to yours or whatever website you enter in their search box. For example, if you enter wordpress.com, you might get a list and some details about sites like Blogger, Livejournal, Typepad, etc. You get the idea right?

Similar Sites: similarsites.com

Xmarks: xmarks.com

Find Similar Sites: findsimilarsites.com

Get insights for any competitor’s website or app

These are online tools that provide you with a lot of details about any web application. Some of these details might include the following:

  • Referrals
  • Traffic from search, social and display ads
  • Audience
  • Similar Sites
  • Mobile Apps
  • Web Server
  • Nameserver Providers
  • Email Services
  • Hosting Providers
  • Frameworks
  • JavaScript Libraries
  • CDN Providers
  • Etc…

The amount of details you get for a specific website or app depends on whether you use their free or paid version. However, even the free versions of these tools provide plenty of details and valuable information. Enjoy!

SimilarWeb: similarweb.com

BuiltWith: builtwith.com

Get your competitor’s keywords and backlinks

These services allow you to track different competitors’ backlinks, keywords, and Ads. They show you a lot of valuable competitive data. The following online tools are probably some of my favorites as they help me get the competitive data that I am interested in 😉

Monitor Backlinks: monitorbacklinks.com

SpyFu: spyfu.com

Link Prospector: linkprospector.citationlabs.com

Ontolo: ontolo.com

Get details on your competitor’s mentions

These services are fantastic and they can be time wasters. Be careful. The following services allow you to track mentions of your competitor’s keywords, websites, social media accounts, etc… Of course, you SHOULD use them to track mentions of your own website and social media accounts too.

Google Alerts: google.com/alerts

SocialMention: socialmention.com

The Takeaway

It is worth to mention that most of the companies above offer their services for free or have a free trial version you can try before you are ready to invest money in their tool. These are definitely useful tools to use when building your site, your links, Ads, etc… It gives you a good picture of what your competitors are using and doing. If you are not ready to invest your time and money on these tools, it is OK, you can still get most of the information these tools provide for free. However, the time commitment to get this information without these tools is enormous. Please consider that when you make your decision on whether or not you should use these tools.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have any feedback or insights about using any of the tools above? Do you know of any other tools that can give you the same type of details and valuable information? Please share it with everyone by posting the information in the comment’s section below.