The online landscape shifts so suddenly that it’s daunting to keep pace. But that doesn’t mean you shun gathering competitive intelligence altogether.
Explore our comprehensive list of the best competitive intelligence tools for market research to be flexible in your strategy and swiftly evolve as per the market needs.
But why do competitive intelligence?
Let’s answer that first!
Competitive Intelligence Overview – Why Is It Essential?
Competitive intelligence is a term that inadvertently strikes as something huge. And in the present marketing landscape, it indeed is an indispensable necessity because venturing into online business and expecting no resistance is futile. Only with the proper knowledge can you grow, and it comes with competitive intelligence. It helps you anticipate competition, analyze trends, grab new business opportunities, and facilitate decision-making.
Why Go For A Competitive Intelligence Tool?
It must be evident to you now that competitive intelligence is an absolute necessity. But it’s not easy to gather; therefore, you require tools to manage. Understand that there are hundreds of parameters to keep a tab on – minute changes with big impacts that are easy to miss. Competitive intelligence tools let you analyze everything from your competitors’ websites and products to their organic and paid growth strategies. In short, manually impossible work is easily doable with a competitive Intelligence tool.
That’s why you need one, and that’s why we sifted through hundreds of different options to compile this list of the best competitive intelligence tools. Each selection is easy to use and covers numerous data points to aid you in the decision-making process.
Competitive Intelligence Tools – Our Top 4 Picks (2023)
|Ranking||Name||Suitable For||Free Trial||Rating|
|Semrush||Professionals, agencies, and Business|
7-day Free Trial
|iSpionage||Newbies and Experts alike||Available with limited functionality|
|BuzzSumo||Experts with varied content analysis needs|
30-day Free Trial
|Similar Web||Bloggers, SEO professionals, and marketers||Available with limited functionality|
Top Competitive Intelligence Tools
Below, you will the list of our handpicked and thoroughly tested Competitive Intelligence tools;
Semrush occupies the top spot for best market research tools, and for a reason. First, it’s an all-in-one SEO tool that spans every facade of SEO. And secondly, Semrush includes a dedicated market explorer and traffic analytic features to help you analyze the market in depth.
What it can do – The market explorer feature presents you with an overview of a marketplace as a whole, including competition and top market shareholders. Likewise, the demographics functionality lets you analyze customer behaviors and from where the business is getting the most traction.
Besides, the traffic analytics features allow a complete snapshot of a particular URL. You can analyze five URLs in one go. Interestingly, Semrush particularly shines in the PPC segment. It gives you a complete insight into your competitor’s paid ad strategy and what they are paying for a particular keyword. In turn, it lets you curate your own strategy to maximize return.
Besides, you can employ dozens of other SEO features Semrush encloses to uncover the tiniest details about your competitor’s strategy. Accordingly, you can work on your own methods to gain the upper hand. We also have an exclusive Semrush free trial that allows you to use Semrush for 30 days for free.
Price – Besides a free service, Semrush monthly plans range from $119.95 to $499.95. However, you have to pay an extra $200 per month for the Market Explorer and Traffic Analytics features.
iSpionage is another intuitive competitive intelligence tool that offers extensive data about competitors and helps you visualize gaps in your strategy. It lets you uncover potential vulnerabilities in your competitor’s tactics. You can use them to your advantage and build a solid rapport online.
What it can do – iSpionage offers both monitoring and research functionality. Incidentally, it helps you understand your competitor’s search marketing strategy and identify keywords they rank for.
With monitoring tools like SEM Watch, you can quickly gather paid ad data for local and international campaigns in multiple countries. Likewise, you can also receive insights about impressions and user behavior based on keywords, ads placement and landing pages.
Likewise, the research reports let you evaluate keywords, landing pages, PPC campaigns, and more. One exciting feature of iSpionage is the Keyword Effectiveness Index. It helps you explore the best keywords for the industry and exploit them to your advantage.
Price – The starter plan costs $59 /mo, the professional plan costs $99/mo, and the advanced plan will cost you $299/mo.
BuzzSumo offers you a different perspective on competitive intelligence. It lets you analyze the market from the content angle. Apparently, content is the honeypot that attracts customers, and BuzzSumo is an invaluable tool for analyzing how customers respond to content.
What it can do – You may have already exploited the free version to explore content ideas and uncover top-performing content. However, the paid version lets you delve deep into competitive intelligence.
BuzzSumo is everything about content. BuzzSumo helps you close in on your competitors’ top content and on what platform it has the most traction. Likewise, BuzzSumo allows you to know the age of blog posts, the media employed to disseminate the content, and the channels that rake in the most traffic.
Its Crisis Alerting feature is particularly insightful. It allows you to timely respond to major changes in the market and, therefore, easily tread turbulence. Likewise, the Facebook Page Analyzer lets you expand your Competitive monitoring to Social Media and help you drill down what your competitors are doing on Facebook and what results from their actions bring.
Price – BuzzSumo includes a free plan that allows 10 searches per month. Paid plans come in three categories and costs, $99/month, $179/month, and $299/month.
Many consider Ahrefs the valid alternative to Smerush in every aspect. However, it does not include any dedicated tools specifically for competitive intelligence. And yet its plethora of highly specialized features lets you construct a complete picture of what your competitors are doing, the channels they are utilizing, and the results their efforts are bringing. Therefore it will be foolish to ignore Ahrefs for competitive research.
What it can do – You must be creative to execute competitive intelligence efforts with Ahrefs. Once you have some competitor’s URL, you can use the site explorer feature to extract keywords and generate domain reports.
Likewise, the keyword explorer feature can help you uncover keywords your competitors are spending money on. Similarly, you can utilize the Ads History report to analyze the paid ads run by your competitors.
Besides, you can also employ the site explorer feature to explore additional content, marketing channels, paid advertisement and backlinks reports to extract useful information.
Price – Ahrefs offers some tools ( Website Checker, Website Authority Checker and more) with limited functionality for free. The paid version comes for $99 to $999 per month.
5. Similar Web
Similar Web imitates both in looks and functionality the Google Analytics control panel. However, it brings much more and is probably the best tool to gather website traffic data. It lets you delve into competitors’ domains, traffic, engagement matrices and more.
What it can do – Similar Web is notorious for its traffic analysis capabilities. Besides, Similar Web also includes other robust analytics features like funnel visualization. In addition to analyzing traffic, it lets you compare how your matrices fare compared to your competitors.
You can also go deep into domain analysis. Incidentally, it offers you valuable data about your audience, their behavior and URLs with a similar audience as yours. You can use the information to explore content ideas and devise a working strategy.
Similar Web also enables you to analyze your standing against competitors regarding engagement, traffic, and marketing channels. Likewise, it also offers you a solid understanding of audience segmentation between you and your competitors. You can use the information to adopt changes that will divert the relevant audience to your website.
Price – Similar Web research intelligence is available for free for one user with limited access to historical insights. Research Intelligence Premium plan is personalized and determined by the Similar Web team based on your requirements.
TrackMaven is an innovative tool that offers essential competitive intelligence to benefit your business. TrackMaven excels in marketing-related intelligence gathering and promises boosted ROI on your marketing efforts aided by advanced features. Incidentally, TrackMaven makes it a breeze to collect data from several marketing channels simultaneously.
What it can do – TrackMaven merged with content marketing platform, Skyword to offer more robust content-related and marketing insights.
It lets you track competitors as well as monitor your own performance. It helps to analyze post and ad performance, customer response to new products, traffic, and recall rate.
Likewise, Social Analytics tools help you decode the marketing landscape and exert strategies based on actual data. You can compare your content to your rivals, industry experts, influencers and more to see how it fares.
Similarly, you can analyze organic and paid engagement over multiple social media channels to adjust your own campaigns and improve ROI. On top of that, the platform’s simplicity is a plus that significantly boosts user experience.
Price – TrackMaven adopts a custom pricing model. Therefore the price depends on the user’s requirements.
Competitive intelligence is not always about outperforming the competition. But also to adopt ways and expand the creative strength of your business. Thankfully Moat is designed in a similar fashion. It allows you to delve into your competitor’s creative history, including ads creatives, press releases and more.
What it can do – Online business is about capturing customers’ attention. Fortunately, Moat includes everything to curate your creatives based on competitive intelligence and be a rockstar in front of customers.
Moat analytics lets you explore the best possibility in paid ads based on insights about campaigns and their performance across channels and creatives. It lets you identify what catches the attention and brings more customers.
You can further take inspiration from your competitor’s past content. Moat lets you explore your competitors’ ads for as far back as three years. Using the information, you can create engaging content that captivates your audience.
Moat reach is another interactive tool that helps you analyze your ad efficiency and assess its reach across different channels. Besides, Moat also lets you configure alerts whenever your competitors execute a new ad campaign.
Price – Moat offers custom pricing. You have to contact support to get pricing details.
SpyFu already enjoys popularity as a competent SEO monitoring and tracking tool. Likewise, it helps you keep track of all the essential matrices that might help your business accelerate its growth and occupy the top position in SERP.
What it can do – Firstly, SpyFu is equipped with a really innovative dashboard that places the essential metrics in an easily accessible format – a real help when you have to track hundreds of data points.
Next, SpyFu includes an innovative feature called Kombat. It offers comprehensive SEO and PPC research capabilities. You can track how your keywords are performing compared to your competitors. You can also set up alerts if there’s an overlap or new developments in your competitor’s SEO and PPC campaigns.
On top of that, the Tracking feature helps you stay organized. You can insert keywords and receive weekly updates on how they are doing compared to competitors in terms of SEO and PPC.
Besides, you can do domain analysis, SEO research, PPC research, and more to construct a detailed overview of what’s working for your business, what your competitors are doing, and how you can improve.
Price – SpyFu monthly plans range from $39 to $299 per month.
Owletter is one of the best competitive intelligence tools that monitor your competitor’s email activities and shows you all the data in one dashboard. You can use its competitor analytics feature to see what they are doing and how you can use this information for your gain. It can help you create better email marketing campaigns that will boost your conversions.
What it can do – It captures all the emails sent by a website to its mailing list, takes a screenshot of the email, and stores it to analyze. You get alerts about the email if it is important to you. It helps you in analyzing the email behavior of your competitors.
You will learn from your competitors, and it will help you create better strategies to beat them. You will never have to use your email inbox because you will get all the information about emails directly on Owletter. It will give you data on how many of your competitor’s emails are getting opened, what is their conversion rates, what is their frequency of sending emails, and what is the content of their emails.
Owletter captures whatever email addresses your competitors are capturing on their websites. You can use those email addresses for your email campaigns and monitor their performance from Owletter’s dashboard.
Pricing: Owletter has three pricing options. The starter plan costs $19/mo or $190/year and allows you to monitor up to 10 websites. The pro plan costs $39/mo or $390/year and allows you to monitor up to 25 websites. The unlimited plan costs $79/mo or $790/year and allows you to monitor unlimited websites. It also comes with a 14-day free trial.
Conclusion: Best Competitive Intelligence Tools (2023)
Competitive intelligence, if rightfully done, offers you an insurmountable advantage over your competitors. But it’s almost impossible to do it without the right tool. Therefore it’s imperative that you opt for a competent, competitive intelligence tool.
We have provided an overview of the best in industry reporting tools. You should assess them based on your business needs and determine the most suitable one.
For us, Semrush is the best competitive intelligence tool: primarily for its completeness concerning market research. Be it site audit, SERP analysis, keyword research, or PPC research, Semrush ace it all. You don’t have to juggle from one tool to another to explore different aspects of market research – Semrush covers them all. And that’s why it’s our favorite.
Indeed it’s expensive, but its dexterity is a good bargain for the price. Therefore think of it as an investment – one that will bring you massive returns in the long run.