3 Competitive Analysis Tools Every Marketer Should Use

Let’s talk about some simple ways to do competitive analysis. I’m just going to go through a couple of marketing tools I often use.


First and foremost is Ahrefs, which I use all the time. If you want to get access, just go to www.levelingup.com/ahrefs.

Let’s put Nike into Ahrefs, as an example. You can see that their domain ranking/domain authority is scored on a scale of 1-100. Nike has 73, which is great. They have over 105,000 referring domains pointing to their site. They ranked for over 500,000 organic keywords, which means that they drive over 8.8 million visits per month.

Related Content: Analysis of 1 Million Backlinks: Dollar Shave Club (Part 6/10)

Ahrefs Nike Competitive Analysis

Now, these are by no means exact numbers, but it does give you a realistic range in terms of where Nike’s at and how many keywords they’re bidding on. You can start with organic keywords and see the keywords they’re ranking for, the volume they drive, which pages they’re ranking for, and go from there.

Ahrefs Nike organic keywords

You can also see what features they have for specific keywords. Do they have site links? Are they in the image pack? Are they in a knowledge panel as well?

If I were to search for Nike right now, just to show you what I mean…

Google Nike

…they have an ad showing. Then they have a link right there. They have images. They have the knowledge box, as well, and so on. 

I also like to look at ads (to see what types of offers and images they’re using), as well as top pages (to see what I or my client can emulate). With Nike, there’s obviously a lot of Nike-related branded keywords, but we want to see what else they have that’s not tied to Nike specifically.

I can filter by position, from 5 to 30, if I want to look for low-hanging fruit keywords. Like “marathon training” for example or “half marathon training schedule.” Ahrefs shows me the types of low-hanging keywords that Nike is ranking well for, and then I just click on the page and ask myself, “Well, what I can do to emulate that? What can I do to beat this page?”

Alex Morgan, the soccer star, is ranking 14 for it. “Nike size chart,” “10K training plan,” I can see all these different keywords right here.

Obviously, for the brand-related keywords, they’re going to do well on those almost always. But I can get some ideas from their other top pages and see how I can emulate those. 

Ahrefs can also help you see the content gap, which is just great. For example, I can type in Nike.com, Adidas.com, Reebok, etc. By doing this, we can see all the things that Nike and Adidas rank for, but that Reebok does not rank for.

Ahrefs content gap

Now let’s look at marketing blogs. Let’s look at Neil Patel, Quick Sprout, and Single Grain. This will give me some content ideas. We can see that Quick Sprout ranks for all the expected keywords: they’re #7 for “online marketing” and #12 for “marketing automation.” A lot of great keywords that can help me (if I were a competing marketing blog) come up with great ideas for the types of content I should be creating.

Learn More: 7 Tips to Creating Killer Blog Posts that No One Else Is Writing

Ahrefs keywords Quick Sprout

Then I can just export this info, maybe select 1,000 rows, for example, and hit export.

We can also look at PPC keywords. Going back to Nike—what are they bidding on, exactly? What’s the URL? We can look at their top landing pages, too. All this will help us get an idea of what they’re doing.

So, there’s a lot that we can do with Ahrefs. Just go to www.levelingup.com/ahrefs.


Another great tool that I use is Adbeat.


Adbeat gives me a deeper look at how certain companies are spending, what ads they have, and where they’re spending. Let’s take Jet for example. Let’s say they spend $121 million. You can see that their ad spend is actually increasing over time. Most of their spend is going towards Google, and to Direct Buy as well.

Adbeat Jet

Then we can look at the different kind of creative stuff they’re running, and how much spend went towards this creative component. We can also look at their newest campaigns. We can look at competitors, too. And, just as we did with Ahrefs, we can export all this Adbeat info and make it into a PowerPoint presentation. That’s a lot of actionable information at my fingertips.

One thing to keep in mind is that usually the spend amounts on these kinds of tools are incorrect. Same thing with a traffic map. I would say take the traffic or the ad spend with a grain of salt.


Finally, let’s look at SimilarWeb, another tool I love to use for investigating competitors.


Let’s go back to Nike and look at how they’re doing. We can see that this is their traffic trends over time. It’s saying that they get 54 million visits a month.

SimilarWeb Nike

Category rank for shopping and sports, they’re number one. It shows you the different mobile apps that they have for Google Play, App Store as well. Lot of different stuff going on here. You can see their traffic by country and where the bulk of their traffic is coming from and where their referrals are coming from. It’s search, and then direct, and then you have referrals, too.

You can see keywords plus which are paid, their social and how they’re doing there. You can see their distribution and then display advertising. Their sub-domains, too. You can also dive deeper and look at certain categories.

So, with these three great competitive analysis tools, there’s a lot that you can see.

This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post:

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GB 104 - How To Find Your Competitors' Ads

Today I’m going over two different tools that will help you find your competitors’ display ads quickly. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a tool that will show you Facebook ads, but seeing what Google display ads work well for your competitors can give you really great insight and inspiration.

[spoiler title=’Transcript’ collapse_link=’true’]

I’m going to tell you about two tools that can help you find your competitors advertising or display ads quickly. Unfortunately, to this day I don’t know if anything that can or maybe I haven’t tested the tools thoroughly enough but, talent at Facebook ads does it now but, hey, look in Google ads and seeing your competitors, what’s been working well for them and really, it will help give you some ideas.

The first tool is called SimilarWeb and it’s one of my favorite tools right now. Not only will it help you find display ads but it will find similar websites, hands the name of similar web to your competitors, it will give you traffic breakdown in terms of how much traffic are they getting from search, display, whatever it is exactly – a traffic estimate which is probably off more often than not, but, it gives you a lot of valuable information that you otherwise couldn’t have really figured out on your own, at least it that quick span of time. So, SimilarWeb is a great one.

Another one is called Mixrank, it’s great for finding, doing more of the competitive analysis part. SimilarWeb has a little more features to it. Actually, I changed my mind, instead of two, there’s actually three. There’s also another tool called What Runs Where and this will all be in the show notes but, What Runs Where is basically what is says. It’s going to help you find what runs where.

So check out these three tools, if you’re looking for some ideas and you’re really looking for the ads that have run for a long time and are still running today because that tells you that that Ad is successful and maybe your competitor isn’t doing anything, maybe somebody else in your, somebody else in a, somewhat a similar vertical is doing something, you can take a look at what they’re doing too. It doesn’t always have to be a competitor; you can get different ideas from different areas as well.

So, check these tools out and we’ll have it in show notes too, www.levelingup.com and let me know what you think.


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Today I’m going over three resources that will help you find similar sites within the same niche.

Right now I’m doing research for one of my products, which is a course on how to hire A-players, so I’m trying to make a list of similar blogs and websites that might make good joint venture partners, and I have three different websites I use to find them.

  1. SimilarWeb [01:25]
  2. Alexa [02:16]
  3. Alltop [02:40]
[spoiler title=’Transcript’ collapse_link=’true’]

Hello and welcome to another edition of Growth Bites.

Today we’re going to talk about how you can find similar sites in the niche.

Right now, I’m doing research for my product which is a course on how to hire A players. So, what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to make a list of potential blogs, other websites that might be good for joint venture partnerships or even building a relationship. So, what I do is I have 3 different websites to use.

The first one is called SimilarWeb and SimilarWeb is what exactly what it says it is. I mean, it helps you find similar websites on the internet. So, basically you go to SimilarWeb.com. You type in whatever website you think is relevant. So, let’s just say from my case Recruiter.com is a very good website and I want to find sites that are similar to that. I can type in the website and it’ll show me what other websites are similar to it and I can just click on those. I can make a spreadsheet and I can also, when I go to Similar Web, I can also go to different categories that are available. So, in my case, I might look for small businesses. I might look for human resources and then, it’ll show me the top 100 websites and I can just add that to my spreadsheet.

Same thing with Alexa, a lot of you have probably heard of Alexa but that’s Alex with an A. So, it’s Alexa.com and it’s own by Amazon but it allows you to see and go to different categories. You can type in the website and you can also see the same thing. It’s the same thing. It’s going to show different results from Similar Web but that’s why it’s good to cross reference the two.

So, you have Similar Web and you have Alexa. And then, another one I’d like to use is called Alltop. That’s A-L-L Top. All Top will show top sites from different categories as well. For me, I can go in to business. I can go in to small business. I can go in to HR. I can go in to recruiting. And then from there, I could just continue to add my list.

These 3 tools are great. Obviously, there’s a lot of different tools out there. If I want to look at Twitter influence, I can use Followerwonk. YouTube has its tools as well. There’s something called vidIQ that shows me the influences for YouTube. And I can also just take advantage of my network.  I can also ask my email list. So, there’s a lot of different ways to find similar sites in your niche. Also, looking at successful podcasts as well, there might be another way to look at it too.

So, just keep that in mind. These 3 tools, SimilarWeb, Alexa, Alltop and then you have a lot of other things at your disposal as well.


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Today I’m reviewing seven different competitive analysis tools that you can use to grow your business.

  1. SEMRush [01:09]
  2. SimilarWeb [02:00]
  3. Buzzsumo [02:52]
  4. Topsy [03:33]
  5. Ahrefs [04:03]
  6. MOZ [04:36]
  7. BuiltWith [05:26]

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