Question

What SaaS platforms/softwares do you use for competitive research?

Not marketing-function specific (i.e. Spyfu for SEM, Ads Library for Facebook, etc.) but more generally -- competitors' traffic numbers, sources, bounce rates, A/B tests, conversion rates, etc.?

There are a few established players in the category: Similarweb, Alexa, and Hitwise (with varying degrees of accuracy based on the data panels they've each assembled). Any others that you've come across?

Mentioned
#Alexa #Google Analytics #Analytics
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maguay's avatar
2 years ago
Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a swiss army knife of content and search focused tools that's perhaps best known for its Site Audit (that shows your site's backlinks, search keyword rankings, referrers, and more) and Keyword explorer (to research related search terms, traffic, and more). But you can use the same tools behind its Site audit to explore competitors, partners, and any other site you want in its Site explorer.

Enter the domain of the site you're intersted in, and you can see a breakdown of its Ahrefs rank, backlinks, organic keywords, organic traffic, number of crawled pages, and much more. Dig deeper and you can see specific keywords they rank for and at what level, the specific pages they get the most traffic from and their estimated value, and snapshots of their paid Google ads and keywords, and estimated traffic from them. There's a competing pages list that shows content on their site that competes with your site's content, and a content gap list to suggest areas they've overlooked which you could target. It's a ton of data in one spot that on the high level lets you see their general performance, and on the low level can help you gain ideas from what worked for them.

9 points
NBNite's avatar
@NBNite (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

@maguay
I had heard incredible things about Ahrefs and the platform has been recommended by several friends - but the price point has left me hesitant to move forward. The standard plan is $179/month on a monthly plan - would you say it's worth every penny?

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @NBNite )
2 years ago

So, I've used the Lite plan for years—which while still expensive at $99/mo (or 20% less annually) is a bit more affordable (and all plans are essentially the same price as their closest competitors—aside from Google's free tools, though those are more aimed at buying ads). Essentially I would see it as worth the price in a few ways:

  • Content keyword research. The best content marketing is genuinely written for a reason, not specifically to target keywords, and yet keyword research can help you uncover terms that can spark good ideas that can bring in enough traffic to more than pay for the content investment, including Ahrefs. That alone is what I'd relied on the Lite plan for the longest time.
  • Tracking your site's SEO performance. That's perhaps not directly valuable but at least shows if your former work is paying off.
  • Competitor research can help inform your content strategy to help with the first, to see what they're targeting and perhaps most valuable what they're not so you're not fighting for first place.

I guess it depends on how much you use it, but at least if you feel like you've hit your limits with Google Trends and Google Adsense Keyword Tracker and want to dig deeper into content research, it's valuable.

7 points
NBNite's avatar
@NBNite (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Thanks @maguay.
I've been told that keyword research was the primary draw and the rest of the tools included were extremely helpful - maybe this will be the year we make the move :)

5 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @NBNite )
2 years ago

Definitely give the trial a shot (just watch the days to cancel in time if you don't decide to go with it). If you do end up adopting it, would love to hear how it works for your team!

4 points
awwstn's avatar
@awwstn (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Seconding this. I hadn't used it until @maguay introduced me to it, but I find myself looking at it daily. Soooo powerful!

4 points
nimrodpriell's avatar
2 years ago
Mobile choices

AppAnnie is well known for mobile but to get beyond download data and into actual usage panels you can use Verto and Apptopia.

7 points
jimcaruso's avatar
2 years ago
Crayon.com

I've looked at crayon.co and it seems to provide info on what competitors are publishing that gives insight into their positioning. There is a free tier.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @jimcaruso )
2 years ago

Oh wow that looks like a very detailed tool, and those email reports could be very powerful. Did you have to go through a demo to get the free tier?

2 points
jimcaruso's avatar
@jimcaruso (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

I don't remember doing a demo to get the free tier, but I since have had a demo. In part, I was looking for tools that might interest my clients.

3 points
stuartdsmith's avatar
2 years ago
Shareablee

We've had a good experience using Shareablee for research

3 points
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