Search engine optimization has become much more difficult over the years. It is no longer easy to tell why one page outranks another or to correlate a single Google algorithm update to a change in rankings.
Hence monitoring organic positions and competitors requires much more attention. Sections such as featured snippets, “People also ask,” and video carousels are ever-changing. Plus, Google’s updates are hard to notice without tracking the rankings of competing companies.
Here are five tools to monitor your organic search competitors:
SpyFu. SpyFu’s competitor tracking tool shows organic ranking movements on a graph. You can add competitors or let the tool identify them based on common keywords. Even more valuable, the tool overlays competitors’ rankings with Google’s algorithm updates in a chosen date range to correlate losses or gains with those changes.
You can also see competitors’ traffic from organic search and its overall value through similar graphs.
SpyFu’s Basic plan is $39 per month. The Pro plan is $49.
SpyFu’s competitor tracking tool shows organic ranking movements on a graph. The tool overlays competitors’ rankings with Google’s updates in a chosen date range. Click image to enlarge.
SE Ranking. SE Ranking’s Competitor Analysis Tool saves a daily snapshot of organic rankings for 100 competitors for one year.
The tool makes it easy to spot even the slightest SERP movements and identify rising competitors.
SE Ranking’s Competitor Analysis Tool saves a daily snapshot of 100 organic-search competitors for one year, making it easy to spot SERP movements. Click image to enlarge.
For every competing page, the tool also calculates a “visibility score” based on the keywords it ranks for, the search volume, and the page’s organic positions. This provides a better understanding of the page’s strength.
Moreover, SE Ranking tracks featured snippets and “People also ask” sections, giving a more in-depth view of organic visibility and potential opportunities.
SE Ranking offers a free 14-day trial with no credit card required. The Essential plan tracks up to five competitors and costs $39.20 per month. The Pro plan is $87.20.
BuzzSumo is my go-to tool for analyzing any content, including competitors’. Enter your competitor’s URL, and BuzzSumo will fetch the most successful content from that site based on social media shares, backlinks, and an “evergreen score.”
BuzzSumo will fetch a competitor’s successful content based on social media shares, backlinks, and an evergreen score. Click image to enlarge.
You can save the search to access it later and, also, receive a notification when the competitor publishes new content.
Use BuzzSumo’s alerts to monitor a competitor’s brand mentions across the web, helpful for tracking its public relations and link-building tactics.
Buzzsumo’s Free plan allows 10 searches per month. The Pro plan, with unlimited searches and additional features, is $99 a month.
Visualping is a page monitoring tool with competitive intelligence features, such as receiving notifications when a competitor updates a page.
Enter the URL of a page and let Visualping monitor it for changes, such as adding or removing keywords.
Visualping’s free plan allows the tracking of five pages. The Starter plan is $10 per month to monitor 25 pages.
Visualping is a page monitoring tool with competitive intelligence features, such as receiving notifications when a competitor edits or updates a page.
MozBar is a free Google Chrome extension (requiring a free Moz account), providing essential SEO metrics directly in organic results as you search.
I am not a fan of Moz’s Domain Authority to evaluate backlinks, but it is handy for a quick evaluation of competing pages and, consequently, the difficulty of ranking for a keyword.
MozBar provides essential SEO metrics directly in organic results as you search. Click image to enlarge.
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