The status of your health is like the status of your blog competitors. The more often you check it, the better.
If you wish to stay ahead in the blogging and publishing business and outperform your competitors, embrace the most effective competitor research methods, and stay updated on the latest trends in competitor analysis.
In other words, become a spy of sorts.
Technology Can Help You Spy on Your Competitors
As online marketing continues to evolve at a fast and furious pace, we witness the development of new tools and features that can make our lives as bloggers easier. Of course, it would be impractical to try every tool on the Internet. And as a writer, you may be less inclined to try new technology of any sort or get involved in online competitive research.
So, instead, try the ones that are popular and comprehensive. Maybe try an all-in-one tool to take charge of your everyday tasks, spy on your competitors, and get some additional insights—information you can use to improve your blog, posts, and book.
Researching your online competition may seem out of the scope of blogging a book or blogging to promote your book. But remember, before you start any type of book, competitive analysis is imperative. (Nina Amir has written a variety of posts about the need for a competitive analysis, such as this post and this post.) A competitive blog review also is vitally important when starting or sustaining a blog.
When there is advanced software in the market that will help you do this task on an ongoing basis, do not shy away from trying it. Plus, as an author and blogger, the data you get from analyzing other blogs and books can improve your idea and site as well as help you develop a larger online audience.
4 Tools for Analyzing Your Competition
On that note, here are some of the latest and greatest competitor-analysis tools with unique features and functions. Be careful when choosing the most appropriate one for you as each tool has its own grace and benefit.
If you haven’t used any competitive-analysis tool until now, Ahrefs is the most ideal tool for all aspects of your analysis. Ahrefs is a paid tool but you can try it for free for a limited period.
So what does it do? Ahrefs works best when you want to determine link targets and analyze backlinks.
This tool can be used to find the following information on your competitor’s blog:
- Referring domains
- Domain authority
- Most recent referring domains
Personally, I am interested in determining the new referring domains of my competitor blogs and identifying where they are coming from. Wondering why? It is essential to know the speed at which your competitors are gaining links and measure their success rates. You might want to tweak your link-building strategies to achieve better results and be more competitive.
2. Rank Signals
Unlike Ahrefs, Rank Signal is completely free and is extremely handy if you want set up a solid SEO strategy. Plus, it’s a go-to tool if you want to build a foundation for a comprehensive link-building campaign.
Using this tool is a breeze. Simply enter the URL of your competitor’s blog, and hit “Explore Links.”
This results in display of a summary of your competitor’s website profile. Not just that, you get lots of insightful information about anchor texts, referring pages, and URLs.
You can identify and target the backlinks that your competitors have gained. If your competitors were successful in getting backlinks from authoritative sites, you can do it, too.
SEMrush is one of the most comprehensive and versatile competitor-analysis tools. This tool can be utilized for finding multiple metrics on your rival’s SEO strategies.
Simply enter the URL of the blog you want to study, and click “Start Now.” The tool will display an overview of the blog with lots of insightful data.
Some of the data it displays includes:
- Most organic keywords used
- Keyword distribution strategy
- Organic competitors
- How organically they are placed
- Paid keywords
- Search Traffic
- Referring domains
- Landing pages
- Referring domains
Phew! That’s a lot of information. And guess what? It’s all free. Go grab it.
If you are like me and don’t want to risk relying on a single tool and want a holistic view of your competitor’s site, there’s no harm in choosing a second one.
Majestic is another great tool for a comprehensive tracking of a competitor’s site. Like the other three tools, Majestic is an awesome platform for studying the backlink overview of a published post or article.
Let me give you an example. Suppose you want to write an article on “the ultimate guide for link building.” Your goal should be to outrank other articles with the same theme or topic. To achieve this, you need to get more trustable and quality backlinks pointing to the article page.
First, you must search Google to find articles that are top ranked for specific keywords. Use the search bar in the Majestic tool to get an indication of the backlinks that an article has received.
These two metrics will tell you how good a topic or article is ranked.
Even though there are many paid analysis options available with this tool, most of the free options are good enough for basic to medium analysis.
Let’s face it. You function in a competitive space. Studying your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses isn’t an option anymore. It is a mandatory step for the growth of your business, and remember that publishing is a business. The only way to compete with the other players in the blogosphere and publishing market is to make a holistic and comprehensive view of their position.