Competitive monitoring tools help you gather insight into your rivals’ online activities – pricing patterns, shifting marketing messages, new product releases and market expansions, to name a few. The best tools make it easy to analyze this data for competitive intelligence, and cultivate tactical business decisions to crush the competition.
But some competitive intelligence tools are, well, expensive.
Recall those enterprise services whose websites aren’t clear about their subscription prices. You comb through the site for any indication of their fees, only to resort to the “Book a Demo” button.
Now you’re sitting through a lengthy discourse with their sales team as they “tailor” prices to your company’s needs. They throw around sparkly words like “traffic journey” and “digital footprint”, only to then drop on you the reality of their exponential fees. The price is too steep. You have to look somewhere else. And it’s been two hours – Great.
But the good news? There are many competitive monitoring tools that help you affordably and efficiently gage your competitors’ online whereabouts, and how you measure up comparatively. With the right tools, you can quickly gather this information without breaking the bank.
We’ve broken down a robust list of the best competitive monitoring tools that’ll help you do exactly that.
Refurbish your arsenal with these 7 freemium and easy-to-use online tools.
With 1.5 million users who are in 83% of Fortune 500 companies, Visualping is the world’s top website change monitoring tool.
It’s also one of the easiest and most affordable competitive monitoring tools. Visualping keeps tabs on your competitors’ digital whereabouts by automating the process of monitoring web pages for changes. Think competitor websites, for example, in which you can unveil data about pricing, product offers, team and career pages. By noticing patterns, you can understand competitors' strategies and leverage your pricing and product offerings at an advantage.
Visualping can also track updates to competitors' social media pages, such as by monitoring Facebook pages and changes to Instagram profiles. You can monitor media mentions in news sites and research reports.
Ever wish you could track changes to the results of top competitive monitoring tools like Moat, SimilarWeb or Alexa? Use these tools to harvest the data, and use Visualping to track changes to the data. With Moat, Visualping can monitor shifts in competitors’ banner advertisements across the web. Set up a Visualping monitor that detects changes in Moat’s results (a search engine of your competitors’ paid advertisements, explained below).
When page changes occur, Visualping sends users an email alert that displays an easy-to-read screenshot of all the page’s changes. Changes that were added to the page are highlighted in green. Changes that were removed are highlighted in red.
Visualping records the page changes from all your monitors in one location – your user dashboard. This way, the data is automatically collected and organized for you. You can view all the page changes in one location – convenient for your competitive monitoring and analysis.
Price: Visualping’s free plan lets you monitor pages for changes daily, up to a total of 65 checks/month. You can check up to two different pages daily. On Visualping’s Basic plan, which is $4/month, you can check up to 10 different pages per day, and with a high frequency of checks, for up to 313 checks/month.
Moat is a real-time attention analytics software that opens the door to a creative ad portal in which you can see your competitors’ digital creative history, including advertisements and press releases.
It’s one of the best competitive monitoring tools for easily analyzing competitors’ creative ad history. In an era driven by recycled content, insights like these are invaluable.
And it’s easy to use. Simply navigate to Moat’s home page, and type a competitors’ brand name into the Moat Ad Search bar. The page will fill up with an accumulation of your competitors’ ad impressions from up to three years in the past.
Compare your competitors’ marketing messages to your own, evaluate the effectiveness of their ad campaigns, and gather inspiration from your competitors’ old work, honing your advertisement strategy accordingly. It can even track which clicks originated from humans, rather than bots.
Price: The Moat Ad Search bar is free, and so is the Moat Chrome Extension, which provides you ad intelligence as you browse the internet.
*Click here to test drive Visualping to monitor changes to competitors’ banner advertisements by tracking Moat’s results for changes.
Can you accurately estimate the number of unique website or app visitors your competitors achieve each month? SimilarWeb can.
SimilarWeb is the top website and app traffic analytics tool online, allowing you to compare competitors’ traffic to each other, and to your own.
And getting started is simple. Simply navigate to SimilarWeb’s homepage, and type your competitors’ domain or app name into the search bar. A comprehensive overview of the websites’ reach, ranking and user engagement appears. You gain access to traffic sources, organic versus paid search, social traffic and related sites.
It’s among the best competitive monitoring tools. Click the “Add Competitors” button, and you can compare traffic statistics across two or more competitors, including your own traffic performance.
*Click here to test drive Visualping to monitor changes to your competitors’ website traffic by tracking changes in SimilarWeb’s results.
Price: SimilarWeb is free. But, for more competitive monitoring features tailored to your company’s needs, you can get a custom quote from their team.
An overall repository of business data of the technology industry, CrunchBase is an online database that provides in-depth information regarding funding and high growth investments of technology companies.
The public can make submissions to the site, including submissions of companies, but also individuals, funds, funding campaigns and events. A CrunchBase profile is an extra source of data for consumers and shareholders on your products and services.
Beyond just a business directory, CrunchBase is one of the best competitive monitoring tools in that it provides you with an overview of your field’s major players and latest trends. It reports newly emerging competitors, and is particularly useful for providing data on private companies and recent venture-funded startups, which can, otherwise, be tricky to find.
Price: The basic CrunchBase tool is free, although it offers two paid versions for more comprehensive competitive analysis.
Alexa is one of the most well-known and commonly used competitive monitoring tools online. Alexa offers several free services, such as the Website Traffic Statistics tool and the Alexa Traffic Rank Chrome extension, both of which are seamless to use and offer you a plethora of traffic metrics and competitive intelligence to help you make informed decisions.
Simply enter you or your competitors’ domain into the search bar and click the Run Analysis button. A pack of insights appear, including a breakdown of keyword opportunities you need to optimize content for new customers. Check out the Keyword Gaps list – the keywords driving traffic to your competitors’ sites, but not yours.
*Click here to test drive Visualping to monitor changes to your competitors’ website analytics by tracking changes in Alexa’s results. Keep tabs on changes to the percentage of organic search referrals to your site, or the percentage of visits to your site that consist of a single page view, and compare these changes to that of your competitors’ metrics.
The Alexa Traffic Rank is Alexa’s extension for Chrome. Accompanying you as you search the web, the extension provides data such as the site’s Alexa Traffic Rank, the top search queries driving its traffic, the number of sites linking to it and the site’s average load time.
Price: Both Alexa’s Website Traffic Statistics tool and the Alexa Traffic Rank Chrome extension are free. To upgrade to more competitive monitoring features, Alexa Pro offers a basic plan with limited features for 12.99/month. The Advanced subscription, which offers the complete bundle of marketing tools and is suitable to the single user, is $149/month, with a 14-day free trial.
SEO competitive monitoring is a powerful research strategy that can boost your search rankings, drive more traffic to your site and improve your conversion rate. Analyzing key SEO metrics overlaps is about unveiling opportunities in optimizing your content for the search engines, which you can do with Moz Pro.
Moz Pro is a popular and healthily-stocked SEO tool suite designed to elevate your search engine visibility. It includes the tools Link Explorer, Keyword Explorer and MozBar.
Keyword Explorer shows you your site’s ranking for target keywords compared to competitors’. The audience analysis insights helps you survey the origins of your website visitors, such as if they came from paid ads, search or social media. When you know where your audience came from, you can optimize your visibility for new keyword opportunities to attract more qualified leads to your site.
Moz Pro offers its own crawler to constantly audit your site, which combs it for errors and immediately reports issues, helping you fix errors quickly and efficiently.
Price: Moz Pro offers a 30-day free trial. When billed annually, Moz Pro’s Standard plan is $79 per month.
Mention is an easy-to-use social media and web monitoring tool that monitors the internet for the particular keywords you wish to track, such as your brand name or your competitors’.
Mention is one of the best competitive monitoring tools in that you can monitor where you and your competitors are being talked about – major social media channels, blogs, forums and news outlets – and what people are saying. Use the Insights Center to dive deep in brand sentiment patterns, and see volume trends of competitor mentions and their overall social reach.
Mentions provides real-time alerts for your keywords. It also allows you to track the influencers who mention your competitors, enabling you to monitor influencer marketing campaigns.
Price: Mention offers a variety of plans, which start at the Solo plan for $29/month.
The best competitive monitoring tools above will help you gather valuable insights into competitors’ online activities and analyze that data to make smart business decisions.
Even better are competitive monitoring tools that are easy-to-use and don’t cost a fortune.