The Top 8 Competitor Research Resource List And Tools

Table of Contents

    **Updated April 29, 2020**

    As the owner or operator of a growing business, you are responsible for keeping a pulse on the competition. By learning about your competitors’ marketing techniques, their product mixes, and their new target markets, you can adjust your own marketing strategy to gain an edge in your industry. Below is a look at the top six things to find out about your competitors and how a website review can put you on the path to industry stardom.

    Skip to the bottom if you want a list of competitive research resources.

    shopping research

    1) The latest new products and services they are offering

    New products and services are a lifeline to success for businesses. They generate enthusiasm, raise brand awareness, and are often a welcome shot in the arm that stimulates purchasing activity. Here are some things to look for when tracking your competitors’ product releases:

    • Features and perks that are lacking in your current product mix
    • Pricing that is lower than your current product pricing
    • Products with industry certifications that your products lack
    • Current promotions that are being used to attract prospects

    2) Emerging markets that your competitors are targeting

    A growing number of businesses are going global to boost their market presence and increase their sales. Gaining access to your competitors’ market expansion strategy can help you plan your own entry into emerging markets. Or, if you already have a strong foothold in certain regions of the world, you can plan to ramp up your presence in those areas.

    • What is their pricing strategy?
    • Is there a link to seasons or industry trends?
    • What type of strategic partnerships have they created?

    expo competitive research

    3) Upcoming trade show participation 

    Monitoring your competitors’ trade show participation is one of the best ways to find out their target markets and the latest product launches. Here are a few steps to follow to uncover the latest industry trends and competitor activities:

    • Monitor your competitors’ trade show calendar. Companies often publish their trade show schedule on their website and on social media.
    • Plan to attend listed trade shows. You do not necessarily have to pay for booth space, but plan to “walk the trade show floor.”
    • Take detailed notes on show activity. Trade shows offer valuable insider information on the latest industry trends and products.
    • Pay attention to your competitors. Take note of their display, their products, and their current promotions.
    • Consider exhibiting in the future. If activity is strong and there are high-quality leads, you should consider investing in booth space.
    For some easy competitive research, monitor trade show participation -- share results. Click To Tweet

    weakness-stregnth competition research

    4) Their weaknesses and pain points

    Knowledge of your competitors’ weaknesses is one of the most valuable tools in a business owner’s arsenal. By identifying these weaknesses and making them your company’s strengths, you can capitalize on them and drive their dissatisfied customers straight into your arms. Here are a few examples of competitor pain points to look for:

    • Recent employee turnover and dissatisfaction: Focus on offering the employee incentives that your competitors are lacking.
    • Lost contracts and business: Set your sights on customers that abandoned your competitors due to dissatisfaction or inadequate service.
    • The recent violation of industry standards: Violations, fines, and penalties may cause customers to lose faith in their competitors.
    • Customer complaints: Monitor online reviews to ensure your business is succeeding in areas where your competitors are lacking.

    Monitor Twitter or Google Alerts for mentions of your competitors’ names and by subscribing to their feeds then go to their Facebook pages for any reviews. Then head over to Google maps and find their company for reviews.

    5) Notable strengths and recent industry recognition

    Learning about your competitors’ strengths is not always a pleasant process. However, knowledge of their strengths and recent accomplishments can provide valuable direction for improving your own organization. You can find out about recent awards by monitoring your competitors’ websites, social media sites, and industry newsletters. You can also subscribe to their blog to remain abreast of their latest promotions and news.

    6) Online Competitive Research With Search Engines

    Using tools like SEMRush or AHrefs, you can do some very in-depth research on what your competitors are doing online. You can find the keywords they use, the websites that are sending them traffic, and which pages send the most traffic to their sites. This can give some great insight into your own online gaps. What are they showing up for on the search results that you are not?

    • Search rankings. What phrases do they show up for? Topic #7 describes further the importance of keyword research.
    • Overall Traffic. What is the overall traffic from searches?
    • Paid or organic. What online strategies is your competition endorsing? Are they doing any paid click advertisements with Adwords or Facebook? Use to track a list of your competitor’s buying habits.
    • Top landing pages. Which pages are their top pages that people land on?
    • Top referrers. Which websites send them traffic? Tools like Moz’s link authority can help with this.

    7) Research Your Competitor’s Keywords

    Keyword research helps drive traffic to our sites and improve organic search rankings. Keyword research is the foundation of any digital marketing. When doing keyword research on your competitors, like their search status, you can get a sense of what their company is known for. A competitive keyword analysis is one of the most advantageous methods to compete in a crowded space and gain an advantage.

    • Top keywords. Top keywords your competitors rank for.
    • Find keyword gaps. What are your competitors not ranking for and which phrases can you find success quickly?
    • Volume. How much volume do they generate?
    • Intentional key phrases. When looking at your competitors’ phrases, ask yourself if these are phrases that show intent to purchase, or are they purely information only?
    • Branded key phrases. What most people miss are the nuanced key phrases or the phrases that indicate a brand. Sometimes it is a special process your competitor has built and markets. Is there a specific product they are promoting?
    • Longtail key phrases. “In fact, keywords with very high search volumes may even indicate ambiguous intent, which, if you target these terms, it could put you at risk for drawing visitors to your site whose goals don’t match the content your page provides.” –

    social media research

    8) Your competitors’ social media marketing techniques

    Competitive research on social media will give you some valuable insights into what works in your industry and can give you some ideas on what you might need to enhance. It’s a great tool for keeping up on the pulse of technology and get aware of your competitors’ inside culture and customer support. It’s surprising sometimes how much folks will share (and that’s okay!). You can find their travels, the expos they attended, even customers.

    Finding out about your competitors’ social media marketing strategies is as easy as clicking the “Follow” button on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Carve out a few minutes each week to take note of your competitors’ social media activity. You will gain valuable insight into their industry activity, including their involvement in conferences, professional societies, and trade shows.

    You will also be able to see how their followers respond to their products and any special advertising techniques, such as contests.

    It’s okay to see how you stack up but you should be careful to mimic your competitor as it’s all about internal culture and uniqueness. What they promote and share should be very different than your own content. You need your own voice and brand message then one-up your competitors.

    Here is a list of specific information to research:

    • Fans. How many likes and followers do they have? If your competitor’s content is gaining traction, it is useful to see who is helping to amplify it.
    • Engagement. How much sharing and engagement do they get? Sometimes posts that drive the most links are not always the posts that drive the most engagements.
    • Content. What type of information are they sharing?
    • Schedule. When do they post and how much engagement do they get at those times?
    • Influencers. Are they using influencers to share their content?
    • Networks. Which networks and formats are working

    website content research

    9) Research Your Competitors Online Content

    Researching the type of content your competitors are sharing is a great way of finding gaps that you can fill. For example, you may find your competitors are only doing simple text-based blogs. If you can start doing some video content, you can surpass their online content submissions and maybe reach a market that is hungry for your industry’s information on the quick-format video. Or perhaps your competitors are churning out short posts that lack depth, in which case you can produce more long-form, educational content.

    • Type of content. Are they creating long blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts?
    • Subject matter. Are they providing detailed ‘How To’ videos for customers or are the creating monthly case studies?
    • Testimonials. Are they specifically asking for reviews from customers and sharing them online?
    • Popular Topics. Using the tools below like SEMRush and AHrefs you can see which topics are generating buzz and traffic.
    • Backlinks and Referrals. Then, for the popular topics, which website is sending them traffic. Can you replace it or augment it?
    • Schedule. How often do they prepare and share their content?

    Resources to Research Competitors

    Below is a list of several competitive research tools and articles to help you further your understanding of your competitors.

    Awesome! A quick list of online research tools to spy on your competitors -- share results. Click To Tweet



    Tools for Competitive Internet Research.

    1. – Receive Google Alerts on your competition.
    2. – Research press releases for latest news and awards
    3. – Research media buys

    Tools to Research Employee Research


    Tools to Research Customer Complaints


    Tools to Research Company Financial Health


    Articles & Tools For Competitor Keyword Analysis


    Articles & Tools for Social Media Research


    Articles & Tools for Content Marketing Research


    What is the single best way to remain a step ahead of your competitors?

    As outlined above, it is important to remain abreast of the latest strategies your competitors are using in an effort to gain an edge in your industry. However, the single best way to stay ahead of your competitors is to schedule a professional review of your company’s website. This review should be conducted by an experienced industry expert with the resources to evaluate your SEO and identify your website’s strengths and weaknesses.

    When properly carried out, a professional review can put your company on the path to industry stardom. You will learn what steps you need to take to help prospects find your company faster than your competitor’s during an online search. You will also learn valuable content-related strategies that will delight your customers and transform new prospects into repeat buyers.

    Your solution to surpassing the competition

    Before you schedule your review, it is important to recognize that not all website review providers are created equal. Seeking an award-winning provider with the proper industry certifications is the only way to ensure that your review is comprehensive and accurate.

    We invite you to contact us at GlobalSpex to schedule a complimentary website review to find out why we are the nation’s most trusted resource for website performance reviews. Here are just a few benefits our professional review will bring:

    • A Fast Response: You can expect to receive the results of your review within 24 hours
    • Organized Results: You will receive an organized written report and website grade in your inbox
    • Clear Takeaways:  Your report will clearly outline the areas where your website is succeeding and failing
    • Actionable Suggestions: We will outline the specific steps you should take to improve your website and outperform your competitors

    We encourage you to reach out to the GlobalSpex team today. Within a day or two, you will receive valuable feedback that will take you one step closer to a stellar website and industry excellence. We look forward to helping you outperform your competitors!

    competitive research

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    Christina Hawkins

    Christina Hawkins is CEO of GlobalSpex, Inc. and a Fractional CMO for her clients. A seasoned digital marketer since 1999, Christina has designed and built exceptional websites partnering with small businesses to help them grow and increase revenue. She understands that digital marketing is a constantly evolving technology and works to stay on top of the latest changes. She is always looking for the best route for clients' lead generation needs and revenue. In addition to her ability as a digital marketer, Christina is a coach and mentor with Agency Mavericks to other digital marketing freelancers, helping them grow their businesses. She is also a sponsor and co-leader of Houston's WordPress Meetup.

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