When evaluating the results of marketing and PR efforts, it’s vital to consider two perspectives: what is the trend of results (e.g., increasing social engagement, website traffic over time, etc.) and how do your results compare to your closest competitors?

There are a wide range of monitoring, listening, and analytics tools available to answer the first type of question. To answer the second, here are the 12 best tools for comparing your brand’s performance to your top competitors in terms of web traffic, social media brand mentions, target keywords, online advertising, organic search visibility, and other factors.

As will be the case for all posts in this series, tools will be shown with the number of results returned by Google on a search for reviews of that tool (not necessarily the actual number of reviews) and example showcase reviews. Links to all showcase reviews are near the end of this post.

1) Alexa
Google Review Count: 400,000

Provides visibility into the sources and quality of traffic to other websites.

Sample review: “This is one of the more advanced tools available, and it has been rating websites for a long time (much like a PageRank)…This tool does it all when it comes to spying on your competitors (linking, traffic, keywords, etc.) and is an excellent resource if your competitors are international.” — Kissmetrics Blog

Pricing: $10 to $149 per month

Showcase reviews: Kissmetrics Blog, StoreYa Blog

2) Compete.com
Google Review Count:180,000

A tool to measure digital results, discover business opportunities, monitor competition, and benchmark performance.

Sample review: “Want to know how your competitors are doing in terms of attracting customers to their site or how they are faring against you in terms of traffic? Compete enables you to find out what keywords are sending users both to your website and to your competitors. A very good spying tool where you can see your competitors website analytics.” — Comms Axis

Pricing: not disclosed

Showcase reviews: RazorSocial (Social Media Tools), Kissmetrics Blog, PR Daily, Comms Axis

3) BuzzSumo
Google Review Count:65,900

Supplies competitive intelligence such as what content is getting traction for your competitors, which networks they are having success on, who is sharing their content, and your content performance compares to theirs. Also useful for content curation, content planning, social media monitoring, and infuencer outreach.

Sample review: “Great content is key to great social media marketing, and Buzzsumo is just the tool for that…Buzzsumo searches through different types of content including infographics, blog articles, and videos, and shows you the popularity of each piece of content in each social media network. It’s a daily go-to tool for me as I’m researching a specific topic or looking for additional content to link to.” — Rebekah Radice

Pricing: $99 to $999 per month

Showcase reviews: Anders Pink, BuzzBlogger, Blogging Wizard, Perception System, Katie Lance, MarketingLand, Cent Muruganandam, Visually, Catherine Pham/SlideShare, Marketing Insider Group, Comms Axis, StoreYa Blog, Express Writers, Rebekah Radice, Mention, SnapApp, Robbie Richards

4) TrackMaven
Google Review Count:62,000

Offers insight into content performance for you and your competitors across all key channels – including social media, blogs, email, earned media, ads and SEO.

Sample review: “One of the best tools for monitoring competitors and tracking contents, TrackMaven helps you to filter your search what’s working. This tool also helps (you) know what your competitors are doing across all channels. You can…keep up with your competitors and (determine what’s) causing changes in your competitor’s market.” — Perception System

Pricing: not disclosed

Showcase reviews: Perception System, SnapApp

5) SimilarWeb
Google Review Count:36,900

Lets you benchmark your website against any competitors to see how well you are really doing in terms of overall visits, time on site, bounce rate and page views per visit. Almost like having access to Google Analytics for your competitors’ websites, SimilarWeb provides metrics for SEO and PPC keywords, traffic sources, popular pages, and visitor engagement.

Sample review: “SimilarWeb is very useful for spying my competitor’s sources of traffic. I find it to be very accurate and it’s great that I can see how much of my competitor’s traffic is coming from search engines, and what are their best referrals.” — Robbie Richards

Pricing: starts at $199 per month

Showcase reviews: Kissmetrics, MarketingLand, Comms Axis, StoreYa Blog, Hunter & Bard, Robbie Richards

6) Rival IQ
Google Review Count:16,900

Reveals how quickly your competitors are gaining followers on social networks, how often they post, their average engagement rate, and what their most successful posts look like. Also provides competitive SEO metrics (keywords, ranking, brand positioning), and data on paid search campaigns by comparing your adwords spend against others in your competitive landscape.

Sample review: “Rival IQ is a social media competitive analysis tool. You create one or more landscapes of competitors or clients and track their performance across both social media and the web. The platform is really nicely designed and easy to understand so you’ll get benefit from it very quickly…This is a very intuitive platform with good social media analytics.” — RazorSocial (Social Media Analytics)

Pricing: $199 to $439 per month

Showcase reviews: RazorSocial (Social Media Analytics), Comms Axis, Robbie Richards

7) BuiltWith
Google Review Count:14,700

Enter any URL to see details of the technology used to build that website, or search this tool’s database to see which sites use shopping carts, analytics, hosting and many more. Filter by location, traffic, vertical and other attributes.

Pricing: $295 to $995 per month

Showcase reviews: Siasat, Social Media Examiner

8) TalkWalker
Google Review Count:12,200

Monitor and report on social media conversations globally, across the largest social networks, 187 languages. Filter and group search results, benchmark your brand against your industry peers, and view a range of KPIs including response rate, engagement rate and follower growth.

Pricing: free to $3,000 per month

Showcase review: Comms Axis

9) iSpionage
Google Review Count:9,230

A competitive intelligence tool for PPC advertisers, iSpionage enables brands to identify competitors’ paid and organic keywords, PPC spending levels, keyword / ad / landing page groupings, and most profitable keywords.

Pricing: $59 to $299 per month; enterprise pricing available by quote

Showcase reviews: Kissmetrics Blog, Comms Axis

10) SpyOnWeb
Google Review Count: 6,330

Uses information from public sources to reveal the websites that likely belong to the same owner. The SpyOnWeb web crawler identifies ip address, google adsense id, google analytics id.

Pricing: free

Showcase review: Kissmetrics Blog

11) Serpstat
Google Review Count: 2,620

A simple competitive intelligence tool that shows how a brand and competitors are performing in paid and organic search on Google and Yandex, in multiple countries. Can also help with keyword research.

Pricing: free to $299 per month

Showcase review: Robbie Richards

12) Spyranks
Google Review Count: 52

Keyword research, backlink counts, rank tracking and competitive monitoring of all significant websites in any market segment.

Pricing: range of offerings for individuals, corporate users and SEO agencies from about $3 up to $111 per month.

Showcase review: MarketingLand

Anders Pink
Blogging Wizard
Catherine Pham/SlideShare
Cent Muruganandam
Comms Axis
Express Writers
Hunter & Bard
Katie Lance
Kissmetrics Blog
Marketing Insider Group
Perception System
PR Daily
RazorSocial (Social Media Tools)
RazorSocial (Social Media Analytics)
Rebekah Radice
Robbie Richards
Social Media Examiner
StoreYa Blog