15 March 2021

Competitor Analysis: How To See What Your Competitors Are Doing | Aaron Henriques

Understanding your target market is imperative to the success of any business. Without a deep understanding, how can you market and sell to them effectively? 

There are lots of great tools out there which allow you to essentially spy on your competitors – allowing you to draw inspiration from their ideas and stay one step ahead of them! These tools provide an insight into what your competitors are doing, what’s working for them and who their audience is. This can give you valuable ideas for building your ideal customer persona and help you to perfect your marketing campaigns.

So, what are these tools?


Use Twitter searches to monitor competition

Twitter is great for uncovering what brands’ customers are happy and unhappy about.

Let’s say Pizza Express is one of your competitors. Search their name into Twitter to see what people are saying. Look out for what customers are pleased with and what they’re not. If many of your competitors are falling short in a certain area, make it your mission to excel at that.

Try using boolean searches to hone down on your search. A boolean search is where you use quotation marks to define more than one keyword in your search. For example search: “pizza express” AND “annoyed” into Twitter and you’ll see exactly what Pizza Express customers are annoyed about.


Buzzsumo content analysis

A great tool is Buzzsumo’s content analysis tool. With this, you can peek at what content performs best on a website (i.e. most shares and engagement). Use this to hijack great keywords or learn what your target audience are finding most interesting to read. 

BuzzSumo also allows you to peek at your competitor’s Facebook tactics. See which of their posts were most successful and use these to draw inspiration and build your own engaging Facebook posts.

BuzzSumo dashboard

BuzzSumo Facebook Analyser


Facebook ads tab

Due to the recent privacy laws, Facebook has now added a tab to business pages called “info and ads.” If you click on this, you’ll be able to see all the ads that business is running. It won’t show you impressions or engagement, but if you know that business gets a lot of traffic from paid Facebook advertising, you can see what they’re doing to drive clicks.

Facebook page transparency lets you see stats and adverts businesses don't want you to see

You can see there are filtering options to let you choose the country. For example if you’re in the UK and know your top competitor advertises in the USA, you can select USA from the list and see the type of ads that work there. Generally speaking, the longer the ad has been live, the more successful it is.

Papa Johns Pizza ads showing on facebook

Example papa johns advert on facebook

To access the Facebook ads transparency page, visit this link.

Ahrefs to find your competitor’s backlinks

Using Ahrefs, you can see where your competitors are getting their backlinks from. This tool isn’t free, but it’s great for figuring out what domains you should try targeting to generate backlinks of your own! After all, earning high-quality backlinks is extremely important for SEO!



SimilarWeb is an extremely effective tool. It gives you an overview of a company’s website audience; what marketing channels they use; where their traffic comes from and what outgoing links and ads they have.

If your competitor gets a lot of organic traffic, you can use SimilarWeb to look at their top 5 keywords. These are the entry points for visitors on their website. This helps you to see what your target audience are searching for and clicking through to. With this knowledge, you can create content that caters to their searches and hopefully drive traffic to your website organically, too.

Use SimilarWeb to see where competitors are placing advertising – and see which placements are the most effective. If it works for them, and you share a target market, it could work for you too.

SimilarWeb also allows you to see which social media platforms your competitor’s traffic comes from. For example, we can see that a lot (over 60%) of Pizza Hut’s traffic comes from YouTube. This should tell you that if you’re not on YouTube, you probably need to be.

SimilarWeb social media channel performance

SimilarWeb search traffic results

SimilarWeb shows the display ads that work


We hope these tools will help you with your competitor analysis and allow you to pinpoint what your competitors are doing. Do you know of any other great tools like these? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

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