SEO tools guide spy

Over the past 5 years, Google has been trying to discount the impact of backlinks on website promotion through other factors and has achieved some success.

But nothing says that in 2018, link building will disappear. Moreover, next year, obtaining quality links will become even more important. However, there is no point in getting links that do not add value to the company and do not increase its credibility in the target niche.

The best links are not necessarily links from the most popular sites. However, it is critically important that these sources must belong to the sector in which you work.

A pressing issue for many commercial projects is to rank higher than competitors. Today we will talk about how to find the “whales” of your niche, analyze competitors, adopt cool finds, spread your content and, at last, receive external links.

Let’s get down to some hot dish. There are tons of tools for website analysis, but which ones are best, and how to use them? If you want to get a glance on some website, without paying for unnecessary tools or study, this post will help you to get an understanding of popular tools on the market and how to use them.

To begin with, there are plenty more fish in the sea apart from Google Analytics or metrics by MOZ. Today we took five optimal metrics and services, which every respected SEO use, described their features and ways to use them for free! If you have already armed yourself with one of them, leave your impressions in the comments!


Understand, Track, and Grow Your Digital Market Share with SimilarWeb

Start your exploration with Similar Web, an online service that allows you to analyze Internet traffic by region and subject, identify key players in a particular niche, and channels for their promotion. All data is provided in the form of available diagrams and graphs with the ability to detail and upload data. The service allows you to evaluate both websites and mobile applications.

Step 1. Type your address in SimilarWeb or download a free Chrome extension here and see all the necessary information about the website in your toolbar for free. Once installed, you get the information on any website by pressing SimilarWeb icon in your toolbar, as here:

SimilarWeb Chrome extension screen shot

Step 2. SimilarWeb will provide you with a lot of interesting information about competitor’s site (on screenshots — general data about site traffic for the last six months and traffic sources, accordingly).

Do not be afraid to click — you will also find much other useful information about paid and free search queries, transitions from social networks and so on.

Step 3. Collect all necessary information about competitors in any available spreadsheet editor (for example, Google tables or Microsoft Excel). This process will take some time, but in the future, you will be able to build charts and reports based on the collected data and make informed decisions when choosing channels and the region of business promotion.

In general, if you are faced with the task of building a marketing strategy, SimilarWeb might be handy, although they offer only limited information in their free version. Overall, it is useful to see estimates for the total website traffic in a short time via SimilarWeb Chrome extension. But for the fuller research, you will need other marketing tools.


Find Out Where Your Competitors are getting their Backlinks with Ahrefs

Ahrefs service is out of the competition among similar products offering services of competitor analysis. The service is paid, the Lite plan starts at $7 for a 7-day trial, then $99/month but it definitely costs its money. On the screenshot below you can see were to get information about the site you want to analize. DR and UR stand for Domain and URL Rating, The URL rating checks the authority of the URL. These two metrics are measured on a scale from 1 to 100, with higher scores having stronger ratings, you can see information about how the calculation of this metrics is done here.

Competitor`s backlinks with Ahrefs screen shot

Let’s take a look at the functionality of this service. Firstly, every day more than 500 million new pages are added to the database. AhrefsBot visits over 6 billion web pages every day and their database has 200 million root domains.

Secondly, Ahrefs base is being updated every 15-30 minutes. Thus, Ahrefs domain Rank (DR) is not only strong but up to date, on the contrary, Moz (DA) base that is updated only twice per month. Saying that, it is hard to trick Ahrefs into thinking that some shady website has any authority.

The third — the list of appeared and deleted external links, the data can be viewed by days. That is, you can view how many and what external links appeared or disappeared from the site you are interested in on any given day. I will say that this is just a magical function, I adore it even more than the next one. Competitors are visible, as on the x-ray 🙂.

Fourthly — it is possible to view, what requests and positions are growing, and for what reasons — decreasing, and this can be done on a daily basis.

And finally — you can find out which line items and for what search queries the internal page of any site occupies, and the change in positions and the date of the last change will be displayed.

Even by this relatively small survey, it becomes clear how rich Ahrefs is. We can say that at the moment it is the best tool for analyzing backlinks existing on the market.


Benefit From Traffic and Keyword data with SEMrush

SEO professionals and Internet marketers often have a need to analyze this or that competitor. SEMrush will be a real catch for you. This is really a powerful service that allows you to conduct a comprehensive analysis of competitors’ websites. We have prepared a review of this remarkable service in this regard.
They have 10 free requests per day on the website, which will give the opportunity to get rough information about traffic leading to the website. Pay attention to the number of traffic, it indicates of the estimated number of visitors from search engines per month.

SEMrush screen shot

SEMrush collects a lot of data from Google and Bing, and allows you to track:

  • positions of your competitors by keywords;
  • traffic for the domain;
  • traffic for those or other pages of the site;
  • what words advertise your competitors in Adwords;
  • price of a click, level of competition, traffic, advertisement text;
  • how much money the domain spends on advertising campaigns in general or for each specific word.

One of SEMrush big advantages is his ability to find low volume words. As we know, the main traffic is concentrated in the low volume queries. SEMrush works on the basis of more than 95 million words! Impressive is not it!? The data is not only accurate as far as possible, but always fresh. Service makes an active focus on the freshness of the presented results.

SEMrush has at its disposal a powerful tool “Charts” that allows you to compare several sites for different metrics, for example, by:

  • search traffic;
  • the number of keywords;
  • the number of advertisements;
  • traffic from advertisements (CPC);
  • cost of CPC traffic.

This analysis allows you to understand who is who visually, without any figures.

“Competitors in the search engine” — by going to this page, you can determine the competitors for this domain in the search results. Competitors are determined basing on the “level of competition”, which is calculated from keywords and displayed as an indicator.

As they say, show me your competitors, and I’ll tell you who you are :).


Get all backlinks of your domain with Majestic for free

The site Majestic SEO was launched in 2004 in Britain and is one of the oldest services for SEOs. As mentioned, the service performs a mass check of backlinks, compares link profiles and site visits (you can compare no more than five sites at a time), and also searches for keywords or phrases.

With their free extension for Mozilla, you can get understanding of the quality of the specific URL (not only data for the whole website). Worthwhile page to get a link from should not have 0 Trust flow, in this case – the more the better.

Majestic SEO free extension for Mozilla screen shot

To get a list of backlinks to the website you own, you need to confirm the ownership of your website, and see the majestic data for free!

Including well-structured data, based on the reference profile the tool will show the status of your site. In particular, you will learn the history of backlinks to your site, find out where the links came from, what type of content contains links to your site and many other data that will help you better understand the link profile of your site.


Make the Most of Growth Hacking Tool SerpStat

Freemium model allows you to research keywords, analyze competitors and get acquainted with Serpstat without hassle. It combines many useful features of tools we reviewed previously, such as organic keyword website ranks for, backlinks overview, domain comparison ets. To identify URL quality they use Serpstat Trust and Page rank, where the higher percentage signals of the high trust of the website.

SerpStat Overview screen shot
The cool feature here is that you can compare three sites` domains at the same time. Using the “Domain Compare” you will be able to find missed phrases in just a few minutes. You can see keywords that are successfully used by both competitors. Therefore, this semantics is proven, and it can be safely recommended to use for your site. In addition, you receive the keywords of each competitor of your site, the use of which may also be handy. That’s so easy!



To build a promotion strategy correctly, you need to do a lot of work, regularly monitor the results and compare. The analysis of competitors is an integral part of this process and takes a lot of time, but it gives its results. First of all, it is an opportunity to move your resource in the right direction and not lose your zest, getting better day by day. Secondly, here is a breakdown of tools to use to get specific information (for free):

– SimilarWeb to get the estimate of total traffic that goes to the websites, and countries it is popular in.
– SemRush – to get the idea of the level of organic traffic of the website.
– Ahrefs – no free options but you can get the access to the largest world link database just for $7
– SerpStat – keyword research and domain comparison,
– Majestic – reliable majestic ranks will tell you of the quality of each specific link you want to review.



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