02 Nov 2017 How to Spy on Competitor Mobile Apps
If you envision building a mobile app that will be successful, you need more than a groundbreaking idea that solves a felt need. You need to also know if there are similar apps in the mobile app stores that are providing the same features your app aims to provide.
What this entails is that you’ll have to spy on your competitors from time to time – and not just before developing your app – to know what they are doing. This will help you to not just stand out from the crowd of similar apps but also keep you relevant in the industry.
Spying on competitor mobile apps is not a difficult activity if you have the right tools. So, in this article, we’ll show you easy and cost-effective ways to spy on competitor mobile apps to be better than them.
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Table of Contents
What is a Competitive Analysis?
In simple terms, the act of spying on your competitors is competitive analysis. It is a strategy that helps you identify the top competitors in your industry, their products, and the sales and marketing strategy behind their success.
When you perform competitive analysis, you understand the entirety of how your competitors operate and spot opportunities in the industry that you can take advantage of.
It is very vital to perform competitive analysis as it helps you better build on a unique value proposition that is different than that of your competitor. It also serves as a benchmark for you to measure the growth of your mobile app.
Most importantly, conducting a competitive analysis reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and helps you to capitalize on their weaknesses to become your strength.
How to Find Website Competitors
In the business of spying on a competitor mobile app, the first thing to do is to discover their website and analyze them. The reason you’re doing this is that before most of your competitor mobile app’s users discovered them, they first went on the web and searched for certain keywords that led them to your competitors.
In other words, you must have a website for your mobile app that must be discoverable on the internet. When you have this, it thus becomes important to know the keywords that your competitors are ranking for to also rank for these keywords and even outrank your competitors.
However, to find the website of your competitors and discover the keywords they’re ranking for, you’ll need certain tools which we explain in detail in the next section.
How to Make Website Competitor Analysis
Are you ready to find out how to discover competitor mobile apps and analyze them? Here are the right tools to use.
Similarweb is one of the tools for discovering your competitors and analyzing them. As the name suggests, this tool will show you websites similar to yours and allows you to view their overall performance on the web.
The biggest strength of Similarweb is its analysis of website traffic – which is one of the KPIs (key performance indicators) for website growth. With Similarweb, you’ll discover the amount of traffic your competitors get monthly, the channels that provide them the most visitors, and the countries where these visitors are viewing from.
Semrush is one of the leaders when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) research. SEO is another KPI for website performance. A good SEO strategy ensures that your website is well discoverable on the web. So, wouldn’t you want to know the strategies your competitors are using to be discoverable on the web?
That’s what Semrush can do for you. When you type in the URL of your competitors’ website, Semrush will provide the website’s top organic keywords, how these keywords rank, other competitors ranking organically for those keywords, paid traffic of your competitor’s website, backlinks, and so much more.
If you ask ten people to refer you to the best tool for SEO research and website competitor analysis, eight will refer you to Ahrefs. This paid tool has gained fame for its comprehensiveness and high level of data accuracy.
Ahrefs’ biggest strength is its backlinks analysis. However, you can use it to discover the domain authority of your competitor’s website and the site’s referring domains, which explains where its links come from. It will also show you the new referring domains of your competitors, which is vital if you want to know how your competitors are acquiring new links daily.
How to Find Mobile App Competitors
Now that you’ve seen how your competitors’ websites are performing, next is to see how their apps are performing in mobile app stores. If you don’t already know apps that are already solving the kind of problem your app aims to solve, mobile app competitor analysis will help you uncover this.
You’ll also want to see how many downloads your competitor’s mobile apps have gotten, how they optimized their app for the app stores (ASO), and their audience.
The next section shows you the right tools to discover similar apps like yours and analyze their performance on the app store.
How to Make Mobile App Competitor Analysis
To conduct mobile app competitor analysis to stay relevant and outperform your competitors, you should use one or more of the following tools:
#1. App Annie
App Annie ranks high on the list for mobile app competitive analysis. It is a top mobile analytics and market data tool that allows you to track competitors and identify the mobile app marketing strategies responsible for their success.
With the free version of App Annie, you can discover your competitor’s mobile app ratings, rankings, reviews, charts, and app details. To get the most out of this tool, however, you’ll have to pay for it. The paid version provides more ASO options and you can view your data of your competitor mobile app’s download, usage, audience, advertisement, and revenue.
One big shortcoming of App Annie is that it doesn’t have a very responsive customer care or support team to fix problems you experience on the platform.
MobileAction is another top gun in the arsenal of any mobile app marketer. Its Market Intelligence aspect is very useful for performing competitive analysis for mobile apps. It helps you discover top apps in app stores and benchmark them for better performance.
With MobileAction, you can spy on your competitor’s daily active users (DAU) and their monthly active users (MAU) and gain deeper insights into how they maintain these figures. You will also uncover your competitor apps’ total downloads and an estimate of their revenue.
MobileAction may be great in checking competitor’s DAU and MAU but it falls short in consistently providing data for reviews and rating. You find these data parameters missing sometimes.
Thetool.io is one of the best tools when it comes to app store optimization. This tool shows you the ASO strategies that your competitor’s mobile app is using including the keywords it ranks for in both iOS and Android mobile app stores, its total organic and non-organic downloads, its rate of conversion, and its customers’ feedback.
You can also analyze your competitor’s visibility by country to know where most of their users are based to properly strategize for the localization of your app.
TheTool enjoys nice reviews from users, but one shortcoming of this competitive analysis tool is that you may find metrics in the app that aren’t well explained.
Apptopia is one of the most affordable tool you can find for mobile app competitors’ analysis. It has high utility not just for mobile app publishers, but for mobile app marketers, investors, and service providers.
The tool is almost a complete package as it provides reliable data you can use to spy on your competitor’s DAU & MAU, rankings, user retention rate, and revenue (both organic and non-organic). Users find Apptopia’s SDK analysis to be excellent. So, it’s the right app for you for SDK recognition and analysis.
However, one shortcoming of Apptopia is that it takes over seven days to get the SDK information of apps without SDK information on the platform that you request to get their SDK information.
AppTweak prides itself as the platform to get the most reliable data for marketing and decision-making for mobile apps. Amazon, Adobe, Yelp, and other top mobile leaders utilize the software, so you should have an idea of how much insight on your competitors that the tool can provide you.
When it comes to competitor analysis and keyword optimization for your app, AppTweak is a reliable tool to run to. You can easily manage reviews of your app by studying those of your competitors and discover the top keywords that your competitors are ranking for with AppTweak.
A shortcoming of AppTweak, however, is that it recently reviewed its pricing upward, making it unaffordable for starters. Also, some have found the UI/UX unfriendly with its too many buttons.
AppFigures has a simple and beautiful interface that makes competitor analysis an easy and interesting affair. This, however, doesn’t take from the fact that it is one of the best tools to spy on how your competitor apps are performing. Users attest that AppFigures provide services that Apple and Google app stores should provide.
It is a powerful app for spying on the total downloads of your competitors regionally and globally. It also provides category ranking that will expose top apps and app publishers in your category that you should benchmark for better performance.
Like AppTweak, AppFigures’ shortcoming is that its pricing is high. Also, the mobile app version doesn’t pack as many features as the web version.
Spying on a competitor’s mobile app shouldn’t be an issue anymore if you use one or more of these competitive analysis tools. However, you must base your selection of tools for competitive analysis on the KPIs vital to your app’s performance and growth.