Free Tools for Learning More About Your Competition’s Web Presence

Competitor Research Tools

Are you curious to know how your practice’s online presence compares to your competition? Do you wonder if competitors are showing up for many of the same search results as your practice?  Are you wondering if they’re engaged in any digital marketing efforts? 

If you have any of these questions or other related ones, I have great news for you – there are FREE online tools you can use to answer them! 

In this post I’ll cover three tools that can be leveraged in order to get a better understanding of what your competitors are doing online. 

1. Google Search for Local Terms

Patients typically are not willing to travel far from home or work for dental-related needs. As a result, search queries performed by prospective patients often have a city in them, such as “Dentist in San Diego, CA” as in the following example:

By performing similar search queries (things like “orthodontist in x city” or “invisalign treatment in x city”) you can determine what the search engine results look like on Google or Bing. Keep in mind that the top 3 search results get the lion’s-share of traffic and any results outside of page #1 get almost no traffic. 

If your competitor’s websites are showing up in higher positions for relevant search results, they’re likely getting more traffic than you. Further search engine optimization (SEO) action may be needed to improve your rankings and, thus, visibility to prospective patients. 

Note that continuously doing the same search on Google will ultimately lead to different results as Google does try to personalize results for you. Consequently, we recommend searching for practices (including yours) sparingly in Google.

2. SEMRush

With SEMRush you simply submit a URL (can be yours or a competitors) and the result is an abundance of data including keyword ranking and positioning information for both paid and organic traffic, inbound link data, and information on a given domain’s strength. 

Here’s a look at just some of the information this tool pulls in:

All of that info is available for free in a base version that only requires an account. If you want even more data, paid versions are available.

3. Hubspot Website Grader

You can use the Hubspot Website Grader to see how a competitor’s website (and yours if you’d like) is doing in terms of loading speed, SEO, how it displays on all device types, and how safe it is from the threat of hacking attempts. 

Simply add a URL to the search field, click the button, and you’ll get a breakdown briefly detailing each of these factors that contribute to the overall health of a website, as in the following example: 

The resulting information should help you compare the relative health of a competitor’s site versus your own and, if you’re looking at your practice’s site, it will give you some areas in need of improvement. 


The three tools mentioned in this post provide a small sample of things you can do to improve your understanding of what your competitors are doing online. If you Google “free competitor keyword research tool,” for example, quite a few additional options will pop up. 

You can also look to Sesame for help in understanding how the performance of your website is stacking up versus other practices in your market. Our team of knowledgeable SEO specialists plus the tools they leverage are available to provide insight and guidance to Sesame SEO Members. 

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any related questions or needs!


—Mike Fitterer, Sr. Marketing Manager II, Sesame Communications

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Sesame is an industry leader in integrated, cloud-based marketing and patient-engagement solution designed exclusively for your practice. We know that effective patient communication is vital to the success of your practice and the efficiency of your team. With Sesame, you can take your practice to the next level, allowing you to concentrate on what’s really important – your patients!