The $3.65 Million dollar question. Get this right and you are on your way to riches. Wrong answer, you get to start back in the abyss or even start from negative (penalized site).
Hold on a sec, I'm going to pour me a drink... Grab on to your ankles, cause I'm going in...
You have no idea what the fuck you are doing. So what's to say that even if you do use these tools you'll understand what you are looking at?
What's even your overall strategy? You want to go whitehat route I'm assuming, but which way? PBN? Microsites? Guestblog posts? Press Releases? You want to track your competitors in a fucking spreadsheet, then do fuck what with that spreadsheet? Can someone even circlejerk themselves or is that just masterbation?
I hate to re-iterate this but there are faster ways to get traffic (My post on Wickedfire about Traffic Leaks
). tldr; Go to websites which have your targeted audience and blend in until you are at a level where you can drain that traffic from their site. No one wants to work hard until things get desperate.
Here is the sad reality of what's going on in the SEO world. National campaigns are 'harder' if not doing blackhat or grayhat or a Big Brand. So what 90% of SEOers have done is gone to the local level. Meaning they are researching what's selling locally, and coming in and dominating since they know local is rape-able and easy, you are competing with mom and pop stores (similar to your situation), who have no idea what they are doing in terms of SEO. You have a family, that's great mate. That blackhat SEOer has a family, that grayhat SEOer has a family, and that whitehat SEOer has a family too - they're not all just straight out of high school kids. They all have families, and are all 1000x better at SEO than you. Let that sink in for a moment. This is your moment of truth my friend. I have to be harsh, cause if I am not, you'll still think you have a chance at this by yourself. You are potentially going up against an 800 pound gorilla, a guy that was competing for "payday loans" world wide, which is $10K a day MINIMUM in profits. As far as you are concerned Michael Jordan just came to your home court, and this is your first time bouncing a basketball.
That 800 pound gorilla has been stung, probed, and tortured by Google at the national level, so he's decided to make some movement in local since it's a walk in the park for him. That's who you are going up against, hence why your site keeps dropping a little more and more. With each Google update, more SEOers venture into local SEO, and you'll start seeing lead generating websites popping up, and more aggressive SEO tactics, and overall online marketing tactics entering your field. What can you do? Absolutely nothing without someone on your side that's also an 800 pound gorilla.
These SEOers are scanning, scraping, and finding every known nook and cranny and finding niche of local, emds, and shit that was easy before. (And by mom and pop store, I don't mean you are actually targeting local in your area, you can be an eCommerce store that ships nationally, I just call local, family ran businesses, cause they are usually small business owners). If no 800 pound gorilla has entered your niche, they'll be there soon enough, so even if I tell you to use Ahrefs to look up your competitor's backlinks, and back that up with MajesticSEO, that doesn't mean shit if you don't realize I also personally wrote guides to hide websites from Ahrefs and MajesticSEO and 80+ other spy bots - so those tools can be rendered obsolete if that 800 pound gorilla ran across my threads, posts, or philosophy.
You as a business owner fucked up, cause you thought it was always going to be 'easy streak', hence why you don't even have a lot of SEO knowledge but where able to support a family on SEO. Everything is changing, and everything easy always gets eroded.
You should have taken the time to expand to different traffic sources, and different marketing and advertising mediums. Your best bet might be to go the PPC (pay per click) route in the near future. If you are going to do that, you might want to get to it sooner rather than later, since it takes a couple of months to grasp and a lifetime to master.
Maybe this drink I've got in my hand should be for you, cause there is no easy way to say this. You aren't going to survive unless you get someone on your team that has PROVEN skills (NOTICED I FUCKING CAPITALIZED PROVEN), knowledge, and knows how to navigate these waters where you are battling 800 pound gorillas. Fuck you are lucky if you haven't been hit by negative SEO yet, cause mofos are attacking mom and pops left and right with that shit.
Anyways, I'll PM you in a couple of weeks, I might have something that could help you in your venture.
I hope that wasn't too harsh. Actually I don't regret that if it was, cause right now you are at a point where you have to really figure it out before you go completely bust. Try it solo, team up with a pro, do PPC, or whatever, your family's on the line, so there is no point in trying to spare feelings.
Good luck, I genuinely mean it.