We frequently stress the importance of concentrating on your own project and avoiding becoming sidetracked by what others are working on. That’s accurate. But it also never hurts to conduct a little benign espionage, especially when it comes to the websites of your rivals.
You can get inspiration for novel endeavors, fresh topics for writing, and fresh methods for attracting visitors. Additionally, you may accomplish this without shelling out a ton of cash on various programs to monitor rival data.
To increase your rating on Google, it is essential to analyze the website traffic of your competitors. You may enhance your strategy as you go along and make more educated judgments by knowing why their material is performing better than yours.
There are several excellent digital marketing tools available nowadays that may be used to examine competition websites’ traffic.
However, why would you even bother checking at the traffic statistics of your rivals, and what are you specifically looking for?
To use a sports example, being able to assess competition traffic is similar to having access to the playbook of a champion squad.
You’ll be able to identify any obvious flaws in your competitor’s strategy in addition to learning the secrets to their success.
With this information, you may use their strategies to your advantage and, hopefully, even outperform them.
Here are some quick and cost-free ways to research the websites of your rivals and obtain some brilliant ideas for your own.
- What Is Competitor Traffic Analysis?
- How can I find my website’s rivals?
- What Information Should a Competitor Analysis Contain?
- Why Is Competitive Analysis Vital for SEO?
- Which SEO tool is best for analyzing competitor websites?
What Is Competitor Traffic Analysis?
One of the most common indicators of a content marketing strategy’s effectiveness, according to HubSpot, is online traffic.
A technology called competitor traffic analysis can assist you in learning how much and where the competition’s traffic is coming from.
Competitor traffic analysis is a digital marketing best practice that businesses use to research rivals and enhance the performance of their websites.
Companies typically use a variety of online marketing tools to do rival traffic analyses. There are certain of these tools that give access to the greatest competition data, even though many of them can be used to complete a competitor traffic analysis.
To help you choose the finest traffic analysis tool, we’ve listed the top competition research software products below and shared the findings of our own data accuracy test.
A thorough competitor traffic analysis study can show information like:
- How many visitors your rival receives and whether or not their following is expanding
- Whether their mobile or desktop website is receiving more views.
- What websites are receiving the most visitors from these channels? Are all those hits coming from their advertisements, backlinks, or social media posts?
- The users’ locations and demographics who generate the most views.
- The degree to which a website’s bounce rate reflects the quality of its visitors. In other words, how effective is the website in bringing in visitors and turning them into paying customers?
Some systems also let you see the subsequent websites that users visit, which can be useful for understanding their entire trip.
Basically, this information will provide you a better understanding of the target market and how well your competitors are connecting with them.
How can I find my website’s rivals?
You may already be aware of the rivalry. Perhaps you are currently observing them from across the street. However, your rival may reside nearby or on the other side of the globe in numerous sectors.
Make a list of about ten websites that are similar to yours to start (similar sized business and target audience). Use a free program like SimilarWeb to accomplish this. Select “Similar Sites” and enter the URL of your own website or the URL of a rival you are familiar with (please note that the free edition only returns a maximum of 10 results).
You may also do this the old-fashioned way by entering a few of your most important keywords into Google and then checking the results to see which websites show up. Low tech, yet free and useful.
As soon as you get a list of your rivals, research which websites have had the most recent success. You may access an overview of their monthly traffic and other statistics by entering the URLs into SimilarWeb.
Additionally, you’ll be able to observe where their referral traffic comes from and where their traffic originates (e.g., social media, email, search engines).
This is a fantastic method to gain a sense of the landscape, and you might find that the website you thought was very well-liked doesn’t actually receive that much traffic (or vice versa).
You are now aware of your rivals’ identities and the volume of traffic they receive.
What Information Should a Competitor Analysis Contain?
Even while it’s a terrific place to start, studying competitor websites’ traffic is only one element of a comprehensive competition analysis plan.
You’ll probably need to look a little further to get the complete image.
It’s time to explore what you can learn from your competitors if you’re sick of always losing to them in rankings.
Finding your top competitors and carefully examining each of their websites might serve as the initial step.
Consider each from the perspective of the customer. Ask yourself questions while you browse each website, such as:
- How simple is it to navigate?
- Does the website make effective use of the brand?
- Use of images, video, or other types of media on the website? If yes, how frequently?
- What channels are available for customers to interact with the brand? Are customers encouraged to subscribe to the brand’s blog or social media pages?
- Has the company a newsletter?
- Do you notice any patterns in the sector that appear across different websites?
Pay close attention to any CTAs on the website and the way the business has organized them.
Analyzing details like which products are featured and at what prices is also crucial.
This can help you determine whether or not your website offers the products and services your clients are seeking for and whether or not your rates are reasonable.
Depending on your particular objectives, you’ll want to measure and evaluate a certain set of data. However, there are some data points that are presented in the table below that you’ll almost certainly want to examine.
- How much traffic do your competitors’ websites receive overall, and how has that changed over time?
- What online outlets help your competitors’ websites the most in terms of traffic?
- Device-Specific Website Traffic: How much of your competitors’ traffic comes from desktop versus mobile?
- Which cities, states, or nations produce the most traffic for your competitors’ websites, according to geography?
- Audience Engagement: Based on the number of pages each session and the length of sessions, how engaged are visitors to competitors’ websites?
- Customer Demographics: Who visits the websites of your competitors and what are their visitors’ ages, genders, and interests?
- What search, display, and product listing ads have your competitors previously utilized online?
What are some free methods for monitoring a rival’s website?
1. Examine the website content of your competition.
The website game hasn’t necessarily been won by a rival just because they receive a lot of traffic. A website may occasionally receive visitors while having poor content!
For this reason, it’s crucial to go deeper than the stats and closely at the content on your competitors’ pages. What subjects are they covering? Exist any glaring gaps? A FAQ section is there? If they do, perhaps something obvious is lacking.
Here, you’re seeking for suggestions for better material than theirs that you may use on your website. Check out BuzzSumo’s best-performing content with the free trial, and then see if you can come up with something even more effective.
2. Keep a careful eye on their brand
They might have a logo. What shades are their logo? Do they employ a particular “look” constantly throughout? Perhaps they are attempting to project a particular personality—one that is intelligent, playful, and wealthy.
Knowing the branding of your rivals can help you decide whether to copy it or differentiate your brand. You may have the polish and professionalism you need to stand out by taking the time to work on your own brand, which includes creating a logo.
Create a logo for your company that stands out.
Related reading: How to Create Stand Out Visual Content You Need Right Now
3. Discover what online resources they employ.
Examine the tools and plugins your competitors are using on their websites by using a free service like Builtwith. You’ll learn where their website is housed, what email services they employ, and even get some suggestions for tools you might want to try on your own website.
There are numerous social media monitoring tools available. But steer clear of pricey software that devours too much of your time.
You may simply follow your competitors and keep an eye on what’s happening in their news feeds to get a basic summary of their social media activity. If Facebook is where they spend the most of their time, you might choose to invest your time in another social media platform.
What are the posts that are doing well there? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Do they publish a hundred times every day? How quickly do they respond? You can develop your own social media strategy with the help of these queries.
Related post: 25 Major Social Media Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
5. Review their price page
Examine the prices of your rivals. What attributes do they provide? How do their costs differ from yours? Do they provide any specials or discounts?
If they don’t have a pricing page, you have a high chance. Although staking out your rates may be unsettling if your rivals haven’t done so, openness about costs is actually a positive thing. You can also provide benefits and features that they don’t. More advice for creating your pricing page is provided below.
6. Learn about their SEO approach and traffic
There are an absurd number of tools available to research the backlinks, keywords, referrals, and other factors of your competition.
Start with a free tool like SEMRush if you’re new to the SEO game. You may find out the keywords that are driving organic traffic (search engine traffic) to your competitors’ websites by typing in their URL. (SEMRush’s free edition offers a constrained selection of searches and results, but it’s a wonderful place to start.)
We also appreciate the no-cost MozBar plugin. This will offer you an idea of the “domain authority” of your rivals, a sign of how well they do in search engine rankings.
7. Sign up as a customer
Even if you might detest the thought of investing money in a rival, you must swallow your pride and do it. Sign up and make a purchase.
What was the procedure like? What did and didn’t work well? Take note of their checkout process, the data they’re obtaining, and the voice that their brand uses. Exist any flaws that you could exploit (for instance, maybe their shipping delays are extremely slow)?
Sign up for their newsletter if they have one so you can stay updated on what they’re doing. Try asking a common query to customer service and observe their answer.
Even that rival website that appears to be all sparkling and pleasant is not flawless. You can identify the gaps (and opportunities) when you’re a client.
Why Is Competitive Analysis Vital for SEO?
Avoid becoming distracted by the opposition. When you’re starting a new website, thinking about a makeover, looking for a blog topic or something to write about, or just once or twice a year as part of routine cleaning, is the perfect time to do it.
In the end, most competition research won’t reveal anything that you don’t already know—namely, that success online depends on adhering to the fundamentals:
- Creating quality content,
- Using PR techniques like social media,
- Making connections
- Using your SEO tools effectively.
Companies now routinely employ search engine optimization, sometimes known as SEO, to increase traffic from search engines.
The objective is to make sure that when a person types in a word or phrase related to your industry, your website is displayed as one of the top search results.
Three main advantages come from conducting a competitor traffic analysis:
Boost the Volume of Traffic to Your Website
A simple strategy to aid in the expansion of your own website is to examine the online performance of your competitors. You can spot worthwhile traffic chances that you’re currently missing by observing what is effective for your competition.
For instance, you can learn that one of your competitors receives 30% of its traffic from social media, despite the fact that you do not currently make an investment in this channel.
Similar to this, you can find that your top competitor’s traffic comes from paid search campaigns that target particular phrases, but you don’t currently target these terms.
Analyze potential new business ventures
Analyzing competitor traffic can also be useful for assessing potential new company ventures. For instance, you might be thinking about starting a new company line or entering a new region.
To gauge the extent of the potential business opportunity, you might examine the traffic volume of businesses that are currently selling this product or that are located in your intended market.
Obtain an Advantage
You can also obtain a competitive edge in your existing market by using competitor traffic analysis. You may quickly react to changes in your competitors’ top internet marketing strategies by identifying them.
You can start focusing on certain competitors by finding out which channels and search terms work well for them, for instance. Alternately, you can find that none of your rivals are funding a particular marketing channel and decide that you want to stand out by doing so.
Additionally, you can observe changes in your competitors’ internet marketing budgets and gain an understanding of the regions that they find to be most effective.
However, how do you approach it? According to statistics, 71% of content marketers consider the usage of keywords to be their primary tactic.
Using keywords or phrases that users are most likely to enter into search engines like Google is part of the process.
It’s time to figure out the keywords your rivals are employing if they consistently take the top spot on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Which SEO tool is best for analyzing competitor websites?
More tools than ever are available to evaluate the traffic on rival websites, identify the best SEO keywords, and keep tabs on the material that performs best for them.
Here are some of the most well-liked and what they offer.
SEMrush provides a wide range of excellent marketing options, including potent tools for competitor research. If you’re searching for a comprehensive, in-depth way to examine competitor website traffic, this is an excellent option.
SEMrush can let you know the reputation of a website as well as which other websites are linking to it.
Additionally, it will showcase the website’s top performers, including SEO keywords and the most read articles.
Finding the strategies used by the competition is also a breeze with the help of SimilarWeb’s collection of competitive intelligence analysis tools.
They assess the quality of competitor websites’ traffic in addition to analyzing it.
You’ll be able to judge factors like how long visitors spend on each page, the bounce rate of the site, and more in addition to merely seeing where a website’s traffic is coming from.
The tool from SimilarWeb may also assist you in learning more about the best marketing channels and techniques being employed by a specific website.
Another great choice is Ahrefs, which also offers a sizable amount of cost-free SEO tools.
You’ll have access to Ahref’s Site Explorer if you find them useful and decide to upgrade to a paid plan.
You will learn which keywords your rivals are using to achieve the highest SERP positions as well as whether they are utilizing sponsored advertisements to increase viewership.
Additionally, you may learn which websites are connecting back to a specific website and learn about each one’s reputation.
What Sources Do the Tools Use for Data?
The four main data sources utilized by rival traffic analysis programs are as follows:
- Owners of websites who directly share their data with the digital marketing tool
- Panels of customers that watch anonymously while millions of people use the internet for shopping
- Actual Google search engine result pages are scraped (SERPs)
- Google’s API that distributes guessed keyword-level information
Each of the aforementioned data sources has certain benefits. A large consumer panel is typically the data source that generates the most precise competition traffic analytics across all marketing channels.
Ahrefs, SEMrush, and SimilarWeb are three of the tools mentioned above that make use of user panels.
What tool Is Most Accurate?
To evaluate which tool offered the most accurate and comprehensive data set, we tested the tools mentioned above. To do this, we contrasted the information provided by each software program with the actual SoftwarePundit performance data.
Overall, we discovered that SimilarWeb provides the most precise and comprehensive data set. Here are some particular benefits we discovered while utilizing SimilarWeb:
- Performance information on mobile traffic and non-search marketing channels were only included by SimilarWeb and SEMrush.
- The only tool with reliable referral traffic data was SimilarWeb (49% difference between actual and reported vs. 100%+ for all other tools).
- The data from SimilarWeb was the most accurate in terms of visit duration (47% off from reality), pages per visit (9% off from reality), and geographic distribution of visitors (only solution to accurately predict the top 4 countries)
The SimilarWeb dashboard offers comprehensive data on traffic & interaction, audience demographics, and each marketing channel for all websites. You can sort all of the data by device, geography, and date.
A competitor’s website is not something to be afraid of; rather, it is a tool to help you improve your own site.
These free techniques will provide you a general sense of your competitors’ identities and traffic patterns, as well as serve as benchmarks and inspiration for your own website.
Even better, you’ll begin to recognize some openings and gaps that your website can cover.
In order to ensure that you outrank your competitors in the future, it is critical to analyze the traffic to their websites. You may increase your rating and separate yourself from the competition by using these tools and techniques.