Sizing Up The Competition: A Guide to Comparing Website Traffic with Competitors
Website analytics are important to business growth. Why? They allow you to understand various components of your site’s performance such as user experience, content performance, keyword performance, and the overall bounce rate of visitors.
However, while these are all great analytics to understand and track as it relates to your own website, it’s even more helpful to start comparing website traffic with your competitors.
Not only will this allow you to gain the same kind of insight into how their pages are performing, but it’s a great way to tweak your own online content strategy in order to beat the competition. Not sure how to do so? Here’s why it’s important along with a host of tools you can use.
How to Analyze Your Own Website
Yes! A competitive website analysis is a crucial component of later sizing up your own competition. It’s hard to know just what you need to change or even how to compare your own stats to those of your competition if, well, you don’t know the stats in the first place.
What should you be looking for when you go to analyze your website. Well, one simple, quick Google search of “analyze my website” will yield thousands of free website checkers that will spit out a few benchmark statistics.
However, you should pay special attention to:
- Page visits
- Bounce rate
- The average duration of visits
- Device breakdown
- User location
- Search tracking
- Keyword performance
- Top referrals
If you’re able to understand how your own site performs in these areas, it’ll be easier to see how your website stacks up when you go to perform a competitor website analysis.
Is Comparing Website Traffic Important?
So, you’ve analyzed your own website and you know how each page and keyword performs across every device possible. Great! But, is it still important to analyze a competitor’s website?
Yes, absolutely! Just as analyzing your own website provides you with valuable insight into what’s working for you and what’s not, analyzing a competitor’s website lets you see what’s working for them, what’s not, and how you can alter your strategy to be more competitive.
It’s helpful to go into the process with a specific goal in mind. This can include questions such as:
- Which keywords are my competitors ranking for?
- What are my competitors’ highest-performing pages?
- How many visits do my competitors receive for similar pages?
- Is there something about the user experience that increases their page value?
- Do they have a higher domain authority?
- Are they implementing a solid backlinking strategy?
- If their bounce rate is low, why is that?
Now, a simple website analysis won’t spell out each and every answer to these questions. But, it will give you the statistics you need to form your own answers.
In order to do so, you’ll need the right tools.
How to Track a Competitor’s Website Traffic
You can’t track a competitor’s website traffic simply by logging on and visiting their pages. You’ll need special tools to help you accomplish this goal. And, you’re in luck, as there are many tools available for this kind of analysis.
SEMrush is easily one of the most popular and most-used content marketing platforms that exist today. While it’s a bit on the more expensive side for small businesses, it takes care of more than just website traffic analysis.
Sure, you can view a comprehensive, detailed report of search engine traffic, both organic and paid. But, you can also view things such as trends, referring domains, and keywords that are driving that traffic.
And, that’s not all. The content marketing platform also provides you with competitor intelligence reports. This includes top competitor lists according to category, content, or keywords, plus reporting that’ll provide insight into keyword and backlink overlapping.
If you’re able to pay for the premium features, you can even pit your website against a competitor’s website by using the Domain vs. Domain feature.
SEO is a key component of any effective content marketing strategy. And, if you’re going to perform in-depth keyword research, find content gaps in your website, and analyze competitor content, Ahrefs is one of the best tools for you.
It’s most helpful when monitoring traffic within your specific niche but can also provide you with helpful analytics regarding why your competitors rank so high, what for, and how. Tack on some great backlink research functions and organic search reports and it’s a golden tool.
You can enter the URL of a competitor and Ahrefs will pull up tons of information that you can use to your advantage, including:
- Domain ranking
- Referring domains
- Organic keywords
- Organic traffic
- Top performing pages
- Keywords by country
- Website visit trends over time
If you don’t need all of the content marketing tools that SEMrush has to offer (and the price that comes with those tools), Ahrefs is great for simply analyzing a website, including your own.
Another third-party platform offering great insight into your website’s performance and information regarding your competitors, SimilarWeb source information from millions of devices and webpages.
There is a lot of free data available via SimilarWeb, which isn’t what Ahrefs or SEMrush offer. So, if you’re looking to test-run a site used for comparing website traffic, this is a great one for you to use as you dip your feet into the water.
To use it, you simply have to enter the URL into the platform’s search bar. Then, it’ll provide you with insightful information such as:
- Global ranking score
- Regional ranking score
- Engagement statistics
- Traffic estimates
- Referring domains
- Referring search engines
- Audience overlap data
These are similar to what both SEMrush and Ahrefs provide you with, but SimilarWeb is a leaner product that allows you to view certain information for free.
Likewise, you can use Ubersuggest for a few free searches a day if you’re just performing basic research on your competitor’s website. And, Google Analytics is a fantastic resource to use in understanding these statistics as they relate to your own website.
How to Understand Website Analytics
Now that you know why it’s important to compare website traffic with competitors and which tools to use in order to do so, it’s time to figure out how to make sense of the data.
If you’re trying to understand how to improve your SEO strategy with keywords, look at just the keyword data. Check the monthly search volume for each keyword that the website ranks for and then look at the click-through rate for each keyword.
This will give you a good idea of what keywords visitors are entering to reach the competitor’s website. You can use that information to optimize your own keyword strategy. See if you can write more content or redo your web copy to rank for the same words or similar ones.
If you’re trying to understand why a website has more traffic than you despite a poor SEO strategy, try taking a look at other figures such as the bounce rate, the average time spent on each page, and the number of backlinks.
Oftentimes, websites with more backlinks have higher domain ratings. This means that even though you’re writing better content and optimizing the same keywords, your competition still might rank higher on the first page of Google.
To combat this, try crafting a good backlinking strategy. Contact similar websites that aren’t direct competitors or look for other partnerships. Ask them to link back to your content and vice versa.
And, finally, it’s simply good to view your website traffic in comparison to your competition as a way to measure overall growth and success. If you know where you started today versus where your competition is, it’ll be easier to eventually gauge the growth.
If your bounce rate is high, focus on writing higher-quality, more engaging articles, and web copy. Then, see how that bounce rate moves over time in comparison to your competition.
Increasing Website Traffic in Other Ways
If you’re comparing website traffic with competitors simply as a means to understand their overall pageviews, that’s okay, too. Pageviews are a core component of increasing your ranking and domain authority. But, there are alternative ways to increase your website traffic.
Traffic exchange is a process by which you submit your website to a platform, visit other people’s websites, and get views in return. Essentially, you’re receiving hits in return in the same way that you’re giving others pageviews by visiting their site.
It can be used to increase the number of visitors and metrics of a website or a blog while also helping reduce bounce rate and increase traffic quality. You choose the quality of your traffic so as to fit your specific needs.
Interested in growing your website traffic to beat your competitors? Sign up for HitLeap today.Back