Modern businesses rely on their websites to acquire new customers. Because of this, there are a number of tools available to analyse and optimise your web traffic. But what if you want to analyse your competitors’ sites? For this, you need a web traffic estimator.
These give you a number of crucial insights.
Obviously, traffic estimators give you a picture of how your competitors are doing. This is a very useful benchmark, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. With the right traffic estimator, you can also figure out how they are doing what they are.
This is so important, given the rising costs of user acquisition:
In some cases, you might sit back and laugh as they’re unable to come up with the same innovative acquisition strategies as you. More often though, analysing your competitors traffic will provide you with inspiration for how you can improve your own business.
With that in mind, let’s deep dive into web traffic estimators.
What Is a Web Traffic Estimator?
Let’s start with the basics.
A web traffic estimator is a tool that analyzes the way users interact with a website. This includes the website’s information like the number of viewers, the time they spend on a website, keywords, and even the source of those viewers.
The source of viewers means where they came from. For instance, organic search, paid Ads, or backlinks. There are different types of web traffic estimators, some may give you an analysis of your own website and others give you a review of other websites.
Both are necessary and useful.
However, using a traffic estimator for your own site isn’t as useful as an analytics suite which uses your real site data. As we’ll see though, some estimators also offer additional features which can supplement your analytics data.
More often, estimating traffic is useful for competitor analysis.
Let’s look a bit more concretely at how a website traffic estimators can benefit your business.
Why Should I use a Web Traffic Estimator?
Web traffic estimators offer insights into a number of key data points. Broadly, these can be grouped into four overlapping clusters. These are:
- Audience – These are metrics relating to who uses your site, including demographics and interests,
- Behaviour – This is information on how people use your site, including session data, popular content and conversions,
- Acquisition – These metrics relate to where your traffic comes from, including referring sources and landing content.
- Content – Traffic estimators also offer a number of content-level insights, including which articles perform best across different channels and search terms.
In brief, a web traffic estimator will provide you with everything you need to know in order to improve and modify your website to reach more traffic.
More importantly, knowing similar information about other successful websites and blogs will give you a huge insight into what you should do to gain as much traffic as them. You will know exactly how to create the suitable content for your niche.
Many traffic estimators also come packaged with a range of overlapping tools. For example, there is a blurry line between traffic analysis and things like keyword research or even using your competitor’s blog for content inspiration.
But if some web traffic estimator tools offer these extra features, how do you know which one to choose?
Here are five of our top picks.
Five Web Traffic Estimators
The first thing to note is that there are traffic estimators out there at a whole range of price points. There are even a number of free ones which are totally viable, and used by multinational corporations.
Let’s dive in.
Google Analytics is the most powerful web traffic estimator available today. It offers an amazing, free service that can give a detailed report of your own website’s traffic. Among its many distinctive features is tracking traffic sources.
Knowing where your traffic comes from lets you know how deep seated your SEO is and how effective your website’s paid AdWords or advertising campaigns are.
It is worthy to mention that it is always better to rely on different traffic resources. If all your traffic comes from one place, it will be difficult to compensate for it if any inconvenience occurred to that source. The best scenario is to attract viewers from different sources.
However, although Analytics is pretty much ubiquitous, it does have certain drawbacks.
For one thing, it doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being user friendly. Even configuring it can stump a lot of non-tech people. The flip side is that the insights and accuracy are essentially best in class.
Analytics also only allows you to analyse your own site traffic, or other sites you’ve been granted access to. This means that if you want to perform competitor analysis, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Clicky is another great tool that provides analysis for your own website.
Although Google Analytics is the most popular tool, Clicky is a remarkable alternative. Over the years, the gap between the features of Google Analytics and Clicky has diminished. Clicky’s standing-out feature is that it is truly user-friendly, where Analytics is clunky at best.
It has a smooth looking interface that you can get used to quickly. Another impressive feature is its live monitor for viewers. This gives you the option to track your traffic moment by moment.
SEMrush is a really interesting web traffic estimator. It is a tool which provides a detailed report of other websites’ traffic. The website offers two systems of accounts with different features; free and paid ones.
SEMrush’s strong point is its accuracy. Many of the other estimators give out inaccurate results; therefore, SEMrush is a reliable reference that many SEO experts prefer to use.
It also provides you with a list of the best keywords which were the reason why your competitor website got higher traffic. It suggests these based on topics, keywords or domains. For these reasons, SEMrush is highly recommended by many users.
Similar Web is another amazing tool that you can use to know how your competitors’ sites are performing for free.
It can provide you with all the information you need to know like how many page views they get, how much time every visitor spends on their website, social influence and much return. This is valuable information that can help you identify what it is you are missing to get more traffic.
Although Ahrefs is not a free web traffic estimator, it is still a fantastic tool that provides quality results about your competitors’ website.
Ahrefs offers distinguished features such as organic search reports, keyword research, backlink research, content research, rank tracking, and alerts.
Alerts is a nice feature. You can get notifications whenever you or your competitors get a new backlink or lose one.
In addition, you can choose to get notifications for keywords which are relevant to your website or product whenever someone mentions them. You can get this nice tool for 990$ per year.
We’ve highlighted other tools in our Complete Guide to SEO.
How to Improve your Web Traffic with a Traffic Estimator
Of course, understanding a competitor’s traffic is only as good as the actions you can come up with using this information.
First, you need to identify who your competitors are.
Their business must have the same niche as yours, or at least a relevant one. Then you should check their traffic volume. If the numbers are already way below yours, you should not be worried about it, in fact, they should be looking up to you.
On the other hand, if they are ahead of you, or your numbers are close to theirs, they should be on your list of competitors. Second, check out their website and social media pages. Then, check out their keyword profile.
If they are using different keywords which get them more traffic, then you should try the same keywords. However, if they are using the same keywords you are using, and still getting more traffic than yours, then you should find out what you are missing.
Evaluate their website’s design, load-speed, interface, and content. Utilize this information and try to mimic their approach, without stealing their content. In other words, let it inspire you.
If your competitors are using some digital marketing channels that you are not using, it is no wonder they have more traffic. Make sure your business is always close to where your target audience is.
How to Use a Web Traffic Estimator
Overall, a web traffic estimator is the little spying machine that helps you find out what your enemy’s secret weapons are. From a different point of view, you can say that web traffic estimators are like success stories that inspire you and give you motivation.
Web traffic analysis is based on investigation and comparison. You investigate your competitors’ information and compare it to yours.
Then, you analyze what this information indicates and work on your weaknesses.
Later on, you can compare your own website’s results after applying new approaches to your old ones. Keep getting back to the information and make the most out of the web traffic estimator you are using.