Are you interested to know how much traffic a website is getting?
Knowing the traffic your competitor sites are getting can be really important to formulate your content marketing strategies. It also helps you to be motivated and benchmark your site well in the space.
The strategies in this post are only applicable for estimating traffic of other sites.
If you want to get traffic data from your own site, using Google Analytics is the best way. You just need to install Google Sitekit WordPress plugin and integrate it with Google Analytics.
But for checking the traffic of other websites, you don’t have access to their Google Analytics. What to do?
There are dozens of tools in the market that help you determine the traffic any website is getting.
There are 3 types of traffic estimation:
- Total website traffic estimation
- Organic traffic estimation
- Paid traffic estimation
Truth be told.
Other than installing any tracking scripts like Google Analytics or getting data from Google servers, there’s no 100% accurate way to determine the traffic of a website.
As these tools rely on various data sources like Clickstream, keyword volume, public data, anonymous behavioral data, and also do correlations, the numbers can be treated just as an estimate.
I'll mention below some of the best tools to estimate the traffic of your competitor sites.
SEMrush is the most popular all-in-one content marketing tool on the internet. It comes along with features like competitor keyword research, backlink research, SEO audit, social media tool, content marketing tools, etc.
You just need to enter the site URL in its search box. The tool will return the organic and also paid traffic that the site may be getting based on the volume of keywords that the site is positioned for.
It also comes with a feature called “Traffic Analytics”.
The above traffic estimate is of the whole website.
This tool helps in determining all the three types of traffic that I discussed and also metrics like bounce rate, page visit duration, etc.
This is the most popular tool when it comes to competitor traffic estimation.
When you compare SimilarWeb vs SEMrush, SimilarWeb comes with very limited features.
Apart from traffic estimation features, you won’t get dozens of useful features that SEMrush comes with. SimilarWeb appears to face difficulties in analyzing smaller domains.
Alexa ranking is the metric by Amazon.
The rankings are based on the traffic that a site got over a period of time. This metric is used by advertisers to determine the traffic of a site.
Alexa comes with many premium features like SEO Audit Tool, Competitor Keyword Matrix, Site Comparisons, Keyword Difficulty, On-Page SEO Checker, Competitor Backlink Checker.
Ahrefs is a premium tool that is well-known for the best backlink database in the world.
Although this tool doesn’t allow you to make total traffic estimates, it only allows you to determine the organic traffic.
Quantcast displays the web traffic estimates of the site. It also displays data about audience demographics, languages, and also interests.
This tool was originally well-known for discrepancies and not for the accuracy of the data. But lately, it appears that they are working hard on data reliability and now it is one of the biggest website traffic intelligence tools out there.
A website will have traffic from different sources.
If you consider my website alone, it gets organic traffic, direct traffic, referral traffic, social media traffic, etc.
While estimating the traffic of a website, you need to consider all the traffic. Or else, it will not give the complete picture.
When it comes to total traffic estimation, there are only two tools which I recommend – SEMrush and SimilarWeb.
In SEMrush, when you enter any domain name under Traffic Analytics, you get all the data including visits, unique visitors, pages/visit, average visit duration, bounce rate, etc.
The traffic that SEMrush is showing includes the total of all forms of traffic a website is getting.
As you can see in the above screenshot, you can display the historical traffic data of your competitors.
Or you can also see the graphs for the various metrics over a period of time, traffic share, and also traffic estimate for the subdomains.
You can see in the case of Walmart.com, 69% of the traffic comes from mobile devices.
SEMrush also has an Audience Overlap feature.
Here you can enter your multiple competitors and compare them when it comes to audience and traffic.
They also recently introduced the Traffic Journey feature that lets you know from where the audience is entering your competitor websites and what sites they are visiting after visiting your competitor sites.
You can make use of our SEMrush exclusive trial for trying out the features.
You can also make use of SimilarWeb for traffic estimation.
Similar to SEMrush, you also get a graph of traffic from different sources.
Here you can see:
- Total visits refer to how many people are actually visiting a website
- Desktop vs. Mobile helps you figure out the traffic share between the devices
- Average visit duration helps you see how people are interacting with a website
- In the graph, you can see that at any point in time how much desktop and mobile traffic a website is receiving
For total traffic estimation, SEMrush and SimilarWeb are the only tools I recommend. If you are interested in further knowing which tool is the best, read my SEMrush vs SimilarWeb comparison.
For estimating the organic search traffic a website is getting, you can make use of SEMrush or also Ahrefs.
Although other tools like SimilarWeb displays the search traffic a website is getting, SEMrush and Ahrefs are the best when it comes to SEO traffic analysis.
You just need to enter the domain name.
Now when you click on the numbers, it’ll return you all the keywords that are driving traffic to the site.
You can also head over to the “pages” section to get to know the pages on the website that are getting good search traffic.
This is how you determine the traffic the particular web pages of the website are getting.
You can even apply the filters to determine the top traffic driving webpages of your competitor sites.
In the subdomains section, you can see what are all the other subdomains of the site that are getting lots of traffic.
In the above example, you can see apart from the main website, Walmart “grocery” subdomain is getting good traffic.
If you are running PPC advertisements for your website, you may want to know some intelligence data regarding the paid traffic, ads, keywords of your competitor website.
In SEMrush, when you enter any website under “Domain Overview”, it’ll return you paid traffic as well.
As you can see in the screenshot, you can also see the keywords on which they are running ads and also total cost for them when it comes to paid traffic.
With the Advertising Toolkit of SEMrush, you can drill deep into your advertising data. SEMrush pioneers both in search ads as well as display ads.
You can view the paid traffic a website is getting, ad keywords, and also traffic cost.
You’ll also get to know the top ad keywords that are driving paid traffic to the website.
Under ad copies, you can view the exact advertisements that the website is displaying for the keywords.
Here you can also see the top pages which are getting most traffic out of PPC ads.
So these are some of the proven ways by which you can check traffic on any website.
As I told you before, these tools give you just an estimate of the traffic. The best way is always to rely on metrics reported by website tracking tools like Google Analytics, Clicky, Jetpack stats, etc.