On the search for an effective way to drive your website traffic? There are plenty of things you can do today to amp up organic traffic to your site. You can take charge of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign, implement an interactive website design, or step up your content marketing campaign.
But before that, it's important to know how to analyze website traffic itself. This is especially important when it comes to analyzing your competitors' site performance.
In this article, we'll show you how to compare and analyze site traffic so you can take control of your site today.
1. Know How to Analyze Site Traffic
The first step to understanding how to compare website traffic is figuring out how to analyze it.
Start by monitoring and analyzing your own website traffic through Google Analytics. This is a free and user-friendly resource that can give you a clear overview of your site traffic performance.
To use Google Analytics, sign up for an account through Google and access your tracking ID.
Use this ID to implement tracking analytics for your site. Google has very clear instructions on how to do this here.
Once you've enabled Google tracking, you can access Google Analytics and get a snapshot of your data whenever you wish.
What to Pay Attention To
When you're taking a solid look at traffic data, click on the "Visitors" tab to get an overview of who is accessing your site.
Here, you'll be able to see total visits, the number of first-time visitors, the total amount of page views, and your bounce rate.
The number of unique visitors can help you analyze the effects of current marketing campaigns. The number of recurring visitors will give you insight into customer retention.
Your bounce rate indicates how many people navigate to your website and immediately leave. Bounce rates can help you hone your website design and devise ways to keep visitors on your site.
With Google Analytics, you can also figure out where your traffic is coming from and how long visitors spend on your site.
This can give you a sense of the market that's responding to your content, and what content they're responding to the most.
Finally, you'll want to figure out how much of your traffic comes from search engines, referrals, and direct sources. Google can tell you this, too!
You'll want to keep all of this data handy when you're preparing to compare website traffic from competitors.
2. Use the Right Tools
Now that you know how to analyze your own traffic data, how do you compare website traffic from competitor sites?
It's important to note that no software out there will give you the exact breakdown of competitor site traffic.
This would, of course, constitute as hacking. We definitely don't want to go there!
But there are tools that you can use that will help you gather estimates and compare website traffic of your competitors.
These estimates can give you a sense of where your competitors are drawing traffic from. You'll get an idea of how popular their site is and even gain insight into conversion rates.
We'll take a look at a few of these tools now.
This is a leading tool when it comes to competitive analysis. A lot of top marketers rely on Alexa when assessing the market competition.
Alexa is easy to use and provides some of the most comprehensive competitor analysis data out there.
Alexa ranks sites around the world based off of their popularity. This is called an "Alexa Rank."
When you upgrade to the paid version of this tool, you'll have access to a full suite of competitor traffic metrics.
You'll be able to see your competitors (based off of Alexa's analysis) and their performance for certain keywords or phrases in relation to yours.
You can compare website traffic in addition to traffic demographics and behavior, such as visitor location, bounce rates, and time spent on the sites themselves.
Quantcast offers many of the same features as Alexa. You can receive traffic estimates with a free basic account.
With a paid account, you'll be able to identify competitor traffic based on demographics, lifestyle, and behavior.
You won't have an Alexa Ranking with Quantcast, but you'll experience a user-friendly dashboard that gives you all the numbers you need.
This website comparison tool has been around for a while. You'll find rankings here similar to Alexa's, based on popularity and category performance.
SimilarWeb also gives you insight into the highest-performing referring websites. This is valuable when it comes to analyzing conversion rates and link performance.
Plus, you can take advantage of a robust free version that gives you sufficient insight into traffic estimates.
3. Leverage the Data
When you compare website traffic, you do more than just note who's outperforming whom.
It's important to analyze and leverage this data so that you can drive your own website traffic.
Identify the "Why"
When analyzing competitor traffic, find reasons for why these competitors are getting particular metrics.
For example, you may notice that a competitor has a low bounce rate. Navigate to their website to see why this may be the case.
Is their design on-par? Do they have a particular call to action or interactive experience that's lowering bounce rates?
Identify your competitors' markets by assessing traffic demographics. Try to devise reasons why they're retaining a certain percentage of customers.
Devise a Plan of Action
Finding out "why" your competitors are doing well can help you leverage your own web design and marketing efforts to meet them at the same level.
You can create a plan of action based off of your traffic analysis.
Devise clear steps to outperform your competitors traffic-wise. This may mean changing your keyword performance.
It could also mean lowering your own bounce rate, targeting a new demographic, and/or implementing a powerful SEO campaign.
Use your performance tools to check on the effect of these efforts.
Final Thoughts: How to Compare Website Traffic
Knowing how to compare website traffic can help you hone your marketing strategies and improve your website design. It can also help you identify how to outperform your competition.
Make sure you understand how to analyze website traffic for your own site. Use the right tools for comparing data from competitor websites, such as Alexa or SimilarWeb.
Lastly, leverage this data so that you can surpass your competitors.
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