5 Ways to Monitor Competitor Website Traffic

monitor competitor website traffic

The entire goal of SEO (search engine optimization) is to get ahead of your competitors, by whatever Google-friendly means necessary. And just like in warfare, if you want to know how to get ahead of your adversary, you need to know their strategies.

Luckily, Google and other search engines make it pretty easy for you to monitor competitor website traffic strategies by using a number of useful tools.

Identify Competitors

To begin, know your enemy. You can’t expect to get ahead of your competitors if you don’t know exactly who they are, what their mission is, and how they plan to execute it. Your biggest competitors may not be who you think they are. Search engines no longer base comparable companies on size. Just because a company is small, doesn’t mean that they won’t be dangerous to your business.

Take the time to jot down a list of your biggest challengers by searching your own top keywords in search engines. The first 10-20 most common competitors on the list are most likely your biggest threat, and those are the companies you’ll want to closely analyze in order to learn what they’re doing right for such high rankings.

Assess Their Websites

Next, make sure your website is the best. You can gauge competitor performance and generate new ideas for your own website by performing a close analysis of competitors websites. In general, you’ll want to look closely at their home page, user interface, speed, performance, and content.

If their sites are ranking higher than you for the same keywords, they must be doing something right in all of these categories, which means that your website is not the best, after all. Try to identify the positive features these websites have that yours doesn’t and make a plan to try out some of those strategies in your own marketing plan so that you can compete.

Check Out Their Social Media Pages

The second best place to go to monitor competitor website traffic strategies involves fraternization with social media networks. There you can access an entirely free tool that will allow you to see how your competition carries out their social media engagement.

Next to your long list of competitor names, write down all of the social media networks your rival companies are involved with, and then analyze the way they spread their brand mentions and content. Begin with Facebook, the largest by far of all social networks, and then move to Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  Based off the number of likes, shares, and user engagement, you can determine what content is working and where your strategy can improve.

Furthermore, use analytics tools that can gather data about the impact of opponent social media pages on customers. For example, you’re probably familiar with Klout, which is a free tool used to rank the influence of certain Twitter members on their followers. This tool and more are very helpful for assessing the social influence of your rivals.

Analyze Web Traffic

Why do people seem to like your competitor’s website better than yours? It’s probably not you; it’s them.

Find out exactly how much traffic competitor sites are receiving and what they’re doing to make it happen. There are many tools, both free versions and subscription platforms that will derive comprehensive data sets to allow you to compare component’s website traffic. Look at what’s working and what’s not working to come up with a full strategy.

Out of all the tools out there, choose one that will give you the most accurate and high-quality of analytics tools. For example, you may have heard of SimilarWeb, which is a website traffic tool built on a global platform to ensure accurate and high quality data. It’s not the only one available, but it comes highly recommended by Orbit Media Studios. By analyzing that data, you can learn much about the changes you need to make for your marketing strategy.

Subscribe to Competitor Newsletters

Finally, listen in on your competitors’ online conversations. Monitor the content they share on social networks, and subscribe to their newsletters and email marketing. To throw the enemy off the scent, use a private email to collect the information rather than a company one.

This will let you in on some of the biggest topics your target audience enjoys. It will also alert you of any new strategies or developments the company has experienced lately so that you can know when it’s time to revamp your own strategy in order to compete.

It’s important to monitor competitor website traffic, but it’s also an often overlooked aspect of digital marketing. If you want to know exactly how you can compete in the crowded online market, one of your first steps should always be to learn from the adversary and improve your strategy to surpass theirs.

Binoculars Photo via Shutterstock 15 Comments ▼

Drew Hendricks Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media and environmental addict. He writes for many major publications such as National Geographic, Technorati and The Huffington Post.

15 Reactions
  1. I completely agree that monitoring competitors is essential. I sign up for all my competitors newsletters, check out all their surveys and get involved with any activity they’re running. The more I know the better. It’s alot of work, but absolutely worth it.

    Probably also a good idea to check out one of the many seo competitor tracking & profiling services. They provide a lot of information in some very easy to read dashboards. Particularly helpful if you want to know what sort of adverts your competitors are running online, and where they’re getting links from. Some of the free services are reasonable, but I’d strongly recommend using any of the paid services. Worth the money just in time savings.

  2. More than looking at what they are doing. You can also take them as an inspiration for your own marketing efforts.

  3. Sounds like a bit of Sun Tzu the Art of War. But seriously, this is super good advice! Know your competitors like you know yourself.

  4. Hi Drew,
    It’s really a interesting post, every blogger wold love to read that.

    I used to try hard with Facebook but now i am finding and trying with other sources.
    But sites like Reddit and yahoo answers are not actually showing my submittions. they are taking it as spam.

    any suggestion for that..


  5. You always have to know what you competitors are up to, but you should never copy them. The uniqueness is the key to success.

  6. This was a really informative post. Another clever thing to add to this list is to do a backlink audit of your competitor’s websites. There are a lot of things you can find out about their backlinks, especially in relation to the tips provided above:

    1. You can find out where they are having content featured.
    2. You can get an insight on their social media traffic, especially if they are posting good content on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites (like Delicious for bookmarking).
    3. You can also see what backlinks are hurting them.

    Another strategy that I like to do is go in and see what types of meta tagging and meta descriptions they are using. You can easily do this by viewing the page source of your competitor’s site: the “code” that tells the browser what to display.

    If you want to know some more about link strategies to include in your own content, here are some great tips: https://blog.diib.com/keyword-and-linking/

  7. Competitors actually set goal for you to get higher in search rankings,the most important thing is to point out their ranking factors and source of traffic.
    No doubt similarweb is great source to analyze traffic,but still then there are sources to consider like alexa,compete,SEMRush.

  8. I want to add that you should set up a mention monitoring tool, for example Google Alerts – that will provide you with information where your competitors publish their content or you can caught good insights where your potential customers are.

  9. I have had a number of clients asking me for a better view of the overall market size and what kind of traffic their competitors are getting. this is an interesting article for those who are seeking for competitor traffic data.

  10. Good job…thanks

  11. Undoubtedly, “SimilarWeb” is the best tool for monitoring your traffic of competitors.

    Thanks! for this article #SBT

  12. A very helpful article to understand the importance of website traffic.

  13. this was a shitty post, it did not match with its title.

  14. You always have to know what your competitors are up to, but you should never copy them. Uniqueness is the key to success.