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

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.