Finding how much traffic a website gets is easy.
You just open its Google Analytics and check the traffic. Isn’t that simple?
But that only works if it’s YOUR website.
What if you want to measure your competitors’ website traffic? Obviously, they wouldn’t share their Google Analytics access with you because you don’t own their website.
And guessing their traffic isn’t a good idea either because there’s no way to prove its accuracy.
Yet monitoring your competitors’ website traffic is crucial as it helps you:
- Identify the channels they get the most traffic from.
- Discover top-performing URLs acting as a traffic magnet for their website.
- Uncover their top-performing keywords and their traffic share.
Once you have all this data, you can identify and capitalize on possible gaps in their strategy to beat them for the top spot on Google.
So, how do you analyze a website’s traffic without Google Analytics?
Don’t worry. It’s possible. And I’ll tell you EXACTLY how to do it in three simple (yet effective) steps.
IMPORTANT. If you haven’t linked your website to Google Analytics, do it now. Follow these steps by Google to link GA with your website.
Technique #1: Use Domain Research Tool
The RankWatch Domain Research tool provides a detailed report of your website traffic.
It collects the following statistics related to your domain:
- RankWatch Rank: Your domain rank is calculated based on RankWatch’s advanced algorithm.
- Organic Keywords: The total number of organic target keywords your domain ranks in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
- Organic Share Of Voice: Share Of Voice (or SoV%) represents the market share of your target keywords compared to your competitors — a higher SoV% shows that you have more keywords ranking in the SERP than your competitors.
- Monthly Traffic Value: The estimated pay-per-click (PPC) cost of traffic for all your target keywords.
- Ranking URLs: The total number of your URLs ranking in the SERPs.
These statistics are estimates. RankWatch calculates these based on the cumulative traffic driven to your website via the ranking keywords and URLs.
Simply put, these statistics are close-to-accurate and good enough to give you an inside view of your competitor’s traffic share. (Better than having no data at all, right?).
Talking about competitors, here’s a feature that you’ll love: Domain Research automatically shortlists your top competing organic domains based on your target keywords — saving time and effort you invest in adding them manually.
You can also click on the competitor’s domain name to explore their top-ranking keywords and URLs.
Wait, there’s more.
As I mentioned, Domain Research lists your organic keywords ranking in the SERPs and their top-ranking URLs.
This data can help influence your SEO strategies to drive better results and traffic.
So, what if you can do the same for your competitors? What if you can track both their top organic keywords and ranking URLs?
Yes! It will be a goldmine of data and opportunities.
Just type in your competitor’s URL, click ‘Enter’, and scroll down to ‘Organic Keywords’.
Now, keep an eye on your competing domains and measure their organic performance by monitoring these metrics:
- Keywords Moved Up: Number of keywords with improved rankings.
- Keywords Moved Down: Number of keywords with deteriorated rankings.
- New Keywords in Top 10: Number of keywords that entered the top 10 positions.
- KWs Dropped Out of Top 10: Number of keywords that exited the top 10 positions.
- High Traffic Keywords: Number of keywords driving the most traffic to the entered domain.
- SV of Keywords in Top 10: The total search volume of keywords that the entered domain ranks in the top 10 positions.
You can click on any of these metrics to explore the full report.
Go back to the dashboard and scroll down to explore your competitors’ top-ranking pages with ranking keywords, average rank, the share of voice, and traffic %.
Using Domain Research, you’ll not only know the traffic share of your competitors but also discover their top ranking keywords and URL.
Basically, you’ll uncover richer and more intelligent data to drive a successful SEO strategy.
Technique #2: Test Your Research Skills On Google
The internet has everything you need — as long as you know where (and how) to look.
It’s not rocket science. Just a few clicks here and there, a little patience, and some time at your hand. That’s all you need to find how much traffic a website gets.
Just Google the obvious “how much traffic does <website name> get?”.
And you’ll find several results mentioning the website traffic.
Source: Google Search
However, here’s a different situation: what if the website isn’t as popular as Apple?
Well, if that data were so easy to find, advanced tools like Domain Research wouldn’t be necessary (by the way, it’s a free tool).
But, don’t worry. I will tell you yet another way of finding website traffic through Google.
Search for “advertise with us” pages.
Simply search for “advertise with us” on Google, and you’ll find a long list of websites.
Source: Google Search
Click open a result and look for their traffic details.
Websites create such pages to target advertisers. And details like monthly visits help improve the conversion rate.
If you want to find the traffic of not-so-popular websites, all you need to do is use the site search operator.
site:<website url> “advertise with us”
For example, if you want to know how much traffic GoAbroad gets, you’ll search for:
site:goabroad.com “advertise with us”
Source: Google Search
Click on the first result, do a little scrolling, and soon enough, you’ll find the traffic metrics.
Although, GoAbroad shared EVERY metric — even audience demographics…
…don’t expect all websites to do the same. Most websites keep this information confidential and provide an approximate number — sometimes not even that.
Look at how Business Insider sells ads on their website:
Nothing. No data at all.
So, how do you plan to find the traffic of such websites?
Well, that’s what you’ll learn in the third (and final) technique.
Technique #3: Why Not Just Ask The Website?
It makes complete sense to ask a website for its traffic stats.
What’s the worst that could happen? They would say “no”. Maybe they’ll share approximate numbers. And if you are lucky enough, they will share their traffic statistics.
Bottom line: There’s no harm in asking because they might share their website traffic.
Now, how to go about it?
First, you need to find their email IDs.
You can go to their “contact us” and “advertise with us” pages to find the email IDs. In the rare cases you won’t, use free tools like hunter.io, enter the domain name, and find the email IDs.
After identifying the email addresses, it’s time to write a convincing email body — if you ask the correct way, your chances of getting a website’s traffic analytics will increase.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Mention your budget range for the ad. For example, “$50 – $100”.
- Ask for traffic statistics: monthly visitors, page views, unique visitors, demographics, and more.
- Send email from personal email IDs rather than a business one.
Wasn’t all of that simple?
You have a free tool to find traffic analytics of any website and two other interesting techniques. I am sure you’ll prefer the tool, but having other ways handy is no harm.
Now, you know how much traffic your competitor websites get. So, it’s time to create a robust SEO strategy to outrank them.
Remember that these traffic analytics would be an estimate and not accurate. If you want accurate data, there’s no simpler way than to reach out to the website.
Are you using any other way to determine how much traffic a website gets? Do let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to add the best ones to this list.