Do you know how you fare against your competitors? Do they have more or less traffic? Where is their traffic coming from? What keywords are they optimised for? Information on your competitors can help you make more informed business decisions and spot new opportunities. This information is also important for staying on par and excelling in your industry. You can get answers to critical questions on your competitors’ traffic with the many resources made available online for free.
Listed here are the top four resources for reporting traffic on other websites:
Alexa – This is the most widely known and used tool for tracking traffic on other websites. However, the metrics they report are only in relation to global averages. For example, they will not report cold hard numbers such as the number of visitors a website has, instead they will tell you the percent of global internet users who visit a website or how one websites traffic is in relation to another. They also estimate demographics and queries.
Compete – Unlike Alexa, Compete estimates the cold hard numbers on traffic numbers. You can also compare traffic against up to four other websites on one visually appealing graph. Notable features include exporting graph into a png file, exporting data in csv and mouse roll over on the graph to see the numbers on a month by month basis.
Google Double Click AdPlanner – This is perhaps one of the most informative tools available. One can find a wealth of metrics ranging from the number of visitors, average time on site and page views. This was originally intended for media buyers who wanted to make informed business decisions on advertising on websites. Google Double Click Ad Planner can tell you if websites accept advertising and the cost. This is a good tool for operators because the data can be accurate if competitors have opted into sharing their information on Google Analytics, otherwise the data are estimates.
Google Analytics – Bencharmking in the industry – If you use Google Analytics, you can use the benchmarking feature to see how your website compares in your chosen vertical. However, this feature only works if you opt in to share your website traffic data on Google Analytics. For more information on how to use it, check out Google Analytics’s blog post on Benchmarking.
After looking at your data in relation to your competitors, you can see where you fit in the landscape and see what you should be doing next. Perhaps you need to optimise your website for certain keywords that are bringing traffic to your competitors’ site. Or perhaps you may want to put up ads or push for an article to be published on a certain online magazine that features your competitor. Using these many free tracking tools is a great place to start before making these decisions.