Companies looking to optimize their digital performance and accelerate growth need market intelligence about competitors, and this is especially true when focusing on web sites and online reach. In order to be successful, it is crucial to understand how competitors target their audiences, interact with users, while also knowing their best traffic sources and market trends.
All this information is crucial for companies and brands of all sizes to make appropriate business decisions. And through the use of online tracking tools and data solutions, this process has become a whole lot easier.
To better understand the mentioned parameters and why they are so crucial for a business to succeed, site owners and marketers should take advantage of the many tools online to help them learn about not only their own website traffic, but also of their competitors as well.
By taking advantage of the latest online tools and tracking solutions, anyone can analyze traffic trends and data with excellent graphical representation for nearly any site.
These analytic tools provide estimates of a website’s desktop or mobile traffic, user behavioral statistics, and traffic sources. The data provides meaningful insights into a competitor’s digital marketing strategy, explores new geographical markets, estimates the capabilities of a prospective partner, pre-sales pitch, and much more.
However, in order to rank your site at the top of Google and also understand who exactly is visiting your sites — and your competitors, there is a lot more you need to pay attention to as well.
Why Google Analytics is Not Enough
It’s quite easy to check one’s website performance by using Google analytics tools, but more often than not it doesn’t deliver all of the valuable information you need.
For example, suppose someone wants to know the performance of their competitors and rivals. In that case, features like traffic analytics are designed to compare their website traffic and other performance metrics such as user behavior between two or more competitors.
For the most part, website traffic tools do not get the traffic statistics from their internal analytics, but third-party proprietary sources using big data technologies and algorithms.
Tracking Competitor Website Traffic and User Behavior
Getting basic information on competitor traffic or their strategic partner’s traffic can provide valuable insights if the data is processed meaningfully.
For example, one can start by using a website traffic tool by typing in the competitor’s URL to see how much traffic they generate. This would often include the number of visits to the competitor’s website, while also giving an estimate on their audience size.
Some of these tools also provide a trend line that would tell whether there is growth or fall in demand for their products or services. One can also check multiple competitors and then stack them up against each other to estimate the market share of each one of them.
Audience behavior can be better understood from the data on website page visits and bounce rates. This can also give an idea of the traffic quality a competitor is getting and the efficiency of their digital marketing activities.
One of the common yardsticks to measure website marketing success is when the total traffic increases along with bounce rates. Subsequently, a fall in visits to the pages reflects on the poor quality of the traffic. This could be due to visitors not finding the page content useful or relevant or a mismatch in the advertising and the actual product seen on the website pages.
It is also possible that some of the traffic is generated from areas where the company’s product or service is not offered. This can also vary based on landing pages, social media activity or any current marketing campaigns taking place.
To understand the traffic source, break up, one can check the traffic journey or geo distribution tool. This can then indicate that a digital campaign is not on track and is targeted at the audience in areas of operation.
Understanding Your Competitor’s Strategy
To understand how a competitor earmarks their marketing strategy and interact with their audience, it is important to understand their SEO strategy, PPC, affiliate marketing, content, and PR tactics.
For this, one has to deep dive into the traffic analytics reports where all of this information is available. Once doing so, it’s then a matter of extracting and analyzing relevant information.
The most important information to analyze is:
- Where do the competitors get their audience from?
- Where does the same audience go afterward?
- Are the competitors competing for the same audience?
- Which digital marketing strategies were the most effective?
- Which website pages of the competitors attract the most attention?
When performing any type of site traffic reports, it’s always important to make sure you can see the breakup of a competitor’s website’s traffic — as you don’t want to mix different traffic data with different sites.
Such data reports will often break down audience types into categories like direct, search, website traffic paid. This can give an idea from which successful channel a competitor is getting its audience most. Thus, one can emulate the same strategy for generating similar traffic to one’s website and thus leveraging competition.
Top Pages Report
One of the most important things to look at when analyzing your competitor sites, is knowing what their top pages are, where they rank and what keywords they rank for.
Through the use of SEO reports, you can often see historical data on unique page views, unique visitors and various traffic sources (direct, paid ads, referral, SEO, and social media).
These types of reports can often generate stat reports on any of the top 1000 traffic websites on the internet today.
The Importance of SEO/ Keywords Tracking
For a successful digital campaign or for the launch of a new site, one needs to select the right keywords for one’s SEO content. One must also be sure that the keywords they are choosing can rank in Google, based on existing competition.
After all, there is no point in creating content that is focused on the wrong keywords , if they are going to have an extremely tough time to rank.
Websites such as Similarweb, Ahrefs and Google Analytics can all help with analyzing keyword difficulty and coming up with new content ideas. Such metrics allows one to select the most relevant keywords, while also making sure you are catering to the needs of your target audience, while also competing with any competitor sites in the search results.
Through the use of such tools and data reports, it not only helps save time sifting through thousands of keywords, but it also helps in the process of getting more organic traffic and higher search rankings.
No matter what niche market you are in, using traffic analytics from tools provided by third-party research websites can be extremely helpful. They provide valuable insights into how the competition is operating on the common digital platform.
With more websites and blogs on the internet than ever before, and only a limited amount of first page rankings available, understanding your traffic is now more important than ever before. Just as important as applying these methods into your content creation and SEO campaigns, is applying them to your day to day marketing and social media efforts.