David Ogilvy had once said that “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.” And that applies to your website as well, and if you have a website, then you must know the pros and cons of analyzing your competitor’s website and just ignoring it.
While most of us do understands that how important is it to study and evaluate the traffic on our competitor’s website, still a large percentage of website/blog owners still doesn’t know how to do that. In this article, we’ll teach you to analyze your competitor’s website in a detailed manner.
Who is your competitor?
Now that you are ready to take your competitor down and steal their Google ranking, one may ask, who actually is your competitor? You can’t compete with Marie Claire when you are planning to have a people and lifestyle blog.
To find about who actually is your competitor, there are two methods.
- Google search your keywords.
- Use online tools like SEMRush, Spyfu
Google search your keywords
This method is the simplest one, just search the keyword which you think best describes your business. Like if you are having a list of successful peoples in your blog, type “Most Successful people in the world” on Google search bar.
As we can see, the first two results are from Biography Online and Business Insider. Bingo! You just located your competitors.
Use online tools like SEMRush, Spyfu
There is a big advantage of using online tools like SEMRush or Spyfu as they not only give you the list of your competitors. They provide the number of backlinks the webpage have social media engagements and total number of shares. You can compare the websites and use hell lots of features which we’ll discuss further in the article.
When searched about “most successful people in the world” in SEMrush, you can see it in below image, it showed us the number of WebPages which are having the same results telling you in detail how many websites are using the same keywords.
It also shows us the social media engagements and backlinks which are vital for any website to grow in the long run.
Now that you know your competitor and not having any problem to locate them, we can now proceed to our next part where we will discuss different methods to do competitor’s website analysis.
Personally, we recommend using professional software to get data-driven results and compare websites with all the SEO related stuff and you won’t be dissatisfied with the outcome.
Still, there are many free methods with which you can analyze and compare your website’s traffic. Let’s discuss free methods first and then we’ll come back to paid plug-ins and online tools to research and analyze your competitor’s website.
Free methods to do a competitor’s website analysis
There are many free methods by which you can study your competitor’s website and make your next plan accordingly. The methods which we are going to discuss are tried and tested methods which can give you an idea of how well your rival’s website is doing and the traffic which is landing on its webpage.
- Alexa Rank Today
- Google Search
- Social Media Engagement
- About Pages
- Asking them directly
Alexa Rank Today
Alexa Rank is the Tool which is in the market from decades and is still considered a go-to tool to get an idea of how well the target website is performing in the market. The tool uses simple data and ranks millions of website every day.
What you have to do is simple, just enter the domain name whose rank you want to measure and the tool will fetch you the rank of the day. It is a simple yet effective tool to get a basic idea of how a website is performing in the real world.
The less the number, the higher site is performing well. According to Business for Home, around the global rank of 94,000 (National Rank: 65 – 70) a website has approx. 5+ million annual page views.
There is, however, one catch here. The Alexa website is not supported by many internet browsers and the reason is yet to know. You can check the website ranking at any third party application which uses Alexa as the primary source to collect data and show it to you.
For example here is an application named aRANK CHECKER, which allows you to search the desired website and how it’s doing on the internet.
As you can see above, it gives you a basic idea of how the website is performing globally and nationally. Also, it gives you an insight into the website’s performance on search engine and traffic derived from it.
The simplest and most sought out option is doing the Google search of your desired keywords, and check where does your competitor’s site is ranking well. When you search the keywords, it’s important to know the ranking of your competitor, so that you can get an idea what kind of writers the website has and the tactics they are implementing to get the best SEO score.
The website’s ranking also defines its page views, so you can analyze your competitor’s website traffic in minutes.
How? Well, let’s say if the keywords you searched have 50k searches per month and the website is ranked at the number 2 or 3, you can expect at least 10-15k page views from that website ranking only.
Also, having topped at the Google search results also means a good quantity of quality backlinks. Like if you search “How to learn SEO” and the first website that shows up has more backlinks than 90% website owners dream of having them on their whole website.
Social media engagement
Another way of knowing how much traffic your competitor gets is to check their Social Media accounts, as they provide great help in analyzing your competitor’s website. Any day, social media is the best tool to drive traffic on your website and if your competitor is doing great, then you should immediately start it.
When we say that you should look at their social media engagement, we don’t mean looking at their followers, instead, look the traffic they are bringing in with their hashtags.
Let’s take a hypothetical scenario, an account having is 1M+ followers and having 1-2k likes per post is not doing the best social media advertising as compared to an account having 50-60 followers and getting 1-2k likes per post.
So that was the quick lesson on how to identify the social media engagement and there is a whole lot to know about this which we’ll discuss it in another article.
The more social media engagement a website’s social media page have, the more traffic it does bring it to the website. So, keep a tab on your competitor’s social media page as that’s where a huge chunk of traffic comes up at most of the websites.
Now, if anything doesn’t work, there is always an “About Page” in a website where sometimes a website itself tells you the monthly hits they are getting. Like The Hacker News proudly says that it’s getting 5 Million+ hits every month in it’s about section.
This may not apply to everyone but still, many web pages do that.
When we say “About Us Pages”, we don’t mean only the website’s pages. There are plethoras of websites who claim their monthly visits on their social media accounts, you can search there and see if there are any such claim. It can give you a rough estimate of the kind of visitors they are getting.
Asking them directly
There can’t be any easier method than asking the website directly about their monthly hits, as most of the website owners will have no problem in telling you their numbers. You have to do just one thing, take their email id from their website, and craft a very beautiful Mail asking about their monthly visits, and what kind of traffic they are getting.
The websites who are getting Millions of views may not reply, and if they are your competitor, you’ll know easily about their statistics from the above methods only.
Free tools to check analyze your competitor’s website
Now when you have learnt how to analyze your competitor’s website using the free methods, it’s time to get a detailed idea about your competitor’s website, and that too, for free. There are many tools available online which give you a fair idea of how the website might be working, for example, Ahref and SEMrush provide you with the best tools to check the backlinks for free and they get very close to accurate sometimes.
Here we have collated the best 5 website free tools to analyze your competitor’s website:
- Similar Web
SEMrush is one of the best websites available today who provides detailed observation for your competitor’s website and help you to get an estimate about literally anything your competitor’s website is doing and you might want to know about it.
SEMrush allows you to do 10 free tasks per day in which you can do a detailed domain overview, which well-led you to the number of backlinks the webpage is having plus the authority source and the monthly views.
In addition to that, the tools also allow you to keep a tab on your competitor’s display advertising and the competitors of your competitor in the same niche. The website’s free tool have too much to offer, so let’s break this into four parts and tell you in detail what the tool is capable to do.
- Domain Overview:
In domain overview, when you insert the URL of the desired website. The portal of SEMrush allows you to look into several details at the first page only. For example, you can see the Traffic Trend, Organic Search Traffic, Authority Source, Paid Search Traffic, BackLinks, Display Advertising, Keywords by Country with so many other insights.
- Keyword Overview
Keeping a tab on your competitor’s website yield results only when you know what kind of Keyword the website is using. SEMrush is the best landing page for you when you are in a need of a keyword analytic, as it can show numerous of ways how the Keyword can be studied via its portal.
Ahrefs has built its brand as the SEO tool provider in a very short amount of time. The service is not completely free but you can get some cool tools to analyze your competitor’s website in a very short amount of time.
The Ahrefs free tools include the backlink checker which is a very popular tool to get the free analysis of your competitor’s website’s backlinks. On a free version, it gives you a peek into top-100 backlinks of the website.
For example, let’s check the backlink profile of Facebook on the free tool provided by Ahrefs. Here when we type the url of Facebook, we are shown a page where you can see the backlinks, domain rating, referring domains etc at one place. The webpage also tells us the percentage of links which are do-follow or just one way.
Apart from this, Ahrefs also gives you an option to check the keywords ranking of your competitor’s website.
In the tool, it provides you with various data like Volume of the keyword, KD, CPC, traffic the keyword is getting, the position of the website on that keyword etc. The information is quite handy if you are keen on keeping a tab on every important keyword your competitor’s website uses.
When it comes to giving a complex overview of a website into a cool and easy to understandable graphics, Similar Web tops the list. It’s the best tool after SEMrush to compare and analyze your competitor’s website for free.
Similar Web allows you to get various results in one place. The portal shows you the results like Bounce Duration, Average visit duration, Pages per visit, or the country of origin of traffic, etc.
Let’s know about the website and its free offerings in detail. We took an example of the popular website Nutella to gain insight about the portal and how it gets so many views.
When we enter the URL of the Nutella, the very first infographic we are shown is of the traffic overview:
As you can see, the data is written in such a way that any non-tech guy can understand how well the website is performing and the period where the website’s traffic has gone down. Apart from the data, it also shows the average duration of the website for when the visitors stayed at the portal, which is again, very important to know if you want to keep a tab on your competitor’s website.
If you can see, there is a “compare” option on the top left corner, for which when clicked, you can compare your website or any other website with your competitor’s website.
With all of the above-said features, Similar Web also provides you with the percentage and source of the traffic which landed on the said website. As you can see in the above image, more than 59% of the traffic of Nutella has come through the organic search which is the main traffic driver of any website.
Similar Web has tons of features which might amuse you but we can’t list all of them here. Still, there are two of the best features which are best in class for keeping an eye on the competitor’s website:
Similar Web allows you to have a sneak peek on the list of the similar website like your competitor to get an idea with whom you will be competing with. This is a great tool to get to know more about the market and websites are already there before starting your own website.
Similar Web also does great work to show you the referring sites and destination sites in a clean and organized manner which makes the data analyzing a simple task.
To get to know more about the services and tools they offer, log on to the website here.
Quantcast is known for ages for its AI-driven statistics which is yet to beat by any other website. The Web portal offers paid services, but also have separate services which are the best one in the segment.
Quantcast offers a tool named Quantcast Measure which is free and easy to use and install. It can be easily used to analyze a website’s content views and even keep a tab on what the audience of the website is doing.
For example, when searched about Fandango, Quantcast allows you to get the specific data of the past year, and it’s not accurate but can be relied upon. You can get an approximate idea of how many visits your competitor is getting per month.
But, showing visits per month is not Quantcast’s speciality. Quantcast is known for its reliable information about the visitors like, Engagement, Shopping interest, Media interest, General interest etc, which can be the best key points in deciding who are the customers and visitors of your competitor.
Like we said earlier, it’s the free plan of Quantcast, there are lots of features provided from Quantcast which can take up a whole new article, but whatever it’s offering from the free version is one of best in the segment.
Now that you’ve known all the tools to get an insight about your competitor’s website, let us show you the tool which will help you to decide where is the mistake in your website. HubSpot comes at the first position in analyzing a website and telling you where the mistakes are.
If you want to check the mistakes of your competitor’s website, you can also do so and make sure that you don’t do this to your webpage.
For example, here we searched the insights about Facebook in the free tool provided by HubSpot and got impressive results which you might want to know about.
As you can in the infographic below, Facebook has close to the best performance. The Page size, Page Requests, page speed all are impressive. The lesser the page size is, the more effective your website becomes.
Facebook is a very big website and achieving this result in the website of that scale is too good. Similarly, you can too, improve your website and can check where your competitors are lacking so that you can get a basic idea what to do next.
One of the best features which HubSpot offers is to check the Mobile optimization of the website. In today’s world, if the website is not optimized for mobile, it s considered a serious problem. You can detect the missing (if any) Mobile optimization in your competitor’s website and get your webpage ready to rock in the market.
So, these are the methods by which you can analyze your competitor’s website for free on the online tools. These free tools alone can get you an insight about any website you want to keep a tab on.
Important Note: These tools are designed in such a way to keep a tab on a website and getting their weak points, but the sole reason of the purpose is to get an idea and plan to make your website better. We advise you to take a positive inspiration from this article to know and implement your competitor’s website.
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