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How to Determine the Traffic of Someone Else's Website

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07.02.2024
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Competitor analysis is one of the key aspects of project success. Research should be conducted at every stage of promotion, taking into account strategy development, obtaining initial traffic, and creating product categories or blog sections. And gaining access to data is not difficult because there are services that help determine the traffic of someone else's website. Using them allows you to build a user acquisition strategy, start receiving your own traffic, and significantly increase it.

Why Knowing the Traffic of Someone Else's Website is Important

Website traffic is an indicator of the number of visitors to any page of a web resource. For example, a person enters the query "buy hosting online" in a search engine, finds the main page of Cityhost, and clicks on it, automatically becoming a visitor. Then they begin to perform various actions (navigate through the page, visit other sections, fill out forms, etc.), and tracking tools, such as Google Analytics, record their actions and store the information in databases.

To learn not to confuse the number of users and the flow of incoming and outgoing data, which plays an important role in the operation of your server, we recommend reading material on the technical traffic of the website and its impact on the server after this article.

Analyzing the traffic of someone else's website allows you to understand trends in your field, identify successful project promotion tactics, and its potential drawbacks. The information obtained can be used for various purposes:

  • Identifying Niche Features. If competitors' websites receive millions of visitors, it indicates the promising nature of the niche but also the difficulty of promoting a web resource, especially on a new domain. If the overall traffic of internet projects is relatively low, then obtaining traffic will be possible with small time and money investments, but the profit from it will also be lower.

  • Market Understanding. You can discover what products or services competitors offer and how they engage with their audience.

  • Structural Development. Knowing the main pages, categories, and sections helps better plan the site structure and add only useful materials, thus starting to receive quality traffic faster.

  • Traffic Channel Selection. You can choose only effective ways to attract visitors (search engines, social networks, advertising systems), saving time and money on experiments.

  • Adding New Information. Before creating a new category (section, article), it is necessary to see if there is demand for this topic. Of course, there are other tools such as keyword analysis and Google Trends, but it is the number of visitors to a competitor's website that will help get useful and up-to-date information the fastest.

  • Search Site for Advertising. Before placing an advertisement on an Internet project, for example, renting a banner or buying backlinks, you need to check the quality of its traffic. Visitors should be especially carefully analyzed, taking into account the average duration of the session, and the trust of the domain, that is, the degree of trust in it by search engines.

  • Error Avoidance. Understanding competitors' weaknesses, such as unpopular product categories or article topics, allows focusing only on what will actually increase traffic.

Researching a competitor's website statistics is essential for search engine optimization of your web resource. Modern services allow you to understand which queries competitors use and what results they achieve. This way, internet project owners can create their user acquisition strategy, for example, choosing low-frequency (LF) queries, or directing their resources to attract visitors through competitive medium-frequency (MF) and high-frequency (HF) keywords.

Where to buy hosting for a website online in Ukraine

Ways to Determine the Traffic of Someone Else's Website

There are two main methods for analyzing website statistics: independent research and specialized tools. The first method is usually used by advertisers: they directly contact the owner of the web resource, obtain guest access to analytics, and study the necessary data. The second method is more suitable for webmasters, as it allows obtaining a lot of useful data without the project owner even knowing who and why was studying their project.

However, such a division is conditional. It is more effective to focus on methods to determine the traffic of someone else's website and choose the best one for your purposes:

  • Website Counters. Ten years ago, on every website, you could see a counter in the footer, displaying the number of visitors over all time and/or per day. Nowadays, such data is not openly shared, but on some projects, you can still find similar widgets. Among the frequently used visitor counters are Histats and Amazingcounters, TOP Bigmir, and Hit.ua.

Website traffic analysis using the Histats counter

  • Contacting the Owner. Many Internet projects have a separate page for advertisers, where you can view detailed information about traffic. You can also write to the project owner yourself if you are an advertiser or plan to post a guest post, requesting site statistics.

  • Specialized Services. There are services that allow you to access information about a competitor's website visitors. For basic analysis of someone else's website traffic, it's enough to register, but obtaining full analytical reports requires a paid subscription.

Many website owners refuse to use visitor counters or make them private. To obtain data directly from the internet project team, it takes time, and owners of small and medium-sized web resources rarely provide access to even basic information. Therefore, the best way to check a competitor's website traffic has been using specialized platforms for a long time.

Read also: What are nofollow and dofollow links and why both types are needed for SEO promotion of the site

Top 5 Services for Analyzing Competitor Traffic

Services for checking competitor traffic provide their users with incredible opportunities. You can find out not only the number of website visits but also user acquisition channels, country, gender, and age of visitors, popular pages, search queries, average session duration, backlink profile, referring domains, and so on.

Serpstat – a Tool for Finding Donor Websites

Home page of the Serpstat traffic analysis service

Serpstat is a website analysis service used by millions of SEO specialists worldwide. The eponymous company was founded by Ukrainian entrepreneur Oleg Salamakha, and its office is located in Odessa. To provide comprehensive information about websites, the company uses its own databases with information from 230 Google geographic regions.

Available tariffs on the Serpstat service

You can register on Serpstat via email or through Google. After registration, you will be prompted to switch to a paid plan, but you can click 'Skip Trial' and continue using the service for free.

Analysis of website traffic using the example of Facebook

When you specify a competitor's domain, the service instantly analyzes it and provides the following data:

  • total number of visitors;

  • total number of keywords;

  • main search and advertising keywords;

  • trend graphs of visibility, traffic, and keywords;

  • most popular pages of the website;

  • detailed information about website competitors;

  • examples of advertising campaigns;

  • data on backlinks to the website.

The basic Serpstat plan offers access to 45 tools, daily analysis of 10 projects, and 10 pages. The data obtained is sufficient for basic competitor traffic analysis and developing a visitor acquisition strategy.

Read also: How to choose a backlink donor

SimilarWeb – Competitor Traffic Analysis without Strict Limitations

Home page of the traffic analysis service SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is one of the best services for checking competitor website traffic. To use it, simply register via email or Google account. The platform offers to switch to a paid plan, but you can decline it.

An example of website traffic analysis using the SimilarWeb service

To analyze a website, go to the Website Analysis section and enter the competitor's domain. Immediately on the Website Performance page, you will have access to the following information:

  • total number of visits;

  • share of traffic from mobile devices and computers;

  • average time spent by users on the website;

  • average number of pages viewed by one visitor;

  • traffic channels (direct, social media, search engine, etc.);

  • countries from which users come to the website;

  • top 5 queries that lead to the site;

  • referring domains, i.e., sites recommending your project.

In the Similar Sites section, you can see the top 10 competitor sites. And in the Geography and Demographics sections, you can learn more about the countries, gender, and age of visitors. The Audience Interests category provides information about user interests, which is especially useful for those planning to launch advertising campaigns.

How to find similar sites using the SimilarWeb service

Unfortunately, the free SimilarWeb plan only provides access to the above-mentioned data, and some sections have limitations. However, this information is sufficient to understand which traffic channels work best in your niche and to create a basic visitor profile.

Read also: The Wayback Machine: What is a web archive and why do you need it?

Semrush – Comprehensive Traffic Analysis from Various Sources

How to use Semrush to analyze traffic to someone else's site

Semrush is a massive platform for comprehensive analysis of your own internet project and competitor websites. It allows you to analyze search, advertising, social, and other types of traffic. There's even a separate section called 'Content Marketing' with full information about the texts published on the site. And the 'Trends' section enables forecasting the number of visitors on specific topics, providing valuable information for project structure and content planning.

Analysis of website traffic through Semrush using the example of Facebook

To research traffic on the Semrush service, registration is required, and you need to specify the website domain. After that, the system will provide the following data:

  • basic information: authority, total number of visitors from search engines and ads, backlinks;

  • organic traffic data: user countries, competitor positions in search results, keywords and their types;

  • general information about advertising traffic: popular keywords, distribution of paid placements, even examples of advertising campaigns;

  • backlink data: website pages with the most links, donor sites, anchor texts, etc.

And, of course, you can navigate to any section and learn more about the internet project in detail, for example, conduct comprehensive keyword research. The free version of Semrush has several limitations: 10 analytical reports per day, creation and management of one project, tracking up to 10 keywords. However, you can switch to a paid plan for $99 per month.

SeRanking – Comprehensive Analysis of Competitor Search Traffic

Home page of the service for analyzing website traffic SeRanking

SeRanking is a well-known service among SEO specialists, allowing you to obtain complete information about search traffic. You can add your internet project, perform a technical audit, track popular queries, or conduct research on someone else's website traffic.

An example of analyzing the traffic of someone else’s website using the SeRanking service

To use the tools on the SeRanking platform, you need to register, answer a few questions, and add your website. After that, you can go to the Competitive Research section, enter any website domain, and get its full analysis:

  • domain trust (search engine trust score);

  • total number of visitors from search engines;

  • volume of advertising traffic and its estimated cost;

  • breakdown of search traffic by country;

  • popular search queries that lead to the project;

  • types of queries (informational, commercial, navigational);

  • main competitors of the internet project;

  • pages that are visited most often;

  • detailed breakdown of advertising traffic.

And this is just a small part of the data that can be obtained using SeRanking. However, the number of available tools depends entirely on the plan: Essential ($44 per month), Pro ($87.20), and Business ($191.20). After registration, you will receive a trial version (no need to provide payment details), and then you can switch to another plan. Additionally, the service can be used for free, but with significant limitations.

Read also: Bad bots: how they harm the site and how to block them

Ahrefs – Premium Tool for Analyzing Competitor Traffic

Home page of the service for analyzing a competitor's website Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a powerful tool for researching the traffic of someone else's website both through search and advertising. The service is often used specifically for analyzing competitor search traffic because it provides comprehensive data on the number of visitors from different search engines, positions in search results, popular keywords, and user countries.

Data about the analysis of a competitor’s website on the Ahrefs service

The backlink reports allow you to create your own backlink acquisition strategy, avoiding the lengthy and complex process of finding donor sites.

Detailed analysis of the site's link mass on Ahrefs

The main drawback of Ahrefs is the strict limitations on users with the free plan. After registration, you can add your project and get basic data about it. However, to use the tool for analyzing someone else's traffic, you need to either verify ownership rights to that website or switch to a paid plan for $99 per month.

How to Choose Tools for Analyzing Competitor Traffic

Analyzing the traffic of someone else's website is an opportunity to create your own effective user acquisition strategy, avoiding common mistakes. A thorough analysis helps to determine which promotion methods are best to use in a specific niche, which topics are in demand, where to acquire backlinks, and which sources to avoid.

You can check a website's traffic using simple counters or conducting independent research, such as looking at popular pages, identifying main keywords in the texts, and checking their frequency. However, to save time and obtain a lot of useful information, it's better to use services for analyzing website traffic.

Serpstat, SimilarWeb and Semrush offer the best basic plans, where you can get enough data on advertising and search traffic, and sometimes social traffic as well. Each service, including SeRanking and Ahrefs, offers a 7-14-day trial version with full access to functionality, allowing you to conduct testing and choose the right tool based on the niche's specifics and needs!

Purchasing general and regional domains for a website


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Author: Bohdana Haivoronska

Journalist (since 2003), IT copywriter (since 2013), content marketer at Cityhost.ua. Specializes in articles about technology, creation and promotion of sites.