In any niche market you enter and/or any site you create, for whatever content you write and wish to rank for and/or create ads for, you can be sure of one thing: You will absolutely, always have competitors, whose rankings and website traffic in many cases beat yours.
But is there a way to find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and check how much traffic they get? The answer is yes.
There are many ways to check and track a competitors website traffic. but…
Unless the competitor actually gives you their stats (which would be the best thing imaginable, but nearly impossible) the next best options which I will show you, will only provide you with an ESTIMATE of the numbers they’re getting.
There are also programs which get pretty close to the truth of how much traffic your competitor gets and I’ll also cover some of those options in this article, but be forewarned, they cost a lot of money.
Let me explain:
Suppose you meet a financial adviser and you see that they are living well (good car, nice house, ect…) and you wonder if you should get into the same field. Would you actually go up to them and ask them how much they make or their secrets to living the life they do?
Possibly, but I doubt you’d get too personal, as it would be rude. More than likely, you’d hop over to Google and type in how much financial advisers make. In that instance, you’re also looking at an estimate, but the fact of the matter is, that same person you were looking up to, more than likely makes a different number than the estimate you were given.
That’s how these tools that I’m going to show you work and while there are bunch, there’s really only 2 that I would ever take seriously:
I was first introduced to this tool when I attempted a local marketing campaign many years ago. I was being helped by someone who knew about these things and they suggested I use this tool.
What SEMRush does is pretty simple:
- You enter the URL of a competing website (or any for that matter) into their search bar.
- It will scan the website and what terms it ranks for.
- Then it will estimate the search traffic for the same keywords the competing website ranks for.
- Then it will combine them together and give you an estimate as to how much traffic that website gets.
Here is an example (I am using my website URL for reference):
Now the results you see above are a teaser from SEMRush. They typically give you the most obvious terms a page ranks for so you can then make a preliminary estimate of how much traffic it gets, but if you want to explore it further, you have to purchase their paid upgrade which is $99.95 a month (you can do a 7 day trial prior).
Now one way that people use these types of reports is they take the keywords that the site is ranking for, record them and attempt to rank for them through their own website and reports like the one SEMRush provides can help you make a list.
It’s a form of “spying” on the website competition out there. Now there are other tools on the market that are similar to SEMRush, but this one is arguably the best of it’s kind. I would hold off just yet on buying it because I have an important point to make about this whole topic coming up that you need to hear, but first, the second option…
Jaaxy is actually a keyword tool, not really a spying tool, but it can be used for that type of thing if you wish. It has an option called “site rank” where people can type a URL of their page or someone else’s, input a keyword and do a search to see where it’s ranked. Here is an example:
Now typically, you can also do this with a simply Google search, but Jaaxy does a lot more than this (here’s all it’s good stuff).
Because in addition to the site rank option, it has a very thorough keyword search option, which I honestly think provides FAR more accurate data (not an in the ball park type estimate) than SEMRush, the Google keyword tool and frankly, any tool I’ve ever used, and this means…
If you can find keywords your competitor ranks for, and get pretty accurate data on how much search traffic those keywords get, you can get a pretty good, and possibly closer estimate of the amount of traffic the site in question gets.
Now you do have to take into consideration that the position of a competitor impacts how many clicks that gets. The first three positions on the first page of Google get about 90% of all clicks, but it’s an estimate, not an accurate depiction, so again, this just goes back to my main point about the closest you’ll ever get is still going to be an estimate.
But still, Jaaxy will get you closer in my opinion than any other tool (it’ll just take more manual work to do, unless it’s just keyword research in which case, it’s super simple and extremely convenient). More on Jaaxy.
Think SEMRush, but in my opinion it is better at see the rankings/traffic of competitor websites and I’ve personally seen it used to help me figure out how my competitors are doing, as well as figuring out how I can piggyback off that (ethically!) and make my website grow.
4) My favorite…
10 reasons you should stop caring about how much your competitors get in traffic and start doing this instead:
This is huge guys. If you’re crazy over these kinds of tools I just showed you, don’t let that feeling overtake you, it’s a massive illusion and the following 10 reasons will prove why:
1) Focus on ranking high for as many profitable keywords as possible.
What I mean is, the ones which get a lot of traffic. Find as many as you can find in your niche topic via writing high quality content. Stop worrying about what your competitors rank for.
They may have high rankings for a keyword you want to also get traffic from. But the only way to beat them is by providing better and more content on your website, while also chasing the same keyword.
2) Knowing how much traffic your competitor gets doesn’t really do much for you.
Keyword tools will give you that info. Why bother with expensive software or info you can’t do anything with anyway?
3) There’s TOO much ambiguous info out there to truly determine how much traffic your competitor gets.
They can be doing social media stuff, they can be running ads, they could be doing SEO and a host of other things you would never know about from any of the tools out there, but that could be giving them more traffic than you can possibly comprehend.
4) But what if…you actually do find out how many visitors they are getting.
I’m talking a FULL audit of their website is revealed to you and you find out all the stuff.
I say so what? What are you going to do? Send more backlinks to your site to make it rank higher?
That won’t work, Google put a stop to that a long time ago. The only way you’ll outrank your competitors now is by having more content on your overall site, more content and comments on your page/s, more social shares and basically improving the overall quality of your site that LEADS to that happening naturally.
It’s not a simple “cheat” solution anymore guys, it requires massive effort on your part, so get to working on that! And on the topic of backlinks…
5) It doesn’t matter how many your backlinks your competitors get.
Backlinks do not mean much anymore. If nothing else, they should be bridges between you and other websites with relevant visitors to come to you page, like it, share it and comment on it.
The backlink itself does nothing in terms of SEO ranking anymore so I look at a competing page in my niche and see it has a 1,000 backlinks, I don’t care, I’ll still outrank them by using the same stuff I told you about in #1. Quantity of backlinks is NOT a ranking measurement anymore, so even if you tell me a site has a million, I don’t care, it’s not an important number anymore…
6) You don’t even need to look at what a competitor ranks for. Here’s another reason why:
Use your imagination and your logical reasoning to find keywords to rank under yourself. It’s not complicated stuff…
No matter what type of niche site I am running, I will always review the related products and general topics within that niche and those 2 things right there will always offer me a plethora of ideas to work with. Need ideas for your case? Here you go. You’ll probably be set for years with that article’s ideas for content…
7) If nothing else, use the “piggyback” option to get ideas from competitors.
If I am running a make money online type website and I find 10 other pages that are in my niche and ranking high for terms I also want to rank for, what good does it do for me to see how much they are getting in terms of visitors from that? I can always look up the keywords and make a conclusion just on that.
Instead, wouldn’t it better for me to just look at their content, their keywords and see what they’re doing and get ideas from that?
I have several websites in each niche market I look at as an authority and while copying is something you should never do, you can always come up with new ideas from the content created on competing websites.
I know there’s plenty of competitors out there who do the same piggybacking off me. You just can’t stop that and as long as you’re original with the content you write, it’s not a big deal…
8) Stop trying to figure out every single keyword your “opponent’s” site/s rank for.
It could be a number into the millions…
Google ranks websites for not just the main keyword being targeted, but also for it’s similar terms (called LSI). Not only that but it is absolutely NOT uncommon to have rankings into the 100’s, the 1,000’s and even more.
Are you actually telling me that you’re willing to go through the effort and find every single ranking that competitor has? And even if the good tools out there do that job for you, the reasons I stated above should be enough to show you that is a meaningless effort.
Here, let me show you my example. Through Google Webmaster tools, you can see I have this many rankings:
And if you notice, in that same screenshot, you can even see some of my own keywords I rank for. Am I worried a competitor will see that and overtake me? Nope, I couldn’t care less because they will have to also work hard to get to that point and people, I’m telling you, most never do.
So that’s not a problem and neither is if they know how much traffic/clicks I get from that. Again, I ask, who cares? It doesn’t change anything on my site and even if I withhold this information, my competition can always visit my site and find it if they really want…
9) Rankings fluctuate. So whatever numbers you initially get (albeit estimates) will move around.
There is a natural tendency for websites that rank on Google to often bounce around through what’s known as the Google Dance. A site can hit 1st page rankings in the first hour and then drop out of the first 5 pages of results, then reappear back later.
However, while this ALWAYS happens to new websites often, the fact is, more authoritative websites generally experience this less, but the point still stands the same:
Initial estimates you get on a competitors stats will NOT stay that way and to figure out their rankings and traffic is a ridiculous waste of time.
10) If your overall worry is that a market is saturated, calm down, it’s not.
I suppose people look at this whole topic because they want to know there’s room for their site to squeeze in the rankings somewhere and take a part of the money out there. This is a huge misconception and wrong way of thinking people…
I’ve tackled the myth of niche saturation before and I’m here to tell you, no matter how many competitors you find in a niche market, there is ALWAYS room and constantly new content ideas coming out to take advantage of as well as new keywords coming out (new products, new topics, ect…) to leverage and grow your site with.
My final thoughts: Checking your competitors website stats is often a distraction.
It’s a distraction from doing what you need to in order to beat them: Find more good keywords, write more great content, and keep growing your site.
If you do this right, you will naturally get the things Google and other search engines love: Positive visitor feedback, comments, shares, likes, ect…
All of these things are today’s indicators of a good website and those same indicators (including quality of content) lead your overall site to grow and rank on search engines.
I don’t know how many competitors I have, but I know each time I look at my rankings and see so many on the first page, I know that’s an infinite number of potential competitors out there who I’ve already outranked without even bothering to examine who they are and I don’t honestly care.
My eye is always on the MAIN focus:
Keywords, content and growing my site through that and that should be your focus too if you want to make it in this business. Understand this:
No matter how much your website grows, there will always be some sort of competitor out there that has a website whose rankings beat yours and vice versa, that’s the way this whole system works and it’s OK. It’s the person who constantly grows their page through the same thing I’ve said over and over in this article that will come out on top.
Want to ensure you have a massive traffic and profit generating website?
You have to simply do the simple things I told you, but if you’re uncertain about where to start or where to go if you have an existing website, here is my advice:
They taught me not to worry about which website has what, how much traffic they have or that other nonsense. They taught me to go straight forward, how to find the best keywords, how to write the best content and how to grow the website correctly, so that Google loves it, rewards me for it and thus gives me high rankings.
In my opinion, all roads to a successful, profitable, start from that program. Have a look and you’ll see why it’s so awesome.
I just want to go back to that financial adviser example I mentioned before in regards to spying tools to track your competitor’s info.
Say you found how just how much that same financial adviser makes. What good would that do for you?
You’d still need to go through the training, the courses and put in the work to become that successful anyway. So in the end, if nothing else, that info wouldn’t serve as anything more than (in optimistic cases) ambition for you to get to work!
Well with the program I am recommending above, that is the training that’ll get your page to that high point so it can make the same and more than your competitors are making.
23 thoughts on “How to Check And Track a Competitors Website Traffic.”
Hey this is a really good article and i did learn a lot from it. One of my articles is on the 15th page for my keyword so I’m trying to get that up in rankings by getting more comments and everything. You had a lot of detail and I only put a couple of backlinks on my posts, I never go crazy with them.
Hi Justin, I hope when you say backlinks, you mean interlinks or social shares, because old, traditional, black hat backlinks are a bad way to go. Also, don’t put so much focus on this one post and let it stop you from creating new content, targeting new keywords.
Thanks for this review. It has somewhat set my mind to rest. I’ve heard many people talk of SEMRush, Moz and other tools and how we need them to ward of our competitors to see how they’re doing to try to outrank them.
Being new to Affiliate Marketing, this was quite overwhelming as I have enough on my plate without having to worry about my competitors.
I do a lot of keyword research and try to write as much as possible to grow my site so I’m glad you’ve mentioned this. However, is there a tool for seeing how my own site is doing? I can be a bit biased and type in my keywords into Google but I want to dig a bit deeper.
Hi Jackie, the best tool for this would be Jaaxy, but after 30 searches, you’d have to pay for it. It’s quite worth it though if you’re doing online marketing seriously, but the other option would be Google Webmaster tools. It will tell you the average position of your site for it’s keywords (and you won’t have to type them in).
There is a con to that in itself, but it is a free tool and I have used it to gather such information before.
Excellent! Google Webmaster tools sounds like what I have been looking for. I will check it out.
As someone who is just getting started with affiliate marketing, this is good information. I have been concerned about what keywords to use and going to a competitor website and going through their source code to find their keywords. I really need to focus on ME and MY sites and stop worrying about them. I can’t move forward if I am constantly looking in my review mirror to see what they are doing. Thanks for the post, good info for sure.
Hi Nate, this whole thing about source codes to find keywords is a waste of time. You can always look at a competitor’s website, view their title and get the keyword idea from that alone. This practice is OK (piggybacking), but only when you build something unique a better out of it (better content).
Yeah, I’ve never actually done any research on my competitor’s traffic, rankings or whatever. I always just focus on my website and try to get the best content I can. When backlinks used to mean something, I guess it would be good to check out how many links your competitors are receiving, so you would know how many links you need to beat them, but now, it’s all about content and it that’s what everyone should focus on!
Yes, the days of out backlinking your competitor are long gone. I’m glad you’re focusing on the right approach to beat the competition today!
Thanks for the suggestions. SEM and Jaaxy are two great tools. I use Jaaxy the last months but I have tried SEMRush before.
The last few days I have found some interesting sites in my niche that have been ranked for keywords relevant to my site. In your opinion, when can we target to outrank a competitor?
Hi Llias, I don’t think I fully understand your question, but I’ll respond based on what I think you mean. Are you asking me when the right time to “beat” a competitor is? If this is my understanding, then I have a few answers, to encapsulate the entire answer:
1) There is no “right time” to do any of this. You just sit down, choose your niche, build up the content of your website via good keywords and good content and let Google decide if it’ll outrank your rank vs the competitors.
2) You are never really in control of the rankings, which is why I said to stop worrying about what the competitor has (it doesn’t help). You need to focus on the first point I wrote and let it naturally build up.
3) I suppose the ONLY advantage you may have against a competitor is in regards to the PPC/ad world. If for example, you can set up an ad on Bing, you may end up having it show up higher than the competitor’s website does on the organic listings on Bing (if it gets a high enough quality score). Even in that regard, your goal should still be to target a specific keyword, write a good ad and send it to a relevant site and still not to worry about the competition.
4) And in regards to ads, you may find that certain, general keywords will have a lot of competing ads and will cost a lot to get set up with. Ignore those, target more long tailed keywords in ads, big less and you’ll end up doing well through this strategy too.
Thank you for the great information. It’s true what you have written here and I enjoyed your post immensely. They say content is king and that’s the way we all should see it. Gone are the days where you could bluff your way onto page 1 rankings, it’s all about the effort you put in that which counts now. Loved your post on the LSI. I actually use this system myself but you taught me a new spin I had not thought off.
Lots of thanks, Jeff.
Not a problem Jeff. LSI is definitely a good way to approach the topic of keywords, especially if you find a good keyword that gets a lot of competing searches. In those cases, seeking LSI alternatives will probably help you find a variation of that keyword that has low competition, but even so, writing up a post for one keyword will always rank you for several LSI versions of it, so it’s not exactly a problem where you only have 1 choice to work with, Google will take care of it.
I prefer SEMRush. I have been using it for months. It is really a good helper in keyword search.
Oh I’m not arguing it isn’t Anna, it will tell you what keywords your site and other sites rank for, but it’ll be broad in that. I really think if you tried Jaaxy, you’d take your keyword hunting game to the next level and possibly higher.
Great article as always. I’m relieved that I don’t have to search my competition. I haven’t bothered so far and never seem to find the time for it. I thought I might be shooting myself in the foot by not doing competition searches, but honestly couldn’t think of a compelling reason for it. When I saw your title I was ready to have my neglectful approach shot down in flames. I’m so happy to scratch competition search off my “to do” list.
The only competition you need to worry about is the keyword competition, that will represent the actual number of websites you have to beat to reach the first spot, but worrying about what EACH of those websites brings in is a foolhardy effort. Like I said, you can look to competing websites for content ideas, but aside from that, there’s not much else you can do except writer more/better content to beat them.
Thank you for the information. I’m currently using just Jaxxy and have found it to be very useful. There is an endless limit to the keywords you can put in and get suggestions for. I’ve just started and am looking for competitor websites to watch. Not necessarily to compare my site to theirs (mine is very new!) but just to be “in the know” of what’s out there. I don’t copy anything but you never know what reading a competing blog will bring to mind. One of my questions when I started looking for my niche was saturation so I’m glad to see from your post that I shouldn’t worry about that so much.
Hi Lisa, you are looking at a competitor website from the right point of view. You cannot control their traffic or their money, nor should you, instead you can only view their website from a brainstorming perspective. Perhaps they are doing something that would benefit your site if you added it in. You are not copying anything, but we are all at some point borrowing ideas from another and it’s fine as long as it produces good, unique ideas.
Hi Vitaliy! Love your site and this article is bomb!
But I would like to know do you think it is necessary to have both SEMRush and Jaxxy? I currently have Jaxxy and use it as my only tool for keyword research.
Keeping track of the competitors websites is a challenge for me so I believe I have to know the competition even though I do with Jaaxy. I know I need to be more realistic about this area of online business. I didn’t realize Jaxxy offered so as much info as you’ve shared.
Hi Jaime, I think you are talking about 2 different things in regards to competition:
1) There is the topic of the article where the context was figuring out how much a particular competitor/s website gets, which I said was a foolish endeavor to worry about.
2) The other is knowing what keywords to chase for your website and seeing how many competing websites on Google there are for that keyword. THAT is actually a good thing to know and in that particular case, Jaaxy is the perfect tool to use as it’ll show you if there is low enough competition within your chosen keyword worth taking the time to write an article about to get ranked under.
I hope this makes sense 🙂
Wow, that is such great information there, and you are so right, it is so easy to lose valuable time trying to find out things that won’t make a difference after all. Such good information and the pep talk I needed!
I’ll have to bookmark your page as you seem to be sharing a lot of great information on the topic (I’ll be reading up on the Google Dance next). Finally something that works!
No problem Petra. I honestly didn’t consider what I wrote to be a pep talk, but in all honesty, reading it again, it does sound like it and I hope more people understand how useless it is to worry about another website’s stats.
They will still keep building up no matter what you do, so observing that which is basically what people who focus too much on their competitor’s rankings/traffic do, does absolutely nothing. Action is what will make the website outrank a competitor/s.