Last Updated on January 21, 2024 by Ali Hamza
Look around you; even the most unique business ideas face competition. The world wide web has turned into a war zone for businesses battling it out to get the most targeted users to their website, even if it is just for a few seconds. These visits to the business website are counted as website traffic. More website traffic simply means more favourable signals to Google and increased conversion rates.
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Why Is Web Competitor Analysis Important?
The reason to check competitor website traffic is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor’s website against your own. It enables you to emulate the things that worked for them, recognize and avoid their failures, and find gaps in the industry.
Competitor site analysis allows you to:
Through benchmarking, you can have points of reference around the heavy-hitters in your industry. You can use these to measure your own growth against these benchmarks. Benchmarks include engagement, social media reach, impressions, and return visitors to their website.
Fill in the gaps
Along the way of web competitor analysis, you will find out where your competitors are falling short. These gaps will reveal the areas of opportunities in your industry. You can leverage this insight to test out new, unique marketing strategies that no one in the competitor segment has been using.
Importance of Website Traffic Analysis
Wouldn’t it help your business if you could know what’s bringing in the most amount of visitors for your competitors? What are they enjoying on their website? What’s driving them away? To get answers, you need to analyze competitor website traffic.
Tracking website data gives insight into the number of pages viewed, visitors, search engine traffic, etc. The time period isn’t limited as well. If you want to know what used to work for your competitor before, a website analytics program gathers data over weeks, months, and years. These insights can also uncover trends such as seasonality, economic influences, etc. You can use this data for conversion optimization, user experience, targeted campaigns, and website development.
Factors to Consider while Performing Web Competitor Research
● Traffic sources
The first element you want to look at is how users find their way to your competitor’s website. Identifying traffic sources can help you make informed business decisions. For example, you would know if you should invest in search engine ads, social media marketing, or spend on influencer outreach, depending on what’s working for your competitor.
● Traffic metrics
Metrics like unique visitors, pages per visit, visit duration, and bounce rate let you know multiple things about your competitor’s website. This includes the number of visitors they get, whether they find their content useful, if they stay on their website for a longer time, the most popular form of content, and much more.
● Site structure and UX
Of late, Google has increased its focus on the user-friendliness of the websites. All the past changes in the algorithm have signalled towards bettering UX elements like smoother mobile experiences, improved search results, and faster pages.
If your website is unresponsive or slow, you are already losing the war. Also, make sure that your website is not confusing to navigate. To do so:
- Optimize the sitemap for better crawability.
- Prioritize page speed optimization, especially for landing pages of the highest value to your business.
- Make sure that all elements are created keeping in mind the user’s intent. Analyze the following aspects on your competitor’s landing pages to see how they are performing:
- Check if any orphan pages exist.
- Analyze their PageRank distribution.
- Figure out their click depth.
If you find out that your competitor’s website is ranking well even though their website looks dated and isn’t optimized for smartphones, you know you have a shining chance at gaining some real estate on the SERPs.
Backlinks build domain authority. When other websites link to you, your website tends to get a ranking boost for that particular topic. You can use SEO tools to perform a backlink gap analysis with your competitors’ websites. This analysis shows the list of domains linking to your competitor’s website but not yours. You can reach out to them or other similar websites in an attempt to build backlinks for you.
● Content analysis
There are multiple content-based criteria that can be looked out for between two websites. These include:
- Length of the content
- Headings and navigation
- Keyword density
- Language and content formats (videos, text, and images).
- The blog is associated with the website and its frequency of updates.
- Social media backlinks to the content. ● Presence of promotional offers.
- The number of ads displayed.
- Text-to-HTML ratio of the content.
Apart from these factors, look at how they have structured their meta titles and meta descriptions throughout the entire website. Is the content unique on every page? Do they use brand names, niche-related keywords, or both in their overall content strategy?
● Keyword analysis
When the competition ranks higher in the SERPs, a major part of the battle depends upon the keywords your competitors are ranking for.
Analyze competitor website traffic based on the following factors:
- Top ranking keywords.
- Position in the SERP for a certain set of ranking keywords.
- The number of long-tail and short-tail keywords.
- How many location-specific keywords are present.
- The volume of searches for the keywords.
- How are ads positioned on the search engine for the top-ranking keywords?
● Social media reach
Social media signals do impact website traffic wherein brands can pull their users to their website via social media. Evaluating social media reach can give you the answer to why your competitor has been ranking higher than you in the SERPs.
Check the following parameters on your competitor’s social media:
- Social media channels they are active on.
- Level of engagement on all those sites.
- The number of followers/subscribers.
- The way they interact with their followers.
- The average number of mentions they get.
You will notice that most brands are active on three or four main platforms. For your analysis, you are free to analyze any platform you wish to grow on. This process may be time-consuming if you belong to a highly-competitive industry. However, you have to be thorough to get the best results.
Website competitor research is like peeking into the other team’s playbook before you go out in the field. Successful competitor analysis positions you to win against the competition. However, a successful business doesn’t end there. MarTech services help marketers plan, execute, and measure marketing campaigns in a way they had never done before.
Read more: A Guide to SEO Competitor Analysis