How are your competitors able to attract such huge numbers of website visitors, while your site sees so much less traffic? What magic formula do they use?
What keywords do they target, and what content do they publish that draws people to their website? Do they run tons of ads or implement a solid organic search strategy to generate organic traffic? Fortunately, you won’t need drastic measures or a crystal ball to find out.
With reliable tools and the right strategies, you can track and assess your competitors' metrics and benchmark them to improve your marketing efforts and increase your website traffic.
Read on to learn more about five essential elements to examine when checking your competitors’ websites.
1. Organic vs. paid traffic
It can be useful to know which competitor websites get the most traffic share from the keywords that matter most to your niche – and which sites are targeting these keywords on a paid or organic basis. You can check website traffic from competitors based on which types of search refer the most traffic their way, organic or paid, and compare their metrics to yours. This can help you determine where to focus your efforts more.
Some of the other benefits of checking your competitors’ organic and paid efforts to drive traffic include the following.
Learn who your brand competes with in the search sphere and spot strategic partners for content placements and backlinks.
Track the traffic share of keywords over time, in monthly or quarterly granularity. You’ll see which competitor sites consistently or rapidly gain or lose market share from a specific keyword, or groups of keywords. Monitoring traffic share of keywords also helps when conducting post-campaign analyses, following timely events, such as Black Friday. You’ll also see how the traffic share is divided among you and competitors.
Optimize your Pay-Per-Click (PPC), content, and SEO campaigns. You’ll learn the best tactics competitors use, allowing you to emulate them to drive high-intent traffic to your website, increasing your market share.
2. The keywords they rank for
Getting to the top of SERPs is often a complex and challenging endeavor. You’ll need to outdo your competitors if you’re going to outrank them. However, outranking your competitors doesn’t mean targeting and competing for popular keywords that many websites also target.
The key is to outrank your competitors on the less competitive keywords they are ranking for, and avoid the keywords with very high difficulty level.
Targeting low-competition keywords can take less effort, and you’ll have higher chances of ranking higher than your competitors. Also, you won’t generally need to have a high Domain Authority (DA) or build too many links to rank for low-competition keywords to get significant organic traffic to your site.
Use a reliable website traffic checker with keyword research and analysis features to find low-competition keywords. The lower the keyword difficulty, the higher your chances of ranking for the keyword.
3. Their backlink profile
The more trusted domains you have in your backlink profile, the stronger your website, increasing your chances of ranking higher in SERPs. Plus, having quality backlinks and domain diversity can have a strong impact on your ranking based on the Google algorithm’s ranking factors.
Track your competitors’ backlinks to unearth ideas about relevant sites to target for backlinks.
This strategy is especially helpful when it comes to links from posts with listicles. lf your competitor is included in a list, then you can also ask the publisher to add your website, building up your backlinks and chipping away at your competitor’s backlink portfolio advantage.
When your competitor promotes content, look at the backlinks on those pages to see the other sites they may have relationships with. These could be low-tier guest posting websites, middle-tier sites with high authority within the niche, or high-tier online publications and magazines that are authorities in the field.
Checking your competitors’ backlink profiles allows you to create a link profile that looks like all your competitors’ backlink profiles put together.
4. Their top performing content and content gaps
If your content isn’t driving enough traffic, then look at what content your competitors produce that get tons of visitors to their sites. Check your competitors’ top landing pages to help you come up with relevant, traffic-generating content ideas to use.
Note which of each competitor's blog posts see the most social shares and backlinks. This is a validation signal that people are interested in the specific topic. It doesn’t mean you need to copy these exact topics, though. Write about your own take on the topic or even better, one-up your competitors by producing higher-quality and better-researched content.
Additionally, checking your competitors’ top performing content can help you assess your content and strategies. You can identify content gaps in your approach and make the right adjustments based on effective competitor content strategies and improve your results.
Take note of the topics they haven't written about that are relevant to your business and audiences and consider writing about them.
5. Their featured snippets
Featured snippets rank higher than number one – these are located at “position zero” in Google SERPs. The more featured snippets you gain, the higher your clickthrough rates (CTRs), increasing your traffic and conversion and sales opportunities.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by “stealing” your competitors’ owned featured snippets by mimicking how they create their snippets.
Note the word-count, where the keywords are placed, the angle of how their snippets are written, the words they used, etc. With the right markdown and a content approach that favors answering questions, Google will take note, and you’ll have a solid shot of usurping those “position zero” rankings.
Boost your website traffic by learning from competitors
While every business is unique, there are tried and tested methods that you can learn from and emulate to refine and improve your own efforts. Check your competitors’ website traffic patterns and take note of the essential metrics and tactics they use that help them gain marketing success, yielding website visits. Use the data and insights to develop your strategies to outperform your competitors.