Dec 05 · 8 min read
How to increase website traffic by making a competitor analysis
Almost every business is looking for growth. Following this simple formula:
Traffic → Website → Conversion → Revenue
Without X there is no Y so without traffic there is no revenue. In this article, we show you how to use your competition to grow your website traffic.
Making a competitor analysis will give you an insight into how competitors are doing online, where their traffic is coming from and how you can use the analysis to grow your business. These are the steps to take:
- Determine competitors
- Fill in competitor analysis template
- Analyze results
- Draw conclusion and take action!
This approach to increasing website traffic is based on your competitors. You probably already know who your competitors are but it’s good to do some research to have an updated competitor list. Here are three tips and tricks you can use to start:
Google the service you are offering and Google will give you results of other businesses that offer these services.
Ask your employees
We are amazed at how often the people working in the company are overlooked as a knowledge resource when the question is not directly tied to their job description. Involve your people in these kinds of analyses. You would be surprised what they come up with.
Don’t limit your search to your geographical area
Take it further to the point where you’re looking at companies that are operating in a completely different geographical area. For example, consider analyzing companies in the United States. You might uncover strategies and tactics that are not being used in your country or city.
This is a great tool to find competing companies in your industry. TIP: if your business is not listed on there, try looking for a big competitor. Owler will then give you their top three competitors which are automatically your competitors as well.
Here are our recommendations that you can use to find the necessary data for competitor analysis:
SEMrush — A great tool for competitive analysis that delivers actionable data like keyword research, backlink analysis, and competitor research. They’ve got a free trial.
SimilarWeb — Perfect for diving into a competitor’s website. It provides one of the most accurate insights about any given site. The most interesting thing is that they show your competitor’s traffic sources. They’ve got a free version with limited functionalities.
SpyFu — This is a competitor analysis tool that helps you research your competitor’s most profitable keywords. It gives you an overview of the paid keywords that competitors are targeting, as well as the organic search keywords. They’ve got a ‘free trial’ meaning you can get your money back within 30 days.
We have not used this one ourselves but it has been recommended to us numerous times so we included SpyFu in this blog anyway.
Competitor Analysis template
Now that you have a list of competitors you can fill them in in the first column of the competitor analysis template.
Find your competitor’s data with the tools and fill in the template.
Competitor Analysis Template
HINT: Clicking the picture above will take you to the Google file. Copy it and save it to use for your business.
Now that you have a clear overview of all the website traffic data of your competitors, you are ready to analyze. Read all the data and compare the competitors with each other. The most interesting findings are the ones that create the most traffic. There could be one website that generates a lot of traffic for a few of your competitors. If you find those, the next step is to look up the source and try to find out why, so that you can apply it to your website as well.
The Traffic Analytics section shows where the traffic is coming from and how much traffic is coming to your website.
They can visit the website directly: typing in the link and arriving on the page right away. Nice to know but not what we are looking for.
They can also come via Search, which is divided into Organic and Paid. If your website is reached by Organic Search it means people typed one or more keywords into a search engine, your website turns up in the list based on relevance and they click on it.
Then there is paid search like Google Adwords. You pay to advertise with certain keywords on Google or other search engines. When people click on those ads they land on a specific landing page on your website it’s called Paid Search.
Another way is Referrals, this happens when other websites or platforms refer to your website, so there is a link to your website on another website. For example, if I put a link to SimilarWeb in this blog post, you click it and the website of SimilarWeb opens up. For us, this provided the most interesting insight which we share with you in the Conclusion part.
Social includes the people that visit your page from social media channels, so for example, if someone clicks your website link in your Instagram bio or a link in a FaceBook post.
Social Media Channels
SimilarWeb shows you which social media channels cause traffic and they are ranked by the percentage of the total social media traffic.
If Social Media accounts for a high percentage of total traffic compared to direct, referral and search, it is very interesting to look at their social media accounts. Look at their social media pages and analyze what they do, the content they post, the frequency of posting and the copy they use.
Compare the domains of all competitors. It is interesting if a specific domain refers to several of your competitors. Look up those domains and see if they could be of any value to you because if they create a lot of traffic for your competitors it is likely to create traffic for you too. This could include website listings, directories or databases where you can list your website for others to find.
Organic Keywords are very valuable because this is what people use to find what they are looking for. The search engine shows a list of websites based on relevance. If there is a high percentage causing traffic, see if there is something you can do with this. For example, pay for those keywords that people use so that the search engine finds your website relevant to the search terms people look for to get your website (higher) on the list. Then you turn those keywords into Paid Keywords/Search for your website.
Paid Keywords are keywords that are paid for in order to be ranked among the top results when someone is searching for them.
Digital Tech Agency
They are always at the top and can be recognized by the button that says ‘Ad’. You can take advantage of the Organic Keywords analysis to create a list of paid keywords you want your business to be found for.
Conclusion & Action
This is how we did a competitor analysis for Story of AMS.
TIP: Don’t limit your analysis to companies operating in your geographical area. By looking at companies in for example New York you might get newer and fresher insights on how to increase your website traffic.
For us, the most surprising and valuable result came from referrals. We found out that three particular websites were big traffic sources for our competitors. For some of them, it was even their main traffic source. Those three websites were all agency listings. One of them is even free. After subscribing Story of AMS on all 3 websites, we saw a 32% traffic increase in the first month and on top of that four applicants that are currently going through our hiring process.
These are three referral sources that create a lot of traffic to the websites of our competitors. We would not have found out if we did not take the time to do a competitor analysis.