News & Events
11 Best Website Traffic Estimator Tools – Track Your Competitor’s Traffic
- July 10, 2018
- Posted by: Jeff Bowdoin
- Category: SEO Analysis
(Just want the list? Click here to skip ahead to the 11 best website traffic estimator tools.)
Have you ever wondered how to check a competitor’s website traffic from Google and other search engines? Or maybe you want to check the traffic of a website because you want to see if it is a good niche to enter.
Luckily, there are many tools and resources to estimate a website’s traffic – both free and paid options. I’ve compiled a list of the best tools for spying on your competitor’s website traffic.
When Google Analytics isn’t available
While you can use Google Analytics and Search Console to gain valuable insight into your own traffic, we don’t have access to another website’s analytics data. So naturally, we need to use a tool that can estimate the real value of a website’s traffic.
Even though some website traffic estimator tools are more accurate than others, at the end of the day, all of these tools still offer extremely valuable insights for marketers. These web traffic estimators allow you to check a website’s traffic levels. Many of these tools go further than Google Analytics and Search Console in many ways (i.e. keyword research).
For example, Google Analytics doesn’t give you much data on keywords anymore. You would have to use Google Search Console for that. Even Search console is pretty limited on viewing keywords on your site.
A lot of these website traffic checker tools also give you much better insight into which keywords a website ranks for (and thus receives traffic from). You can see this data as applies to a whole domain, or individual web pages. You can do this SEO analysis on your own website or competitors.
Benefits of using traffic estimators
Some of these tools on the list aren’t only for the purpose of measuring website traffic. Some of them are full-blown, all in one SEO tools. The ones that have the most benefits are the paid tools but if you are serious about SEO, they are worth it.
The biggest benefit of these traffic estimation tools is that we can see how much traffic that the whole website is getting on a monthly basis. But we also can dig down further:
- Traffic of root domain
- Traffic of all subdomains
- Traffic of individual pages (URLs)
- Traffic of URL paths
Some of these (paid) tools let us sort by their top pages by traffic, which is incredibly valuable knowledge when doing competitor research for SEO.
Going deeper, we can also see what keywords they are ranking for and how much traffic those keywords bring to the site. So we not only the traffic data, but we also have keyword ranking data – which keywords and pages are driving the most organic search traffic to their websites.
- View keywords from an entire domain
- View keywords for each page
- Sort by Keywords
- Sort by Keyword Difficulty
- Export Keywords
This is invaluable data that we can then use to mimic competitors or make our content marketing better. This is one of my favorite uses of these tools.
How to use traffic estimators
Strengths and Weaknesses: By checking the website traffic of a competitor, it gives us valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t. The combination of traffic stats, top pages, and top keywords gives marketers incredible insight into the strengths and weaknesses of a competitors marketing tactics.
Reverse Engineering: We can essentially reverse engineer their success. This is incredibly powerful if you know how to use this data.
Keyword research & topic modeling: With a lot of these tools, we can export a ton of keywords with valuable data like keyword difficulty, volume, and more. We can also do topic modeling based on the most popular pages/ keywords of another website.
Content Marketing: We can easily find their top performing pages to see what they are doing right, and what our target audience would enjoy reading. We can use that data to make our content much better.
Is it a good niche?: Another reason why you might want to look a website’s traffic is to gauge whether a niche is worth entering (on a competitive or monetary level).
Is the niche making money?: How do you know if a certain niche is worthwhile, in terms of monetization potential? A simple technique that I use is by looking at websites traffic value:
Top 11 Website Traffic Estimator tools
The list is in no particular order, except that the first 4 are my favorite traffic estimation tools (& SEO tools in general). Note that the first 4 tools are paid tools, but they are well worth it. They give you much more data than the free tools and many of them will allow you to export keyword data, backlink data, website traffic reports, SEO audits, etc.
I think you would be very happy with any of these first 4 tools for a complete SEO solution or for simply getting the most comprehensive data when spying on a competitors website traffic.
The rest of the tools on the list are also worth looking into if you simply wanted to check a website’s traffic and gain competitive intelligence.
Ahrefs is not a free tool. It’s a paid tool – with a monthly subscription fee, similar to SEMrush. If you are turned off of any of these tools because they have a monthly fee, that is understandable. I always try to seek out free tools whenever possible.
But the fact is, you gotta pay to play in the SEO world. The best SEO tools are typically paid tools. If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, Serped (see #3) is my favorite SEO tool that combines data from many other paid SEO tools, but for a whopping discount compared to if you paid for each tool separately.
Back to Ahrefs – This is one of the most popular SEO tools on the market and for good reason. In fact most SEOs I know either use Ahrefs or SEMrush (or Serped). I personally really like all three.
There are pros and cons of each, but Ahrefs seems to have a bigger database of keywords and links. However, in terms of measuring website traffic, looking at keywords, and other general SEO tasks, Ahrefs and SEMrush are very comparable.
You can look at the organic traffic of a website or a particular page. When I say a Web site I mean the whole website at the domain root level – meaning it will measure all the traffic of all the pages combined:
But then you can also dig down further into your /paths or a specific URL:
Other Ahref Features
You can use these methods to gain insight into competitors site. You can also see whether a niche is worth entering. Ahrefs has the benefit of also including a lot of other tools such as:
- Keyword research
- Website Audits
- Competitor Analysis
- Link Building
- Rank Tracking
I’d say another benefit of Ahrefs is that the keyword difficulty metric seems to be a little bit more accurate than the competitors (this could be due to their larger databases, or just better calculations).
Also, their “authority” metric – DR (Domain Rating), seems to be one of the most accurate measurements of a website’s authority.
Another main contender in the SEO game is SEMrush. Its the arch nemesis of Ahrefs, and a good contender to be in the top 3 SEO tools ever made. Besides all the other SEO tools, SEMrush is great at analyzing website traffic.
Similarly to Ahrefs, you can get a pretty good picture of what the web traffic is of any site. You can also see the competitive data such as backlinks and keywords.
Keyword research is another big draw to SEMrush. In fact, this is probably the most popular reason why people like SEMrush:
Similar to Ahrefs, you can type in your website domain or search for a particular URL. You will be delivered organic traffic data, paid traffic data and keywords for that the website ranks for:
Just like Ahrefs, you can then export this data and do some more analysis in Excel or Google Sheets. SEMrush also has some keyword difficulty metrics as well, however, I find that Ahrefs difficulty is a little bit more accurate. Serped.net also has an awesome keyword difficulty score/ competitive analysis and is one of my favorite tools to use for competitor analysis.
Despite Ahrefs coming ahead on certain aspects, I still really love SEMrush; they have some great tools such as the keyword magic tool other audit tools that are nice.
One of my favorite SEO tools on this list – because there are so many different tools in one subscription, is serped. Under the “what ranks where” tool you can type in a domain and it’ll give you the traffic estimation of each URL.
Note that it does not show traffic estimations on the domain as a whole. This isn’t as useful as some of the other website estimator tool’s because it doesn’t show the whole domain’s traffic level. So if you are only looking for website traffic estimation, you may be better off with another tool.
But this set of tools is very powerful for SEO in general. As far as the website traffic estimation, this tool is convenient because its also connected to other keyword research tools. For example, simply click on a keyword and you see a whole host of competitor metrics for that keyword. The biggest benefit of this tool is that you literally have hundreds of other SEO tools in one. In fact, serped.net brings in data from SEMrush, Moz, Majestic and much more.
Considering that this tool starts under at around $79 a month, its actually a very good deal for an SEO tool with so many integrations and functionalities:
For example, if you wanted to check Moz’s DA, PA along with Majestic’s CF & TF (& Trust Ratio), you can conveniently see these metrics with a click of the button:
SimilarWeb is a great choice for estimating web traffic. It’s fairly accurate. And you have the ability to use a free, trial limited version. Just like Ahrefs, finding website traffic is very easy with this tool. All you need to do is type in the URL, hit enter and it will bring up several different website traffic metrics for you to browse:
You will see the following traffic metrics in a convenient layout:
- monthly visits
- monthly unique visitors
- average visit duration
- pages per visit
- bounce rate
- and more.
You’ll also see the “marketing mix” or the traffic channel overview:
This is nice because it tells you how much traffic the site is getting by channel:
- Organic Search
- Paid Search
- Display Ads
You’ll be able to see the referrals of the top referring websites (backlinks to the site). Also, another interesting aspect of similar web is the unique feature of the top referring category:
One best benefit of this tool is it is free – however only to a certain point. If you were on a budget, you can use their free version to check the traffic stats of a handful of websites. However, when your usage increases, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account.
Serpstat is another good all in one SEO tool that includes the ability to analyze other websites traffic data. You can get insight into:
- Search engine traffic
- Organic keywords
- Ads keywords
The nice thing about this tool is there is a free version you can use, that is limited. The drawbacks to this tool are the traffic numbers seem to be overestimated by quite a bit and it doesn’t seem to work as well with subdomains – when targeting the subdomain directly.
Alexa is a very popular and a great free website traffic checker tool. Alexa has been very popular for a long time. I remember SEOs were using “Alexa rank” way back in the early days of SEO. Though the Alexa traffic rank isn’t as popular these days, they do have a very useful traffic estimator.
And best of all, it is completely free when using their browser extension. Alexa doesn’t appear to have a free version on their website, but their handy browser extension is. Otherwise, to get more data, you need a paid plan.
You can also create a seven-day free trial, where you can use their traffic analysis tools. If you wanted to upgrade to their website analysis tools it is $79 per month, and with it, you would have access to the following data
- Monthly unique visitors
- Audience overlap
- Site overview
- Site comparisons
- Sites linking in
- Site keywords
- Site screener
- Top sites
- and more.
Free Browser Extension: Alexa has a free extension for chrome and firefox that allows you to check a website’s traffic level. Begin by installing it then activate it. Then when you click the Alexa button it will bring up the traffic rank and the Alexa traffic rate
As far as traffic estimation, you want to be looking the traffic rank in the US. This is actually surprisingly pretty accurate (for a free tool), but it does overestimate it.
Keep in mind that with the Alexa tool (and other tools for that matter), it is more accurate with higher traffic websites. The higher traffic website you test, the more accurate these tools are going to be. Likewiase, the lower traffic websites that you test will be less acurate. This is just the nature of statistics and how Alexa works to calculate traffic. Essentially, larger websites have a larger sample size that it can draw from.
What about Alexa rank?
There’s also Alexa Rank, which has been a popular metric back in the day for SEOs. It still is for some people. However, Alexa rank is not necessarily a traffic estimation.
It’s more of a ranking of all the websites. The lower the rank, the higher the traffic the website gets. Like if you are number 1 (Google), then you get more traffic than all of the other websites.
Is the paid Alexa plan worth it?
Alexa (owned by Amazon) has had a long history as being apart of any SEO practitioners tool belt… However, I found that the paid version of the tool was lacking compared to competitors. For that $80 per month, you’d be much better off with a serped account or SEMrush.
Google AdWords Display Planner may not technically belong on this list because it isn’t a website traffic checker in the same sense as the other tools on this list. However, it is worth mentioning just because it is free and offers some good insights (though Google is trying to rid of the standalone version of the tool).
Google Adwords display planner can be used to estimations of impressions. It also has some nice demographics data as well. However, this tool will not estimate the actual traffic.
Next up on the list is Quantcast. This is an analytics tool mainly directed at measuring and data on your own website. However, there’s also a section where you can research other websites – for free!
Simply type in the URL and hit enter. You’ll then see a traffic graph similar to this, which is an estimation of that site’s traffic:
Further, you can also view:
- traffic demographics
- Audience data
- engagement data
- content segments
- and more.
The biggest drawback to this free Web site traffic tool is it didn’t seem to work with subdomains. For example, I’ve typed in “https://shop.googlemerchandisestore.com” and it didn’t work. Then I typed in https://googlemerchandisestore.com” and it worked to show me the traffic.
Visitors detective is another popular tool that you can use to estimate website traffic. The best part about these tools is completely free.!
After you enter a website, you will see the following information:
- Traffic data such as daily visitors
- Traffic by country
- Social network data
- and more
One unique feature (especially for a free tool) is that you can change the date range. So if you want to look at traffic from one day or 30 days, the choice is yours. Even though it is free, the drawback to this tool is it doesn’t allow you to check subdomains.
Also it seems to overestimate traffic quite a bit compared to real world data. It seemed to nearly triple the amount of actual traffic you get. So if you’re getting 2,000 daily visitors in analytics, it may show closer to 6,000 daily visitors. So, again, keep in mind that each of these tools have different metrics (their own scale) that they use and thus should be used only as a relative measurement of site traffic.
Statshow is a great free website statistics tool, which includes a website traffic statistic. This tool can show you estimated numbers of traffic from a daily yearly or monthly view.
Statshow also shows you:
- monthly page views
- monthly visitors
- monthly ads revenue
- different categories and niches for the site
- Alexa rank
- Site age
- And more
The benefit of this tools is free. The drawback to it is that the traffic numbers don’t look very accurate. It looks like they overestimate the traffic quite a bit.
It will also do some math for you – as it calculates the commercial value of your keywords. You get a similar metric with Ahrefs and SEMrush’s estimation of traffic value:
Another free website traffic estimator tool worthy of consideration is called site worth traffic. This tool will deliver traffic details such as:
- daily estimations
- monthly estimations
- yearly estimations
- alexa traffic rank
- alexa page views
- traffic sources (Taking the data from similar web)
- Alexa traffic graph
This tool seems like one of the most accurate out of all the free website traffic estimator tools. However, it doesn’t look like you can enter subdomains.
Conclusion: The best traffic estimators
Best free tools:
Best paid tools:
Whats your favorite website traffic checker?
Maybe you like the free solutions like the Alexa Extension or SiteWorthTraffic. Or maybe you opt for the all in one SEO tools like Serped, SEMrush or Ahrefs. Either way, there is sure to be something that fits your needs.
These are the best website traffic estimators that I know of. Is there a good tool I missed? If so I would love to hear from you. Also, what is your favorite tool to estimate a competitor’s website traffic?