A lot of your success online will depend upon how well you know your market. To deeply understand your market, you’re going to need access to the right tools.
When you’re just getting started with niche and website research, free tools will probably work for a while.
But, the time will come when you need to upgrade your tools to skyrocket your growth and success.
One of those tools is SEMrush.
I’ve been using Cloudways since January 2016 for this blog. I happily recommend Cloudways to my readers because I am a proud customer.
But, this post isn’t about their core offering, but instead a brand new tool called Traffic Analytics. Mainly this tool acts like Google Analytics, but instead of your site data, you can access this level of data from competitor websites.
This tool could be the secret weapon that’ll allow you to do things like:
- Uncover weaknesses in your competitor’s marketing, traffic, or content strategy.
- Decide whether or not it’s worth it to dive into a new niche or market.
- It can be used to benchmark competitors’ online strategy and devise your own.
- Build a new marketing strategy from scratch with accurate data.
- This tool can also be used to compare and find similarities between two sites’ audiences.
Below you’ll learn about the ins and outs of Traffic Analytics, so you can decide whether or not you need to invest in this tool.
What is SEMrush Traffic Analytics?
Traffic Analytics is a competitive research and market intelligence tool that gives you in-depth data about your competitor’s websites and the market as a whole. Instead of just giving you average organic traffic metrics, the tool goes much deeper.
Essentially, with the data this tool provides, you’ll be able to see where your competitors are succeeding, and where there are gaps in their strategy. You’ll be able to determine if a new niche is worth going into or if it’s too competitive. You’ll be able to create new marketing campaigns that have a high chance of success.
Don’t worry, we’ll highlight all of the features of this new tool below.
But, before we jump in, let’s talk pricing.
If you’re already on a paid SEMrush plan, then you’ll need to add Traffic Analytics to your existing plan, as it’s not part of the standard subscription. The current price for Traffic Analytics is $299.95/mo.
This price might seem a little steep. But, as you’ll soon learn the sheer amount of competitor data this tool provides is nearly impossible to obtain elsewhere.
SEMrush Special Offer
In case you don’t know, I have partnered with SEMrush team, and we have an exclusive SEMrush discount code for all Woblogger readers.
With this discount, you can try SEMrush Traffic Analytics Tool free for 14 days which is worth $299.95.
Domain Analytics vs Traffic Analytics: What’s the Difference?
If you already have a standard SEMrush subscription, then you’re probably familiar with the Domain Analytics feature. Or, if you’ve been researching the tool, you might have come across this feature.
On the surface, they look pretty familiar, as they both provide useful information about a given domain. But, the BIG difference is how the tools collect data.
Here’s a look at what the standard Domain Analytics data looks like:
This data is incredibly useful, but the information provided is calculated by the keyword positions and the estimated traffic these rankings get you. So, the organic traffic and paid search results, are estimates of how much traffic the site “should be getting.”
No data is going to be 100% accurate, but it does paint a pretty comprehensive picture.
The data that Traffic Analytics gives you is obtained in a different fashion. The information is gathered by analyzing what’s called ‘clickstream data.’ This data comes from a variety of third party data sources, big data, and SEMrush’s AI and machine learning proprietary apps–pretty powerful stuff.
This data shows the path that a visitor takes throughout a website, via every source of traffic the site receives.
Basically, you’ll get much more data than just search data.
Here’s a quick screenshot:
Now, the data from Traffic Analytics also gives you an accuracy rating called ‘Estimated Accuracy.’ Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping the data is correct, you’ll be able to make decisions with greater confidence.
The larger the domain (i.e., more site pages and higher traffic levels) the more accurate the report will be, as there will more clickstream data to analyze.
As mentioned above, you’ll get data with Traffic Analytics that goes well beyond search traffic.
For example, the Traffic Sources section of the report will give you a breakdown of the different course of traffic the site has received over the past six months:
Traffic Analytics operates more like Google Analytics, but instead of looking at your site’s own data, you can look at the detailed data from other websites. It’s like looking under the hood of your competitor’s site.
Since you can’t access the analytics information on another site, this tool gets you as close as possible.
Why Do I Need to Use Traffic Analytics?
Not every site owner will benefit from Traffic Analytics. If this is your first time building a website or blog, then you might not be ready for this tool…yet.
But, it will provide some very real value to a lot of website owners and online marketers out there.
With Traffic Analytics you’ll be getting access to five different types of traffic data:
- Traffic Overview: A big picture look at site traffic and user statistics.
- Multiple Site Traffic Overview: Compare several sites in your niche to see overlap and untapped segments of the market.
- Traffic Sources: Learn where the most valuable traffic sources are coming from.
- Traffic Location: See where in the world your competitor’s are getting their visitors, and how these visitors behave.
- Destination Sites: See which websites people go to after visiting a competitor site.
- Subdomains: Determine which subdomains of a website bring in the most traffic.
Don’t worry if these don’t make complete sense yet, we’ll cover each of these areas in detail below.
Essentially, you’ll be getting in-depth website data that goes well beyond standard search data. You’ll be able to stack websites up against one another, plus you can compare multiple sites at one time.
For example, you can compare your site to your top three competitors to see who gets more traffic from which source. This will allow you to uncover untapped traffic sources within your niche.
The detailed reports will also help you determine which sources of traffic you can tap into that will provide you with the most engaged visitors.
An In-Depth Dive Into Traffic Analytics
By now you hopefully have a solid grasp on the kind of useful insights this tool can provide you with.
Below we’re going to break down each of the individual data reports this tool can generate. Although every report might not be necessary for your website, you might find a singular feature you can’t do without.
Let’s jump in!
1. Traffic Analytics Overview
We’ll start with the main report provided by this tool, the Traffic Analytics report.
To access this report fire up SEMrush and navigate to Marketing Insights > Traffic Analytics.
Then enter in your own site domain, or the domain of a competitor site you want to research, then click ‘Get Insights’:
Here are the results for the website “foundr.com”:
This gives you a solid overview of how much traffic a given website receives, along with user engagement data like, the number of pages per visit, bounce rate, and how long a visitor spends on the site.
The main metrics this report covers in detail are:
- Number of visits: This is the total number of visitors the site receives per month.
- Number of unique visitors: This is the number of visitors who are completely new to the site.
- Average visit duration: This metric is the average time a visitor spends on a site.
- Bounce rate: This is the percentage of visitors who leave the site (generally having a high bounce rate signifies a low-quality site or a mismatched traffic source).
The graph below will give you historical data in the above metrics, you can filter via the past six months, a year, or all time. Keep in mind that the all-time data for this tool only goes back two years.
As you continue to scroll down the report you’ll find a breakdown of the proportion of traffic the site receives from mobile vs desktop, along with how much traffic a site receives on each of it’s given subdomains.
Next up, you’ll see a breakdown of the different traffic sources the site receives on a historical basis:
The final section of the report gives you a geographic breakdown of where the site’s traffic comes from, along with the device they use to visit the site:
As you can see there’s a lot of information to work with. Below we’ll dive deeper into each of these reports.
2. Audience Overlap Report
With the Audience Overlap report you can compare site statistics across multiple different websites. To use this tool just enter up to 3 competitors sites, then click ‘Compare’.
The first thing you’ll see is the overlap that these two websites. It shows what percentage of visitors are likely to visit both websites.
You can navigate back to the Traffic Analytics tab to see a detailed overview of their traffic stats, duration, bounce rate, and more.
The default graph option is going to be overall visits, but you can also filter the graph by Unique Visitors, Average Visitor Duration, and Bounce Rate too.
With this useful audience overlap data you rank not only compile a ranking of the most successful sites in your niche, but you can also uncover segments of the market that might not be fully addressed.
3. Website Traffic Sources
Who doesn’t want to know where their competitor’s traffic is coming from?
The Traffic Sources report will break down how much traffic a website receives via a few different sources, namely:
- Direct: Visitors who type in the URL into the browser bar to access the site.
- Referral: Visitors who come to the site via a link from another website.
- Search: Visitors who find the site in the search results.
- Social: Visitors who click through via a social media post or profile.
- Paid: Visitors who land on the site after clicking on a paid advertisement.
This information will help you determine which traffic channels actually generate the most traffic, and have the most engaged traffic as well.
Each of the sections breaks down further as well. For example, digging into the ‘Referring Sites’ section will tell you which sites send the most traffic. This might illuminate potential partnerships you can explore, or places to guest blog.
Or, you can filter via ‘Social Networks’ and see which social media networks are bringing in the most traffic. This data can help you refine your social media strategy or get active on a new network.
Overall, this information will help you determine which traffic channels are most worthy of your time and effort.
4. Landing Pages Overview
The Top Landing Pages tab will give you a breakdown of which pages receive the most traffic, sitewide.
This breakdown will also give you a detailed breakdown of the statistics each of these pages receives like number of unique visitors, percentage of desktop vs mobile visitors, along with the source of that page’s traffic.
These pages will be incredibly popular, either due to ranking high in the search engines, or being part of a massive paid promotion.
Overall, this can help you determine which parts of a website’s digital marketing campaigns are the most effective in sending them quality leads and traffic.
For example, if you’re analyzing an eCommerce website this data can help you determine which products are the highest selling and converting the best for them. You won’t be able to calculate the actual sales volume, but it will help you make pretty accurate guesses.
You may also like: How to Incorporate Data Analytics into Content Strategy
5. Visitor Location Distribution
The Geo Distribution report lets you see which regions of the world bring a website most of its visitors.
The traffic is broken down by total amount of traffic, the breakdown of mobile and desktop traffic, along with visitor behavior metrics like, how many pages they view per visit, how long they stay on the site, and the average bounce rate.
This type of data will help to uncover any segments of the global market you might not be addressing, which you could tap into to grow your reach.
6. Destination Sites Overview
The Destination Sites report gives you a list of the external sites that people visit after landing on the website you’re analyzing.
Virtually all of the websites listed in this section will be from hyperlinks on the site you’re currently analyzing.
The information here can help to illuminate other website’s the site is associated with, or even highlight potential partnership opportunities you might be able to take advantage of. Plus, if you’re analyzing a highly authoritative site you can find other trusted sites in your niche that are worth linking out to.
7. Website Subdomains Report
Not every website will have subdomains. But, some websites will use subdomains to separate out their blog, or other aspects of their site. For example, some sites will host their blogs, support sections, eCommerce stores, and web-based apps via a subdomain.
This section will show you the overall traffic volume that each of the site’s subdomains receives.
This data can help to illuminate which parts of a website user’s find the most valuable. For example, it might look like a site is getting a ton of traffic, but it’s their app, and not their blog that’s driving up those numbers. Or, you might be able to calculate how much a site makes every month via their digital or physical products by their store volume.
Is SEMrush Traffic Analytics Right for Me?
The standard version of SEMrush is one of the top competitor analysis tools on the market. With the addition of Traffic Analytics, they cement this reputation even further.
Even as a relatively new addition, the data this tool gives you access to can be invaluable. You can expect the data this tool provides only to get better and more refined with time.
Those who are building out their first websites probably don’t need this add-on tool right away. You’d be better served with the standard version of SEMrush. But, as your traffic and success continue to grow and you’re looking for an edge up on your competition, then investing in Traffic Analytics is a no brainer.
Imagine being able to answer questions like these with ease:
- Where is my competitor’s traffic coming from?
- What are the best sources of traffic I’m not tapping into?
- What kind of devices do people use to access websites in my niche?
- How well is my site competing with other sites in my niche?
- Are my competitors running any effective marketing campaigns I don’t know about?
- What sites have the most engaged audiences, and what are they doing differently?
Well, with Traffic Analytics, you can!
Traffic Analytics can help you better assess your competition and your audience as a whole. It won’t be right for every website owner, but some will find this valuable tool an absolute necessity.
Use this promo link to get a 14-day free trial SEMrush traffic analytic tool.
Click here to learn more about SEMrush and Traffic Analytics and give the tool a spin today.