How to Track Competitor Website Traffic

Want to outsmart your competition? Start by tracking their website traffic. 

Knowing where your rivals get their visitors and what keeps them engaged can give you the edge you need. 

This article will show you why tracking competitor website traffic is a game-changer and how to use this information to boost your website's performance. 

So, let's dive into the secrets behind your competitors' web success.

Note: We also have a video guide on How to Track Competitor Website Traffic, so if you’re not in the mood to read, you can watch. 

What is competitor traffic analysis?

Competitor website traffic analysis involves examining the web traffic of rival businesses to gain insights into their online performance and strategies. 

This analysis can provide valuable information about where their visitors are coming from, what keywords are driving traffic, how effective their marketing campaigns are, and what user behaviors look like on their site.

How to track competitor website traffic sitewide

This step requires Rank Tracker. You can download it now for free. Download Rank Tracker

The most convenient (and completely free) way to get a competitor website traffic report is with Rank Tracker. Not so long ago, we added a new functionality that allows you to analyze any website or URL performance, including its traffic and rankings, top pages and keywords, backlink history, and many other insights.

Here is how to track competitor website traffic with Rank Tracker:

Step 1. Launch the tool and create a project for your site if it's the first time you're using the app.

Step 2. Go to the Domain Analysis module and enter your competitor's domain name. 

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Step 3. Scroll down to the Ranking History section. Here, you will find the traffic analytics data: Monthly Organic Traffic and its Organic Traffic Value.

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Note that you can see the historical data for the last month, three months, half a year, or even the whole year. Just click the necessary date range and enjoy an insightful report. 

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How to track the traffic of a separate page of your competitor

Sometimes, you may need to check the traffic of a specific page of your competitor. You can do that in the same Domain Analysis module.

Step 1. Select the Exact URL option in the drop-down menu and paste the needed URL. 

Step 2. Click Analyze, and you'll immediately see the data for the competitor's page you specified. 

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Again, you can choose any time range you need when checking historical traffic data. 

How to benchmark competitor traffic against yours the right way

Tracking competitor website traffic is just the first step of your grand competitor analysis. You also need to know how to correctly compare your numbers to competitors’.

First and foremost, it's essential to understand that different tools provide different data due to variations in their algorithms and estimation methods. While Google Analytics (or GSC) tracks traffic directly, other tools provide estimates.

When you compare your traffic from Google Analytics to estimates from other tools, you'll likely notice discrepancies. Therefore, comparing your traffic data from Google Analytics with your competitors’ traffic data from third-party tools (like Rank Tracker or Similarweb) can lead to inaccurate conclusions.

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Here is how to benchmark competitor website traffic more accurately:

Step 1. Choose multiple tools for estimation

Use Google Analytics for detailed traffic analysis of your own website. Then, choose your third-party tools like Rank Tracker, Similarweb, or any other you see fit.

Step 2. Understand the data deviation

Compare your own Google Analytics data with the traffic estimates provided by third-party tools. This helps you understand the typical deviation between actual data and estimates.

Example: If Google Analytics shows 10,000 monthly visits but Rank Tracker estimates 9,000, you know there's roughly a 10% deviation.

Keep in mind that sometimes third-party tools may show completely inaccurate, even random, numbers. So, always be somewhat skeptical of the data you get. 

Step 3. Estimate competitor data

Check your competitors’ traffic. But don’t forget to apply the observed deviation to your competitor's traffic estimates to get a more realistic comparison.

Example: If Rank Tracker shows your competitor has 20,000 visits, applying the same 10% deviation means their actual traffic could be around 22,000 visits.

Step 4. Compare relative metrics and trends

First, check out the data for trends over time. Look at traffic growth rates rather than absolute numbers to see how your performance stacks up against competitors. Suppose your traffic has grown by 20% over the past six months while your competitor's traffic has increased by 15% over the same period. This indicates that, although your competitor may have higher overall traffic, your growth rate is faster.

Second, check traffic sources if the tool provides such data. Analyze where the traffic is coming from, such as organic search, social media, direct flow, referral traffic, or paid campaigns. You can find such info in Similarweb, for instance:

For example, if your competitor has a significant portion of traffic coming from social media, it might highlight an area where you need to invest more effort.

And finally, if your tool allows, take a look at the engagement metrics. Compare bounce rates, average session durations, and pages per visit to gauge user engagement and site quality. For example, if your bounce rate is 50% while your competitor's is 40%, it suggests you may need to improve user experience or the relevance of your site content.

Tip: If your competitors are so big you doubt you can ever beat them, there is a great way to do so – underdog SEO strategy.

The Ultimate Underdog SEO Blueprint Learn more

Step 5. Use industry benchmarks

Look at industry-wide benchmarks to understand average performance metrics within your niche. This information will help you understand how your growth stacks up against your industry and how your competitors are growing. 

Example: If the average traffic growth rate in your industry is 15%, and yours is 10%, your growth is slow-paced.

The same applies to assessing a competitor’s growth. If you see your competitors’ traffic is growing faster than the industry average rate, this means it will take more effort to compete with them. 

Step 6. Run qualitative analysis

Finally, don’t rely solely on numbers; supplement quantitative data with qualitative insights. 

You need to allocate time and assess the quality of your competitors’ content, user experience, and overall brand perception. 

You can also check out competitors’ social networks, and read reviews on Google, and maybe do some social listening. Yes, you have to do that manually, but the results are worth it.

How to get even more insights about competitor performance

Dive deeper into domain analysis. Here, you can learn a lot more about your competitors’ traffic and rankings. 

In the Domain Analysis module of Rank Tracker, you can find data on organic Position Distribution below the organic traffic insights. This data will hint at how successful your competitor’s SEO strategy is. 

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For example, if you see too many keywords below the 50th position on the SERP and very few in the top 10, they are doing something wrong. 

Then, scroll down and see the Top Pages by Traffic report to spot the most traffic-driving pages of your rival. This will help you understand what topics resonate with the audience.

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It's worth digging deeper into each page to analyze competitors’ content optimization strategies. And maybe borrow some ideas from them.

By default, the Top Pages by Traffic report features the top 10 pages. Still, if you don't want to be limited to just ten pages, you can click the See all button, and you'll be taken to the corresponding module (Competitor Research > Top Pages). 

Here, you will see even more vital competitor insights: number of ranking keywords, top keyword, and top keyword traffic:

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Back to Domain Analysis, the Top Organic Keywords will give you insights on the best-ranking keywords of a website, sorted out by their search volume and keyword difficulty.

Again, you can click See all to expand the list for further analysis. 

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Analyze competitors’ SEO strategies in full

This step requires SEO PowerSuite. You can download it now for free. Download SEO PowerSuite

There is a way to analyze not only competitors' traffic but also their entire SEO strategies. By creating separate projects for your competitors in the SEO PowerSuite tools, you can gain deep insights into various aspects of their SEO efforts.

Rank Tracker

You’ve already learned about the Domain Analysis module, but this tool helps you learn much more about your competitors’ rankings and SEO strategy in general.

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  • Keywords and positions: Analyze the keywords your competitors rank for, their current positions in search engine results, and how these positions change over time. This helps you understand their keyword strategy and identify opportunities to target similar or overlooked keywords.
  • Traffic estimates: Get estimates of the organic traffic driven by each keyword, allowing you to gauge which keywords are most valuable to your competitors.

WebSite Auditor

This tool conducts thorough audits of any website to identify technical SEO issues. It checks for broken links, analyzes page load speed, and assesses on-page SEO factors.

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  • Technical SEO: Discover all the technical SEO aspects of your competitors’ sites, such as site structure, page speed, mobile optimization, and more.
  • On-page SEO: Analyze on-page elements like meta tags, headings, and word count. See how your competitors optimize their pages for target keywords and what strategies they use to enhance user engagement and relevance.

SEO SpyGlass

This backlink analysis tool helps you discover and analyze the backlinks pointing to your competitors’ sites. It provides insights into the quality and quantity of backlinks, as well as how often they are acquired and lost.

Download SEO SpyGlass

  • Backlink analysis: See the backlinks your competitors acquire and the speed at which they gain these links. Understand the quality and relevance of the competitors’ backlinks to learn from their link-building strategies.
  • Anchor text distribution: Examine the anchor texts used in your competitors' backlinks to identify the keywords they are focusing on and how they balance branded vs. non-branded anchor texts.
  • Competitor link sources: Discover the sources of your competitors' backlinks. This info can reveal potential link-building opportunities for your own site by targeting the same or similar sources.

SEO Competitor Analysis in 10 Steps Learn more

Other tools to track competitor website traffic

Besides Rank Tracker, there are tons of other tools that allow you to track any website traffic. All of them differ in price and functionality.

Disclaimer: Whatever tools you use they won't be 100% accurate, so you can use a combination of tools to get the average data set.  


Similarweb is a platform that provides a comprehensive compilation of website traffic data. It offers insights into website traffic, user engagement, and audience geography. In addition, Similarweb provides other valuable metrics for businesses and organizations, such as paid and referral traffic insights.


SpyFu is a valuable tool for monitoring and analyzing paid traffic. It provides in-depth insights into your competitors' paid search strategies, allowing for comprehensive tracking and analysis of paid traffic sources.

Why track competitor website traffic

Tracking your competitors' website traffic is a vital part of digital marketing and business intelligence. To make this statement fact-based, I’ve come up with some real-life examples of how important competitors’ traffic insights can be for your website.

Reason 1. Benchmark your performance

Benefit: Understanding how your website performs compared to competitors.

Example: If your e-commerce site, selling sports apparel, averages 10,000 monthly visits, but a competitor averages 50,000, this indicates a significant gap. That's a big difference, and it's a sign that you may need to reinforce your marketing and customer engagement strategies.

Benefit: Staying ahead of industry trends and consumer preferences.

Example: If a competitor's blog traffic spikes due to posts about a new fitness trend, you can leverage this information to create similar or better content to attract the same audience to your site.

Reason 3. Discover traffic sources

Benefit: Learning where competitors are getting their traffic from.

Example: If a rival website gets a large portion of its traffic from social media, you might invest more in social media marketing or refine your existing campaigns on platforms like Instagram or TikTok.

Reason 4. Evaluate marketing campaigns

Benefit: Assessing the effectiveness of your competitor's marketing campaigns.

Example: If a competitor's site sees a significant traffic increase during a specific period, you can investigate whether they launched a new campaign, offered a promotion, or engaged in influencer marketing. Use this data to refine your own strategies.

Reason 5. Optimize your keyword and SEO strategy

Benefit: Optimizing your own SEO and keyword strategy based on competitors' success.

Example: By analyzing which keywords drive traffic to your competitor's site, you can spot high-performing keywords and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. You will improve your content and potentially capture some of your competitors’ traffic.

Reason 6. Fill content gaps

Benefit: Discovering content opportunities that you are missing.

Example: If you notice that you don't cover certain topics in depth or overlook specific audience questions, you can create comprehensive content to fill these content gaps and attract more users to your site. 

Reason 7. Gain product and service insights

Benefit: Getting insights into which products or services are driving traffic for your competitors.

Example: If a competitor's traffic surges after launching a new product line, you can analyze the product's features, pricing, and marketing approach to understand what's appealing to customers and consider similar innovations.

Reason 8. Make a strategic decision

Benefit: Informing broader business strategies and decisions.

Example: If competitors are gaining traffic by expanding into new markets, you can use this information to explore similar expansions.

Reason 9. Enhance user experience

Benefit: Improving your website's user experience by learning from competitors.

Example: If a competitor's site redesign leads to increased traffic and lower bounce rates, you can analyze their design changes and user experience improvements to see what might work for your site.

Reason 10. Drive smart investments and partnerships

Benefit: Making clever investment or partnership decisions.

Example: If a competitor’s traffic suddenly skyrocketed (and before that they were featured in a collaboration with a certain brand), it was probably this partnership that caused the growth. This means you might want to partner with the same brand, too.

To sum it up

Tracking competitor website traffic is a valuable strategy for staying competitive and improving your digital presence. Tools like Rank Tracker, Similarweb, and SpyFu can provide detailed competitor website traffic reports.

These insights can help you make data-driven decisions about your marketing strategies. You can identify areas for improvement, discover new content opportunities, and refine your SEO efforts to capture more targeted traffic.

By understanding your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, you can enhance your own website's performance and stay ahead in your industry.

How are you tracking the competitors’ traffic? Share your expertise in our Facebook group.

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