1. Benchmarking
  2. Expectation attitude
  3. Determining the right channel mix
  4. Content topics and formats
  5. Keyword intelligence
  6. Link Building Research
  7. Make the Most of the Knowledge of the Website Traffic Estimator

The estimated website traffic data is available in a variety of free and paid tools.

Ranging from analysis platforms to general website tools such as SimilarWeb or Alexa to advertising intelligence tools, these offer different functions and levels of accuracy.

In addition, you can access tools designed for specific purposes, such as: B. SEO and PPC intelligence tools bundled with product suites like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Spyfu, KeywordSpy, and others.

It is important to realize that most of these tools use sound traffic estimation methods and are not familiar with actual traffic statistics.

There will be overestimated and underestimated numbers that shouldn’t be taken as 100% truth.

However, this does not mean that these tools have no value.

There are great ways to go beyond top-line traffic and use trending and comparative data, as long as you are careful with the competitors and websites you use for your comparison.

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Check out these six ways to use website traffic estimation tools in your SEO and marketing strategies.

1. Benchmarking

You can get a lot of different statistics ranging from total traffic to traffic by channel, traffic by device, and even deeper influences into secondary metrics of website traffic tools.

I find this data to be excellent for benchmarking.

As you do comparisons of your own traffic with competitors or with those you want to match, you may find areas of differentiation where you can set growth targets.

The benchmarking report in Google Analytics is a tool that I think is underutilized.

It allows for similar industry selection and segmentation for comparison, and overlay your actual stats on those of others who are also in that industry.

The downside is that competitors or peers in the industry are kept aggregated and anonymous compared to what the other categories of tools can provide.

Google Analytics Benchmarking Report

2. Expectation attitude

We all want to wave a magic wand and bring magical sources of traffic to life.

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Even with the hard work of tweaking, targeting, messaging, and developing compelling content, we waste our time and attention when the reality is that there is no traffic.

By looking at competitors and similar organizations with website traffic tools, we can figure out what our expectations should be.

Assuming we’ve benchmarked ourselves, we can then look at specific channels, content, and gaps on our own websites.

Conversely, we could determine that we have probably entered the market.

If we are by far the market leader and our advertising and SEO research tools tell us the size of our audience, we can see a more complete picture.

It is helpful to know if our best option is to tap untapped potential or try to gain market share from other locations in our industry.

3. Determine the correct channel mix

We can learn a lot about our audience by looking at competitors and other locations in the same industry or in leadership positions.

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Make sure you have the right mix of competitors or similar websites that you are profiling first and see if they are looking for the same audience.

Seeing what other sites are experiencing in the distribution of certain channels can help you determine what they are good at and where their web audience may find them.

You definitely want to look at many other websites in your comparison so you can look for variables like a particular competitor’s performance in SEO, social media, etc.

Whether you see clear trends as to which traffic sources are performing the best, or whether it’s more of an uneven picture, you can get an idea of ​​their strategies and the effort that goes into each channel.

This can help inform and confirm which digital marketing channels and overall mix are right for you.

4. Content topics and formats

Updating or confirming your channel mix is ​​a good starting point to determine your content needs and your investment in them.

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On top of that, and beyond listening to our own audiences, looking at competitors is a great way to determine the content topics that we should be talking about.

You should have pretty quick access to your own mix of desktop and mobile traffic and more granular breakdowns across devices, browsers, technology, and more.

However, if you conduct analysis with traffic estimator tools from competitors and demanding comparable websites, you can find growth opportunities and determine what the ideal mix might look like for your target audience in the future.

Investing in content can be costly. It’s important to know what formats to invest in (e.g. mobile) and how people get there (e.g. social media).

You can use tools like SimilarWeb and SEMrush (or combinations of others) to paint a picture of where you are, where your competition is, and where you want to help with your roadmap.

5. Keyword intelligence

Search engine marketers already use many tools that include website traffic estimation functions.

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Standalone keyword spying tools, SEO and PPC tools, and even the more comprehensive website traffic tools (e.g. SimilarWeb) contain keyword data in paid programs.

When searching, our primary focus is on our content and focus and making sure that this matches what our audience is looking for.

That is definitely the goal and what we should be doing.

However, it is a failure if we don’t look at our competition.

We can get a big head start if we know how good or bad our competitors are.

Take a look at the top keywords and long-tail terms that your competitors are doing well to find and combine them with their top traffic pages.

It’s one thing to look at rankings, but it’s an entirely different level to see how much traffic those rankings generate.

We don’t want to waste our efforts chasing the wrong rankings that aren’t driving the traffic we need to meet our overall business goals.

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6. Link Building Research

Traffic estimation tools can be a great source for link research.

It can be overwhelming and a full-time occupation doing link research and link building.

We can also reach a point where we feel like we have exhausted our possibilities.

When you’ve done all of the link research your SEO tools can provide, expand this to include the spy and more general tools. They could shed light on some new and different possibilities.

No tool can show you all the links and the whole web of who is pointing to whom. So expand your research to include as many tools as your resources and scope can and should warrant.

Make the Most of the Knowledge of the Website Traffic Estimator

As SEO professionals, we have access to many different tools.

If we’re search engine marketers, we likely live on the search platforms that provide us with reporting, research tools, and other ways to do our job efficiently.

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We don’t want to look at more and more tools and data layers when we’re buried in everyday life.

Hopefully, these creative ways to use website traffic tools will open up opportunities for new expectations, benchmarking, content strategy, and more.

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Photo credit

Screenshot by the author, March 2021