Would you like to know how much traffic (or page views) other websites in your niche are getting for competitive analyis? While it will be difficult for any third-party to accurately measure the traffic of a site, there are a bunch of traffic estimation services that can give you a better understanding of the popularity of a website. Here’s a list:
1. Alexa - Enter the website’s domain and Alexa will reveal the ranking of that website based on a combined measure of unique visitors and page views. The rank isn’t based on a site’s traffic alone but is relative to the traffic of all other sites that are monitored by Alexa. Webmasters are often skeptical of Alexa number but they the rank is still a good indicator of a website’s popularity over time.
2. Compete - You can use Compete to estimate the total US traffic (unique visitors) for nearly every site on the web. Compete uses data from ISPs, their own toolbar and other data sources to measure the traffic. It offers other metrics like Page Views, average stay duration, demographics, etc. but these are only available to paid users.
3. Similar Web - It started out as a tool for finding similar sites but now offers a range of data including traffic analysis in a clean interface. You get to know the site’s traffic over time, the countries that are sending the most traffic, what search keywords are bringing the organic referrals, how much time users are spending on a site and so on. The traffic reports can be downloaded as PDF files for archiving.
4. SEM Rush - It offers plenty of information around search (organic) traffic for any website. Put in the website URL and you’ll instantly know how the site has fared in organic search over time. The data can be split by country, you get to know which sites are sending traffic and also the keywords that are bringing the most visitors. Open Site Explorer is another popular tool in this category.
5. QuantCast - Like Compete, you can use QuantCast to determine how many people have visited a selected site during a give period from desktop or mobile phone. For sites that have implemented the QuantCast tags, you get more accurate metrics including visitor demographics, traffic by country, and the split in mobile and desktop traffic.
Also see: Know Everything About a Web Site
Few years ago, Google Ad Planner and Google Trends for Websites were the go-to tools for estimating a site’s traffic but they have since been discontinued. You can however still use the Display Planner tool inside Google AdWords to get a good idea of a site’s traffic and demographics. Here’s how:
Go to Display Planner and sign-in with your Google Account. You need not be an AdWords advertiser to use this tool.
Next put the site’s domain in the search box, set the Campaign targeting to United States (or remove geographic targeting to see global traffic) and click “Get Placement Ideas.” Google will now show you the average impressions per week for that domain and if you multiply that number by 4, you get a good estimate of the site’s monthly traffic (hits).