Whether it’s your own website or a competitor’s, knowing how to find out how much traffic a website gets could be your secret weapon for growth.
Having more visibility can give you context to your site’s overall performance along with the return on investment in your online presence. Plus, it’s valuable data you can use to evaluate your competitors and how they’re doing. You really can’t afford to go without this kind of data.
With that in mind, we’re diving deep into how you can find out how much traffic a website gets.
How to Find out Website Traffic Data With Google Analytics
Google Analytics is your best tool to investigate where your website’s traffic comes from. You can look at your data from a 10,000-foot view or drill into specifics—it all depends on what you’re looking for. These macro and micro views of your data can tell you how your website is performing on the web.
If you haven’t set up Google Analytics for your website, you’ll need to first create an account and add a tracking code to your website.
Find Total Website Traffic
You can view your total traffic in the Audience Overview section of Analytics. From there, you can see:
- Users: This metric measures how many people spent more than one session on your website. Google breaks this down into “Users” and “New Users.” It’s important to note that “Users” include both new and returning visitors.
- Sessions: This refers to the total number of visits your website received. You can drill this number down further by specifying a particular date range. Google also includes the number of pages viewed in one session as well as the number of sessions your users averaged.
- Pageviews: The total number of pages viewed. While that might seem obvious, you should note that it includes repeated views of pages.
- Bounce Rate: This is possibly one of the most important metrics in Analytics and is presented as a percentage. When someone clicks on any page of your site to visit but exits without looking at another page, they’ve “bounced” off your site. You want this percentage to be as low as possible! Your target bounce rate will vary by industry, but across the board a bounce rate below 40 percent is great.
Google will also show you what percentage of your users are new versus returning. It’s a handy way to get a more “zoomed out” view of your website’s traffic as a whole.
Find Website Traffic by Channel
Channels are what drive traffic to your website. They’re made up of things like social media, paid search ads, email marketing, organic search—the list goes on, really. You can use Analytics to view a channel-by-channel breakdown and find out how much traffic a website gets.
To look at your channels, go to the Acquisition section of Google Analytics and select Overview. Once you’re there, you’ll see a total breakdown of all your channels, along with how many sessions came from each one.
Beside this handy-dandy chart, you’ll see your channel numbers in order of their performance. You can look at how many users each channel brought to your website; sessions and pages per session; and bounce rates. You can also specify a certain date range and retrieve data for that time period as well.
If you want to dig into your data even further, select All Traffic underneath Acquisition and select All Channels. This will take you to a page that breaks down each channel and shows you how many users and sessions each channel provided, the bounce rates and average session duration.
Find Website Traffic by Page/Post
Along with channels, you can look at your web traffic by pages or by post. If you navigate to Behavior then All Pages. From there you’ll be able to see how many views an individual page has earned, along with the bounce rate, average time spent on the page, entrances and exits, bounce rate and the average value of the page.
These metrics are particularly important as you can observe which of your website’s pages are generating the most traffic. You can also get more granular and look at which of your website’s blog posts have generated the most traffic. If all of your blog posts have “/blog/” in the URL, you just have to search for pages containing “blog” in the URL and voila: you have your data.
Find Website Traffic by Keyword
If you’re running Google Ads for your company, you can find a slew of data in Google Analytics about the keywords people used to reach your website. Under the Acquisition tab in the left-hand navigation, select Google Ads and then Keywords.
This page will break down statistics for each keyword by acquisition, behavior and conversions. Google Analytics will then show you clicks, cost, cost-per-click, users, sessions, bounce rates and pages/session.
At this more specific level, you can identify which of your keywords are moving the needle for your business the most. In turn, this helps your SEO efforts. It’s a two-for-one deal!
You have your web traffic, now see how you can use it!
How to Find a Competitor’s Website Traffic
It’s one thing to find your own website’s traffic. It’s another to calculate your competitor’s web traffic. Competitive analysis should be a part of any business strategy, but one of the pieces you might struggle with is how you find out how much traffic your competitor’s website attracts.
Luckily, there are ways to do it and we can show you how with a few tools and strategies.
Use a Traffic Analysis Tool
Alexa is one of the best platforms to analyze traffic for other websites. Alexa will present a website’s competitive analysis, keyword opportunities and more statistics both for free and with a paid membership.
On top of all this data, you can even look at where your audience overlaps with other websites and how many sites link to the one you searched. With all of this visibility, it's a great tool to find basic analytics for a competitor’s website.
SEMrush is a paid tool for analyzing keywords, websites, domains, backlinks and more. It’s a comprehensive suite of tools that can drill down into granular specifics or show you a very general overview of a website. SEMrush can also show organic search traffic versus paid search traffic, offering even more visibility. To add to its utility, you can use it for your own SEO efforts once you know what keywords your competitor is doing well with for ranking.
While the SimilarWeb platform requires a paid membership, the free Chrome extension will break down basic analytics for websites you visit. The extension will display its global rank, bounce rate, average session duration in minutes and seconds, monthly visits and the number of pages per site visit. This tool may not be as robust as the paid platform, but it offers some visibility into your competitor’s web traffic.
Look for an “Advertise With Us” Page
A well-kept secret of finding web traffic is actually off the website itself. Publications that sell advertising space usually disclose their reach on their website. This includes monthly pageviews and email subscribers for the magazine or publication.
With this information, you can estimate how much traffic your competitors are generating to their website if they recently placed an ad in a publication. On top of that, if your competitor is the website listing that traffic, then you have direct access to their data!
Check Social Media
Homepage Video Views on YouTube or Vimeo
Since YouTube is one of the most popular platforms in the world and the second-biggest search engine, its power can’t be underestimated. Social Blade is one of the most popular tools to dissect YouTube traffic.
Social Blade will display a channel’s views, popularity, ranking, growth and even the tags their videos use. You can either install it as a Chrome extension or search for a channel on their website. In addition to all of this, if a company embeds a video on their homepage, you can directly trace the video back to YouTube and see its views.
For Vimeo, the platform itself offers some analytics, though these numbers are limited to your own videos.
Blog Social Shares and Comments
Content creation is a supporting pillar for digital marketing strategies and engagement is one of the best ways to evaluate the piece of content’s success at driving traffic.
If your competitor has a blog that seems to be quite a hit on social media, you can get a rough view of how that particular blog post is driving more traffic to their website.
A blog post with hundreds of likes, shares and comments is definitely moving the needle for web traffic. So look around, follow your competitors and see what success they’re having with content.
Engagement Levels on Social Profiles
Beyond blog posts, overall engagement on social media platforms can inform a brand’s web traffic too. You can use Sprout Social or Keyhole to monitor engagement rates, hashtags and how people feel about your brand and your competitors.
If your competitor is posting frequently with offers and calls to action, you can get a good feel for the kind of web traffic their social media profiles are pulling. With these specialized tools, you have insightful data right at your fingertips.
With the right tools and team, it’s easy to find out how much traffic a website gets. Whether you look for your own site or a competitor, combining all of this actionable data into a marketing strategy will yield results.
Your web traffic, whether it increases or decreases, can be a lead or lag indicator for your efforts. If you deploy a new marketing campaign and predict a certain percentage increase in sales, just having access to tools like Google Analytics will show you if your work is effective. From there, you can iterate on established ideas, tweak what has potential and experiment with new lead generation ideas. Take a dive into your web traffic and see what you find!