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How to  Track Your Competitors’ Website Traffic  Ethically: 5 Practical Steps

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Are you curious about how much traffic your competitors’ websites are attracting?

Would you like to ethically peek into their virtual footfall to adopt best practices and outperform them?

This guide will walk you through five simple steps to track your competitors’ website traffic ethically, giving you a competitive edge in the market.

Why Track Your Competitors’ Website Traffic

Competitor analysis is a fundamental part of any business strategy. It allows you to gain a better understanding of the market, target audience, and industry trends. You can also gather valuable data that will help you make informed decisions and stay ahead in the game.

Here are some reasons why you should track your competitors’ website traffic:

  • Understand your market position: You can get an idea of where you stand in the market. This information can help you identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to expand your reach.
  • Identify potential customers: You can identify potential customers that you may have missed. This will allow you to target the proper demographic and personalize your marketing efforts. 
  • Gain insights into their strategies: Tracking your competitors’ website traffic can give you a peek into their digital marketing strategies. You can learn from their successes and failures and apply this knowledge to your own campaigns.
  • Discover new trends: You can identify emerging trends in your industry and stay updated with the latest developments. This will help you adapt your business plans accordingly and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Benchmark your performance: You can compare your website traffic, engagement metrics, and conversion rates with those of your competitors. This information can help you set realistic goals and measure your success.
  • Keep up with industry changes: You can stay updated with any changes in their business models or new products/services they may be offering. This will give you an idea of where the market is heading and allow you to make necessary adjustments to your own business strategy and create an effective marketing plan for your business.
  • Identify potential partnerships: You may come across businesses that complement your own. This could lead to potential partnerships or collaborations that can benefit both parties.

Now, let’s dive into the five simple steps to track your competitors’ website traffic ethically. By following these steps, you can gain valuable insights and stay ahead in the competitive market. Stay tuned!

Step 1: Identify Your Competitors

The first step to tracking your competitors’ website traffic is to identify who they are. This may seem like an obvious step, but it is crucial to ensure you are monitoring the right websites.

Here are some ways to identify your competitors:

  • Google Search
  • Social Media
  • Industry Directories

Google Search

One of the easiest and most effective ways to identify your competitors is by conducting a simple Google search.

Type in keywords that are related to your business or industry and see which websites consistently appear on the first page. These are likely your main competitors.

For example, if you are looking for the best online business administration degrees, you can notice that the top results are dominated by reputable universities and colleges, other than pages with a collection of online degree courses.

Websites for tracking


These are the websites you should focus on tracking.

Social Media

Another way to identify your competitors is by monitoring their social media presence.

Follow industry leaders and influencers, join relevant groups, and pay attention to which companies they mention or interact with frequently. These are likely your competitors in the same space.

Also, take note of the number of followers and engagement rates of these companies to get an idea of their online presence and influence.

For example, if you are writing about financial services, LinkedIn groups can give you valuable insights into your competitors’ strategies, as discussions and posts often revolve around industry news, updates, and trends.


Social Media SEO

Industry Directories

Lastly, you can also identify your competitors by browsing through industry directories or listings.

These directories often categorize businesses based on their services, making it easier to find companies in the same niche as yours.

You can also check out their websites and social media profiles to gather more information.

Some popular industry directories include:

  • Yellow Pages
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Chamber of Commerce

Step 2: Analyze Their Website Traffic

Once you have identified your competitors, the next step is to analyze their website traffic. This will provide you with valuable insights into their online presence and performance.

There are various tools available that can help you track your competitors’ website traffic, such as:

  • SimilarWeb
  • SEMRush
  • Ahrefs


SimilarWeb is a free tool that provides website traffic data for public websites.

Simply enter your competitors’ website URLs and you can access information such as:

  • Total monthly visits
  • Traffic sources (organic, direct, referral, paid)
  • Top referring websites
  • Top search keywords
  • Audience demographics and interests

This data can help you understand where your competitors are getting their traffic from and what keywords they are targeting to attract visitors.

It also comes with a handy SEO Chrome extension that displays SimilarWeb data for any website you visit.

Competitors Traffic Analysis


SEMRush is a comprehensive SEO and digital marketing tool that also offers competitor analysis.

You can enter your competitors’ website URLs and get insights such as:

  • Organic search rankings
  • Backlinks
  • Top-performing pages
  • Paid traffic analysis
  • Keyword gap analysis (identifying keywords your competitors rank for but you don’t)

This data can help you understand your competitors’ SEO and PPC strategies, as well as their content marketing efforts.

On the free plan, you can make up to 5 searches per day.


For more advanced features, you can subscribe to a premium plan.


Similar to SEMRush, Ahrefs is another powerful SEO and content marketing tool that offers competitor analysis.

You can enter your competitors’ website URLs and get insights such as:

  • Domain rating (a measure of a website’s backlink authority)
  • Top referring domains
  • Top pages
  • Organic search keywords
  • Traffic estimates

This data can help you understand your competitors’ backlink profiles, content strategies, and organic search performance.

Ahrefs does not offer a standard plan, but it has a free website traffic checker tool that allows you to get an overview of any website’s traffic data.

Step 3: Monitor Their Content

Now that you have a good understanding of your competitors’ overall online presence, it’s time to focus on their content.

Monitoring their content can help you identify trends, popular topics, and the type of content that resonates with their audience.

This information can give you ideas for your own content strategy and help you stay updated with industry news and trends.

You can monitor your competitors’ content in various ways, such as:

  • Subscribe to their newsletter
  • Following their blog or social media accounts
  • Setting up a Google Alerts

Newsletter Subscription

Many companies have a regular newsletter that they send out to subscribers.

By subscribing to your competitors’ newsletters, you can stay updated with their latest content and promotions.

You can also gain insights into their email marketing strategies and learn what type of content they are promoting through email.

Blog and Social Media

Following your competitors’ blogs and social media accounts is another great way to monitor their content.

This will give you real-time updates on their latest posts and allow you to engage with their audience.

You can also get a better understanding of the topics they cover, what type of content performs well for them, and how they interact with their audience.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool that allows you to monitor mentions of specific keywords or phrases on the internet.

You can set up alerts for your competitors’ names, products, or industry keywords and receive notifications whenever they are mentioned online.

This can help you keep track of any news or updates related to your competitors and stay updated on industry trends.

Step 4: Evaluate Their SEO Strategies

SEO is a crucial aspect of digital marketing, and understanding your competitors’ SEO strategies can give you an edge in the market.

By analyzing their SEO efforts, you can identify areas where you can improve and learn from their successful tactics.

One way to evaluate your competitors’ SEO strategies is by using the tools mentioned earlier, such as SEMRush and Ahrefs.

You can also manually check their website for on-page optimization techniques, keyword usage, and backlink profiles.

Additionally, you can also analyze their PPC campaigns to get an idea of the keywords they are targeting and what ads are performing well for them.

You can then start creating assets like infographics, presentations, ebooks, how-to guides, etc. When it comes to crafting a comprehensive SEO report, using a pre-designed SEO Report PowerPoint template can be an efficient approach. These templates, tailored for SEO reporting, are designed with a professional aesthetic and include various layouts and visualizations that make your data and analysis clear and engaging. Not only will it save you valuable time in designing a presentation from scratch, but it will also ensure that your report is structured effectively, helping to communicate your SEO data and strategies in a way that is accessible and compelling for your audience.

Step 5: Use the Information Wisely

Gathering information on your competitors is just one part of the process.

It’s essential to use this data wisely and ethically to improve your own online presence.

You have to keep the following things in mind:

  • Don’t copy their content: While it’s essential to stay updated with your competitors’ content, avoid copying it. Instead, use it as inspiration and come up with unique ideas for your own content.
  • Respect their privacy: Try not to cross any ethical boundaries when gathering information about your competitors. Avoid hacking or illegally accessing their data.
  • Stay updated: Competition in the digital world is constantly evolving. Make sure to regularly track your competitors’ online presence and adjust your strategies accordingly.
  • Respect copyright laws. Make sure to credit and link back to any content or images that you use from your competitors’ websites. This shows respect for their intellectual property and avoids any potential legal issues.


Tracking your competitors’ website traffic ethically can give you valuable insights into their online presence and help you improve your own digital marketing strategies.

By following these five simple steps, you can gather data on your competitors, monitor their content, evaluate their SEO efforts, and use the information wisely to stay ahead in the competitive market.

So, start implementing these steps today and see how they can benefit your business.

About the Author

Erik Emanuelli has been in the online marketing game since 2010. Learn more about SEO and blogging from his experience.

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1 thought on “How to  Track Your Competitors’ Website Traffic  Ethically: 5 Practical Steps”

  1. I use them all. In my opinion, semrush and ahrefs are the best. Similarweb is not quite as good. I would also add Wincher to that list.

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