When the average person visits a website for the first time, their eyes follow an F-pattern.
When I visit a website for the first time, I look at something else. In less than a second, I have a decent idea of how much traffic that website gets which helps me decide whether or not to stay.
Knowing how much traffic a website gets helps you validate the website’s content and lets you know how much traffic you need to get to see similar results.
Here are ten little-known techniques for figuring out how much traffic someone else’s website gets.
By the way, SEMRush is my favorite tool.
1. Alexa Ranking
The Alexa Ranking isn’t exactly “little-known,” but it is the best-known metric for ranking websites. This is the first thing I look at when I visit a site:
Alexa tracks stats for everyone who has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser, which accounts for less than 1% of internet users. So it’s not very accurate, but it’ll give you a rough idea of the website’s popularity.
- If you use Chrome, install the Alexa Extension.
- If you use Firefox, get the Alexa Add-On.
Alexa’s reliability is shaky – some argue that it’s worthless – so it’s important to consider other metrics.
My favorite tool for website-based keyword research is SEMRush.com. Here’s a screenshot when you search IncomeDiary.com:
Semrush gives you a lot of information on a websites search engine rankings, how much traffic they get for those rankings, competitors, paid advertising, backlinks and so much more.
As you can see from the screenshot above, IncomeDiary ranks 1st for “how to make money from a website,” 4th for “famous entrepreneurs,” and 11th for “business movies.” Those are highly competitive keywords that are collectively searched over 10,000 times per month.
As you go down the list, you can start to estimate how much traffic he gets for each keyword based on the position and search volume.
SimilarWeb is a website traffic checker that’s similar to Alexa, except, it’s got a lot more detail put into it, so it’s more accurate!
The main takeaway is that it gives you a line graph with values for the number of daily unique visitors and the sources. You can see the countries that your traffic comes from, top referring sites, the top destination sites (sites people visit after yours), display ads, audience interests, and up to 10 organic keywords with the free version.
Without a doubt, Ahrefs is one of the best tracking tools I have ever used! This software provides such a wealth of website traffic information. You can find out:
- New, lost and broken backlinks.
- Domains sending the most traffic to a site.
- Search engine rankings.
- How much traffic a search engine ranking is getting a site.
- Pages from a site getting the most traffic.
- You can compare website rankings vs competitors.
AuthorityLabs allows you to track your competitors search engine rankings side by side with your own.
Like SemRush, it tells you how high you are ranking and how many people are looking at that search term. A great tool, that seems to be growing in popularity.
6. YouTube or Vimeo Views
If a website has a YouTube or Vimeo video embedded on the homepage, click to “Watch on YouTube.”
If the video is public, both YouTube and Vimeo will show the view counts. Also check the upload date to estimate how many people view it per month.
Just because the homepage Dollar Shave Club video has almost 4 million views doesn’t mean that their site had 4 million views. But it gives you some idea of how much traffic they got in their first month.
7. Blog Post Comments
Another way to gauge the popularity of a blog is to look at how many comments it gets per post.
With my sites, I’ve found that an average of 1 out of every 200 readers leaves a comment. So a post with 20 non-Nicholas comments was viewed about 4,000 times. This changes with every post and every blog, but again, it gives you a general idea.
8. Total Comment Counts
Immediately after you comment on a WordPress blog, your browser redirects you to where your comment will show up. If you look at the URL, you’ll see something that looks like this:
The second half of the URL tells you that you left the 108,656th comment on IncomeDiary.com. This number includes spam comments. Assume that 75-90% of the comments are spam and you can get an idea of how many comments a site has had since day one.
9. Search for Interviews
A large percentage of successful website owners do interviews, talking about how they built their site and what works for them. Often, they will share not only how much traffic they get, but also where it’s coming from.
You can see some examples of bloggers talking about how much traffic they get by looking through some of the interviews we have conducted for IncomeDiary.
In my experience, a lot of people are more open about sharing traffic stats then you would think. You see this not just in interviews but if you peruse through the archived articles on a blog, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a “blog in review” or “traffic report” post. With those stats, you can start to figure out how much traffic the site is getting today.
10. Check “Advertise Here” Pages
By far, the most accurate way to figure out how much traffic a website gets is to go to their Advertising page.
If a blog is trying to sell advertising space, they need to tell you exactly how many unique views and impressions your ad is going to get every month.
If you sell advertising space on BuySellAds, you need to share your monthly unique and monthly impressions.
The Final Word
Unless the owner of the website reveals exactly how much traffic they’re getting, every other figure is a best guess. Most tools are surprisingly inaccurate when
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