Discover How Much Traffic a Website Gets - Quick and Easy, like a Pro

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How much traffic a website gets can range from a few to a lot -- but there are tools that give you a more accurate result, if you knew where to look, right? Exactly!

If you’re trying to figure out how much traffic your website gets…that’s easy. The smart thing to do is install Google Analytics [won’t cost a dime] and you’d see near-exact traffic numbers.

Below is a good example of Ahref’s blog growth as revealed by Google Analytics...

A screenshot of Ahref's Google analytics dashboard

But, in most cases, you aren’t trying to figure out your site’s traffic, right? We know. 

We know for instance that you’re probably trying to uncover how much page views your competitor is getting, and there’s no way a quick, “Hey competitor, what’s your site traffic like” will get you any desired results.

But…before we dig into smart ways to get traffic estimates of just about any site you’re interested in, why exactly should anyone [including you] be interested in another site’s stats for Pete’s sakes?

Well, the short answer is, for competitive analysis. But in plain English, figuring out how much traffic a site gets helps you validate the site’s content and also lets you in on how much traffic to target for your website so your site can experience similar results.

Good. So, now that we have all of that sorted [and safely behind us], let’s cut straight to the chase, shall we?

First off, let’s walk you through 3 solid ways to determine traffic estimates for target websites.

#1: Use a traffic estimation tool

Thing is there are tools that estimate Total Traffic: These tools estimate traffic from all sources, whether search engines, social media, forums, etc.  

And, there are tools that focus only on organic traffic: These tools estimate site visits that come from search engines only [aka from Google].

If you’re looking for a tool that helps determine the total traffic a competitor site is getting, then SimilarWeb is the go-to for that.

SimilarWeb help determine…

  • Site’s traffic over time
  • The countries where the most traffic are coming from
  • The search keywords bringing the organic referrals
  • How much time visitors spend on site on average
  • Pages per visit
  • Bounce rates
  • Top referring sites [useful for building links or when seeking guest post opportunities] 
  • And so on…

You can even download the traffic report as PDF for quick reference, anytime.

Notes: 

SimilarWeb doesn’t provide data for pageview estimates but you can manually multiply Total visits X Pages per visit = Pageviews.

Paid users can view monthly traffic estimates for up to 2 years, while free users can view same data for 6 months on an interactive graph that looks something like this…

A GIF of Ahrefs' monthly visits on Similarweb

Below is SimilarWeb in action… 

A screenshot of SimilarWeb's website

If you’re looking for a tool that helps determine traffic a competitor site is getting from search engines plus other juicy stuff, then Ahrefs is the go-to for that.

Ahrefs help determine…

  • Websites 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
  • Compare website rankings vs competitors  
  • New, lost and broken backlinks
  • Plus lots more

Ahrefs traffic estimate for Ahref.com in action…

A screenshot of Ahrefs' dashboard showing the organic search data for ahrefs.com

The above screenshot shows Ahref.com gets an estimated 270K visitors from Google.

Now, what if you’d like to see the traffic estimates for a sub-section of a website, say, blog section? It’s easy on Ahrefs. Just plug in the sub-domain [e.g. Ahrefs.com/blog] into the site explorer, select the “Prefix” option from dropdown, and pronto…

A screenshot of Ahrefs' dashboard showing the organic search data for Ahrefs' blog

Right. We know what you’re thinking.

You’re wondering which traffic estimation tool to settle for between SimilarWeb and Ahrefs to determine how much traffic a website gets?

Stick with us to find out…

Remember, SimilarWeb estimates total traffic while Ahrefs estimates organic [Google] traffic, right? Good. So, while they’re different, they can be used together.

With SimilarWeb, you can see where the majority of traffic to a site is coming from [whether organic, social, or other] See below…

A screenshot of The Wire Cutter's traffic data on SimilarWeb

The orange bar above shows thewirecutter.com gets 61.29% of its traffic from search engines.

So, seeing that a site receives its highest traffic from organic search [thanks to SimilarWeb], you can then use Ahrefs to determine how organic traffic has grown over say, 3+ years…

A GIF of Ahrefs showing organic traffic growth over time.

Or, every one of the keywords it ranks for…

A screenshot of Ahrefs showing organic keyword rankings for thewirecutter.com

Or, the pages bringing in the highest organic traffic to the site…

A screenshot of Ahrefs' top pages for thewirecutter.com

Plus so much more you can determine – as you wish.

Guess what? This is just one of 3 ways to determine site traffic. So let’s see the other two shall we?

#2: Ask the site owner indirectly

It’s very common these days for digital marketers to request to advertise with site owners. And to make their choice, they need to have an idea how much traffic that site is generating so they know what potential value they’d be getting for their advertising spend.

Of course, you can do them a quick email asking for these key stats, but there’s a smarter, faster way to go about this. 

Many site owners now post these stats on a publicly accessible page due to popular demand, but how do you get a hold on it without scurrying the whole site? 

The little-known hack is via this smart Google search…

site:website.com advertise with us

So, apply this hack on say, geekwire.com and voila!

Google search result for site:geekwire.com advertise with us
Geekwire website reach stats

Notes:

  • Not all sites have an “advertise with us” page
  • For those who have, check to see if the stats are up-to-date 

#3: Ask the site owner directly

Really? Yes, really!

How do you get someone to release something of value or something they value?

Well…promise something they value in return, period! 

How to do that?

Ask nicely via one of these ways…

  1. Reach out via email and tell them you’re interested in buying their site

OR,

  1. Reach out and tell them you’re interested in advertising with them

Anyone of these ways will produce the traffic stats you have been so dying to have...only if you remember to smartly request for it as part of the info needed to decide from the options before you.  

Notes:

  • Some desperate site owners can fabricate traffic stats just to impress you
  • Not everyone cares to install Google Analytics on their site even though it’s free
  • Those who do can easily misintall, misleading you in the process  

Our best advice? Well, we recommend you double-check traffic stats handed over by target sites via third-party tools highlighted above.

Want more hacks? 

Below are other smart, non-tool ways to determine a site’s popularity…

Check;

  • Number of comments on their posts…on the average
  • Number of YouTube video views
  • Number of social shares
  • Level of engagement on their fan pages [aka, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.]

Parting words…

None of the traffic estimation tools or hacks out there are perfect, but the value you derive from the tool you use…is in the overall goal. 

Do you still remember what the overall goal of knowing how much traffic a site gets, is? 

Competitive analysis [aka figuring out how much traffic a site has so you can validate the uniqueness and quality of a site’s content and also know how much traffic to target for your website -- so your site can experience similar results].

Good…then it’s a wrap!

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