Analyzing the traffic on your own website with Google Analytics and Search Console is straightforward. But analyzing the traffic on third-party sites requires external tools.
In this article, I will compare three of these tools.
To test, I use my website, Viral Content Bee, because I can find the right data. The site generates approximately 100,000 monthly sessions from various sources. Organic search traffic is about 80,000 monthly sessions – roughly 75,000 from Google.
Ahrefs: Google organic and paid
Sentence From Google Search – organic and paid – it estimates the internal ranking of any website. It includes a graph that attempts to estimate that traffic over time.
You can easily correlate traffic and rank fluctuations by hovering over the dates in the graph. Ahrefs estimates my website’s monthly traffic (as of May 2023) at 37,900 sessions, which is less than 50% accurate.
You can also see the countries of your visitors. This chart was more or less accurate, with one exception. According to Google Analytics, the third most popular country is the United Kingdom, followed by the Philippines.
Ahrefs pricing starts at $99 per month. Advanced analytics (such as top pages with organic clicks) require the $199/month or higher version. Ahrefs does not offer any free trials.
Semrush: Google organic and paid
Semrush It provides the same data as Ahrefs based on its internal ranking estimation. Correlating traffic and rankings in SemRush isn’t as easy for me as Ahrefs, but the results are the same. Semrush reports my monthly traffic at 39,000 sessions which is not as accurate as Ahrefs.
Semrush ranked the Philippines as the third most popular country. The ranking of my device’s top pages with organic clicks was also wrong.
Semrush prices start at $120 per month with a 7-day free trial (credit card required).
Similar Web: All Sources
don’t have Same web My review of the premium account below is based on the free trial.
Similarweb reports the total traffic of any website from all channels, not just Google. The data comes from four sources, SimilarWeb: partnerships, data from different websites, Similarweb apps and extensions installed on different devices, and publicly available data. Although I can understand why due to competitive pressures, these statements are not clear.
The same website estimated 79,763 monthly sessions on my site (again, the actual is about 100,000). Like Ahrefs and Semrush, Similarweb’s ranking of top traffic drivers was inaccurate.
Even though my actual referral traffic was higher than 2.23%, the same web estimate for my high traffic channels was close.
My assumption of the top traffic driving social network platform was wrong, according to the top referral sources. (I should add Google Analytics, which is also wrong because it shows email marketing traffic as referrals.
Overall, Similarweb provides useful information for comparing websites despite its shortcomings. Using it in conjunction with Ahrefs or Semrush provides a more complete overview.
Similarweb offers a free 7-day trial but does not publish prices.
Helpful, not perfect.
My takeaways from Ahrefs’ and Similarweb’s organic traffic analysis:
- The estimate of the equipment was surprisingly close. I see no reason to use either.
- Both seem to see half of Google searches. That’s a lot, but understandable, because long-tail queries are unpredictable, and roughly 15% of all searches are new to Google.
- The two devices agree on traffic trends, a very useful insight. Their traffic graphs include quotes for Google updates to see the results.
All three tools underestimated my site’s actual traffic but provided helpful information for competitive research.
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