SimilarWeb is a marketing analysis tool that in my opinion offers the best competitive research data available in the market. In short, if you’re using this tool you pretty much can uncover ANY website’s marketing and traffic acquisition strategies, which ones are working and which ones aren’t. It’s the ultimate professional online marketer’s wet dream.
SimilarWeb offers a free plan, but it’s really in the paid tiers that the rubber hits the road so to speak.
First of all SimilarWeb Pro Enterprise is VERY EXPENSIVE. I think the plan we have at our company costs between $25,000 and $30,000 per year. However if your company can afford it, I will show you in this review, how this should be pretty much one of the only tools you should look into investing as soon as you can afford it, as it will save you tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars on wasted marketing efforts.
Have you ever wondered how some companies get so big, so fast. What strategies are they using to drive traffic and conversions to their website? As a fulltime online marketer I think we all have, and this is where SimilarWeb comes in.
With SimilarWeb you can pretty much reverse engineer your biggest competitors marketing efforts and copy their most successful strategies. Often you’ll know more of what’s working for your competitors, than themselves.
Reverse Engineering a Successful Online Business Entire Marketing Strategy
In this section, I’m going to show you how you can reverse an entire traffic and monetization using SimilarWeb by actually doing it to one of the biggest brands in the Survival space, SurvivalLife.com, one of the blogs and brands by the famous online marketer Ryan Deiss and the guys at DigitalMarketer.com.
Since they are transparent and wrote several blog posts on growing this brand and the blog and store associated with it from scratch, that you can check out by clicking here, I hope they are okay with us doing this analysis of their brand.
So we’re going to login to SimilarWeb Pro, type SurvivalLife.com and check out their stats.
Traffic and Engagement
So we can see immediately that in the last months their blog has had 14 million visitors, 65.65% mobile and 34.35% desktop. This lets us know immediately that having a blog and content that is optimized for mobile is absolutely key in this niche as most people will be visiting either on their phones or tablets.
It also tells us that roughly half of their monthly visitors are unique visitors, and the rest are repeat visitors. The average visit is of 1:50 minutes and each person reads on average two articles before leaving the website. If you’re in the same niche, you can use this information to compare with your website own stats tracked with Google Analytics. If you have a lower bounce rate and a higher average visit time, you are probably on the right track.
Afterwards, we look at Geography and unsurprisingly the vast majority of the traffic is coming from the United States, as survival really is an American niche. So nothing earthshattering here, but in other more international niches, knowing which markets to hit can be really valuable information.
Looking at Demographics, now we’re onto something. Similarweb has uncovered that over half of the blog’s readers are Men over 50 years old. This is key information whether you’re starting a competing blog, or if you have an e-commerce store and you’re just trying to sell a product to this niche with ads.
This also tells us this is probably a better niche to be in than most people give it credit for. It’s common knowledge between marketers that older demographics just tend to have more disposable income and tend to be easier to sell something to than younger people.
This next screen tells us other sites that SimilarWeb believes their visitors are also interested in. I do believe this is one of the weakest features on Similarweb and I wish they gave you information that was actually actionable and allow you to use for Targeting on Facebook Ads for example. As it stands, it’s a cool little feature to know a little more about your audience, but I don’t think I’ve ever used this information for anything.
Now, this is where SimilarWeb gets really good. As you can see above Similarweb tells you which are the main traffic sources of the Site, and also tells you other things about each type of traffic such as Avg. Visit time or Pages Viewed. Just as a side note Similarweb as far as I know, does not yet do a good job differentiating Social traffic by paid and organic, so it crams them together under the Social Traffic stats.
As you can see from the screenshot above, while most of the traffic is Direct, which means probably typed by users already aware of the brand in the Browser bar, the best traffic quality seems to come from Paid Search with an Average staying time of more than double the time of the other sources. So by analyzing this information, you can see what sources of traffic could potentially be worth testing in your business.
Next up in the referrals tab we see what websites have been referring most traffic to SurvivalLife.com. This is one of the most invaluable tabs as you can use it to copy and try to steal some of these referrers and get them to refer traffic to you as well. Your logical step here would be to export this information in CSV (which you can do with SimilarWeb) and then go to Google and try to figure out which pages are referring traffic to SurvivalLife.com. Is it an article? Is it a banner? Could you possible contact the owners and tell them about your site/product? I’m sure you get the idea.
Note: Now in this particular case there seems to be a lot of traffic coming from mail servers which are probably traffic from newsletters sent by SurvivalLife.com to their subscribers which SimilarWeb wrongly catalogged as referral traffic. So take that into account if your research comes up the same way.
Now, this is the most awesome feature for blogs and anyone interested in SEO. Basically, it tells you which keywords are referring the most traffic to which page inside the Domain, and how these pages/posts. So you can see which keywords worth pursuing that you can try to outrank your competitor for. So just imagine how awesome it is to just export all these URLs, go to a Keyword difficulty analyzer tool, analyze each of these pages backlinks and then decide which of these articles to try to replicate, improve and outrank. You can see how this is an amazing feature for blogs, but not all… this is just for organic traffic. Now check out what it can do for paid traffic:
With Similarweb, you are able to hijack all paid keywords your competitor is using and even download the Ads that they’re using (which for some reason are not available for SurvivalLife.com). In this case they’re only bidding on 8 keywords using Adwords, and their main source of Google traffic is by far organic, but if your competitor is actually doing more paid search traffic, just imagine how powerful it is to just be able to download all their ads and know which keyword each ad relates to. It’s incredibly powerful information.
This is another section where SimilarWeb shines. You can see in the SurvivalLife.com case they have a really strong Pinterest strategy, which makes up 74% of their Social traffic. The best part? With SimilarWeb you can see the exact pins that are driving the most traffic to SurvivalLife.com.
In this case we found the particular Pin above to be their biggest driver of traffic.
Display and Video Ads
Now this feature allows you to completely analyze which ad networks a brand is using, and even see their ads. Below you can see a few of the ads we uncovered for SurvivalLife.com. It seems they are running mostly free + shipping product ads, which is a very popular strategy for ecom stores. They are also on Clickbank which means they have other affiliates actually promoting their products.
Outgoing Links and Ads
You can also see what pages a particular domain is referring most traffic to or the outgoing ads its displaying. In this case there is not much point in doing that but imagine if you are looking to uncover what money pages a particular landing page is referring most traffic to. In that case this feature would be invaluable.
This feature is only available on the highest tiers of SimilarWeb, and it’s absolutely insane for marketing purposes as it actually can tell which pages inside a domain are receiving most traffic. While in the case of the blog, we have uncovered this information already, check out how amazing it is when we search SurvivalLife’s store at store.survivallife.com
Yep, this is incredible but we can actually see which are the best performing products of this particular store, as any other store. Now tell me if you’re running an ecommerce store how much money and time would you save just by knowing which are the top performing products of your competitors? I bet it’s a lot…
In this case we uncovered their most popular collections and upon looking in the details we uncovered this product below seems to be their most popular product.
Now I’m just thinking of it’s use for ecom, but I can tell you I’ve used it to uncover the entire sales funnels or some competitors, discover their hidden pages where they were sending their traffic to. Even access hidden parts of their websites that are not shown on Search Engines.
While there are other features in SimilarWeb I’ve covered the ones who have been the most valuable to me and that I believe are key when you’re trying to reverse engineer your competitor’s marketing strategy.
Now I think you’ve got an idea on how powerful SimilarWeb Pro really is and why you need to have it when you’re trying to scale your business. I was almost hesitant to write this post because SimilarWeb has been kind of a too good to be true weapon in my business, but I believe the price will still keep the tire kickers at bay and only a small amount of people who are serious about their business will take advantage of this information.
Whether you’re doing SEO, Social Media Marketing or Paid Traffic, SimilarWeb has you covered and gives you information that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else online.