Unlocking SEO and Content Marketing Success with SimilarWeb

Unlocking SEO and Content Marketing Success with SimilarWeb

What Is SimilarWeb?

SimilarWeb is a powerful tool that provides estimates of website traffic, offering a glimpse into competitors’ top traffic sources. This includes a breakdown of six key categories: referring sites, social traffic, and top search keywords.

The Value of SimilarWeb
While not 100% accurate, SimilarWeb provides valuable insights into competitors’ traffic sources, empowering you to make informed decisions.”

Similarweb – Traffic sources

Moreover, SimilarWeb offers unparalleled value to SEO and content marketing professionals. It also serves as a rapid means of identifying the largest players in your industry, providing a clear understanding of their relative market sizes.

Similarweb – Competitors

By leveraging SimilarWeb, you can gain a more detailed understanding of specific competitor strategies, such as identifying the most significant referral sources within your industry. This granular insight enables you to make informed decisions and fine-tune your approach to effectively compete in the market.

Similarweb – Referrals

Upgrading to SimilarWeb Pro provides access to a host of advanced features, such as detailed device distribution, audience insights, and social media traffic share. These enhancements empower users to make more informed decisions and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries.

SimilarWeb – Pro features

Undoubtedly, the “Traffic Overview” section of SimilarWeb delivers significant value, offering critical insights that make the platform a valuable resource on its own. This feature provides a comprehensive summary of traffic trends, enabling users to assess and compare their own performance against competitors.

Similarweb – Traffic overview

To begin, navigate to the SimilarWeb website and enter a URL in the search bar. For added convenience, you can use custom bookmarklets or the SimilarWeb Chrome extension to quickly access data for sites you’re currently visiting.

When analyzing the “Total Visits” section, focus on the graph illustrating the site’s traffic trends over the past month, accompanied by a six-month traffic trendline. This information provides valuable insights into the site’s overall performance and growth.

Similarweb – Total visits

In practice, the “Total Visits” data offers a high degree of accuracy when comparing traffic levels between websites. Although it may not provide exact monthly visit numbers, its reliability resembles that of Alexa rankings.

By evaluating traffic statistics for your site and Moz, for example, you can assess the relative performance of each and discern trends in their respective traffic levels.

Similarweb – Total visits – Backlinko vs Moz

“Why is this data valuable?

When entering a new niche or working with a client in an unfamiliar industry, SimilarWeb’s traffic data provides critical insights into your competitive landscape. This information, otherwise unattainable, enables you to gauge your position in the market.

Additionally, the platform offers engagement metrics, such as average visit duration, page views, and bounce rate. These insights contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of user behavior and the effectiveness of your content and SEO strategies.

Similarweb – Engagement

Keep in mind that SimilarWeb’s engagement metrics, such as bounce rate, should be approached with caution. These figures should serve as a starting point for comparison and improvement, rather than an exact measure.

For example, if you notice that a competing site has a significantly better bounce rate, it may indicate an opportunity for improvement on your end, allowing you to optimize your user experience and content strategy.

Similarweb – Engagement – Bounce rate

When comparing bounce rates, aim for a similar range rather than focusing on exact figures. For example, if your bounce rate is 70.35%, it is within the same range as the competitor’s value of 68.88%. However, a significantly higher bounce rate, such as 88.52%, might suggest that your site is more effective in engaging visitors.

Moving on to the “Traffic Sources” chart, which is a crucial element of this section, it provides insights into the primary sources driving traffic to the site. This information enables you to understand the most effective channels and tactics for driving traffic to your own website, as well as those of your competitors.

Similarweb – Traffic sources

The “Traffic Sources” chart offers a valuable breakdown of a site’s traffic by channel, revealing the percentage of visitors arriving from Direct, Referrals, Search, Social, Email, and Display Advertising. This information can help you identify the most successful channels and strategies for your content marketing and SEO efforts.

By examining these channels, you can determine the areas where your competitors excel and make informed decisions regarding the allocation of your resources.

An alternative approach involves focusing on channels that your competitors overlook. By capitalizing on underutilized channels, you can seize a competitive advantage and establish a stronger presence in these areas.”

In your example, you could identify channels that your competitor is not actively utilizing, such as Display Advertising, and invest more in these areas to create a distinct advantage.

Backlinko – Traffic sources – Display

By capitalizing on untapped channels, you can attract traffic that your competitors are missing. In the case of social media, for instance, SimilarWeb’s data suggests that only 3% of your site’s traffic originates from these platforms. This presents an opportunity for you to increase your presence on channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, potentially capturing a larger share of the market.

SimilarWeb’s “Referrals” feature is particularly useful, as it highlights the specific websites linking to the competitor’s site. This information can help you identify potential link-building opportunities, as well as uncover popular content and key influencers within your niche.

By understanding the external websites that drive traffic to your competitors, you can:

  1. Identify potential guest posting opportunities.
  2. Discover content that resonates with your target audience.
  3. Find influencers and collaborators in your industry.

In summary, SimilarWeb’s “Referrals” feature offers valuable insights into the external websites that drive traffic to your competitors, enabling you to capitalize on these opportunities and strengthen your content marketing, SEO, and link-building strategies.

Similarweb – Referrals section

Let me show you why.

Well, you can see the % of the site’s overall traffic that is coming from referral traffic.

Backlinko referrals traffic

Referral traffic” refers to traffic that comes to your website from other sites, not including search engines or social media platforms. This data may not be highly actionable, but it is still worth noting.

The most valuable pieces of information in this section are:

  1. Top Referring Sites: This is the most important part of this section, as it shows you the top 5 referring sites (or more if you have the “Pro” version of SimilarWeb), along with the percentage of traffic each site is responsible for.
Similarweb – Referrals – Top referring sites

Indeed, this data can be very useful for content marketers. By identifying the top referring sites, you can find high-value link building opportunities and potential partners to collaborate with. This information can also help you identify online communities where you can start participating and building your presence.

Additionally, this data can be a useful tool for finding guest posting opportunities. For example, if you see that a significant percentage of your referral traffic comes from a particular site, you may want to consider reaching out to them to explore the possibility of contributing guest posts. This can help you increase your visibility and reach a wider audience.

In the given example, 13.16% of referral traffic comes from learningseo.io. This indicates that this site is a valuable source of traffic and could be a potential target for link building or guest posting opportunities.

Backlinko referring site

Yes, that’s correct. If a significant percentage of your referral traffic comes from a particular site, it is likely that a good portion of your target audience also reads that site. This makes it a valuable target for a guest blogging campaign, as it can help you reach a larger portion of your target audience.

Regarding the “Top Destination Sites” report, it can also reveal some interesting data. This report shows you the top sites that your visitors go to after leaving your site. This information can be useful for several reasons:

  1. Identifying competitor sites: By seeing which sites your visitors go to after leaving your site, you can identify your competitors and see what they are doing differently.
  2. Finding new partnership opportunities: If you see that a significant portion of your visitors are going to a particular site, you may want to explore the possibility of partnering with that site.
  3. Understanding user behavior: By seeing where your visitors go after leaving your site, you can gain a better understanding of their behavior and interests. This can help you create more targeted content and improve your overall marketing strategy.

Overall, both the “Top Referring Sites” and “Top Destination Sites” reports can provide valuable insights for content marketers and help inform your marketing strategy.

Similarweb – Referrals – Top destination sites

While “Top Referring Sites” shows where the site’s visitors are coming from, “Top Destination Sites” shows how people leave the site you’re analyzing. This information can help you identify other sites that you want to get featured on, as it shows you where your target audience is already going.

For example, in the given scenario, if 3.11% of traffic leaves to go to Moz.com, it suggests that Moz.com is a valuable site in the digital marketing space. As a result, it could be a good target for a guest blogging campaign or other partnership opportunities.

Regarding the “Search,” “Social,” and “Display” sections, they take a closer look at some of the biggest traffic sources most websites get.

The “Search” section is particularly important, as it can account for a massive chunk of most sites’ traffic. According to SparkToro, Google accounts for 57% of all website traffic, making it a critical source of traffic for most websites. By analyzing the “Search” section, you can see how much traffic a site is getting from search engines and which keywords are driving that traffic. This information can help you optimize your own site’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and identify new keyword opportunities.

The “Social” section shows how much traffic a site is getting from social media platforms. This information can help you understand which social media platforms are driving the most traffic to a site and which ones are worth investing in for your own marketing efforts.

Finally, the “Display” section shows how much traffic a site is getting from display ads. This information can help you understand the effectiveness of display advertising for a particular site and industry, and whether it’s a worthwhile investment for your own marketing efforts.

SparkToro – Top traffic referrers

And according to the example SimilarWeb report, 62.11% of my traffic comes from search.

Similarweb – Search – Backlinko traffic

This is why spending some time to analyze what’s working for your competitor’s SEO is super helpful.

What makes SimilarWeb’s “Search” section awesome is that it shows you the top 5 search keywords (for both organic and paid search).

Similarweb – Search – Organic keywords

By analyzing the “Search” section in SimilarWeb, you can identify which keywords are driving traffic to a site. If you Google those keywords, you can see which pieces of content are ranking for them, and then use the Skyscraper Technique to create even better content and steal their search traffic.

Regarding the “Social” section, it is also broken down by specific platform, which can be very useful for understanding which social media platforms are driving the most traffic to a site. By analyzing this information, you can see which platforms are working best for your competitors and which ones are worth investing in for your own marketing efforts.

Similarweb – Social

Similar to the Traffic Sources report, the Social report can be used in two different ways. You can either focus on the social media sites where your competitors are already active and have a strong presence. Alternatively, you can use this information to identify social media platforms that are not yet highly competitive, allowing you to establish a presence early on and potentially gain a competitive advantage.

Regarding the Display Advertising report, it shows you the top publishers (sites) as well as the top ad networks being used for paid display ads and PPC. This information can be useful for understanding which ad networks and publishers are effective in your industry and for identifying new opportunities for your own display advertising campaigns.

Similarweb – Display advertising

One thing to keep in mind here is that SimilarWeb doesn’t have access to Facebook ad traffic data.

Table of Contents

Audience Interests

SimilarWeb’s “Audience” data focuses on what the site’s visitors do outside of that site itself.

SimilarWeb – Audience interests


You can see the categories of interests they have, based on their activity outside of the webز

SimilarWeb – Audience interests – Categories

Sounds pretty accurate to me.

And if you analyze a health and fitness website, you’ll find that their interests tend to revolve around things like nutrition and sports.

SimilarWeb – Audience interests – Categories – NerdFitness

Why is this beneficial for content marketing?

The primary objective of content marketing is to provide valuable content that caters to the needs of your target audience. This report serves as a valuable tool by offering a comprehensive overview of the topics and subjects that pique their interest.

Additionally, the “Also Visited Websites” report is another invaluable resource that I frequently utilize.

SimilarWeb – Audience interests – Visited websites

That’s because it gives you an idea of the sites that your audience tends to hang out on.

For example, if you look at this report for Twitch.tv, you can see that their users tend to spend a lot of time on YouTube, Steam and Reddit.

SimilarWeb – Audience interests – Visited websites for Twitch

If you were establishing a Twitch competitor, these are the websites you should prioritize your attention on.

Moreover, you can utilize this information for your own website. This allows you to obtain a list of associated sites that you may consider collaborating with, advertising on, or even promoting to your own audience as an affiliate.

Word Cloud

Lastly, this section presents a word cloud that highlights the topics SimilarWeb considers most relevant to the visitors of the particular site.

SimilarWeb – Audience interests – Topics

Please bear in mind that the information provided may not be extremely precise, but it does offer some insights into the categories. For instance, one of the interest categories for example is listed as “Computers Electronics And Technology > Computers Electronics And Technology.” While it may not have a clear practical meaning, the word cloud provides terms that offer a better understanding of the interests of the website’s visitors.

Competitors & Similar Sites
This report is a convenient way to identify your competitors.

Similarweb – Competitors

As someone actively involved in this field, I can confirm that this list is incredibly accurate. These are the exact websites I consistently encounter in the realms of SEO, video marketing, and social media.

Knowing who your competitors are is valuable, but the question remains: How can you leverage this market intelligence to drive action?

One approach is to study the strategies and tactics employed by the top websites in your niche and deliberately take a different path. Sometimes, being distinct and offering something unique can be the most impactful move. for example, I focused on creating highly comprehensive, long-form content. My articles were significantly longer compared to others in the SEO industry, establishing a notable point of differentiation that still holds true today.

Additionally, this report can help identify opportunities for guest posting or collaborations. Competitors can join forces to create something far superior than what they could achieve individually.

Beyond recognizing major players in your field, conducting a thorough competitor analysis is crucial for strategic planning. It serves as a foundation for developing well-informed and effective strategies in areas such as SEO and content marketing, enabling you to maintain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving landscape.

Top Similarweb Alternatives

  • Semrush: All-in-one SEO tool with traffic analysis, keyword research, competitor insights.
  • Ahrefs: Powerful backlink analysis and keyword research for organic traffic focus.
  • Serpstat: Affordable option with website traffic analysis, keyword research, and competitor analysis.
  • SpyFu: Competitive intelligence tool showing competitor’s paid & organic search history.
  • Moz Pro: SEO tool with website audits, keyword research, and backlink checking.

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