5 Things You Can Learn From Public Stats

Although public stats are known to be a bit inaccurate, it doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Sites like Alexa can still provide you with a lot of valuable information as long as you look at the whole picture. Here are a few things you can learn about your site and your competition through public data:

Traffic Dips
Was there ever a time when your traffic dipped drastically? Sometimes these things are flukes and sometimes they aren’t. A good way find out if it wasn’t a fluke is to check sites like Quantcast.com to see if these traffic dips also hit your competitors.

Industry Performance
If you want to see how you stack up against your competition you can use services like Compete.com that can visually show you a long-term traffic comparison.

Not only does Compete.com show you how many more visitors you need to catch up to your competition, but they also show you, which competitors are declining in growth and where they are getting their traffic from.

Getting Down and Dirty
Some sites, like Gizmodo.com, don’t mind sharing their stats through services like Sitemeter.

If any of your competitors are publicly revealing their Sitemeter stats, I highly recommend that you take the time to analyze their stats. Some of the things that you should analyze are:

  1. Visitors by location – this will show you what regions your competition is getting traffic from and if you should be trying to do the same.
  2. Entry pages – the homepage isn’t always the most popular page. Analyzing your competitor’s entry pages will help you understand what is causing them to receive most of their traffic.
  3. Hourly traffic – if you can spot trends on the times people visit your competitor’s site, this will help you tune your marketing campaigns. For example if you notice the mornings are better than the afternoons, you can run campaigns during the morning and pause them during the afternoon.

Twitter Search
A good way to compare who is getting the most buzz in your industry is to use Twitter’s search feature. Through this feature you can type in your company’s name as well as your competitors and see what people are saying.

On top of this you can go through specific tweets and see if someone is saying anything good or even bad about your competition. This is a great way to build relationships with potential customers.

Trends
Who doesn’t want more traffic? Through Google Trends you can see what’s hot and what’s not. And if you happen to write on something that is hot, your chances of getting more traffic will increase.

In addition to that you can also compare your website’s popularity versus your competitors. You can do this by analyzing what news is causing your competition to grow and what cities your competition is dominating you in.

Conclusion
Although public stats are usually inaccurate if you look at them on a site-by-site basis, they can be very accurate when you use them to analyze a whole industry. So instead of ignoring them, start leveraging them!

  1. The problem with these stats is that they’re not really significant as long as you don’t have a lot of visitors/traction, are they?

    In our case, Superfeedr will probably never have a lot of visitors which makes it quite hard for us to work with these tools.

  2. I am totally agree with Julien. I use all these free tool to measure my site stat. But, some time this free tool create reveal after analysis. I really search for definite solution for this one.

  3. The most important business decisions are based in part on industrial and competitive analysis. These tools help us in the context of website measurement and accompanying strategy. Context is so important for effective measurement.

  4. In my opinion the stats are basically and very strongly tied to the ‘local’ factors.Just take the example of traffic on a road.If there is a car breakdown somewhere on that road either it blocks the entire road or jams it.While the traffic might be just normal for the day,at that time the stats would show up an ‘unseen’ event and predict the proportions in certain percentages.
    Virus outbreaks,thoughout the world have their local influences too.Control mechanisms if in place would show less infected people and weaker control attempts would throw up a different story altogether.
    The stats should be summed up and as we do during the elections,we should study them ‘classwise’ to different classes,areas etc and then if we take a look at the entire picture we would know what the entire scenery is like

  5. this is great stuff. i think i will have to pay more attention to these stats. this way, i will have an idea on how to improve my site’s traffic. MORE TRAFFIC=MORE INCOME!

  6. As a Freelance Internet Marketer, I use these tools to obtain information about my Clients and their competitors.
    They are very useful while making strategies. :)

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