What should you do if you need to find similar sites in order to do a quick or in-depth analysis of a market niche, to look through and evaluate competitors’ sites regarding content, SEO, traffic sources and channels, the degree of brand development online, etc.? In this article, I will share five generally available ways to find competitor sites or just sites like yours, as well as the websites belonging to the same owner.
How to find similar websites and competitors
- Enter the domain name in the tool above or in website traffic checker;
- Try SERP checker tool. Choose the most important keywords for your business and check which websites are ranked by them in top of the SERP;
- Use the “similar sites” extension for Google Chrome;
- Use the “related” operator in Google;
- Try Site Explorer from Ahrefs. One of the tab shows websites that rank in organic search results for the same keywords as the target website in the country with the biggest share of organic search traffic.
Sitechecker has two free tools allowing users to get information on similar sites in a few seconds. The first tool is Similar Websites. Just enter the site address in the field above and the tool will show up to 20 sites having the same audience as yours in Google.
The second tool is the Website Traffic Checker (WTC). This tool is an extended version of the above one. Apart from listing similar sites in the results, WTC also provides the following information:
- The volume of traffic the site got over the past six months (traffic means the number of all visits to the site, not unique users)
- Traffic distribution by countries,
- Traffic distribution by channels: organic search, direct traffic, visits from social networks with source details, referral traffic.
- Top 5 organic search keywords and top 5 keywords from paid search.
The amount of information a user gets in a few seconds is quite impressive.
Having analyzed similar sites with WTC, in a few minutes you will learn which sites like yours operate in a niche. After researching them, you can draw the first conclusions about the competitive environment.
If for some reasons twenty websites are not enough for your analysis, analyze each URL you got after the first check with the Similarsites or WTC tool. This way, you can get up to 400 results in total. Of course, some URLs will overlap, but you will find at least 50 unique websites like yours.
You know the keywords by which you want users to find you. This is probably the first method by which everyone found their competitors’ sites 15 years ago, but this method is still efficient and even more accurate than before. The methods for calculating the relevance of search results to a search query have evolved greatly, so you can get interesting results by looking though SERP. The disadvantage of this method is that it requires a lot of manual labor. The automation of this process is a completely different story for a separate article. There can be displayed up to 100 search results on one screen for each request, and there are many such requests and pagination pages in Google. Therefore, if you do not stop timely, you can lose a lot of time and not achieve the desired result. To safe your time try SERP checker tool.
Chrome Web Store offers a useful extension called Similarsites. While you are looking through the desired website, just open the extension and get a list of similar sites. 80% of the results provided by the Similarsites extension and the sitechecker tools usually match.
The extension shows the average value of the amount of traffic to the website over the past few months, as well as the site’s ranking in Similarweb.
How to find similar sites in Google
Another way to find similar sites using Google is via the “related” operator. With every year, the algorithm of this operator is becoming less understandable and for some websites there are no results at all. However, if the related operator works for a specific case, then you will find very interesting sites in the search results that you could never find using other tools. To use this operator, type related: sitename.com in the address bar.
Site Explorer by Ahrefs
This method is paid. Ahrefs does not provide free trial access; there is only a trial version for 7 days, which costs $7. What is good about the Ahrefs method?
The algorithm by which Ahrefs shows you similar sites is the most understandable of all. The more search phrases for the target website and the competitor’s website match, the more likely it is that the sites will be considered similar.
Suppose your site and a competitor’s site are ranked by 1000 keywords, 900 of which are common. This will be a marker by which these sites will be considered similar ones.
The sites with the highest number of keyword crossovers should be considered competitors.
In most cases, no matter what you sell, you will always see Amazon in the search results. Will this website fall into the category of similar ones? No, because the percentage of overlapping of key queries will be very small.
Using these methods, you can very quickly find similar sites and competitor sites. Depending on the depth and thoroughness of the search you require, you can use either one of the search methods or all of the above.
And finally, there is another useful service – Builtwith, with which you can find websites from your niche belonging to the same owner. It is very simple to use. Go to the Builtwith website, enter the website address into the field, go to the “relationship profile” tab and see sites using the same analytics tools. The sites often have the same Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and HotJar code.
Using the same code is convenient, but it immediately reveals the information that you would prefer to conceal from your competitors.
How to analyze similar sites
When you collect a list of similar sites, this is a good time to find out their strengths.
- Crawl competitors’ websites and research their site structure.
- Compare how many traffic has each of them related to others.
- Check backlinks for each website and collect a list of backlinks those refers to majority of competitors.
- Oh, and don’t forget to use a free SEO checker tool