Search engine optimization practitioners need the most useful data at their fingertips, whether working in-house for a company or at a hired service agency responsible for a variety of clients. Developing a high-quality competitor tracking system is one of the best ways SEOs can identify the highest-value link opportunities out there. Thankfully, the SimilarWeb API makes this easy. It’s an amazingly powerful and versatile solution for collecting specific data about any website in existence, identifying impactful link building ideas and tracking what’s changing in search referral trends for an entire industry.
In this post, we’ll give you three actionable ideas for using SimilarWeb’s API to collect and organize information that puts you in the best possible position to dominate whatever SERP you’ve got your eyes on.
1. Create dashboards to manage multiple sites
With the SimilarWeb API, you can pull basic data about any website’s competitors – including monthly traffic, traffic sources, search keywords and popular pages. Using your Google Analytics API access, it’s possible to integrate your own site’s data with SimilarWeb’s metrics for the competition.
Keep an eye out for any drastic changes (say, up or down by 15% or more) and single those sites out for manual scrutiny. With the right spreadsheet formulas in place, it’s easy to create a system that’ll alert you when a competitor unexpectedly starts receiving 22% more visitors for a search term you’re tracking. From there, you can drill down to identify why this surge is taking place and if there’s anything you can do to catch up in the rankings.
Data relating to third-party sites can be extremely useful in finding new opportunities for backlinks. Scour the list of websites in SimilarWeb PRO’s categories section to discover competitors and sites with similar interests and audiences. Any given website’s referring sites list is an excellent resource for websites that could be interested in linking to your site, hosting a guest post or joining an affiliate marketing program, and the Referrals API makes pulling this data into your proprietary system easy. Keep tabs on competitors with especially high traffic volume to see what they are doing right so you can replicate the tactics that are working well for them.
Use the Search Keywords API to regularly examine the Google search keywords that are bringing traffic to your competitors, to choose new keywords to inform your onsite content optimization efforts. Check out popular pages in your niche, which can serve you well as paid media placements and/or opportunities for outreach.
For freelancers with multiple clients and SEO agency account managers, a system like this represents a major game-changer, as it gives you the ability to create dedicated dashboards for each website you’re optimizing. Jumping from project to project is far simpler when you have easy access to just the data you need, all in one place.
2. Prioritize your link building
Use SimilarWeb APIs to evaluate the best link building opportunities – and to identify the ones that look good on the surface but actually aren’t – using our Google Docs-based Traffic Estimator Tool.
Say you’ve got a list of URLs that you have compiled because you think they may be good candidates for link building. This powerful tool uses the SimilarWeb APIs to pull data for domain traffic, monthly volume of search referral traffic and website category into a spreadsheet. Once it’s all in there, you can sort your rows to eliminate low-quality sites (such as spammy or pornographic ones) and to prioritize the remaining ones.
In your spreadsheet, assign each URL a grade or price, to determine how much you are prepared to pay to be promoted on this site with a link, article or ad. You can even devise formulas to let the spreadsheet assign these value-points on an automated basis.
3. Create custom groups of sites for ongoing tracking
SimilarWeb’s crawlers and panel participants provide us with data relating to two billion page views per day, and we’ve got site categories assigned to nearly every one of these pages served up around the web. However, no single category system is perfect for everyone’s needs, and regardless, better SEOs know that when deciding what websites are worthy of tracking, a category match is only one factor.
For example, an SEO working on boosting the search rankings for the website of a taxidermy shop on Phoenix will surely want to track the traffic metrics of Phoenix’s leading taxidermists, but he or she may also want to keep an eye on:
· The top-ranked international taxidermy brands, likely the stiffest competition for any non-local keywords
· The most popular independent hunting supply companies in Phoenix
· The best pet funeral parlors in Phoenix
· Local taxidermists based elsewhere who are especially creative with their digital marketing
· Websites that on the surface appear to be completely unrelated but just happen to have an audience in common
To easily track traffic metrics for all the websites that fit this broader definition of “competitor,” create a list of the 50 to 100 relevant domains.
Now you can easily find out who the category leaders are in referrals, search, social and advertising. Get an overview of how the key players in the niche as a whole, as only you can define it, is faring on social media, in search and in referrals. SEOs with SimilarWeb Enterprise accounts can even investigate the traffic share of the market according to country. Compare this data against the metrics for your own website and look for opportunities to improve your website’s search rankings.
APIs for search mastery
With SimilarWeb’s API tools, metrics relating to any website become the playthings of search optimization pros. Competitive insights are extremely useful to SEOs, especially when we’re able to easily track only what we need, all in one place. By creating custom systems and dashboards that surgically and automatically pull in and sort only the most helpful stats, SEOs can be more effective and fruitful in their efforts to rule the rankings.