Check Website Traffic for Free: 5 Ways to Determine Traffic to A Website

by Anil Agarwal

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Are you finding different ways to check website traffic for free? If yes, in this detailed post, I’m going to share you 5 unique ways to determine traffic to any website be it your own or your competitors.

First things first, why check website traffic you might ask?

One of the very reasons we create content is to drive more traffic so that we can make money from the traffic or page views that we get. If you focus from where your traffic is coming, it becomes easy for you to where to spend most of your time. If you go blindly, you will eventually spend your quality time in writing posts each and everyday not to see any results in terms of traffic.

So it is vital to check website traffic to analyze your traffic goals. You also need to spy on your competitor websites every now and then to figure out what you can do to increase your website traffic too.

One of the worst blogging mistakes any beginner blogger could make is this: they check their website traffic each and every minute. It not only kills your productive time, but it won’t give you any productive results. After all, you have to spend your time on creating content and promoting it to get more traffic than just to spend on viewing your page views, right?

We create websites to make business, to become popular and to educate people about the knowledge we have about a particular niche. There are lots of free as well as paid tools available that will give us exact idea about the incoming traffic to a website that you own. But what you will do to check traffic to a website that you don’t own or have any control. Luckily there are some websites that can help you check traffic to your competitor or any website you like.

There may be certain variation in the traffic numbers that you get through these websites. But you can use these website traffic numbers to have an idea about the kind of traffic a website must be having. I have noticed some websites giving traffic estimates very close to the original traffic numbers of a website. I came to this conclusion when I checked website traffic for some of websites and blogs whom I own or have access to their Google Analytics Statistics.

Lots of website owners and bloggers use these traffic checking websites to guess about the kind of traffic their competitors are able to generate on daily, month or yearly basis. Some of popular traffic estimating websites are Google Ad Planner aka Google display planner, Alexa, Compete, Qunatcast and BuySellAds. You can use these traffic estimating tools to compare how your website is doing in traffic terms when compared with your competitors websites.

5 Ways to Check Website Traffic for free

check website traffic for free

Here is the ultimate list of tools that you can use to check website traffic of your competitors or any website of your choice for completely free. Let’s dive in to the details without much ado.

1. Google Ad Planner (aka Google display planner)

Now this Google Ad planner is replaced by Google display planner where you can guess what amount of traffic a website gets. Google display planner is the combination of three long time AdWords tools, the Contextual Targeting Tool, Placement Tool, and Google Ad Planner. 

Google Ad Planner is the most accurate ways to measure a website traffic, after all it is created by SEO gurus in the industry and you will check any website traffic for free using this tool. I would strongly recommend using Google display Planner because whenever I use it, I get accurate results regarding my websites. Google display Planner will give you very accurate and detailed traffic details about a website in a specific country and worldwide. This traffic estimating tool from Google will give you important traffic metrics like average number of visits per visitors, average time on site, unique visitors, total page views, total unique visitors to a website in month time and broad category for the entered website.

To start using Google display Planner to check traffic to a website, enter the desired website domain name in the “Get ideas and estimates” section’s landing page URL then click on “Get ad group ideas”. You will now come up with “Available network inventory” impressions that the site you enter. I have analyzed data available from Google display Planner with the traffic details of some websites I own and I find data available from Google Ad Planner very close to my website original traffic numbers. Traffic details available from Google display Planner kind of traffic estimating tools can be very handy when we are analyzing the real worth of a website or blog.

Google Display Planner

How to use Google display planner to check website traffic?

Please watch this video to use this tool.

2. Alexa.com

I know you are very much familiar about Alexa, after all, we all love to see Alexa rank each and everyday right? Do you know that by using Alexa, you can check any website traffic for free? Yes, it is possible to find any website traffic using Alexa search box.

You need to go to Alexa.com website and enter a website address in the Search Box available. After entering website address, you will get important metrics like Alexa Traffic rank (Global), Traffic Rank in Specific demographics like for India specific website, Alexa Traffic Rank in India. Apart from Alexa rank, you will see other website traffic numbers like page views, page views per user, bounce rate, time on site and search percentage.

You will also get list of top search queries for a website. So these search queries can be considered as best performing keywords for that website. Apart from this, you can use Alexa.com website to compare your website traffic graph with 4 websites of your choice. Alexa.com will not give any traffic estimates for new or websites with few daily visits.

The data available from Alexa.com is not accurate but you can make your own prediction about the traffic numbers about a website after using this tool. Alexa take into consideration only those users who have installed Alexa Toolbar in their browsers. So Alexa will no give you traffic details anyway close to a website actual traffic numbers. But still lots of advertisers and industry experts us it as a tool to make prediction about the popularity of a website.

Here is a screenshot showing traffic numbers for BloggersPassion.com blog:

bloggerspassion.com Site Overview

3. Compete.com

Another free way to figure a website traffic is Compete. It is a web traffic analysis service of Compete, Inc. which operates in the United States (USA) and publishes the approx. number of U.S. visitors to the top 1,000,000 web sites. That’s a whooping sum, right?

Go to compete.com website and enter a website URL in the search box available under ‘See The Traffic For’. This website gather data from US users and the traffic details shared by this website will be close to the actual traffic generated by US websites only. They have active database of 200000 US users that they use to make prediction about a website traffic and engagement metrics. So you will not be able to predict much about website’s traffic through Compete.com having international traffic. You will get unique visitors numbers and some competitor’s websites list with their monthly unique visitor’s numbers.

The only drawback about this tool is that it only allows you to view unique visitors from the United States for the last year to a particular domain name be it your own website or your competitors. Compete also has a pro version for their users where you can get a 2 years view of unique visitors from the United States to any website as well as additional information such as keywords and domains pointing to that site.

Here is a Screenshow showing traffic details for Problogger.net blog:

Compete.com

4. QuantCast.com

QuantCast is another popular website traffic estimating tool among internet users. Quantcast is a digital advertising company, founded in 2006, that specializes in audience measurement and real-time advertising.

They share traffic details about a website based on the data sources they have. Again, this tool does not give accurate traffic numbers about a website. Quantcast consistently showing relatively lower numbers than Google Analytics, so I am not sure how accurate it can give traffic stats of a particular website, but it is definitely worth considering.

Note that, a website or blog with a small number of unique visitors will not necessarily display results due to insufficient data. So if you are blog or website is lack of traffic, this tool is of no use for you to measure your website traffic. So you have to again depend on your Google analytics metrics to precisely get your website traffic data.

Here is a screenshot checking website traffic for Problogger.net from QuantCast website:

Quantcast.com

5. BuySellAds.com

Basically BuySellAds (BSA) is an ad network for selling banner advertisements on our websites and blogs. We will get traffic estimates very close to the actual traffic numbers on a page, the only condition is that website or blog should have buysellads script installed. So we can believe on the data available from BSA.

The only downside is that we can get estimated page impressions for a website selling advertisement through BSA. To know traffic details about a website, you need to click on the Your Ads here banner pointing to BuySellAds.com website. Here is a screenshot showing the kind of metrics you will get through BSA.

BuySellAds.com Traffic Stats Detail Page

6. Similar web (Bonus tip)

Similar web is another fantastic way of measuring any website traffic for free. You just have to go to their website and type in your desired website name to find out the traffic levels of the site.

You will not only get the traffic stats of any website, but you will also get the details of how many page views is it getting, how much time every visitor is spending, referrals, bounce rate, social influence etc. you will get almost all the results. That’s fantastic information you could get from a free website traffic checking tool, right?

Here’s the screenshot of Bloggers Passion, though the results are not so accurate, but I still liked their data and the precise information that they got in some cases.

Bloggerspassion.com Traffic Statistics by SimilarWeb

In a nutshell: Many people say few website traffic checking tools like Alexa, Quantcast etc. don’t provide accurate results. The point here is there’s no tool that gives you precise or accurate data to check website traffic for free. You have to try and test multiple website tracking sites to spy on your competitor’s keywords or traffic levels. My point here is to make it clear that, don’t rely on just one website traffic checking tool, spend your time on trying out different sites, then find out yourself which is giving you the close numbers.

Though I’m a big fan of Alexa to check any website’s traffic for free, but I use it more for fun to spy on the keywords of my competitors. Though it doesn’t give accurate and precise results, but I still get a lot of keyword ideas (most of them are costly keywords, that’s when you focus on them, they could get you massive traffic from search engines) whenever I stumble upon Alexa. So, give it a shot and try out all the above mentioned websites to find the website traffic.

Important note: One of the easiest ways to find accurate results of any website traffic is to through Flippa! Just go to flippa and search your competitors websites on their search box, if they are selling their sites on Flippa, you will get their Google Analytics reports in PDF format. Basically these are the accurate results so that you can easily find out how many monthly visits they are getting, what keywords are bringing them top search results and what’s their bounce rates. So why not try your luck? Check out if their sites are listed on Flippa to find out their website traffic for free.

This is how I used to check website traffic to any website of my interest. Would you be interested in sharing how you used to make calculated prediction about the traffic on a website, please share in the comments section below.


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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Albert Rox

Thank you for your post Anil.

I use 4 or these 5 methods but I’ve never used Google Adplanner, thank you for let me know this.

Reply

Anil Agarwal

Hi Albert

Google Ad Planner looks most promising to me. Hopefully you would also love it.

Reply

Diego

Albert,

I’ve been using Google AdPlanner too. It never failed my expectations on how efficient it is in performing its job. You should check it out.

Reply

Anil Agarwal

Very true. I’m a big fan of Google Ad Planner. I’m getting predictions very close to the actual traffic on a website through Google Ad Planner, amazing traffic prediction tool from Google.

Reply

Alyssa

Hi Anil,
The best website traffic checker I know is Alexa.com. Thanks for sharing the others! I will be looking into Google Ad Planner since it’s number 1 in your list.

Reply

Anil Agarwal

I would recommend you must try Google Ad Planner. Google Ad Planner has been placed in first because it deserves this spot.

I would recommend you must try Google Ad Planner. Google Ad Planner has been placed in first because it deserves this spot.

Reply

India Tech blog

For me adplanner is best. Alexa is biased.

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Jerin Jose

Hi,
I have been using Alexa.com and Google Analytics. Thanks for sharing others.
And i tried Google Ad Planner, entered the website URL,clicked arrow mark, Still nothing came out.

Reply

Anil Agarwal

May be some problem from your end. I would suggest you try Google Ad Planner again. Google Ad Planner is a great way to know traffic details of your competitors website

Reply

VijayVJ

haven’t hard about Google Adplanner. Anyway thanks for sharing.

Reply

Hailey

I think best idea is to use compete. Google ad planner maybe more accurate but they show only traffic from the same very search engine.

Reply

Topmse

thanks for telling about google ad planner.
i found it is a very interesting tool.
i am going to use it.

thanks for sharing

Reply

Tariq Alvi

Thanks Anil,
I am a new learner and find interesting to note the tools to check traffic on a website. I will try it and let you know. I want to have my own website on a traffic place. Could you identify it?
Bye!

Reply

Wpfix

I use alexa and buysellads most of the time to estimates traffic

Reply

JVerstry

I maintain a note at http://tshikatshikaaa.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-estimate-another-websites.html. Today, only StatShow, Compete.com and Google’s AdPlanner are free and doing a nice job.

Reply

John

One of the best website traffic checking tool in my opinion is Alexa very easy to use with lot of quality futures.

Reply

Anil Agarwal

If you are want to track traffic for a popular website, Google Ad Planner will give you more accurate traffic numbers.

Reply

vineeta

hi anil,
thanks for telling in details your article has helped me in my phd rearch keep writing

Reply

Henry Sitati

I tried checking this website (www.academicpapers.us) but no information came through, except on Alexa, but even so, Alexa listed it in Pakistan, while DomainTools lists it in the USA. Why is this so?

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Anil Agarwal

Frankly speaking, I don’t have any clear cut idea about why Alexa has listed this website in Pakistan. Other tools seems to be working for high traffic websites and blogs only. You will be able to get much data about websites that get few hundred visits every day type.

Reply

Steve Millen

Well, it works on old sites, some new sites would have no information about traffic even if they been on a web and Google for about 6 months. You can only check your site traffic through Google analytics, but this info available to website owner only.

Reply

Lluis Carreras

Hi Anil,
I’ve been using Google Ad Planner Traffic statistics since I discovered it on 2010 and I completely agree with you that the Traffic information they used to show was the best.
But Google has changed Google Ad Planner and on the Traffic statistics they now only show:
-Unique visitors (cookies)
-Reach (cookies)
-Impressions / day
Alexa, Compete, QuantCast they are good to get estimates, but their estimates are not good for websites outside US.
Anyone knows a good alternative to Google Ad Planner with most of the Traffic statistics that they used to show?
-Unique visitors (estimated cookies)
-Unique visitors (users)
-Reach
-Page views
-Total visits
-Avg visits per cookie
-Avg time on site
Thank you!

Reply

Nadeem Khan

You can also use SEMRUSH.COM, as it gives extremely accurate estimates about a website’s traffic !

Reply

Anil Agarwal

Nadeem, thanks for suggesting this valuable tool for predicting the traffic to a website. I was not aware of this tool

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Lluis Carreras

Nadeem, SEMRUSH.COM has a lot of information, but it’s not as accurate as Google Adplanner used to be. For example for our site they said that SE Traffic for US is 829 and according to Google Analytics is 44.974, and they said that SE Traffic for Spain is 58.590 and in Analytics is 175.799. Google Adplanner used to be really accurate, but with the recent change they don’t show that information anymore, and I would love to find a good site with accurate traffic information.

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Nadeem Khan

I agree Google Ad Planner was quite accurate but it is no longer useful for this purpose =(

By the way I haven’t found anything free better than semrush!

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Siddhartha Bordoloi

Thanks a million for providing the valuable information regarding traffic checking. Keep up the good work.

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Waqas Ali

I am using Alexa but it does not show the details of the visitors’s where they come from?

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Anil Agarwal

You would not get much detailed analysis about a website traffic from Alexa. You should be using it to find the popularity and traffic trends in brief for that website.

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Anubhav

Actually I want to know how to check 100% correct traffic?

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Arun

Google Analytics. If you have registered with Google Analytics, it will give accurate traffic and other details about you site. You can also link other Google tools like Google Adsense with the Analytics, to plan your business accordingly.

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Arun

Google Ad planner is really good. I have tried it and the analysis report has helped me a lot to figure out the inward traffic. But Alexa has disappointed me more than any thing else. Its been more than 9 months and still the figures are garbled and unclear. Is it necessary that I should install the Alexa tool bar to get real, authentic data?

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Anil Agarwal

I think lots of people are able to increase their websites alexa rank artificially. And in case you want to see Alexa Rankings for a website, you can do so by installing the Search Status Ad On for Mozilla Firefox.

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Satya Srinivas

That’s an exhaustive list.

Have always depended on Alexa rankings to know about a competing blog. Even though it is not possible to get the exact traffic estimate of you competing blog, a combination of the above mentioned tools can help to get a fair idea of your competitors.

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Roy P.

These 5 online tools are great, I used some of them for a long time. I would suggest you also check http://similarweb.com. It’s a great tool for competitor analysis, it gives you data about the engagement, demographics, referrals and my favorite, display advertising.

Reply

Tanvir

Google Ad Planner will be discontinuing from September 2013. Looking forward to use Google Display Planner.

Thanks Anil for your great list.

Reply

android rooting

I use alexa for this occasion.thanks for sharing

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Payal

I like Alexa the most…. and looking at your global rank, makes you more determined towards your blogs.

@Nadeem, I will definitely try Semrush.com

Reply

Divakar

Hi Anil,

I tried to use google ad planner, but its not working and has been replaced by google with some another tool. can you please help in that case?

Reply

Anil Agarwal

Google Ad Planner is no more available. Its gone now. You need to use the other alternates that are available from the list. I will soon look at other ways we can use to get the estimated traffic on a website.

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Sanjeewa

Thanks for the list Anil, Alexa seems to be very simple, but not sure about the Alexa pro. Have you tried the pro version of it? https://www.compete.com/ is not showing the results for unpopular blogs / sites.

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Anish Panicker

All these above mentioned websites seems to have no working for small websites…

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premiumithemes

You are right sanjeewa… all we have to do is try with pro version not with basic…

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Bastiaan

Ad planner has been replaced by display planner; can anyone tell me how I can get the traffic data from display planner? I haven’t found any info on the subject yet…

Reply

Uday Ghulaxe

I am using alexa.com for doing it .But I never heard of the other websites you have mentioned here.I think google add planner is the best tool for maintaining website traffic record.Thanks for sharing such a nice article.

Reply

Abhijit Bangal

I knew about BSA in the sense that they allow us to have their ads on our sites. However, I didn’t know those things that are mentioned here about BSA. Thanks for improving my knowledge.

Reply

Pramod

Thanks Anil,
I think Google analytics is best to check our own website traffic. Otherwise of we want to check traffic of another websites I would prefer alexa.

Reply

Abhijit Bangal

Did you try using compete.com? I tried opening it. I could only open the front page, put a site’s address and then nothing would appear. I mean, the next page did not open fully and looks like it has some problems there.

Reply

Shiv Kumar Gupta

All these are the nice way to calculate the traffic on website. Still I am using Alexa. Google Adplanner is quite complecated to me. I want to know more about the key concepts of this tool. would you please provide me some material for that so that i can easily use this wonderfull tool. and offcourse, great info shared by you. It will surely help to lot of newbies who want to make bright carrier in Digital marketing.

Reply

Sheeroh

This is a very detailed post about checking stats. I will definitely check out some of the sites you’ve mentioned here. I so identify with what you’ve said about checking stats obsessively. I used to do that. Not anymore. I now spend my time in more value added things like creating valuable and original content, researching and learning how to promote my blog.

Reply

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