Let’s have a look at two titans of website traffic analysis – SEMrush Traffic Analytics and SimilarWeb – and see if one of them can make a dependable data provider for your marketing campaigns. For each criterion, we will give one point to the winning tool. Among other things, we will consider if SEMrush Traffic Analytics and SimilarWeb are worth their prices.
Any self-respecting marketer is a journalist, in a sense.
Meaning they check and double-check any information that comes up on their radar.
Verified data makes credible argumentation and a lasting reputation. It’s all clear; the only question is how can you get (or make) such irrefutable material?
If you’ve got an accurate tool, you’re on to a winner.
In this review, we focus on the tools’ website traffic analysis capabilities. The metrics involved are key indicators of a company’s digital marketing performance. Normally, these rates are the first to be researched.
SEMrush Traffic Analytics comes from a comprehensive online visibility suite that also owns tools for SEO specialists, PPC advertisers, social media and content marketers. In contrast, SimilarWeb is intended solely for website statistics. Which product strategy wins? Let’s judge by specific features. We’ll be giving one point to the tool that leads in a chosen characteristic.
- Global and Regional data
SEMrush Traffic Analytics offers full access to traffic stats from 190 countries, with the ability to filter by location. All the regions are available in one subscription.
SimilarWeb also possesses data across a whole range of territories but offers access only to purchased databases. At that, each country’s database is priced separately.
- Detailed Traffic Sources Analysis
The main types of traffic — direct, organic search, referral, paid search, and social — are covered by both tools.
In addition to a traffic sources overview, SEMrush Traffic Analytics can help you gain insights into how a website actually generated all these visits from each channel. You can even gain insight into what sources led traffic to specific pages of a domain (with the Top Pages feature of the tool). In addition, you can benefit from the general SEMrush subscription and reveal the researched company’s advertising campaigns, keyword strategy, and content across the media.
SimilarWeb provides a more detailed analysis of the traffic sources at a basic level. However, it gains its point by offering data for two additional channels: display ads and emails.
- Traffic to the Most Popular Pages
SimilarWeb used to have a feature called Popular Pages that ranked inner pages by their page views’ share. Recently, the feature has been made unavailable to the wider audience.
Meanwhile, SEMrush Traffic Analytics has the Top Pages report, giving you a list of the most visited pages on a website, counting both internal and external visits. You can filter the ranking by unique pageviews, unique visitors or entrances and also have a look at the entrance sources. Sounds like this feature can lead you to some insightful conclusions and bring another point to the SEMrush tool.
- Mobile Data
In SEMrush Traffic Analytics, mobile traffic data is fully available.
In SimilarWeb, it needs to be purchased separately.
Considering that marketing spending on mobile is expected to grow by 70% over the next five years, we are tempted to give more than one point to SEMrush Traffic Analytics. But rules are rules, and we add one to the tool’s score.
- Audience Analysis & Demographics
With SEMrush Traffic Analytics, you can check the audience overlap between any websites. The subscription also includes the new Market Explorer tool, which helps you discover demographics (age and gender) and interests of the in-market audience. The features also allow you to discover similar websites.
With SimilarWeb, you can analyze audience demographics, interests, and geo. You will get to see similar websites in the tool, too. However, the audience overlap remains unaddressed. The tool misses another chance to gain a point.
- Industry/Category Analysis
The closest that SEMrush gets to industry analysis is with its Market Explorer. It’s a separate tool where you can see a list of relevant websites, similar to the one you enter. Supposedly, driven by the tool’s algorithms, these domains belong to players aimed at the same market and working in the same industry.
In SimilarWeb, this aspect is crystal clear. You can check category performance, traffic share, and leaders of the industry, and benchmark yourself against these metrics. So this time, the point goes to SimilarWeb.
- Historical data
Metrics for past periods are accessible on any SEMrush subscription since April 2016.
In SimilarWeb, the available data range depends on subscription: the basic one includes only 12 months.
- API Access
Both tools allow you to use API for whatever reason you need it.
SEMrush Traffic Analytics offers API access independently from the interface subscription, which means you don’t have to buy Traffic Analytics if you only need this data for your custom reports or integration to your product. In general, data is arranged in a more user-friendly way than in SimilarWeb. For example, to receive all the main stats on a domain, you need to make just one query, while in SimilarWeb, it takes three queries. Limit-wise and effort-wise, this is more efficient.
What truly makes SimilarWeb different is their comprehensible UI. You can clearly see how many API units you have spent and how many you have left. There are even special Similar Websites API and Adult Websites API. So, overall, you can get more data with SimilarWeb API.
(yes, nevertheless, they are still leading!)
As both tools use similar algorithms of clickstream data collection, projection, and estimation, the discrepancy is inevitable. And, of course, if you start analyzing your own domain with either SEMrush Traffic Analytics or SimilarWeb and then comparing stats with what you see in Google Analytics, you will see the difference in numbers.
The question is, how big is this discrepancy?
Before we present you with what we’ve found out, we want to emphasize one thing: both traffic analytics tools were made for the competitive analysis that always tells the most when it is comparative. So, make sure you use the investigated data for comparing rivals with each other, benchmarking, and identifying trends.
To check the tools’ accuracy, we sent an anonymous poll around our community, asking people to share their websites’ monthly traffic, and then compared these numbers with what SEMrush Traffic Analytics and SimilarWeb showed. The numbers in the table show the difference between what we learned from the website owners and what SEMrush Traffic Analytics and SimilarWeb showed. The smaller the error, the higher the accuracy.
|Website Popularity||SEMrush Traffic Analytics Error, %||SimilarWeb Error, %|
|Over 500K visits||36||37|
We see that SEMrush Traffic Analytics does a way better job than SimilarWeb in analyzing smaller domains. For higher populated sites, the tools are practically neck-and-neck.
We pay our extra respects to SEMrush Traffic Analytics, which has the “Estimated accuracy” sign at the top of the interface. The larger the audience of an analyzed website, the higher the accuracy, the tooltip indicates, and our findings prove it.
Don’t be scared by the fact that discrepancy exists at all: as this possible error is applied to all the researched competitors’ domains, it shouldn’t distort the picture if you compare them with each other.
What can be more objective than numbers? So no offense.
All features for website traffic analysis included in the SEMrush Traffic Analytics tool, all regional databases, and historical info are available for $200/month. You get all the benefits mentioned in this article, including the unbeatable keyword database, by adding any SEMrush subscription — so, the price for the entire package will start from $299.95/month. Most importantly, the price will be the same for every market.
Enjoy SEMrush fantastic $45 Discount on the Award-Winning SEO Audit tool. But hurry, the offer is for a limited period.
SimilarWeb has a more complicated payment scheme. Each country database must be purchased separately, and many features (top pages, mobile data, etc.) also need to be paid for individually. Even the basic package is expensive and has no fixed price.
Also Read – SEO Strategy in Google’s algorithm in year 2020
Which tool to choose for website traffic analysis?
All in all, we can’t stop you from buying SimilarWeb or SEMrush if this is what your company is used to paying for
We wouldn’t be able to convert you either.
However, if you are looking to use your money and time resources more efficiently, it may make more sense to subscribe to SEMrush Traffic Analytics. This way, you will get more for less. You could also add a general SEMrush subscription to your toolkit if, apart from seeing the bigger picture, you need a detailed analysis of digital marketing channels.
And this would be one of the many more data-based decisions in your career.