Secret Weapon – Site Analytics Toolbar from Compete

One of my favorite tools is the free toolbar from Compete which measures web site traffic, rankings, keywords driving traffic, competitive positioning and more. It gives me a quick snapshot of every site I browse, and when I want to dig deeper I can get access to some very revealing competitive insight quickly.

Compete is a web analytics company with access to a diverse sample of over two million U.S. Internet users. These consumers allow Compete to analyze the web pages they visit and to survey them. The insights are derived from the users on-site behavior, and more importantly their behavior across the web. Compete uses this data to provide some of the most actionable data I have ever used (as opposed to just a bunch of data – they provide industry level insight and best practices). The toolbar gives users a glimpse into the larger data set, and is still very powerful as you can refine your SEM and SEO easily, and stay on top of what your competition is doing by looking at their web site metrics and user profiles.

In the quick example below, I am comparing the yearly traffic for three of my personal favorite sites, Fender.com, Gibson.com and GuitarCenter.com. Dont tell my wife that I am spending a lot of time on these sites…

You can see that Guitar Center got a nice holiday boost in traffic, but more importantly was able to maintain a healthy increase in traffic to the site post-holiday. Why is that? New design, improvement in email marketing, new blog, new business development relationships, competitors stumbling, all of the above? What does Fender need to do to drive more traffic than their primary rival Gibson? It could be related to the fact that Gibson has nearly twice as many keywords driving traffic to their site, suggesting that Fender needs to work on their SEO/SEM campaigns and dig deep into what guitar players are looking for.  That information is shown on the report that accompanies the graph above.

This is just one snapshot of the data available – you can also see all the terms that drive traffic to these sites, and how effective those terms are in terms of creating engagement with users. And when you use the Compete Toolbar with FireFox, the monthly visit count and site ranking is displayed in the bottom frame of the browser window – a neat feature that my eye always gravitates to.

Download the tool here – and let me know what you think and how you use the data. http://tools.compete.com/

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