Use these data analysis tools to measure traffic, popular keywords and competitor activity:
*Internal measurement relates to a companies’ own website, for which Microsoft or Google Analytics is more accurate.
For external measurement, use any of these recommended tools:
SEMRush: Particularly useful for keyword research and to estimate a competitors ad spend – in fact, this may currently be one of the hottest tools for digital marketing research. (however you may want to use free tools for some options)
Alexa: Reasonably useful for benchmarking across industries (but perhaps less useful for a broader range of data)
SimilarWeb: Although not highly accurate, it is currently one of the few indicators that can provide an indication of competitor traffic levels. It is also useful for industry research, to see which websites are market leaders within a particular niche.
Essentially, the above tools provides data visualization and aggregation of information that is already out there – and may speed up the research process to some extent. It should be noted that many of the above aggregators tend to scrape web data based on popular Google search phrases, after which the data is then aggregated with screenshots and interesting graphs. The bottom line? Perhaps you do not need to pay for the “premium” version if you know how to use Google at an advanced level.