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What is the difference between the traffic numbers in Traffic Analytics and Domain Analytics?

What is the difference between the traffic numbers in Traffic Analytics and Domain Analytics? Question

Why use Traffic Analytics?

The best use for Traffic Analytics traffic numbers is for benchmarking estimations of a website’s overall traffic against any other website. You can look at multiple sites at a time and get an idea of who’s bringing in more traffic from direct, search, social, paid traffic, and referrals. The tool also lets you compare visitor engagement metrics and see which countries they get traffic from.

Why use Domain Analytics?

The best use for Domain Analytics is to get an idea of how much traffic could be coming from a website’s keyword positions on Google’s results pages. Given the fact that Domain Analytics doesn’t take social, referral or direct traffic into consideration, these numbers will be less accurate for comparing total traffic between websites. Instead, Domain Analytics is a way to estimate the value of the specific keywords that a site is ranking for and for comparing SEO or PPC reach between competitors.

Discrepancy in Traffic Numbers

If you’ve researched a competitor’s domain using our Traffic Analytics tool and Domain Analytics reports, you may come across a discrepancy in the numbers in each report. Rest assured, our reports are not broken. These tools simply gather data through different methods and present estimates accordingly.

Please keep in mind that the best use of SEMrush is not to measure your own website’s traffic statistics. You should use Google Analytics for that. Instead, SEMrush is best used as a competitive research tool, to see how your competitors get their traffic and benchmark them against your website and other competitors.

Reason #1: Different methods of data gathering

The first reason for this is that Traffic Analytics and Domain Analytics gather data in different methods and both use different ways to estimate traffic (more on that below). Neither of these areas claim to present a website’s exact traffic statistics. The only way to know a domain’s actual traffic statistics is by viewing it through Google Analytics (or a similar traffic counting software).  

Reason #2: Different parameters/filters

There are a number of filters that will impact the numbers you’ll see, including:

  • If you selected desktop or mobile data for your report
  • Which regional database you selected (or if you are viewing “all regions” in Traffic Analytics)
  • If you are viewing live data or historical data

How Domain Analytics gathers data

Domain Analytics presents a range of overview metrics about a domain’s online visibility. The numbers in this report represent the potential traffic that a domain could acquire based on the keyword positions that it ranks for on Google’s first 100 organic results and first 8 paid results.

To calculate a domain’s estimated traffic, we review how many keywords the domain has, how much average monthly (avg. for past 12 months) search volume these keywords have, what positions the domain ranks for across these keywords, and the estimated average click through rate of its positions.

How Traffic Analytics gathers data

Traffic Analytics is a newer SEMrush tool, introduced in 2016. The purpose of this tool is to get a better estimation of a competitor’s overall website traffic based on more than just keyword rankings.

The numbers in this tool are based on clickstream data that allows us to estimate various types of traffic for most of the domains on the Internet. This tool gathers social, paid, organic, direct, and referral traffic estimations.

Instead of relying on Traffic Analytics to tell you exactly how much traffic a domain has, you should use it to benchmark websites against each other, see how much more traffic a domain is getting than another, and compare one domain’s estimated numbers to another.