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Digital Marketing Consultant

I love SEO tools and have I lost count of the tools I used since 2005. There were some really great ones that I still use today and some that I would rather not comment on. One tool that I really like (and still use today) is Similar Web, developed by Similar Group. In my opinion this is by far a much superior tool when compared with other audience measurement tools such as Alexa, Compete and Quantcast.

I had the opportunity to test drive the Pro-account with one of my clients (I personally use the free tool as I need only the basics) and I quickly realized that SimilarWeb Pro isn’t just an SEO tool – it’s actually a very intelligent instrument which you should pray your competition does not ever get access to.  In this post I will be going through how to use the free account as I understand that cash might be limited. However if you can “Go Pro” for US$199 and get 6 month worth of data and more web metrics then go for it.

Head over to the website by clicking the following http://www.similarweb.com/ and sign up for a free account using your email address. You can actually get data without actually signing up as well but I personally prefer logging in. If you have not logged in you can simply enter the URL of the website you want to analyse in the search box and hit enter. There is no need to add the www.  I am going to analyse FNB.

This is the data that I got:



  • Global rank of 2,532
  • Ranked 6th in South African (in terms of usage)
  • The site has related mobile apps for both Android and iOS

Traffic Estimate


  • The site had 10,500,000 visitors in August 2015 – wow that’s a fifth of the population. I didn’t cross check with the Analytics team at FNB but I am confident that this is the amount of visits they get (plus/minus)
  • Average time on site is 7 minutes 41 seconds – enough time to do banking
  • People visits about 5 pages per session – so its probably home page, first screen after login (with bank balance etc), next page to select a beneficiary, next page to confirm payment and then payment confirmation (post payment) – I think.
  • Impressive bounce rate – 9.87% – that’s the first time I have seen single digit rates. FNB is really sticky.

Top Countries


  • 95.48% of the traffic coming from SA (makes sense)
  • The remaining 5% is probably people logging into their profile from those countries while away on business or leisure.

Traffic Sources (click to enlarge)


  • 64.91% of the traffic is via direct visits. Expected as most people would type in the URL www.fnb.co.za in the browser (being a well known brand and all). I didnt expect this to be this high though in the age of Chrome which would fire up search if you just add in fnb without the co.za. But votes count and it looks like people are appending the co.za. Interesting. I also sense a lot of bookmarks on browsers as well here.
  • Search, Google mostly, a bit of Bing (maybe 2% at most) – came second as a traffic source, sending in 15,83% of the visitors.  Considering this is both Paid and Organic its less than I expected to be honest but if you think about it 15% of 10,000,000 is 1,500,000 visits – which is a lot. Still not what I expected though. I discussed traffic attribution in my other post earlier this year where I outlined how direct traffic can be inflated, especially when campaign tagging is not done correctly.
  • Referral traffic (visitors coming to the site via links from other websites, emails (newsletters etc), blog posts etc) brought in 15.20% of the traffic. A lot as well and I think the Steve thing as well as brand appearances helps here.
  • Social and Display are tiny – both failing to bring 2% even after combining their efforts. I know FNB has a lot of banners online (banner blindness perhaps). Looks like the social activity is staying on social and not filtering down to the site where conversion occur.
  • Email is just below 3% – Payment notification perhaps?

Referral Traffic Break Down


  • PayU
  • PayPal  (expected as they have a partnership)
  • First Rand Group (expected as they are the bosses)

Search Traffic Break Down


  • 96.51% of that traffic is Organic
  • Take a look at the keywords – fnb.co.za (see what I was saying about attribution earlier)
  • 3.49% is paid – keywords more brand focused.

Social Traffic Break Down


  • Facebook main source of social traffic. Expected as its the biggest social networking site
  • Youtube expected (cool commercials)

You can get all this data emailed out to you as well when you click the download link.


Now here is the cool part. Which brand is doing better in terms of usage. FNB or Standard Bank?

To get this information just add the competitors website (see below)


And let the tool give you the side by side comparison.  As mentioned on the free account you can only compare 2 sites.

So who is better FNB or Standard Bank? Interested to hear from you.

P.S – The guys at Quora also feel SimilarWeb is best – https://www.quora.com/Which-statistics-are-more-precise-Alexa-com-or-similarweb-com-Somebody-have-insights


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