Tech Talk with Similarweb’s Jessica Bohm

“We describe ourselves as similar to Google Analytics but for the entire digital world.”

Tech Talk with Similarweb’s Jessica Bohm

What is Similarweb?
We describe ourselves as similar to Google Analytics but for the entire digital world. If you have Google Analytics, it can tell you about your own website. But we can tell you about any website in the world. It can be your competitor, your client or a look at the industry at large. You can understand the industry from a very high level by aggregating websites or you can look at what’s going on in a competitive set. You can get granular to understand the digital marketing strategy of a particular site and what kinds of keywords they may be getting traffic from.

What analytics can you provide about different sites? 
The main metric or data we provide is website traffic data. You can see how much traffic is going to that site and engagement metrics: how long are people spending on that site? What's the bounce rate of that website? How many pages are users visiting on average?

We can get more granular: where is the traffic coming from? Which digital marketing channels? Is it from paid search, organic search, referral traffic or social traffic? Within each one of those channels, you can drill deeper. So, for example, if looking at paid search, what are the keywords or key phrases that are driving traffic? The real value is that you can compare several websites and benchmark yourself, seeing how you're performing versus a competitor or with multiple competitors.

Do you have this capability for every website in the world? Are there privacy issues?
A website needs to have at least 5,000 visits a month. We don’t get the data from the companies. We have our own data methodology, and with algorithms and machine learning we’re creating estimations. All the data is anonymous, so we don't know any individual attributes. Everything is aggregated. It’s not actually the direct analytics of the companies.

We have a large panel where we can see real human behavior online. We can see what websites they’re visiting, how long they’re spending on websites. We extrapolate from that sample, when we combine it with other other public data sources. We have a team of data scientists who create all sorts of algorithms, applying machine learning to basically come up with as accurate as possible estimations about the traffic and the engagement.

Who are some of Similarweb’s clients?
Some of our PR clients include Golin, Weber Shandwick and FleishmanHillard and brands like Booking.com, Walmart, Adidas and Google. We work with the big six agency holding companies: WPP, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, Detsu, Interpublic Group and Havas.

Similarweb went public in May, listing on the New York Stock Exchange at a $1.6 billion valuation. Can you tell us more about how your company started?

Or Offer, who is still the CEO today, founded the company in Tel Aviv in 2007. As a student he was helping his parents with their jewelry business. He wanted to find websites of other jewelry designers that had similar styles to help his parents develop their online presence. So he built a simple toolbar with an algorithm to find similar websites. After he developed this technology, he realized the data could be used to power something much bigger. That's how we became a market intelligence tool. The name comes from his literally building this tool to find similar websites. Hence, we’re called Similarweb. Now, we’re a company with over 900 employees across 11 global offices.

Jessica Bohm is the director of agency business at Similarweb.

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