Alexa is a method to see how the traffic of your website compares with your competitors or any other website. It was founded way back in 1996 by two entrepreneurs, which was later taken over by Amazon in the year 1999 for nearly $250MM.
Apart from offering its consumers a toolbar that gives users ideas on where to move next, Alexa is also responsible for offering stats related info for every site a person visits. At first, Alexa archived the sites it crawled and this archived database helped in becoming the basis for making the “Internet Archive”, which is now accessible via the Wayback Machine.
Alexa rankings are capable of providing some valuable insights to those managing or owning a website. If you have advertisement on your site, you should know that the advertisers make use of Alexa rankings for determining the pay rate as well as other factors thus making your Alexa ranking quite important. For most of the website owners, Alexa rankings are just another among those “devil-in-the-details” things. You must learn about its mechanism and the various tweaks you can incorporate within your website to improve your Alexa ranking.
How Alexa Rankings are calculated?
Alexa ranking system tracks more than 30,000,000 sites all over the world. These traffic approximations along with other metrics are built on a miscellaneous millions of net users sample that offer reporting info through different kinds of add-ons and toolbars for Firefox, MSIE, and Chrome.
Alexa rankings are dependent on the web data traffic provided by these internet users over tenure of 3 months. These rankings are updated on a daily basis and a website’s Alexa ranking is dependent on both “Page Views” and “Reach”. Page Views are the sum of URL request of Alexa users for a given website and Reach is the amount of unique Alexa users who see the website on a day. (It should be kept in minds that multiple requests originating by the one user on a single day is calculated as one Page View). The website having the highest collective Page view and daily reach is ranked first and similarly the second highest shows at second position and so on.
Alexa rankings are meant only for TLDs (for instance, website.com) and do not give separate rankings for the subpages within same domain (for instance, website.com/page1.html) or subdomain (for instance, subdomain.website.com), except Alexa identify these sub-domains automatically as a separate blog or home page (like my-website.blogger.com).
Alexa Rankings Shortcomings
There are certain Alexa rankings limits that important to know:
Firstly, only the users having Alexa add-on or toolbar installed are giving input to these rankings (and if you look around you would see it is neither you nor your friends). Thus, this data is bit tilted towards tech savvy users and webmaster (which means technical sites have higher ranks).
Secondly, those websites that have low web traffic aren’t as perfectly ranked as those with higher web traffic. (According to Alexa, the rankings that are beyond 100,000 aren’t statistically meaningful and these sites are subject to major ranking swings, because of shortage of data for that website). Alexa terms this as the “Long Tail Phenomenon”. To sum it up, the lower the Alexa ranking is, the more is gets affected by smaller statistical changes, both in terms of your logged web traffic and the sites having similar Alexa rankings (you are expected to see major ranking swings).
Is High Alexa Ranking Vital?
If you are making advertisement money using your website, it is then highly important that your website secures a high Alexa ranking, as most advertisers refer to these rankings to figure out on which websites they should spend advertising money, the advertisement kind that would be run, and the pay rate. However, if you don’t have advertisements present on your website, still Alexa ranking can be a good tool for benchmarking your website against other websites and competitors and by giving marketers and consumers a metrics for evaluating your website for partnerships, purchases, and other business ventures.
To sum it up, it can be said that the Alexa rankings are a way of measuring your success on internet compared to other websites and a good tool for optimizing and monitoring your internet presence.
How to Improve Your Alexa Ranking?
It isn’t recommended that a new website owner starts working on improving their Alexa ranking when there are other important areas which need more concentration. But, you do wish to have increased website traffic, so improving the Alexa ranking is a part of these objectives and a nice way of measuring your site success.
Following are various steps that are recommended to website owners in order to get an increased web traffic, which will help increasing your Alexa ranking in return.
- Content is Very Important
Writing unique, relevant, and compelling content for your website (become an expert of your field that will help driving visitors to your site, get people linking and sharing back to your information shared). The search engines like quality and unique articles having lengthy word count. Quality means that your content must not match content present on other website and it must be with lower number of searches. In order to check the uniqueness of your content you should go for some paid websites for checking plagiarism like CopyScape. When you write such kind of quality articles, your Google ranking would be increased and in return the Alexa ranking of your website would be improved as well.
- Regularly Update Your Website & Write on SEO and Blogging Tips
Add new (informative, unique, engaging, compelling and relevant) articles consistently on your website. A trick here is to write on Search Engine Optimization niche as these techniques are well searched by bloggers of all kind. When bloggers will come to your website, it is highly likely that these people would have Alexa toolbar installed which would in return increase your blog ranking quickly.
- Use Long Tailed Keywords for Your Content
By the term “long tailed” it means that the keywords that have larger number of words like “how to improve your alexa ranking”. These keywords can be found using the Google AdWords tool which shows the competition of these keywords too. Select the keywords that have less than 1500 monthly searches. Moreover, for a much selected traffic, you can choose the country or region of your choice for finding keywords.
- Use the Power of Social Media
With the help of social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. spread your posts. This will help in driving more traffic to your website (make sure that you include the relevant links to your web content while sharing).
- Social Bookmarks & Blog Commenting
This is one of the easiest methods of creating backlinks for your website which in return increase the web traffic. Backlinks are basically the incoming links to your website. If you share your content on some high page rank social bookmarking website, the page rank juices of such website flow into your website through this link. So, it is quite useful thing for getting good ranking.
Blog commenting is another good and one of the oldest way of creating backlinks on high page ranks website. However, nowadays numerous blogs doesn’t allow commenting option but if there is commenting available always go for quality backlinks instead of quantity. If you have ten backlinks with PR 1 site and one backlink from PR 8 website, then PR 8 backlink would work faster for you.
- Engage Audience
Social media shows best result when you engage your audience in a two way discussion. The comments people share on the shared articles and the re-sharing of your articles help creating more traffic. Make sure you always leave your website URL and make use of the social media in the best possible way.
- Claim Your Site
There is a “Claim Your Website” feature provided by Alexa that allows you to fill in all the necessary details regarding your website, such that when competitors, fellow businesses, customers, and advertisers look at your ranking, they see how serious you are about improving your online presence and have taken time to fill in the details about your business.
- Install Alexa Toolbar
Since Alexa rankings are done with the help of data collected through Alexa toolbar so it is a good idea to become Alexa toolbar user yourself. There are add-ons available for MSIE, Firefox, and Chrome which run usually in the background.
- Get Good Reviews
It would take a bit of effort but remind your friends and customers to give your website a good review on Alexa listings. This would not have any effect on your rankings however will show commitment by users that normally happens for those high reputed websites with lots of traffic or those who are serious about improving their online presence.
- It is ideal not to go for paid backlink campaigns as these people would do just what is already mention here. Such campaigns simply hurt your website authority. It is true that you are looking for other websites to provide backlinks to your website and particularly those with higher page rank than yours. But usually such campaigns use spam containing websites having little or no authority that simply leech your web authority to help other websites.
If you own a business then your website is an important asset for you. There are numerous ways of measuring the success of your website and the most important one is how much money it makes for you. But, prior to your website starts generating money for you, it should be seen by as many people as possible. The above article go in depth on what Alexa ranking is and how it helps in measuring your website traffic and helping you compare the success of your website with your competitor site.
You have also read through some the important ways of increasing the website traffic and where you can start to build a high rank on Alexa. All you need to do is follow the above steps and wait for some time and see the results in six months’ time. If the Alexa ranking of your website starts getting better with the passing time it will be an assurance that you are following the right things.