Sunday, October 22, 2006
By Michael Fleischner
After spending two years building my own website (MarketingScoop), I was very disappointed that my Alexa ranking was still higher than one million. Alexa ranks each website based on the number of visitors it receives. The top ranked website, Yahoo! has an Alexa rating of 1 or 2. Less popular sites could be ranked up to 5,000,000.
In order to improve my Alexa rating, I spent about three weeks combing the web to find tips, secrets, and proven strategies for increasing my Alexa ranking. Unfortunately, many of the sites offering advice didn't even have a high ranking themselves. Finally I discovered a number of sites ranked within the top 100,000 that were all applying the same "Alexa techniques" to improve their ranking. I've begun implementing a number of these techniques and have improved my Alexa ranking by 250,000 spots in just one week.
Here's what you need to know. The basis for many of these techniques is the fact that your Alexa ranking is based reach and page views. However it only counts those who visit your site and have already downloaded the Alexa toolbar. Anyone can download the toolbar for free which is automatically added to your browser and tracks the sites you’re visiting. Increasing
visits from those who do not have the Alexa toolbar installed will not help your Alexa ranking.
I've summarized the 7 strategies that I've discovered and applied to my own website to increase my Alexa ranking. Apply these strategies to your own website and see your ranking climb towards the top.
1. Download the Alexa toolbar and use it every day to visit your own website. Alexa even gives you the ability to co-brand the toolbar with your own logo and give it away. You can download the toolbar here: http://pages.alexa.com/prod_serv/associatetoolbar.html
2. Use Alexa redirection whenever you can. No matter when or where you provide a link to your website, be sure to use the equivalent Alexa redirect URL. For example, when providing a link to my website, I use http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?marketingscoop.com. If you copy this URL into your browser, it will take you to MarketingScoop.com. To use this technique, simply replace the name of my website (marketingscoop) with yours.
3. Encourage your website visitors to add their positive testimonials on Alexa's detailed listings page for your website. This can be done by placing a link to the appropriate Alexa page on your website and asking visitors to "Click here to rate this website". You can find your detailed Alexa page here: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/?url=marketingscoop.com.
Again, just replace the name of my website (marketingscoop) with yours. By clicking on the URL, visitors will be able to reach your detailed rating page and write a review using the review link located on the left hand side of the page.
4. Write your own site reviews on the top 100 rated Alexa sites and include your redirect URL. The top 500 domains, according to Alexa can be found at the followig URL... http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_500. When you write a review, be sure to use the redirection URL we discussed in number 2 above specifically for your website (http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?marketingscoop.com).
5. Download the Alexa ranking button, traffic history graph, info links, and other traffic counters onto the page of your website that receives the most traffic. For example, at the bottom of my home page (http://www.marketingscoop.com), I've added the Alexa ranking box. You can do the same for your own site by visiting http://www.alexa.com/site/site_stats/signup. You'll notice that I haven't added the traffic history graph. This is because it wouldn't look appropriate on my home page and because Alexa is only providing detailed history on the top 100,000 sites. So if you’re not in the top 100,000, site stats would not be available.
6. Take an inexpensive advertisement out on the ExactSeek search directory for only a few dollars per month at ExactSeek.com Search engine results are directly correlated with Alexa rankings. You'll notice that if a website is highly ranked on ExactSeek, chances are that it will be highly ranked on Alexa.
7. Get listed on as many search engines as possible by placing a free listing in DMOZ. This is the largest human edited directory on the web and is co-branded among hundreds of thousands of sites. Be patient though, it often takes up to 5 months before you see your website listed after submission. Even though it takes longer than it should, you have little say in the matter because it's so widely used across the Internet.
These simple Alexa strategies are easy to implement and will make a huge difference in your Alexa ranking. Ultimately you want visitors to do more than visit your home page, you want them to interact with your site. Be sure to optimize your home page for SEO purposes, ease of use, and interaction. Creating a positive user experience will get visitors to return again and again.
*Michael Fleischner is a marketing expert and the president of MarketingScoop.com. Visit today for free marketing information and marketing blog directory. Michael has more than 12 years of marketing experience and had appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit his marketing blog for further details.