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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Improve Alexa Ranking - Who Cares?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

As someone who loves to look at web stats, I can't help by act surprised every time I see people interested in a topic that to me is somewhat meaningless.  Now, I'm not saying that I'm the end all be all with regard to what topics should be part of any mainstream conversation but this one really surprised me - Alexa Rankings!

Alexa's been around for a very long time.  If you're not familiar with Alexa, let me give you a quick background. Alexa is owned by and known for its toolbar and Web site information. In 1996, Amazon paid 250 million bucks for this site (stock deal) which was quickly becoming one of the standard measures of a website's traffic.  

Users can install an Alexa toolbar which collects data on browsing behavior which is transmitted to the site where it's stored and analyzed.  This data is used for the company's web traffic reporting which is very robust and informative. 

What's great about Alexa is that you really don't need to install anything on your site to get data and it's free.  You can view info about your site, competitor's sites, and really anyone's site for that matter.  The only thing that I've ever included on my site is a little Alexa widget that gives me quick stats each time I visit my site.  Unlike other analytic programs you don't need to place code on every page of your website.  Don't ask me how it works, it just does.  

So why are people so concerned about Alexa ranking?
People are obsessed about rankings.  And why wouldn't they be?  Everyone wants to see where they rank among their peers and strive to be number one.  But Alexa's been around forever and it seems that all of a sudden there is a renewed interest in Alexa rankings.  Personally, I would think that people are more interested in Klout, Facebook Likes, or some other "measure" of online popularity.  

Giving it some additional thought, maybe the draw is simply that website owners who don't subscribe to other analytic rating services, like Compete, want to see how they rank among their peers.  And the reality is you wont find a more popular resource for website rankings as  The other benefit is that Alexa provides some amazing insight into your traffic that you just can't get anywhere else.  

The screen shot I provided on this post shows real Alexa information on one of my websites,  You can see from the traffic breakdown that the majority of organic traffic is coming from Alexa related terms.  About four years ago I wrote an article on "Improving your Alexa Ranking" and now it seems to be one of the largest drivers of traffic on my site.  I suppose this is the unintended consequence of writing about an emerging topic which has now become mainstream.

Improving your Alexa Ranking
Although a number of the recommendations I made in my original article are no longer valid, the overall concept of Alexa ranking remains the same.  The secret to top Alexa rankings is traffic and inbound links.  Of course, there are other factors you can manipulate to improve your rankings as well.

1.  Make sure to register on Alexa and complete your profile.
2.  Get others to review your site on Alexa.
3.  Place an Alexa widget on your own website.

Once you've applied the three recommendations above, the next step is to start generating traffic to your website.  There are plenty of books on generating traffic so I'll just give you two recommendations that have served me well.

The first is to focus on search engine optimization.  SEO is one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal for generating traffic and seeing results.  This has been my number one asset for generating sustainable traffic to my website day over day and month over month.  (Check out SEO Made Simple)

The second traffic strategy is creating something that's unique or worth returning to your site for.  In my case, I didn't see my Alexa ranking break 100,000 until I added a forum to my website.  Once I did, the traffic and repeat visitors significantly improved my Alexa ranking.  Think about sticky content that can draw your visitors in and back to your site over a sustained period of time.

Apply the techniques and Alexa ranking improves
Put these tips and strategies to work for you.  If you don't see your Alexa ranking moving too much, be patient.  The goal is to continually be strive towards a lower ranking.  Remember, progress is your objective.  The more traffic and links you build, the better your Alexa ranking.


Ayurvedic herbal treatment said...

Very nice post! I have bookmarked it for future references.

Mary Daryenne said...

I was looking for different methods to improve my Alexa ranking,
and I came across
so I decided to try it and it worked great!
they improved my alexa rank to under 100K in less than 30 days.

Rick Holden said...

I register on alexa and complete my profile, I also added alexa widget on my site. I hope this will work. I will add some marketing to boost the ranking on my site.

Mark Wright said...

Nice post and great blog thanx

Akos Fintor said...

Hey Michael,

Thank for the insight.
I launched a new blog and traffic went from 7th million now 1.8 withing 2 months just by leaving relevant comments on blogs in my niche.


Orlando SEO said...

Alexa give you a very general qualitative and quantitative score. Often used to determine if advertising on a site would have a beneficial impact

It Consultancy Services said...

Great article. i am really looking for the info. thanks hope to read something more about the topic.

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