First of all, what is Alexa, and what’s an Alexa ranking?
What is Alexa?
Alexa is an organisation that analyses website traffic. They use their own tools and algorithms to produce a ranking of all websites. Each website is given a global ranking and a ranking in their own country.
Something to remember is that your Alexa Rank is an estimate of how popular your site is relation to all other sites. Since this ranking is relative to other websites traffic its possible to move up or down in ranking without your own personal websites statistics changing.
By going onto the Alexa website you can see how your website stacks up against other sites.
Sounds neat hey… well kind of… Alexa and I have had a love hate relationship for about 3 years now. That’s when I first became aware of this other company collecting statistic about my website. When I looked at the statistic for Gourmet Getaways they were completely incorrect. This was a little disappointing so I took a look at how Alexa collects data. After all, I thought only google had that information.
I discovered that Alexa doesn’t have the complete traffic picture. Initially in 1996 when Alexa came into being it only has access to information it gathers from the browser history of people who have the Alexa toolbar installed. Does this sound a bit “hit and miss”? It does to me! Anyway Alexa would then use the information collected from the small sample to extrapolate what the real traffic to your site would be.
Data collection has improved with more people using the Alexa toolbar over time, but more significantly as website owners have bean to understand the importance of Alexa they have added tracking code to their site to ensure the figures Alexa receive are more accurate.
Is Alexa Important?
While the way Alexa gathers information may be imperfect Alexa is still very well accepted as the best indication of a websites rank. This data and ranking is relied upon by advertising and PR agencies so it pays to ensure the data Alexa collects about your website is accurate.
Most importantly, the Alexa traffic information is displayed publicly!
I don’t know about you, but knowing that whether the information was right or wrong my website statistics were going to be “out and proud” made me want to help Alexa to get my ranking right.
How Do You Check Your Alexa Ranking?
Firstly go to the Alexa Website, scroll down to the input field which allows you to enter a site name.
Add your blogs url and hit go.
Alex will then give you a detailed report on all the information it has collected about your website traffic.
If you have a new website the data may be very sketchy.
Now the juicy part. Its time to learn how to improve your Alexa Ranking.
Increase your Alexa Ranking
- Certify your traffic.
Once you have found your site on the Alexa website you will notice the option to certify your website. Certifying will allow Alexa to receive certified traffic data from your site. Certified Site Metrics are directly-measured from your website and represent actual traffic instead of estimated. In order for Alexa to receive your data the website owner needs to purchase a monthly plan and then install the Alexa Certifying Code on all pages of their site. By allowing Alexa to collect the data “first hand” you have the best chance of getting the ranking you deserve. The Alexa plans start at just $9.00 per month.
Interestingly I have tried all the plans from the $9.00 p/m plan all the way up to the $149 p/m plan. When I was on the $149 per month my website was suddenly ranked 240,000 globally. It stayed in that position more or less for the year I was on that plan. My ranking fell suddenly to 700,000 when I forgot to renew my plan. I renewed at the $9.00 p/m plan and my ranking improved slightly. I increased to the $49 p/m plan and my ranking went to around 400,000 globally. Again I forgot to renew my membership and it dropped down to 736,444! I have once again renewed at $9 p/m and I will see what my ranking does before I commit to the higher plan.
My takeaway from this experience is that possibly Alexa “rewards” those that are on higher plans within their algorithm. Disclaimer: I don’t know this for sure, it just seems like something is going on…
- Content is King
I know you here is all the time but it’s true. This is the most important thing to do if you want to increase your Alexa ranking. Write quality content. Write about the things that are important to your niche. Great quality content helps your ranking because when you are an expert in a topic because of your quality stories, you receive more traffic to your site. Google loves, quality content that is in demand and will reward you with traffic. Alexa rank is a product of the incoming traffic google sends your way.
- Create Quality Backlinks
Backlinks help improve a websites Alexa Rank. Nobody know the exact Algorithm Alexa uses to determine ranking, but a websites authority is important. The more backlinks you have from websites in authority the better it is for your ranking. So how do you get backlinks? a: Write guest post b:comment on other websites. c:Join linky parties in your website niche
- Install the Alexa Toolbar
The Alex toolbar used to be the only way Alexa collected statistics. Now blog and website owners tend to certify their sites and send the information directly to Alexa, but having an Alexa toolbar is still important. Firstly you will be helping Alexa get the statistics correct for other websites which inturn gives your ranking added weight. Also I’m sure as a blog owner you visit your site multiple times a day, this helps! So install the Alexa Toolbar in your browser. The toolbar is available for Chrome and Firefox. It can be installed in seconds… Even I managed to download the Alexa toolbar.
- Write Regular Content
When new content is produced your site comes alive. You will no doubt publicise the new content across all your social media platforms. You will send out an automated email to subscribers. Headlines and excepts may be automatically published on Bloglovin, networked blogs, and sent to Worpress followers. If this only happens once or twice a week you aren’t maximising the buzz on your site. The more often you release content the more often google bots will scan your site. All these things generate an increase in traffic which will help your ranking.
- Add an Alexa Widget to Your Site
If you don’t want to certify your website by purchasing a plan, but you still want your actual traffic data used to calculate your ranking you can add an Alexa widget plugin to your sidebar. This will collect traffic information and display your page rank in small widget on your website. There are quite a number of free wordpress plugins to choose from.
So I hope this has helped other bloggers and website owners in coming to terms with Alexa. Do you have any tips to increase your Alexa Page ranking? Feel Free to share in the comments section. If you are planning to use my suggestion of commenting on other sites for backlinks, take a look at this story for some great tips.