The main goal that almost all companies have today when dealing with online marketing is to improve their conversion rate. Everybody knows that there are various ways of attracting targeted traffic. Some go for a good place in the Search engine result page, others would be more satisfied with heavier traffic. Either way, everybody sets his goal usually in earning more money.
But, while having a high position in Google may seem to some companies the only way to make themselves known and thus reaching their goal, there are others that think that a good place in the Alexa ranking system might result quite beneficial in the end.
What is Alexa Ranking?
This is a ranking system provided by alexa.com( controlled by amazon.com) that basically evaluates and shows the number of visits on various Web sites. The algorithm according to which Alexa traffic ranking is calculated, is simple. It is based on the amount of traffic recorded from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed over a period of three months.
This traffic is based on some parameters like reach and page views. The reach stands for the number of Alexa users who visit a particular site in one day. Page view shows the number of times a particular page is visited by Alexa users. At the same time, Alexa explains that if some user visits the same page more times in one day, all those visits will be counted as one.
The first step in the ranking process is evaluating the reach and number of page views for all the sites on the Web on a daily basis. The Alexa ranking is obtained by performing the geometric mean of reach and page views, averaged over a predefined period of time (three months).
How Alexa Ranking Works
It’s quite easy to work with Alexa toolbar. All you have to do is visit the alexa.com site and download (and install) the Alexa toolbar . This toolbar provides a search feature but it mainly shows the rank (at a global level) of the visited site, as well as the sites that have been visited by Web surfers that are linked in some way to the site being visited.
Not only does Alexa toolbar shows information, but it also sends data to the central server. In other words, every time you might be visiting a webpage through a web browser (be it Internet Explorer or Firefox) that has this toolbar installed, information will be sent to the server indicating your IP and the page you are visiting. Such data is gathered from all the Web users who have the Alexa toolbar.
On the other hand, with Alexa the situation is a bit different: the smaller the numerical ranking, the better. Most people say that if you succeed in making to the top 100,000, it is a sign that your site benefits from quite a lot of traffic.
Is Alexa Ranking Worth Something ?
€¢ Alexa Traffic can be used as a competitive intelligence tool but what you should take into account, is the fact that the audience sample size can be easily labelled as small; Your only task is to enter your competitor’s site URL in the “Compare Sites” section and assess the results of your web marketing efforts in comparison with your competitors’.
€¢ In contrast with Google PageRank, the lower your ranking number, the better.
€¢ It helps Webmasters and advertisers observe the real marketing potential of your Web site. The better your Alexa rank, the higher they will be willing to bid to purchase space to advertise on your Web site.
€¢ Personal pages or blogs also ramked in the same way as ordinary Web sites. They will even get a distinctive mark (*)
€¢ Because Alexa ranking helps you with information about your Web site, it is a good instrument for search engine optimization.
€¢ Not all internet users have the Alexa toolbar installed ; so, there might be many Web sites that, even if they have a lot of traffic, will not be ranked (or not high enough) by Alexa. Consequently, the whole process might be rather relative.
€¢ Rumours say that Alexa results are quite inaccurate and that Alexa traffic could be tricked in some way.
€¢ Neither subdomains nor subpages within a domain are ranked separately. The overall traffic is calculated for the top-level domain only.
Ways to Improve Your Alexa Ranking
If you want to increase your Alexa traffic ranking, you just have to follow some quite simple rules, such as:
€¢ Download and install the Alexa toolbar ; afterwards go to your own site.
€¢ Place the Alexa widget on your Web site in order to lure visitors ; after all, you know that each click is important.
€¢ Provide visitors with useful, top-quality and webmaster-related content. Advertise content on webmaster forums and on social networking sites. The main goal is to get as many computer and Internet « lovers » as possible to visit out your site ; it is very probable that some of them might already have Alexa toolbar installed.
€¢ Promote information about Alexa through blogs and articles. You will get the links you need in order to improve your site. Some of the most improtant blogs or sites where you could post information are digg.com , del.icio.us , or stumbleupon.com
€¢ Optimize your site (or relevant pages of it) for Alexa related keywords.
€¢ Spread the news about Alexa toolbar among your friends, convince them to download and install it on their computers, and then, tell them to visit your site.
€¢ Employ Alexa redirect. This means placing http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect? in front of your Web site’s URL. This way, Alexa will certainly take into account clicks on redirected links even though visitors might not have Alexa toolbar installed.
€¢ In all likelihood, Asian people are quite fond of Alexa. As a result, many people suggest posting in Asian social networking forums.
€¢ Whenever you might pusblish content on webmaster forums, make sure to include your site’s URL in your signature. It is very likely that most webmasters have the toolbar installed on their computers, and there’s a great probability that they’ll come to your site.
All in all…
From what you might have seen above, one can easily conclude that there are both upsides and downsides with Alexa toolbar. The main idea is that most people consider it valuable only for direct advertising. Unfortunately, the results can be inaccurate sometimes due to the fact that Alexa ranking for a site is calculated on the basis of the number of visitors with the Alexa toolbar installed who have visited that particular site.
Nevertheless, it may prove useful for sites with heavy traffic that attract highly targeted leads, since Alexa focuses more on the traffic that Web sites have, rather than on the number of backlinks. As a Web site monetization strategy, we can safely say that Alexa ranking might be the right solution.