When you manage a web page, you want to get many visits, but how can you measure the popularity of a website? A central factor here would be the traffic it generates. This and other indicators are those used by the Alexa tool to determine the rank of a website.
Alexa Internet Inc., founded in 1996 and today a subsidiary of Amazon.com after its acquisition in 1999, owes its reputation to the development of a system to collect the browsing data of those users who installed their toolbar, known as Alexa. toolbar. In theory, the resulting Alexa Traffic Rank would reflect the overall performance of a web page. The websites with good traffic and regularly updated content usually get a good ranking in Alexa, but there are other factors that can also influence, directly or indirectly, in this classification. These include, for example, the thematic niche that covers the page or keywords They are used.
What is the Alexa Rank exactly?
Broadly speaking, the Alexa ranking consists of a representative measurement system that classifies the performance of a web page in relation to the million most popular pages on the web. If no measures have been taken to improve this index before, it is never too late to optimize the value and visibility of a web page. Given that the Alexa ranking is public and can be consulted by partners and investors, improving it can be very appealing for web administrators because the attractiveness of its projects is often evaluated based on this index. Positioning well in Alexa is always profitable.
Before emphasizing the different ways to improve the rank of a page, it is important to understand how Alexa Rank works, so that it can be optimized in a sustainable manner. Below we clarify some basic aspects that allow us to understand how Alexa elaborates its ranking.
What does the term Alexa Traffic Rank mean?
The Alexa traffic range is an estimate of how often a web page is visited in relation to others, which means that the range of a web page depends not only on its own traffic but also on traffic variations in the others. In this way, this index would be a relative value. This also implies that if you aspire to a high position in a very competitive subject, it is necessary to have a lot of traffic. In a smaller niche, however, you do not have to have so much traffic to improve your ranking.
How does Alexa get the data?
Alexa Inc. collects data from millions of Internet users around the world, but for that to be possible, they have had to previously install the Alexa toolbar in the browser. Based on these samples, Alexa estimates the number of visits on all pages. The term Alexa ranking would represent the list of the million most-visited domains, obtained in this way.
The method used by Alexa is a calculation of some complexity that also takes into account, rejecting sources of errors such as spam traffic, and is that the company is keen to include in its calculations only representative data. This is why all actions carried out by bots and all data traffic not generated by people are filtered.
To determine the ranking of a web page, Alexa estimates the average number of visits and impressions per day of a page during the last three months. The web that obtains the highest rank by combining the individual visits (unique visitors) and the views of the page (pageviews), taking into account that the requests made by a single user to a URL in the same day are counted as a view, it is which is classified in the first position. The page with the least activity occupies the last place, and if a website has not registered any visits in the last three months it is completely discarded.
As it has been explained, the rank of the web is determined from the data generated by the users of the toolbar of Alexa, is based on them to calculate the statistics of each domain. According to the company, the data of the popular domains are more accurate than the data from other less-visited websites because this lower traffic from the worst classified pages would prevent collecting representative data.
Being its voluntary installation, which limits the scope of the samples, it also seems reasonable to doubt that the average user of the Alexa toolbar represents the common user. In any case, it should be remembered that, even if the Alexa ranking is not the measure of all things since there are also other ways to analyze the value of a page, such as Google Assistant, Protonet Zoe or Lenovo Smart Assistant, yes It is useful as a trend detector. Since your data is publicly available, the Alexa ranking allows you to keep the competition always in sight.
How does the number of visits to a website influence the Alexa ranking?
The Alexa list is really long (remember that it classifies the million most popular pages of the network), but the first positions already monopolize a great part of the total traffic. In the intermediates, the margin is so low that any increase in visits makes it possible to ascend quickly. As it rises, however, improving the ranking becomes increasingly difficult.
Why is Alexa ranking important?
It is especially the commercial pages that can benefit most from a high rank in Alexa because when you have many visits it is possible to extract a large amount of data, which makes it easier to predict the behavior of visits. This is how you could estimate much more exactly what influences the purchasing decision of potential customers.
A high position in the Alexa ranking is usually a recognized sign of a lot of traffic. There are directories and public lists that classify web pages by their rank in the popular list, so occupying the top positions, by attracting the attention of both users, potential partners or advertisers undoubtedly represents an advantage. An attractive web page could be fully funded with the sale of advertising space. And if you integrate elements of blogging on the page, a good position can also bring an increase in backlinks, since many bloggers make their lists of favourite websites from the Alexa index.
Likewise, the Alexa ranking is useful because it allows evaluating the reception of the content that is published during a period of time. By taking the last three months as a reference, the values in the list allow us to know the long-term effects of the publications, which makes it easier to carry out any optimization.
In order to obtain a much more precise value, Alexa offers the option to certify the exam, so that instead of estimating the values, it measures them, thus providing a more solid foundation to the rank of a web. This certification also gives access to a user interface that allows knowing exclusive traffic data. However, although the certification guarantees more accurate positioning, it does not necessarily improve the range.
How can I improve my ranking in Alexa?
Many web administrators wonder how to improve their ranking in Alexa in a sustainable way and there are certainly several possibilities, some more effective than others. Next, we clarify what aspects can be improved with the objective of increasing your Alexa ranking.
Create unique content
It’s a golden rule: produce original and quality content and update it regularly. Making unique texts represents a great opportunity to win faithful visits because if readers find your valuable and informative content they are very likely to come back and eventually compromise by leaving comments or sharing your posts. Do not forget that good content is shared on social networks, which in turn positively influences the profile of links on the web. This is how both the number of new readers and the number of regular visitors (or customers) increase.
Attractive content is rewarded by search engines improving visibility, as well as influencing the increase in the permanence of visits on the web, not only improving the search engine rankings but also the Alexa ranking. In short: high-quality content helps increase traffic.
Take care of the link profile
Link optimization, both external and internal, is an integral component of a successful digital marketing strategy. It is important that the pages with thematic relationship link to your project: they are the so-called inbound links or backlinks and the strategy with which they get is the link building. These links assist search engines to catalogue the web clearly and, if they are relevant enough, endow the web to which they link with greater credibility. Naturally, this requires a strong editorial structure beforehand.
A good internal link profile also allows you to improve the ranking in Alexa, so do not hesitate to link your texts to each other by taking the reader (and crawler) from one page to another within your project. Internal links have the advantage that they help navigate the reader, as well as the search engine spiders. Smart positions have a positive effect on permanence and, ultimately, on the ranking.
External or internal, the links help the search engine to better understand and analyze the content of your website and it is from this evaluation that you find out to what extent your content fits the user’s search. Of course, its number must always be kept within the scope of the reasonable and must be integrated in an organic way, because if this resource is used in the extreme, the reputation or readability of the page can be reduced. Search engines also detect this excess, which would have devastating effects on the lists of results.
Find the relevant keywords
An essential component of the most successful pages in the texts that include the right words. One of the first tasks is, therefore, to find out what terms are used by pages that deal with similar topics and to conduct a search for keywords, through which you can better understand what your audience is looking for and how it does it. Of course, try that the words for which you choose are not those that have a greater competence, but a greater relevance in terms of content. In our digital guide, we give you much more information about keyword search.
Analyze the marketing strategy of your competition
The competition analysis aims to place your project in a larger context so that you can learn what works best, and at the same time, gain a better understanding of the strategies that could be important for your own success. Determine, above all, how your offer differs from that of the competition. With this information, you can better guide your page to what you are interested in and with luck, you can offer your visitors (or your clients) what is missing in other pages.
Studying the competition allows you to find the strategy to follow to identify and anticipate trends in the sector. This new perspective makes it easier to reflect on one’s own strategy and be able to make long-term decisions. This is how you can positively influence the market position of your project.
Use Alexa SEO tools
To carry out SEO actions you can use a good number of tools. Alexa, without going any further, offers a marketing service (“Marketing Stack”) that includes a keyword search, a comparative study of the competition and web analytics tools. Users of the package thus obtain specific instructions to improve search engine ranking, usability, performance, link profile, etc.
With the Keyword Difficulty Tool are the keywords that have not yet been exploited too much by the competition and with which it can be positioned, the ten pages with the highest traffic from a certain keyword are known and the favourites can be saved for Having them always at hand.
Meanwhile, Competitive Intelligence tools allow you to compare web pages to detect trends and identify fashions in time. This way you can find out how much traffic other pages in your sector generate and which campaigns are successful. The advanced version also allows knowing the monthly statistics of the unique users in different web pages. Other benefits of these tools include the analysis of the permanence (“Time on site”), the rate of bounce (“Bounce rate“) and page impressions (“Pageviews”) per visit.
With the SEO Audit tool, you always have a perspective on the current status of SEO. The technical problems that could throw away all the SEO work are sometimes difficult to find: SEO Audit delivers regular reports to ensure the status and develops a step-by-step action plan with whose help the recommended best practices can be implemented.
Install the Alexa widget and toolbar
The Alexa Toolbar delivers very interesting statistics on the websites that are visited and allows conclusions to be drawn about global and local traffic. As mentioned earlier, these polls only estimate that start from the data of users who have installed the toolbar. One of the advantages of its installation is that it shows links to pages with a similar theme, which makes it easier to gather information about a specific topic without having to spend a lot of time searching.
However, many users raise objections to the installation of the Alexa measurement bar, because it collects user navigation data. Thus, those who value your privacy will probably avoid its use. And yet, Alexa promises on its page that the collected data is not used to identify individual users, although it has not been possible to exclude in many cases that the data is not personally identifiable.
On the other hand, the Alexa widget (only for WordPress) shows the Alexa ranking on the blog. Similar to the extensions of social networks, the Alexa widget signals the popularity of the web if the figures are high, of course. This extension can constitute, in this way, a visible and positive signal for readers and possible partners, but it can not be installed on normal web pages since 2016, which makes it attractive only for WordPress blogs.
Optimize your website for social plugins
Given the breadth of its influence radius, Facebook is today one of the most important social platforms, so having good traffic figures on the network means a significant boost for the domain because when content is virally disseminated, a thousand visits are chosen without having to invest a penny. If you add a social plugin to your web page or integrate the “Share” button manually if you do not use any CMS, if you create or edit your profile on Facebook and share your content on the most popular global network, sooner than expected both the traffic of the page as the ranking in Alexa will have increased.
Once you have set up your profile on Facebook, it will be time to dedicate yourself to studying your new target audience. In this sense, you must find the topics that are most shared if you want to make a great leap forward in the classification. Potentially viral content, such as advertising videos, infographics, entertaining stories, images and articles on current issues is usually the most widespread by followers organically.
The Alexa ranking versus the Google PageRank
Google also managed for years a PageRank indicator that allowed to estimate the relevance of the web pages that were visited. However, with the gradual evolution of the Google search algorithm, the importance of PageRank for positioning in the results lists has been decreasing significantly. This led the search engine to definitively cancel the public PageRank on April 18, 2016, although it is still used internally to calculate the ranking in Google.
Google PageRank is an algorithm developed in 1997 by Larry Page and Sergei Brin that assesses the relevance of a web page based on incoming links. What inconvenience does this have? That a page with a very good link profile can hold a high rank even without offering relevant content or generating less traffic than other pages. Therefore, PageRank would not be a true reflection of the value of a website for the user.
This ability to distort reality is the one used by many web administrators to improve the classification of their domain by placing links strategically. Today, PageRank is one of the around 200 ranking factors in which Google’s algorithm relies on evaluating web pages.
While for the calculation of PageRank priority is given to backlinks, a good score in the Alexa ranking is usually linked to high traffic of visits, although nothing is known about its quality. The classification in Alexa has to be considered, to all this, of a relative form: a web with modest numbers of visits also can have a respectable index in Alexa, because the niche to which it is dedicated has a very influential role. In minority thematic niches it would be enough to receive between 200 and 400 visits a day to obtain a good ranking in Alexa.
How relevant the Alexa ranking is
Appearing in a prominent position in the Alexa ranking is for professional web administrators a very attractive reward for their work and the toolbar is a practical mechanism to estimate the reputation or popularity of their project, because from the ranking they can measure roughly how much traffic generates in relation to other pages.
However, their estimates, often inaccurate, cannot be taken to the letter. Alexa serves as a scale to measure hypothetical trends, especially if we take into account that the Alexa ranking always takes as reference the last three months of activity.