How to Increase Alexa Ranking?
I had asked this question a long time ago, when I thought and gave a lot of importance to Alexa ranking. However, I now realize that the real question that I should have asked is, Is Alexa Rank Relevant? And it turns out, that Alexa rank is a surprisingly poor indicator of your traffic. There are popular sites with hundreds of visitors a day with an Alexa rank of over a million while a lot of sites with a few visitors are ranked really well. Why is that?
To answer how to increase Alexa rank, you should first ask yourself how Alexa rank is calculated. Alexa ranking is supposed to rank websites based on traffic. The ultimate purpose of course is to give a traffic ranking to each and every website on the internet – an ambitious task. However, even if this can be done for the top say 10 million sites, that’s a great achievement. The problem is, it turns out that it isn’t as straightforward and the method employed by Alexa is flawed. If you want to improve your Alexa ranking, you should work your way through these flaws.
Learning About Alexa Ranking
- Your Alexa rank is not an accurate indicator of traffic.
- The traffic statistics are calculated based on the number of visitors who have installed Alexa toolbar to your site.
- If you blog in a niche that doesn’t attract many people who would be interested in installing this, your ranking will be poor.
- Domain traffic is added up, except in obvious cases like blogger or wordpress or typepad.
- As a general rule, higher traffic would still result in higher Alexa ranking.
That being said, the Alexa ranking is still relevant for many webmasters.Here are some reasons why Alexa ranking is still relevant, when used in the right context.
How to Use Alexa Ranking
- Show-off: This is especially true for attracting advertisers and selling yourself and your blog. It is a number, and people like numbers. If you have a good Alexa rank, it never hurts.
- Compare Sites: You can still find some relevant use of Alexa ranking when you compare two sites in a very similar area and same niche. For example, if you want to know which among two photography sites that seem to cater to similar kinds of professionals is more popular, and you find that the Alexa ranking of one is far better than the other, chances are it is more popular.
- Weed out Scams: I personally use Alexa ranking to quickly get an estimate of a site’s popularity. If you claim to be the #1 Furniture website in the United States and your Alexa ranking is 15 million, I will probably be suspicious.
- Guesstimation: Alexa ranking can still be used to estimate traffic, popularity and relevance, especially if you have a fair idea about the traffic and rankings of other sites in the same area. It should always be taken with a pinch of salt, however.
Now that you know about Alexa rank and how it is calculated, here are 7 tips to help you improve your Alexa ranking
Secrets to Increase Alexa Ranking
- Download the Alexa Toolbar: Duh! Well, this is definitely the first step. Download the Alexa toolbar. Like previously mentioned, Alexa calculates its website rankings based on the number of visitors who have installed the toolbar and have visited your website. Shouldn’t you be the first one to do so? You should, especially if you are starting out. It can help you quickly cross over from the big millions to the little millions in traffic ranking if you visit your website yourself, after installing the Alexa Toolbar.
- Get Webmaster Targeted Traffic: I do not want to state the obvious – that you should increase traffic in general, so statistically speaking, you improve your Alexa ranking. However, there are certain niches that seem to have a higher probability of visitors with Alexa toolbar installed. These are usually webmasters, blog owners, etc. who want to monitor their own progress and also that of their competition. Therefore, you should try to get traffic from these sources, like visiting and posting useful information on relevant forums and leaving your link in the signature. This should get you more targeted traffic specially to improve your Alexa ranking.
- Find Traffic Exchange Sites: Traffic exchange sites can be good for you, depending on which niche you operate in. I found Entrecard to be quite useful for my other blogs when I wanted to bump up their Alexa rankings. However, the bad news is, it can increase your bounce rate, especially if visitors are not very interested in what you have to offer. However, in my case, I was getting only a few visitors from Entrecard and had hundreds of other normal visitors but the ratio of people with Alexa toolbar from Entrecard seemed to be much higher.
- Use the Redirection Trick: You can use a redirection trick to let Alexa know about your website even if the visitor doesn’t have a toolbar installed. For example, you can use a URL like http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?<your website domain> and this should redirect to your website, but through Alexa. I am not a huge fan of this because you don’t get direct backlinks, but this trick is especially handy if you want to mention your site in Alexa specific forums, discussion boards or leaving your URL behind during a review.
- Buy Traffic: This of course involves paying money, but using pay-per-click type of advertising, you can drive relevant visitors to your blog. Of course this needs to fit in with the overall strategy of your blog. You might also consider advertising on popular webmaster blogs, so that the conversion ratio – percentage of people with Alexa toolbar installed is higher.
- Ignore the Myths: There are several myths about Alexa ranking floating around the internet. One common myth that I always end up seeing is some blogger claiming that having an Alexa traffic widget installed on your blog helps improve your Alexa ranking. It doesn’t. You shouldn’t waste your time and effort in following all kinds of advice that isn’t even beneficial for the long-term traffic sustainability of your blog.
- Traffic!: Of course, the main purpose of Alexa or any traffic rank is, well, traffic! You should concentrate on getting more traffic to your blog, which is the bottom line for any serious and successful blog or website. Remember that Alexa ranking is not the most important thing, ultimately it is just traffic. Alexa ranking is just an additional boost. Use Google approved methodologies for building a high quality long-term sustainable site.
If you have other tips to share, feel free to let me know in the comments.