Though Alexa has lost a lot of its relevance over the last several years, it’s still a valid metric for some people in certain industries. If you’re in the right tech field, with a significant Alexa userbase, it can be worth your while to work to boost your ranking.
Alexa is a massive undertaking, attempting to analyze and track the traffic of millions of websites on a daily basis. Only a company as large as Amazon can have the resources to throw at such an undertaking, and throw resources they have. Thus we have Alexa, successfully – if occasionally inaccurately – tracking over 30 million websites globally.
Alexa gains information primarily through one resource; the Alexa toolbar. Users install the toolbar on their browser, and go about their daily business browsing the Internet. Alexa tracks this traffic activity, along with various bits and pieces of information about the sites these users visit, and accumulates that information.
Alexa isn’t a very detailed analytics page. For one thing, it only tracks data on a domain level. There’s no variation between subpages. Alexa is also only tracking data coming from Alexa Toolbar users, which are just a small fraction of total global Internet users. In theory, it’s a representative sample. In practice, certain demographics are more likely to use the toolbar, and thus certain types of sites are likely to perform better.
Note: Alexa states that a number of different browser extensions include Alexa tracking code. However, many of these seem to be variations on custom toolbars, rather than code embedded in otherwise unrelated extensions. Take this how you will; until Alexa publishes a list, the toolbar is still the most reliable option.
Amazon’s Alexa also warns that any ranking lower on the list than 100,000 is statistically insignificant. At such a low ranking, there’s a shortage of valid data, so it only takes a handful of users to skew a ranking wildly. This is good news if you have a low ranking and want to rise, but it’s bad news for anyone considering the ranking to be meaningful below a certain point.
So, how can you boost your Alexa ranking to a level above that 100,000 mark?
1. Claim Your Alexa Profile
Claiming your Alexa profile does not directly increase your ranking. It does, however, give you access to more information tracked about your site. It also allows you to fill out profile information to maintain accurate contact information, in case any Alexa user wants to approach you with a business proposition. You can compare the Alexa analytics information you find with your own Google Analytics to see the discrepancy yourself.
2. Use and Encourage the Use of the Alexa Toolbar
In the past, you were able to create a customized version of the Alexa Toolbar, allowing you to have a custom offering specific for your users. Since October 2, 2014, this ability has been retired. Alexa no longer allows the creation of new toolbars, or the editing of existing toolbars. Only the standard, default Alexa Toolbar is available.
That said, with so much relying on the toolbar, it’s a good idea to use it yourself, install it on the computers of any employees or office PCs you have, and encourage your users to use it. It’s a harder sell now that you can’t offer a custom toolbar, but it’s still possible.
3. Earn Quality Backlinks
Alexa likes backlinks, and conveniently, so does Google. Earn more links, so more traffic comes your way. More traffic means more users who either have an Alexa-based extension or who can be convinced to install one. More users visiting your site with an Alexa extension means a higher Alexa rank. It’s a matter of dominos falling in line, one after another. Anything that boosts your traffic naturally will boost your Alexa rank.
4. Create More Quality Content
Content is the way you get noticed on today’s Internet. Take all of the reasoning you see for backlinks and apply it to content as well. Every piece of content is an opportunity to draw in more users, either through more links or through organic search results. Once again, more users means more Alexa traffic, which means a higher Alexa ranking.
5. Skew Towards an SEO Niche
You don’t necessarily have to be an SEO blog, but you should consider leaning your content towards an SEO, blogging, webmastering or administration theme. The reason is that Alexa is still heavily influenced by these tech fields. The people most likely to be using an Alexa extension are techies wanting to boost their own Alexa ranking. If you attract these people, it’s going to have a much bigger effect than, say, soccer moms.
6. Expand Your Social Presence
Dedicate as much time to social media as you can. A wide presence on social media attracts more users and, as we know, more users means more Alexa traffic.
7. Engage Your Audience
People who are engaged with your site will stick around and click through various pages. Alexa only counts views and clicks at a domain level, so numerous clicks around a site will all count towards that site as a whole rather than individual page metrics. Keep your users around when they’re here, and encourage them to come back when they leave.
8. Consider an Asian Audience
Alexa has a surprisingly deep presence in Asian countries, so if you’re in any position at all to do so, you might consider digging into that audience. It’s difficult to, for example, make an entirely bilingual site, but you might locate Asian forums to promote your site.
9. Use the Alexa Widget
The Alexa Widget is like the Facebook Like box, it’s a box that sits on your site and displays your Alexa rank. It also allows users to click through and get the Alexa bar, among other things. The presence of the widget itself won’t boost your ranking, but getting users to use it will.
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