Ready to win the Alexa rankings game? Here’s your game plan.
Three Simple Steps to Get a Better (Lower) Alexa Ranking
Step One: Research & Claim
The first step to ranking better is to do some research and learn how Alexa ratings work.
Start with the tour here: http://www.alexa.com/tour
Alexa ranks something like 16 million websites against each other based on relative traffic. They also track interesting information like bounce rate, pageviews per visitor, search engine terms, and demographics.
Each website has a 3-month average ranking, as well as a 1-month and 7-day rank. You can also compare your traffic and other analytics to different websites and see how you’re doing vs. your competition. Here’s an example of the info Alexa will show you:
As part of your research, check out what your Alexa listing looks like right now and claim it if you haven’t yet. To do this, go to http://www.alexa.com/siteowners/edit and enter your URL. You’ll see the option to claim your site. It does require creating an account or signing in through Facebook and following some steps to verify that you do own your website and have access to make changes/post content.
Step Two: Make Your Traffic Visible to Alexa
So there are two ways to help Alexa see your traffic.
2) Run their toolbar on your browser. You can download it free at http://www.alexa.com/toolbar This is a snippet of what it looks like sitting on the top of my browser. It’s not too annoying.
Step Three: Get More Traffic & Build More Links
Sounds simple, right? If Alexa’s measuring traffic to sites then the best way to lower your rank is to get more traffic. And if you’ve done step 2 which helps Alexa see your traffic more accurately, then the only other thing to focus on is building that traffic.
Get More Traffic
If Alexa’s goal is to measure the traffic to sites and rank them based on their % of overall internet traffic then the obvious way to get a better ranking is to get more traffic. Use any legitimate strategy that works for you, for example:
- Blogging – post new content frequently
- Social networking – get out there and share your content and get contacts back to your website
There are lots of other ways to get more traffic. This is something you want anyway, right? So don’t worry about building traffic specifically for Alexa. Do it so you can get more people to your site who you can serve with your products/services/information.
There are many ways to build links to your website. Here are some strategies you might include in your plan:
- Link Directories
- Blog Commenting
- Guest Blog Posts
- Article Marketing
One thing to know about building links is that Alexa has to SEE the link in order to include it. This is one great reason to install the Alexa toolbar on your own browser. If you then visit a website that’s linking to you and click that link to visit your site, Alexa will see the link.
Another note is that only one link from each site counts. So if you do regular guest posts at a site, it only counts for one link no matter how many links there are back to your site. Don’t let this stop you from showing up regularly at the right blogs or article directories though. Remember, like any tool (Google, SEO, adsense, blog commenting, or any other tool or strategy in your online marketing arsenal), you need to consider it part of your overall strategy and not base everything you do around it.
They note on their site that they update links in once a month (reference here). In the four months I’ve been watching my rankings, I’ve only seen it update once, for whatever that’s worth.
Rinse and Repeat
Now, keep going. Watch your Alexa ranking. Continue putting out good content, drawing in traffic, and building links to your website. Try to wait patiently without obsessing. It’s hard. I know. But it may drive you insane if you check your ranking every day and watch it bounce like crazy.
Bonus Tips & Tools
* Invite your readers and fans to leave you reviews on the Alexa website. I couldn’t tell specifically if this helped my rankings but it does help you build credibility for your website. Alexa offers some buttons you can use to encourage your readers to leave a review. I just blogged about it one day and then asked my Facebook fans to consider adding their review. (And I’d love if you’d consider it, too! You can review me at: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/michelleshaeffer.com)
* If you blog about Alexa, chances are good that people who are interested in Alexa will find your post. A higher percentage of these people may be running the Alexa toolbar. This may help you some.
* Alexa offers a customized version of their toolbar that you can create and give away to your visitors. If enough of your visitors are willing to download and use the toolbar, this can help you rank lower/better. Consider your visitors (are they tech savvy?) and your own goals (does creating this type of tool somehow help support your readers or provide value?) in deciding whether it’s good fit for your website.
* Yes, you can “game” the system. There are tips online various places to help you do that. But if you do, you’re losing the value of the tool. It’s value is in helping you see your traffic trends, analyze where you’re at, and improve. Just focus on helping Alexa get a good look at your traffic, then building that traffic, and you’ll see your rank moving in the direction you want it to.
* Alexa is on Twitter and they look like they’re very responsive to tweets. So if you’ve got questions or run into trouble, I’d try tweeting them for help: http://twitter.com/AlexaInternet
XOs Photo Credit: IvicaNS/StockFresh.com