In this article, we will be talking about how you can increase Alexa rankings, as well as why it is important to monitor this metric to see where your marketing efforts could be improved.
For the longest time, webmasters have been trying to find new, innovative ways to improve their traffic sources and rank higher in the SERPs.
New SEO tricks, creative ads, even viral videos have been mentioned as a legit method. All this effort, in order to belong to the elite of websites that bring in masses of visitors that have the potential of becoming paid customers.
But then the question arises – How is your website ranking compared to others as far as incoming traffic is concerned? How can you measure if your progress is actually paying off?
One of the best indicators that classify websites based on the amount of visitors it gets month over month is Alexa rank.
And so, in this article, we will be talking about how you can increase Alexa rankings, and why this is possibly one of the best metrics to monitor in order to see if your marketing efforts are delivering the necessary results.
Let’s dive in.
What is Alexa rank – Understanding the basics
The Alexa rank is an indication of your website’s traffic when compared to all other websites on the world-wide-web. Essentially, what this estimate is trying to answer is the question: How is my site performing compared to everyone else’s?
Here is Linkody’s Alexa rank, for example:
Image courtesy – Alexa.com
Keep in mind that this measure is only relative as it does not only depend on the traffic of your individual website, but also that of other websites.
The way Alexa’s ranking estimation works is pretty simple. Alexa estimates the average number of visitors and page views that all websites receive on a daily basis and creates an average of the past 3 months (90 days).
It might be good to know that the websites with the least traffic are ranked somewhere around the 30-35 million area. The more traffic a website receives, the lower its Alexa rank.
So far so good?
Ok, but why is this important?
As we already mentioned, you will get to know “how well a website is doing compared to all other sites on the web in the last months”.
This sounds quite generic so let’s break it down into more specific factors. Here is why it is important to be aware of yours and other websites’ Alexa ranking:
- Create a better overview for yourself
If you own a website or a blog, it is important to know how well your site is performing. You can use this information to create a better overview when it comes to the future of your marketing strategies and make better attempts in outranking your competitors. It is also a great idea to check your Alexa rank regularly in order to keep track of your website’s progress over time. In other words, are you gaining or losing popularity? If your traffic has lessened over time, you might want to adjust your strategy.
- Analyze your competitors: Alexa rankings can also help you take a better look at your competition. You can compare your Alexa rank with that of your most relevant competitors and analyze your popularity differences and the cause thereof.
- Auditing marketing opportunities: If you’re involved with Digital Marketing, referring to the Alexa Rank of other websites will help you understand their level of popularity. This way, you will know if a collaboration opportunity and its price is worth pursuing.
- Target group analysis: Alexa ranking split websites into different categories, namely “Country”, “Category” and “Global”. The first two categories give you insights into the most visited sites in a location (country) or industry (category). What’s more, you also see the position of your website within a country or industry, related to other websites. “Global”, on the other hand, stands for worldwide ranking.
Now that you have a better idea of what Alexa rank consists of, you may start wondering if it could also correlate to your SEO efforts.
Do Alexa rankings play a role in your SEO efforts?
As of right now, there is no proof that your Alexa rank is in any way correlated to your SEO efforts.
However, keep in mind that improving your SEO could lead to an eventual growth in traffic which, in turn, lowers your Alexa rankings.
Let’s explain this in detail with an example. There are two people, person A, and person B, both of whom are writing an article on a very specific niche – Ecological Shampoo for redheads.
A specific topic like this is easier to rank than, say, shampoos in general. And yet, person A, who wrote a lengthy post on the topic, find his post on the 9th page, while person B, who wrote less on the topic is ranking on the 1st page.
What did person B do differently from person A? He simply optimized his content for SEO, implementing different practices that helped his content rank higher.
As a result of the SEO optimization, his page now receives a lot more traffic, compared to person A’s blog post, which was not optimized.
If you want to increase Alexa rankings, make sure you keep reading, as we will turn such examples into actionable steps. We will be sharing more on this further on!
How to check a website’s Alexa rank?
Checking a website’s Alexa rank is a fairly easy process to follow. The method you will use to check a website’s rankings will depend on your individual goals. Let’s analyze the different options you can choose from.
Checking individual websites on the web
Every time you visit a website, whether that is to determine its value or to think about a collaboration opportunity, the easiest way you can implement checking website’s Alexa rank is by using a browser extension. This way you will be able to remain on the page you are exploring which is getting all the important data you need.
The best tool you can use for this occasion is SimilarWeb. Its browser extension shows your website’s traffic over time and also gives you a traffic estimate based on the three categories we discussed earlier in this post.
So, let’s see what SimilarWeb has to say about a popular website like Youtube for example:
As you can see, “Global”, “Country” and “Category” rankings are all shown together, to give a general idea of a website’s popularity across the web. You also get a 6-month line chart that shows the traffic change over time.
The best part about SimilarWeb is that it’s free to use, given you are satisfied with the somewhat limited information its browser extension offers.
Checking the Alexa rank of your backlinks
If you want to know the Alexa rankings of your backlinks, there are many tools that can help you create a structured overview. For example, our favorite tool for the job is Linkody, since it shows you a large number of metrics for each backlink compiled into a simple table that is easy to read and export.
On top of that, it is also a very cheap tool and has a 30-day free trial, which gives you enough testing time.
So how do you go about this? Here are the steps.
First, on the dashboard, select Links to see your backlinks:
You will see that Alexa ranking is one of the many metrics that you can see when checking your backlinks.
Checking the Alexa rankings of your backlinks will give you data regarding the strength and influence a backlink has on your ranking efforts. The higher the Alexa rank, the lower the DA (Domain Authority), and thus the less impactful a backlink is.
What is a good Alexa ranking
This question really depends on what your goals are and is thus highly subjective. Most webmasters swear that a global score under 100.000 is an amazing achievement, but there are some that are aiming for a rank that is even lower than that.
It’s best to start looking at the Alexa rank of your competitors. Check the top 10 websites of your niche and get an idea of the current best rankings. This will give you an indication as to what you need to work towards and surpass.
For example, if you are writing about tea, and your focus keyword is “traditional tea flavors”, you can compare your website’s ranking with BBC GoodFood (Alexa ranking: 4138), Olive Magazine (Alexa ranking: 62143) and other websites that are ranking on the first page of Google.
Of course, if you are looking for a more specific number as to what makes a “good” score, then reaching a score that is below 100.000 should be a good long term goal. After you go <100.000, Alexa ranks are reportedly much more accurate, giving you more precise data about the progress you are making over time.
However, keep in mind that Alexa ranking is not the most important determining factor of an online business’s success. You can have a website that is position below 500.000 in ranking but still makes a killing in profits. It all depends on the niche and the way each separate industry works.
How to increase Alexa rankings
So, we’ve gotten this far with the introduction on what Alexa rank is and how it works. Now it is time to see how one can increase Alexa rankings.
There are many practices you can follow, most of which are bound to SEO, and we will explain all of them in detail below:
Optimize your new content for SEO
Write SEO optimized content that has the potential of ranking high in the SERPs. Here are some tips to write articles that rank:
- Write content that is at least 2000 words long and preferably longer than the average word-count of the top-ranking articles for the keyword you are trying to rank.
- Add your focus keyword in the first paragraph and a few times throughout the text (0,3-0,5% of the content).
- Add images throughout the post and make sure you add “Alt. Text” to them.
- Optimize your content for mobile readability – Google indexes mobile pages first.
- Write a great meta-title and meta-description that includes your focus keyword.
- Add your focus keyword in the permalink.
If your blog is hosted on WordPress, you can easily download a plugin like Yoast, which will show you opportunities for SEO optimization within your content (on-page SEO).
Focus on activities that increase your traffic
Form the habit of going after all sorts of activities that have the potential of increasing your website’s incoming traffic. This will be the catalyst to increase Alexa rankings. Here are some examples:
- Share your content across all the Social media platforms where you are active on (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Youtube, etc.).
- Run ad campaigns on Facebook and/or Google. You can also advertise in niche-relevant websites that have a lot of traffic
- Ask to participate in the newsletter of industry-relevant websites. You could offer the same in return.
Search for opportunities to gain new backlinks
You can use Linkody to discover where your competitors are getting their backlinks from and reach out to the webmasters. Try to form some sort of relationship and offer to write guest posts or any other type of content, in order to receive a “do-follow” backlink.
You can also steal your competitors’ backlinks. To learn how to do this, read this article, as it gives you a detailed explanation of the process involved.
If you successfully manage to get more backlinks from reputable and niche-relevant websites, you will increase your website’s Domain Authority (DA).
As a result of a higher Domain Authority, your content will start to rank easier than it did before and more people will see your content. Before you know it, you will start seeing increases in your traffic month-over-month, effectively increasing your Alexa rank.
Update your older content
You can also update your older articles (especially those that may have dropped in traffic volume over time) by optimizing them accordingly. To do this, make sure you follow some or all of the following steps:
- Check if your article still has the potential to rank for its focus keyword. A good way to do this is to audit the top 10 pages, by checking their Domain Authority, Backlink profile and length of content. If the competition is too high, you may want to change the focus keyword.
- Make sure your article is “Updated for 2019”. This small adjustment will allow you to share the article on your Social media once again and lead intrigued visitors towards your website. It will also make old content more interesting to read since readers will rest assured that the information they receive is up to date.
- Depending on how long ago you wrote your article, you might want to check if it follows the recent Google updates. Very often, as is the case with the most recent update, websites of all kinds will see a sudden change in traffic after a major algorithm change.
- Add more words. When you first wrote your content, you may have thought that 1000 words are enough to rank. Well, I’m sorry to break it to you but this is not the case anymore. The content that is ranking on the first page will most likely have a lot more words than that. Since Google now puts more emphasis on the quality and depth of articles on certain topics, it might be a good idea to start writing a minimum of 2000 words per piece of content.
If you made it this far, congratulations.
It certainly is a lot of information to process in one sitting. Take a notebook and sharpen your pencil as we will summarize the key points into actionable takeaways to increase Alexa rankings:
- When your website receives more traffic, you lower your Alexa rank (increasing your position).
- Referring to other websites’ Alexa ranking is useful when it comes to marketing activities and when comparing your website with that of your competitors.
- A good starting goal, when it comes to Alexa rankings, is to surpass your industry average number.
- In order to increase Alexa rankings (lower the number) make sure to optimize your content for both on-page and off-page SEO.
And that’s pretty much it. Start implementing what you learned in this article and, in time, you will increase Alexa rankings by climbing up the ladder! If there are any other tips and strategies that you think can help with the process, feel free to let us know in the comments below.