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What is your Alexa ranking and is it important?

Mar 14
Photo: @anartes

Photo: @anartes

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about your Klout score and why it’s important if you work in social media.  Shortly after that post I had a conversation with a brand manager, who is also a blogger about Alexa.  

Your website’s Alexa ranking is something that you need to be concerned with if you intend on selling ad space.  Every website is ranked, so the numbers start in the millions and end at number 1.  Facebook is currently number 2 and Google is number 1.

Specifically our conversation started about Alexa and how vague it is.  Some people on the PR or branding side look at your Alexa ranking first and foremost, while others won’t even ask about it.    This makes focusing on your Alexa ranking confusing and questionable.  Potential advertisers should know the traffic that sites receive that they’re asking about advertising on, but in many cases the Alexa ranking is less than the sum of its parts.

Alexa is a good indicator of your traffic, but it shouldn’t be the 1 factor that advertisers use to evaluate traffic.  One reason for that is the traffic numbers are easy to manipulate on Alexa’s ranking system.

The best way to genuinely increase your ranking is to put an Alexa button on your website.  Putting a button on your site will encourage people to review your website on Alexa.  Another organic way to increase your Alexa ranking is to download the Alexa toolbar.  This toolbar is very cool in that it shows the ranking of any website that is in the address bar.

However, if you get all of your friends to download the Alexa toolbar and then go to your site it will artificially increase your score.  They calculate the score by sampling visits via the tool bar and then extrapolate the numbers proportionately higher.

You can also purchase software that will generate false hits to your site.  This will do lots for your Alexa ranking, but false hits don’t purchase ad space and advertisers can tell sites that are maintained from those that aren’t.

Be aware of your Alexa ranking, but don’t obsess over it.  Do the natural organic things that you can to improve your score and concentrate on your website’s niche.  Produce the quality content and the traffic will follow.

Some of my friends with small sites have Alexa rankings in the top 1,000, yet their site is less than one year old.  Other friends have sites that attract 1+ million unique hits a year, but their Alexa score is in the top 2 million.

As a business owner it’s better to actually get results from your site.  If that’s for the sake of online commerce then your Alexa ranking will be important to you.  If your site serves as a platform for your thoughts then Alexa is something you should be aware of.

How about you?  Do you obsess over your Alexa ranking?  Is it something that you monitor for your business or maybe your competition’s site?

Trey Burley signature

Trey is a Content Editor at Katie Wagner Social Media. He has years of experience in radio, television, print and online storytelling, and is the creator of the award-winning parenting blog, Daddy Mojo.

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