Thanks to the popularity of Amazon’s smart personal assistant Alexa, this might be the first thing you picture when you read this headline. However, long before the Echo was born, Amazon acquired another service named Alexa. In fact, it might be an influential factor in how your website is perceived.
Alexa is a data analytics system that collects commercial web traffic data through a set of web extensions and toolbars. It’s actually been around since 1996, and became part of Amazon in 1999. The big draw with this service is the ranking system it provides, which measures how your website is doing compared to all other websites.
What Is Alexa Rank?
Just to be clear, the Alexa Rank actually has no connection to the Amazon Echo. With this taken care of, let’s take a look at what the ranking is. In a nutshell, it’s a system that compiles global internet data and determines what websites gets the most traffic.
As in golf, the lower your Alexa ranking, the better. The website ranked number one by Alexa is identified as the most popular on a rolling basis. You can test out some of the Alexa metrics by pasting a URL into the site’s online site information tool. In order to get a better understanding of these numbers let’s take a closer look at how the rank is determined and what it means for your WordPress website.
How Is Your Alexa Rank Determined?
The rank itself is created by combining an estimate of both a website’s average daily unique visitors and its daily page views over a three-month time period. The website with the highest total is ranked number one for that time frame.
The data is collected from internet users through various browser extensions, so the ranking is representative of a sample of all internet users. However, it’s important to note how page views are counted. Alexa counts views on domains only. This means if someone views a subpage of your domain, it’s not counted.
Another thing Alexa’s website suggests to note is that the meaningfulness of the ranking is on a bit of a sliding scale. Whether your site falls below 100,000 or above 100,000 is a good starting point for determining how much weight to give your rank. They state that the closer your rank is to one, the more meaningful and accurate it will be. Additionally, the Alexa team admits that the less traffic your website gets, the harder it is for their process to accurately calculate what’s needed for the ranking.
Improving Your WordPress Site’s Alexa Rank (5 Key Tips)
Improving your WordPress site’s Alexa Rank may seem somewhat complicated, due to the way it’s calculated. However, following tried and true Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics are one way to improve your rank. Let’s take a look at how you can specifically apply this to your website.
1. Create Good, Relevant Content
This might seem like a no-brainer but even the Alexa blog recommends that you take a close look at your content quality. Since WordPress makes it easy to create content on the web, it’s safe to say the topics of your website copy is not going to be completely unique.
As such, establishing your website as the authority on a topic can translate directly to lowering your Alexa ranking. The more your readers find your content to be trustworthy and interesting, the greater the likelihood of them making your blog a regular stop or sharing your content with others.
While writing ‘good’ content might seem like a subjective process, there are some tools you can use to gauge your content quality. Keeping tabs on your Google performance is one way of making sure your content is more likely to gain a better Alexa Rank.
Additionally, there are many plugins available for WordPress that are designed to improve your website’s content potential. One example is Yoast SEO.
2. Have Solid Internal Links
Establishing your website’s trust and authority – two big factors in Google’s algorithm – can also impact your Alexa ranking. This is because the more prevalent you are in Google search results, the more likely web users are to click on your content.
One way to improve this scenario is to strike the right balance with linking in your content. Internal linking can be just as important as backlinks for your website, as both show the relationships and relevance between different pages. Guest posts, if you can land them on the right websites, are another way to emphasize your site’s authority on a topic.
However, overusing links can be just as harmful. When you oversaturate your content with links it can detract from your authority. We’ve already discussed Yoast SEO, but it’s worth mentioning again to point out the plugin’s internal link suggestion feature. You’ll have to upgrade to the premium version of the plugin to get this, but it’s a tool that can take some of the guesswork out of internal linking. Additionally, there are several WordPress plugins available that can help you speed up the process of finding your own related content.
3. Get a Certified Alexa Rank
Certifying your Alexa Rank is another way to not only ensure continuous rank improvement but also provide more accurate data for Alexa’s calculations. However, this approach requires an investment into an Alexa plan.
Alexa offers plans for a variety of marketing and SEO tools, but you can also purchase just the Certified Alexa Rank as an option. The price is based on your estimated monthly site traffic and starts at $19.99 a month. This works similarly to placing a Google Analytics tracking code on your website. You’ll receive a snippet of custom code from Alexa to include on all of your website pages. This includes any Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) you might have.
Once you’ve installed the code, Alexa will be able to accurately scan your webpages and ensure all of your site traffic is being counted. Once Alexa is satisfied, your metrics will be certified and you can decide what elements of your Alexa Rank data you might want to make public. You can also try the Certified Alexa Rank option free for seven days if you’re not sure whether it’s the right approach for your website.
4. Track Your Competitors
It’s no secret that understanding your competition can help you improve your own SEO and marketing results. There are a number of tools available, including Alexa’s own marketing stack, that can help you keep an eye on competing content. Another option is the Ahref application.
Ahref offers a comprehensive way to keep track of what content is ranking well for certain keywords and why. You can use this data to enhance your own content as part of a strategy to improve your overall rankings.
5. Promote the Alexa Toolbar
Essentially, the more people utilizing the toolbar, the more accurate and beneficial the Alexa Rank becomes. Consequently, promoting the toolbar on your website is one way you can indirectly improve your (and everyone else’s) Alexa Rank.