How to Get an Alexa Rank for Your WordPress Site
Editor’s note: The homepage of alexa.com states, “We retired Alexa.com on May 1, 2022, after more than two decades of helping you find, reach, and convert your digital audience. Thank you for making us your go-to resource for content research, competitive analysis, keyword research, and so much more.”
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.
In this article, we’ll get to know the ‘Alexa Rank’ and how it’s determined. We’ll also take a look at how you can improve your WordPress website’s Alexa Rank. Let’s get started!
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 traffic ranking is. In a nutshell, it’s a system that compiles global internet data and determines what websites gets the most website traffic.
As in golf, the lower your Alexa website 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 view numbers 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 view numbers 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 Alexa traffic rank. They state that the closer your site’s Alexa Rank is to one, the more meaningful and accurate it will be. Additionally, the Alexa team admits that the less website traffic your website gets, the harder it is for their process to accurately calculate what’s needed for the traffic ranking.
How Does Alexa Get Its Data?
Alexa’s data comes from the millions of internet users that have downloaded 25,000+ browser extensions, including the Alexa toolbar. These extensions record every domain a user visits. Web developers can also add the Alexa script to their website, which “certifies” visitor data. Alexa collects the “non-certified” browser extension data in its global traffic panel (also called the data panel). By combining this information with the certified data and normalizing it for any biases, they can calculate a site’s Alexa ranking.
The data collected in Alexa’s traffic panel relies on two metrics: a site’s average daily unique visitors, and its pageviews from the past three months. The panel takes this incoming information and runs it through sophisticated statistical models to determine a website’s Alexa rank, provide recommendations for improvement, and more.
It’s important to note that because Alexa only sources data from specific browser extensions and special Alexa scripts, not all internet traffic is captured. Compare this to a search engine like Google, where all incoming traffic can be utilized for analytics. Still, Alexa is a useful tool for any WordPress user.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Alexa Rank?
Alexa rankings have existed for more than 20 years, so they’ve become a standard benchmark in the industry. However, there are some pros and cons to the ranking system.
First, the pros:
- Powerful insights – Even without paying for the Advanced Plan, there’s a lot of data available to help you improve marketing and SEO.
- Easy to leverage – Because an Alexa rank is understood throughout the industry, you can use a high ranking to your benefit. Proving you attract regular traffic means you can charge a premium for advertising. Plus, anyone can verify your site’s ranking.
But despite its popularity, Alexa is not perfect. Here are a few cons:
- Potential for manipulation – Pageviews make up half of the Alexa data equation. If a website triggers multiple pages to open, it can create the illusion of more pageviews, ultimately improving Alexa rank.
- Data limitations – As mentioned, Alexa’s data only comes from some browser extensions and sites that have included the appropriate script. As such, Alexa rankings don’t always give the full picture. Furthermore, Alexa only provides traffic rankings for top-level domains, not subpages or subdomains.
Regardless of any flaws, it’s in your best interest to improve your Alexa 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.
Yoast is a plugin that brings SEO features directly into your post-editing process. These real-time alerts can help you fine-tune your content in terms of readability and keyword optimization, among other things.
Essentially, you’ll want to leverage WordPress’ vast Plugin Directory and build helpful tools into your blog content creation process. You can improve your editing workflow with a plugin like Edit Flow for instance. Additionally, simply making sure your old posts are getting some attention by using the Revive Old Posts plugin can help generate interest in your content.
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 an internet user is 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 Ahrefs application.
Ahrefs 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
While Alexa uses information from over 25,000 different browser extensions to calculate rankings, they predominantly count Alexa Toolbar users.
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.
Keep Your Site Smart With WP Engine
Being able to publicize your Alexa Rank can have benefits when it comes to establishing your authority online. Consequently, understanding how to improve this ranking can take a combination of excellent developer resources, content strategy, and an innovative website host.
Here at WP Engine, not only do we offer a variety of hosting plans but you’ll also have expert solutions to choose from. Let us help you improve your Alexa Rank, today!