Every marketer has a few free website analytics that they can’t do without. For some, that includes Alexa Rank.
At Alexa, we strive to be a global pioneer in the world of analytical insight. Since our founding in 1996, we’ve focused on delivering the most meaningful analytics tools for our customers, and now offer a suite of website analytics tools for marketers.
But today we’ll talk about the original Alexa Rank and how marketers both at agencies and on in-house teams continue to rely on Alexa.com’s still-free website analytics metrics.
What Is Alexa Rank?
Alexa Rank is a public measure of a website’s popularity. Every day, Alexa ranks millions of websites according to traffic data from the previous three months. The resulting Alexa Rank metric shows how a website compares to others. The lower the number, the more popular a site is. The website with an Alexa Rank of 1 receives the most traffic and engagement of all sites in our panel.The Alexa Rank metric shows how a website compares to others. The lower the number, the more popular a site is. Click To Tweet
Because Alexa Rank is a comparative measure, it’s useful for benchmarking and competitive analysis. You can also find similar sites that share an audience to uncover new and unknown competitors.
Read more: What is Alexa Rank?
How We Calculate Alexa Rank
Two major inputs affect a website’s Alexa Rank: unique visitors and page views. Our algorithms calculate Alexa Rank by looking at traffic data from Alexa’s global sample of millions of Internet users over the previous rolling three-month period.
Some sites’ traffic is estimated based on a sample of global web traffic. Data for sites who choose to certify their rank are based on the direct measurement of actual site traffic. Additionally, we employ data normalization to correct for biases that may occur in our data.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about how Alexa Rank works. Find out the Top 6 Myths about the Alexa Traffic Rank, including misinformation about how to manipulate it. You can also learn more about how we determine Alexa Rank and see the difference between estimated and certified Alexa Rank data.
5 Ways Marketers Use Alexa Rank
Alexa Rank is only one metric, but it’s a useful way to check the performance of a website when you don’t have access to its website analytics. It also serves as a reliable measure that others can look to for evidence of value, because anyone can access it via Alexa’s free website analytics tool.
1. Gauge the value of a website relative to its competitors
Alexa Rank is a powerful measure to show where a website stands relative to its competitors.
This can be useful for agencies that are researching new clients. Let’s say you get a new client in the cloud computing industry. Using our free website analytics tool, you can see that your new client’s website has an Alexa Rank of 617,600. When you research the Alexa Rank of competing sites, it becomes apparent that your client has a ways to go to overtake competing sites.
|galvintech.com (your new client)||
One bonus of our free analytics tool is that it will suggest competing sites for you to look at. You might even discover competitors that you didn’t know existed.
Periodically checking Alexa Rank for your own site can be useful for marketing teams who want to stay on top of the competitive landscape, too.
2. See if a site’s traffic movements are normal
When your site traffic takes a dip, it’s natural to wonder how competing sites are faring. If you notice their Alexa Rank is also dropping, it may be an industry trend. Or if one or more sites are surging ahead in its Alexa Rank, it could be that your site is losing traffic to a competitor.
Once you have the basic Alexa Rank measure, you can dig deeper into what’s happening. Scan through our free website analytics to see information on backlinks, traffic sources, keyword performance, and more for each site.
You get even more capabilities in our Advanced Plan, which you can try free for 14 days.
3. Validate claims made by web vendors
Websites and vendors that want to do business with you will make compelling claims in their favor. You can use Alexa Rank to independently verify their performance. Here are a few scenarios when that will come in handy.
- Considering an SEO provider? Check the websites of clients featured in their case studies to see how those sites really do.
- Wondering whether it’s worthwhile to advertise on a website or take on a site as an affiliate partner? Check their Alexa Rank to verify their claims of audience popularity.
- Evaluating influencers? You can check their site’s Alexa Rank to qualify them for your influencer program.
- Thinking about purchasing a website? Make sure to check its Alexa Rank as part of your evaluation.
The impartial measure of Alexa Rank can help you evaluate all sorts of new opportunities.
4. Evaluate opportunities for guest posting and outreach marketing
Thinking about how to get more traffic via guest posting or outreach marketing? Check out a website’s Alexa rank before investing effort into a relationship. It will give you a quick measure of value in terms of audience exposure. You can do this easily using the Alexa Rank toolbar.
For fast access to our free web analytics, download the Alexa toolbar, and install it in your browser. Then you can see instantly the following information for websites you visit:
- Alexa Rank
- Sites that are similar to the site you’re on
- Wayback Machine (how the site looked in the past)
- Search queries driving traffic to the site
- Site speed
This data will not only help you evaluate sites for guest posting and backlink relationships but also help you find new ones.
5. Convey the value of your own site
As a well-known branded web metric, Alexa Rank means something to people outside of specialized industries like SEO, unlike other free website analytics that are less established. Showing a strong rank for your site gives people peace of mind that your site is worth their attention.
So if you work in an industry where trust plays a big role, consider using Alexa Rank to convey the value of your site. You can include it in your marketing materials as a metric that others can verify. If you certify your site, you can also display metrics about your site publicly.
How to Check Alexa Rank Using Our Free Website Analytics Tool
Anyone can view the Alexa Rank of any website by entering it into Alexa’s free traffic tool, here. You’ll see the Alexa Rank of a website alongside other website traffic statistics.
Because Alexa’s free website analytics tool shows much more information than just the Alexa Rank, you will need to look around a bit. It appears in the Traffic Metrics section.
What Is a Good Alexa Rank?
What is a good Alexa ranking for your site? It depends. Since the rank is a relative measure, you will want to check your competitors’ Alexa Rank data and then see where you stand. Generally, many people consider a ranking of 1 million or lower to be good.
The popular media pitching site HARO requires that sites have an Alexa Rank of 1 million or less. Laura Spaventa of Cision, the parent company of HARO, said the site had initially specified an Alexa Rank of 5 million but moved it up to 2 million, and eventually 1 million, in response to customer requests. “Our sources are busy and if they are going to take the time to pitch themselves or a client for a story, they want to know the publication is worth the effort,” Spaventa said.
It’s worth noting that sites with an Alexa Rank over 100,000 will have a larger margin of error in their estimated rank than more popular sites. That is because we will naturally have less data to base our estimates on for sites that fewer people visit.
If you want to improve your Alexa Rank, get the facts in A Guide to Improving Your Alexa Rank.
Ready for More Intel? Try Alexa’s (Newer) Web Analytics Tools
Alexa Rank is a single metric that provides a quick summary of a site’s performance relative to all other sites on the web. But, of course, any marketer worth their salt needs rich analytics that let them dig into the story behind the numbers.
With our strong background in web data, we’ve been able to create the ultimate suite of web analytics tools for agencies and marketers. Extending far beyond Alexa Rank, we also offer deep analytics for competitive research, SEO analysis, audience analysis, and content marketing. Take a look today — try our Advanced Plan free for 14 days.