How to Improve your site’s Alexa Ranking
Why care about your site’s Alexa Ranking?
There is little point in having a website or blog if no one is viewing it, and if you are reviewing sex toys or for that matter any product your website’s success will affect how willing companies are to work with you. There are many ways that a site’s success can be measured: Visitor Stats, Incoming Links, Keyword Ranking, Page Rank and as I’ll be discussing today – Alexa Ranking. Some sex toy retailers as well as adult product manufacturers will only work with reviewers who have sites that have reached a particular ranking.
There is a lot of conjecture about just how important or effective Alexa rankings are in determining the overall success of a website, mainly because of the way they gather their data. But never the less – if it’s important to advertiser’s and sponsors then it’s important to those of us who need them.
What Does Your Alexa Ranking Mean?
The Alexa Rating for a website is a numerical value that represents the popularity of your website based on traffic. Unlike many other rankings where a higher number is desired (such as Google Page Rank) with an Alexa ranking the lower the number the better. Also unlike some other metrics used to measure the success of a website that can take months to register the existence of a new blog. every site – no matter how new, no matter how small, has an Alexa Ranking. You don’t need to do anything or sign up anywhere in order to have an Alexa Ranking, your website simply needs to exist.
The number of your Alexa Ranking means that you are the xth most popular site on the net according to the amount of traffic visiting your site. Google of course is #1, the site that gets the most traffic on the web. It is closely followed by facebook at #2 and you tube at #3. As I’m writing this Screaming-Violet.com has an Alexa ranking of #861,297 (my current ranking is visible in my sidebar), that means that out of the millions of sites out there only 861, 296 are receiving more traffic than me. Just like your website traffic fluctuates so does your Alexa Ranking.
To Directly quote Alexa:
Alexa computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources. The information is sorted, sifted, anonymized, counted, and computed, until, finally, we get the traffic rankings shown in the Alexa service. The process is relatively complex, but if you have a need to know, please read on.
How Do You Find Out Your Alexa Ranking?
You do not need to sign up for anything or pay any money in order to find out your site’s Alexa Ranking is. To find out your Alexa Ranking visit Alexa.com and type your URL (www.yoursite.com) into the search box and hit enter. . The results page will give you your Alexa Traffic rank – your position amongst all websites globally, followed by your Traffic Rank in US – your position regarding US traffic and finally the number of Sites linking in – unlike the other two numbers the sites linking in data isn’t updated daily. It’s only updated 4 times a year so it can take quite some time before you will see any change in this number.
Underneath this information there are a row of 5 stars that may or may not be filled in. This is where reviews of your site are reflected, but we will touch on those a bit later.
Alexa also has more information regarding your site, its visitors, keyword analysis and other forms of data which you can view by hitting the ‘Get Details‘ button, but for this post Let’s just stick with your overall global ranking and what we can do to improve it.
Claiming Your Site
The very first step you should take in order to improve the Alexa ranking of your sex blog… or any site for that matter is to ‘Claim Your Website‘ – Claiming your site enables you to not only keep its information up to date but it also allows you to respond to reviews that others write about your site. You can either register with Alexa or just use facebook connect to login to Alexa.com but either way there is no cost.
After you have registered and completed the process to officially claim your site it’s now time for you to ‘Edit Your Sites Listing‘ It is here that you can add a description to your site that will be publicly visible on Alexa.com when anyone visits there to check out your Alexa ranking or to write a review for your site. After you have submitted your information it can take up to two working days for these changes to be visible.
As a sex blogger it is understandable that you may not wish to have your legal name linked to your blog, or your actual street address. I don’t even want the town I live in to be linked to my site – If this is the case for you as well you can leave sections such as your address blank and use your online persona for your name. As long as you include your valid email address so that Alexa can contact you the other personal details don’t really matter.
Improving Your Alexa Ranking
Now that Alexa knows who you are and you have added all of your information to their listing for your site you’re ready to start taking steps to improve your Alexa Ranking. As we already know your ranking is determined not directly by the amount of traffic your website is getting, but rather the amount of traffic Alexa knows is visiting your website.
Getting Alexa to recognise more of your Traffic
Step 1: Download and Install the Alexa Toolbar
The most Important step you can take to help improve your ranking is to Download and install the Alexa Toolbar for Firefox, this way your visits to your site are recognised by Alexa and is classed as Traffic visiting your site. If you aren’t using firefox there are also add on’s and toolbars available for chrome and internet explorer that you can access from the Alexa Toolbar page, if you are using another browser such as Safari or Opera you may be able to find a similar toolbar or browser add on by visiting the website of your browsers creators ie:apple.com for safari users.
By Installing and using the toolbar you are anonymously sharing your net surfing habits with Alexa.com, this means that every page you view with the toolbar installed will be registered as traffic by Alexa. When you install the toolbar it asks a couple of questions about your age group, your sex etc. None of the information shared via the toolbar is identifiable. All data collected by Alexa is 100% anonymous.
Step 2: Set your website as your home page
I understand that not all sex related blogs are safe to be used as your browsers homepage, nor may you be comfortable with sharing your adult content blog with your friends and co-workers… However the most prolific tip for improving your Alexa ranking that I’ve come across is to get as many friends and family using the Alexa toolbar with your website set as their homepage. Again it is about getting more traffic to your site in a way that is registered by Alexa.
Luckily for us sex bloggers who may not wish to share our sites with those we know in real life, we are part of a blogging community in which we all regularly visit one another’s websites . So if you aren’t able to set your website as your homepage you can still visit your own website once a day and you can do other things to encourage others to install the toolbar and simply visit your website.
Step 3: Install an Alexa Widget on your Website
Although the majority of information that Alexa collects comes from the toolbar there are also a few other ways in which they collect data, giving us the opportunity to again get more of our traffic recognised by Alexa. You can quickly and easily create an Alexa Widget and then install it on your website, once installed this will both display your up to date Alexa Ranking as well as send information back to Alexa each time your website is loaded.
On the Widgets page, which is part of the “Site Owners tools‘ section of Alexa.com you are given the option between two different types of widget; one which shows your sites Alexa Stats – both your global traffic ranking as well as the number of incoming link, or the other which displays only your Alexa traffic ranking. Each of these widgets has three different graphic display options. If like me, Alexa is yet to recognise any of your inbound links you may wish to choose the second, traffic ranking only option.
To create your widget simply visit the Widgets page and enter your website’s URL into the box associated with the widget you wish to install and hit enter. The next page will give you the html code for each of the different graphic options. Choose the one you wish to install, highlight all of the code and copy it. Now all you need to add this code to your website.
The best place to display it is in your sidebar or footer as these areas get loaded no matter which page or post on your blog is being viewed. You can use the ‘plain text widget’ in your WordPress or blogger dashboard to directly paste the html code that you have copied. Be sure to save it and then check that the Alexa Widget is displaying properly.
If you have a not so great Alexa ranking you may not wish to share it with your site visitors and prospective advertisers. If this is the case you may want to leave adding the Alexa Ranking widget to your site until you have broken into the first 2 million, or whatever ranking you are proud to have. Check out the Alexa Ranking of other sex bloggers and sex toy reviewers you look up to and use those stats to decide when to add the widget. Personally I feel anything that breaks the 2 million mark is doing well, cracking the top 1million is doing great, and the top 500,ooo Amazing!!
Step 4: Get your Website Reviewed
For someone who regularly reviews sex toys and other adult products it really hadn’t occurred to me to get others to review my own website, but having your site reviewed on Alexa.com will help to improve your Alexa Ranking. In order to help you to encourage more of your visitors to review your site there is also an Alexa Review Widget that you can install on your website. Again this is accessible via the ‘Site Owners tools‘ section of Alexa.com
Just like the previous widget you will be given a piece of html code to copy and paste into position where you would like the widget to appear. Unlike the traffic stats widget there are many more options for the review widget, including a number of different colors that should fit in with the scheme of your website.
You could even take the initiative and write reviews of other sex blogs, or in fact any blogs that are part of your individual niche. After reviewing someone’s site send them a message to tell them you have done so and ask that they return the favour. I for one will certainly return the favour and review the site of anyone who reviews mine.
Step 5: Improve your website Overall
Whilst the previous steps have been pretty direct and their impact on your ranking is easily understood there are many other things that you can do to improve your website that will have a positive effect on your Alexa Ranking. Quite simple things that you should already be doing like:
- Publishing posts regularly – it is the months when I post 2 or 3 times a week that I see the greatest improvement in all of my website stats.
- Mix your efforts for improving your alexa ranking along with SEO techniques and link building strategies as well – not only will these things help to improve your Alexa rankings but they will also help to boost your sites visibility and overall success.
- Keep an eye on your website’s stats, not just your Alexa ranking but also your in-bound traffic, the sources of your traffic, your google page rank and more. If you are using WordPress one great Plug in you can use is WP Stats DashBoard -I use this and absolutely love it. It keeps track of numerous statistics related to your blog as well as how they have changed over the previous month
- If you aren’t using WordPress search google for a browser add on or plug in such as the ‘Search Status‘ Add on for FireFox that will show you various stats related to your blog – page rank & inbound links etc
- Keep track of your Alexa Ranking – I began by just writing down my ranking every few days in a book, but have since moved on to a spreadsheet. Doing so will both show you how far you have come as well as to help you pin point any actions you may have taken, such as posting more often, that have had a positive effect on your ranking.
- Subscribe to my site via RSS or email as I will be doing regular posts on how to improve your blog similar to this one. I’ll be covering topics such as Google Page Rank, Keywords, Search Engine Optimisation, Link Building strategies and much much more.
The Alexa Re-Direct WordPress PlugIn – Why you shouldn’t use it
For example http://www.yourblog.com/page/2 would be altered to
Thus ensuring that Alexa is made aware of this traffic.
I have only mentioned it here as nearly every site offering tips to improve your Alexa Ranking includes tips to use this plug in – However they fail to point out that it is against ethical linkage practises and could in fact have a negative impact on your site’s success. So no matter how many times you read in other places that this plug in is helpful….. Ignore it!
The number one way to Improve your ranking is to install the toolbar and visit your site regularly, although some of the other tips here may or may not have a direct impact upon the way Alexa gathers data about the traffic flow of your site, anything you do that increases the visibility of your site on the web and draws in more traffic will have a knock on effect and will eventually be reflected in your Alexa Ranking. Mistress Kay has written an Amazing Blogging 101 Guide over on Good Vibes Magazine that every sex blogger should read.
I will be posting an update over the next month or so to show just how my ranking has improved after following these steps so that I can directly show you just how much they have impacted my ranking. I will also be working on a ‘blog hop’ style list of links to related blogs owned by people who are using the Alexa toolbar. That way we can share the wealth amongst our selves 🙂
If you like this post or find it helpful please do me a huge favour and share it with friends, re-tweet it, share it on facebook, digg it etc etc feel free to use the sharing is sexy links below to do so. Or if you truly love it you could write a review for Screaming-Violet.com on Alexa, or come back and visit Screaming-Violet.com once you have the toolbar installed. For everyone who does any of these things and leaves a comment on this post I will haul myself and my Alexa toolbar over to your site and repay the favor!
Also – if you see some great improvements in your Alexa rating after following any of these tips I’d love to hear about it. I am planning on writing more posts and how to’s to help my fellow sex bloggers to improve their websites so if you have any questions or even suggestions for future “About Blogging” Posts please comment or email me. I love getting to interact with people who read my blog.