Alexa Rank alone is a very powerful tool for your marketing plan. Because every authentic website has one, it comes in very handy when doing your competitor analysis.
There are countless metrics, websites and tools for competitor analysis out there. The bottom line is, you simply don’t need much analysis unless you are driving serious traffic. Besides, if your website has little traffic, the major tools out there will only provide intelligence on competitors that have larger traffic, thus that are harder to compete against. Startups, small business or really anyone that drives less than 1000 unique visitors a day and for a long period of time often have no funds for such tooling. Even with a budget, these metrics are often very detailed and require extensive knowledge and time to act upon.
It’s reliable (enough)
Alexa is a subsidiary of Amazon and has been active since 1996. They specialize in commercial web traffic data, maintain a database on 30 million websites and have over 6.5 million visits a month (2015).
There has been much controversy in the past over the data they collect. Because they use a toolbar, some people claimed that it does not represent the internet population fairly. Well, since 2008 they have been channeling data from other sources than the toolbar. If you’re still not convinced, the Alexa Rank is the metric almost universally used to estimate the value of advertising spaces.
For competitor analysis, it provides just the information you need because you can compare the rank.
When you are looking at competitors, you want to know how much traffic they get and if it’s more than you.
Alexa Rank is a number, the lower the better. If your rank is higher than your competitor, they are most likely getting more traffic. It’s that simple to use.
Everyone will agree that it is rather hard to look at a competitor and tell exactly if their website is doing better than yours. While some people will say a better- looking website will receive more traffic, it’s simply not true. If someone blindly estimates that a competitor receives lower traffic than another because of the website design, Facebook likes, twitter activity or whatever metric, and it turns out to be false, all his competitor analysis will be biased!
If a competitor has a higher ranking than you, your priority is to know why and apply it to your website. For example, a 3D printing company could be driving a huge amount of traffic with a depreciated website, but they could achieve it with another strategy such as getting listed by all engineering departments as a potential 3D printing supplier. If you were a 3D printing company, getting listed like them would be a good idea.
Unless your ranking is very high, Alexa rank will not provide much data. Worse, for new websites it might not even be available. It’s still a good hint; if you are not listed on Alexa, don’t compete against a website with Alexa Rank 1 000 000 or below.
It does not calculate sub-domain ranking (ex: mywebsite.webs.com). However, under Audience Geography, websites often have a rank by country. That is a very useful information. If your competitor is operating in the US but is highly ranked in India, he might be spoofing traffic.
It can be tricked
Because it still relies on it’s toolbar, the more visitors with the toolbar you get, the better your ranking will be. By optimizing your website to receive Alexa users, or surfing on your own with the toolbar could probably bring you a few ranks forward.
Because Alexa Rank won’t provide traffic estimates for their Global Ranking, our experts have created Alexa Rank to Traffic Estimator. It’s based on a collection of websites we have access to. We provided an estimated mean for each global rank realm.
Your webiste has no Alexa Rank? Dont panic, get the Alexa Toolbar and your website should be ranked thereafter.