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So 2011 is here and the internet is set to play a more important role in business success than ever before. Economics and customers desire for interactivity mean that role of the internet in revenue building and customer relationships will be key in the 12 months ahead.
However, to start building on that you need to make sure you are monitoring and maximizing the traffic your website is getting.
Alexa.com is recognized as one of the best tools in measuring a website’s popularity and with a growing user base, expect its own role to continue to grow too. Alexa ‘measures’ traffic by using data collected from web users who have the Alexa toolbar activated in their browsers. With a reported 1.9 million users by the end of last year, that is a fairly comprehensive set of users, making it one of the largest Web Crawlers around. However, its results are by no means comprehensive. With no toolbar yet available for Opera or Safari browsers, nor older versions of other browsers, the results are somewhat skewed however.
Anybody can use Alexa to see the ranking of a specific site. Alexa provides stats on page views, time spent on the site, sites that link in, bounce rate and where the audience is from (geographically). It also offers socio-demographics of audience – although the accuracy in households where more than one user uses the same browser must be questioned.
Yet, despite the flaws with Alexa it is essentially the best there is in terms of truly measuring traffic web-wide. So it is important that when you are formulating your online plan, you consider the four key metrics that Alexa bases it’s rankings on.
1.Traffic Rank: Provided by Alexa Toolbar Users and supplemented by data collected from other, diverse sources over a 3 month period. Updated daily and based on a combination of Reach and Pageviews.
2.Reach: The percentage of global internet users who visit your site
3.Time on Site: This is the daily time spent on your site (minutes), not necessarily single visits.
4.Upstream Site: The sites users visited immediately after visiting the site.
So that’s how Alexa ‘measures’ and creates its rankings but how can you affect that? Well the rankings offer a few pointers. Social Media is set to be ever more important this year so it is important to note that Alexa ranks the top 10 of these sites in this order:
1. Google, 2.Facebook, 3.Youtube, 4.Yahoo, 5.Twitter, 6.LinkedIn, 7.Flickr, 8.Digg, 9.StumbleUpon, and 10.Delicious. So you should consider if and how you feature within each of these. Learn how each works and what features they offer, such as Googles Adwords and Facebook advertising.
Facebook is possibly the most key for upstream traffic and the like and share buttons, along with a fully featured Facebook page likely to boost your ranking substantially. A re-tweeted post on Twitter could also have similar effect.
Looking ahead to 2011, if you find things a little slow you may be well placed to spend some time getting to know the top 10 social media sites and implementing what you know. It may bring in more traffic and potentially more revenue simply by getting a higher rank.