What is the Alexa Ranking Toolbar

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If you are a beginner when it comes to search engine optimization, then you may be just getting introduced to the importance of web ranking, traffic, and keywords. If you need people to come to your site in order to get traffic and/or customers though, these terms are definitely worth your time. If you’ve ever wondered how other companies know which keywords to use and how they create new sites based on web traffic trends, it all comes down to keyword and ranking tools like Alexa.

Alexa is a web information company that offers site tools, web trends, and even a handy toolbar to help you optimize your search engine optimization strategies to increase traffic to your site. While you can venture to the Alexa website to get your information, or to any number of competing web information sites, you might simply want to download Alexa’s new toolbar, which can be an extension of your Google Chrome, Explorer, or Firefox browser. This will make it convenient to get information about your sites and the sites of your competitors while you browse.

Alexa Traffic Rank

Once you install the toolbar extension, you will see a little “a” in the top right corner of your browser. That’s the Alexa extension button. After browsing to a site, you can click that button and a toolbar of information will pop up. One valuable piece of information you’ll see there is the Alexa Traffic Rank. There will be two different numbers right at the top. The one on the left denotes the average rank of that website worldwide. In other words, that data describes how that website compares to other websites when it comes to receiving clicks, time, and page views each day. To the right of that number, you can also see its ranking within US users only. This is helpful if you want to find out how your site ranks in Alexa compared to the sites of your competitors.

Hopefully, you will see your ranking number surpass theirs as you up your SEO strategies. If you want more detailed information about that data, you can click the number. Alexa will then take you to a traffic stats page where you can see the site’s daily use, who is spending time on the site, and how much time they are spending there. It will even tell you where they are viewing it from and about how old the average user is. This is valuable information for demographic research and targeted marketing campaigns.

Related Links

In the bottom left-hand corner of the Alexa toolbar, you will notice a box that contains related links. It should show a list of at least three links that are somehow related to the site. Those links could be related in terms of the company that operates the site, similar types of sites, or sites found with the same keyword searches. By going into the related sites page, you will find a more in-depth list of related links along with descriptions about each of them. They will be split into categories for easier browsing, so you can quickly find sites with a similar name, owned by the same company, or sites you just might find interesting based on your interest in that particular site.

And of course, you’ll be able to click on each site from there to go to their webpage where you can either see what they have to offer or use the Alexa toolbar for further research. By using this tool, you might be surprised to find out just how many sites one business will own. You may even find that two or three of your competitors were actually just one. They simply created a different website to target a different demographic.



In the right column of the toolbar, there will be a link called the Wayback Machine. This is like a website time machine that allows you to go back and look at previous versions of the site. By clicking this, you can see from a convenient bar graph when the website was started and where there are snapshots of the versions stored from those days. You can go back to one specific day and venture forward in time, slowly watching the development of the page. This can be a great tool for witnessing the rollout of new, popular websites. It can help you determine what worked for them and what changes they made to make their site better. If you know at what point a particular site became popular, you may be able to go back to that time to see just what on their website caused that sudden surge of traffic and popularity. You can track your own website’s progress too, as the Wayback Machine makes a great chronological record keeping tool. With this Alexa feature, no data could ever hope to fade permanently out of existence.

Search Analytics

In the left column of the toolbar, you’ll notice the search analytics link. This will be where most of the useful data can be found, especially in terms of search engine optimization. From this page, you’ll be able to see an overview of all of the data, as well as detailed data on other important information. There will be a graph describing search engine traffic, which tells you just what percentage of your visitors are searching keywords and then clicking on your site. Next to that graph, you will see the top queries those people used to get to your site. In other words, there will be a list of the most commonly used keywords that brought up your site in search engine results and caused people to click through. Below that, you’ll find keywords that are trending up or down, so you know how to revise your keyword strategy to match. You’ll also find out how your ads are doing and get a few suggestions for keywords, or queries, you might want to try in order to get even more traffic.

Website Reviews

In the left-hand column of the Alexa toolbar, just under the traffic ranking, there will be a star rating. This is the result of reviews made by visitors to the site. They can choose up to five out of five stars and rate the site based on content, customer support, ease of navigation, and site loading and response times. Users can also give it a thumbs-up recommendation and leave a brief quote next to their star rating. The stars you see on the toolbar will reflect an average of all of the site’s ratings.

There are eight total categories on the Alexa Ranking Toolbar, but by clicking into any one of them, you are taken to a main page that has more detailed information and other data not listed on the toolbar. On that main page, you will find a link to a section on Audience for instance, which provides detailed demographic information such as user gender, age, education, family status, location, and a map showing a graphic display of the breakdown of visitors by country. You can also find the contact info for the site you are analyzing and the clickstream of users coming to and leaving from your site. This is a lot of valuable marketing and search engine optimization information all in one very convenient add-on, and best of all, it’s free.