So you finally created your blog and spent hours setting it up and adding content. How can you tell how well you’re doing compared to the rest of the web? There are a handful of ways that are industry accepted, one of them being Alexa. If you haven’t met her yet, oh you will; what a love affair you must have with her.
Alexa markets herself as a web information company and provides “Free web traffic, metrics, top sites lists, site demographics, hot URLs, and more…” but why do you need to care about all that? You might not need all that just yet. But even if you don’t use any of Alexa’s free offerings, you want to, at a minimum, know your rank. Just go to Alexa and type in your URL. You’ll get a results page, and without going into great detail, you’ll want to look at your Alexa Traffic Rank, which I’m sure will be in the high millions if you show up at all, depending on how new your blog is.
One way to look at it is that the internet is a popularity contest. If your Alexa Traffic Rank is 20,000,000, that means you are the 20 millionths most popular website on the planet! Alexa basically combines your average daily visitors and your average page views over the last three months. The site with the highest score will have Alexa Rank: 1, which is currently held by Google (2 is Youtube and 3 is Facebook if you’re curious).
Whenever I tell people about Alexa, they immediately start entering every website they can think of off the top of their heads just to see Alexa Ranks. To save yourself the trouble, just add an Alexa add-on for Firefox so you’ll see Alexa Rankings and much more right on your status bar. So while you’re web surfing, all you have to do is look down and see the Alexa Rank for that particular website.
There are other ways to measure the relevance of your blog but what Alexa gives you is a good gauge of where you stand. It’s fun watching your blog move up the rankings and hopefully, Alexa will be a motivator for you to chip away at improving it.