Every webmaster wants to measure the success of their site’s performance and may consider using Alexa as a tool. While Alexa is not totally obsolete, using it to evaluate the success of a site is probably not the best idea.
After becoming familiar with how Alexa actually works you quickly will see why this is not useful for seeing the reality of how well your site is doing.
In order to track the data that Alexa presents like rank, how long visitors stay on a website, or bounce rates a visitor must first have an Alexa tool bar installed onto their web browser. Seeing the problem with this?
This doesn’t account for the people who do not have Alexa toolbars installed onto their web browser, which is ruling out a significant amount of people from the data presented. Therefore, this presents highly unreliable stats either by giving you false positive rankings or a negative picture when your true progress is the exact opposite.
Well, What is Alexa Good For?
Alexa does have other features that can be of benefit to webmasters. Want to keep track of who is talking about your site and linking to it? Well, Alexa does a pretty good job of this. It even gives you the exact link in which your site was mentioned so you can keep track of your presence on the web.
Demographics which are crucial to the marketing side of your website are a nifty feature that Alexa offers. Of course these demographics will only be applicable to the users who have the toolbar installed and are visiting your site, but this is still a free piece of information that is useful to understanding your audience.
One of the most awesome capabilities that the Alexa toolbar offers is the Way Back Machine. This enables you to see what a website design looked like in the past. If there is a website that you frequent and you liked their design from last year, the Way Back Machine will show you what it looked like at that particular time period.
How Can You Measure Your Progress?
A more reliable way to measure how well you are doing is by diversifying the data that you are basing your progress on. You want to look at: Site Visits, Site Pageviews, Bounce Rate, and if you are an affiliate marketer Advertisement Performance. These are the core stats that will give you the true picture of how you are doing. Affiliate marketing programs usually always will have some sort of data that you can refer to see how your ads are doing. As for the other web analytics services like Google Analytics, Clicky, or StatCounter provide you with the stats that you want to consider.