Is having Unique visitors important to boost Alexa Rank?
Alexa rank is as old and authoritative as Google search, but completely different in the way it is counted and in its meaning. Alexa registers the URL requests, or hits, by the users who use the Alexa toolbar in their browsers. Based on their website usage data, Alexa puts together the daily traffic rank of websites. It can be represented at the global range (i.e. based on how many users visit them globally) and regionally (i.e. based on how many users from a certain country visit them).
Alexa officially announces that every website’s position on the rank depends on two parameters:
- unique visitors within the day;
- pageviews, which is the quantity of hits by all users within that day.
The rank is not defined solely by the data from the last day. It is based on the aggregate data throughout the recent three months, however the notion of “uniqueness” is defined with respect to each day.
As we have already discussed, Alexa defines unique visitors as unique Alexa toolbar users that have had one or more sessions on the website in question during the reporting day.
No matter how many times a user enters a certain page within the given day, they are all registered as one pageview.
All your subdomains and subpages are counted as one domain, thus contributing to the main website and not appearing on the Alexa rank as individual lines. This rule holds for all websites except for the cases when a subdomain refers to a blog hosted on a specialized platform authorized by Alexa. In the latter case, the blog subdomain’s traffic is counted separately and appears as a separate line.
The role of unique visitors
According to the Alexa’s official statement, unique visitors and pageviews are the only two parameters that are counted. The weights are not specified.
How many unique users can your website have? Their number is limited by the total number of Alexa toolbar users (and the users of other affiliated toolbars) which may count to 63 million worldwide, 72% of them being based in the United States.
There is empirical evidence that Alexa rank, besides the unique visitors and pageviews, correlates with:
- Time on site. Quite logically, the longer a user stays on your website the more pages he or she can click through;
- Bounce rate: obviously, if a user entered your website and left it at once, the unique visitors number has grown while the pageviews has only grown by 1, which is hopefully below your average;
- Users’ geo locations and other parameters, which Alexa considers in order to shape the regional ranks.
The first two of these directly affect the “pageviews” parameter and the latter only defines which of the country-specific ranks each visitor will influence.
All in all, a lot of factors may influence the pageviews parameter, but the number of unique visitors is influenced by the way you attract them. Assuming the weights of the two parameters are equal, driving more traffic to your website definitely increases the number of unique users, thus improving your positions on the Alexa rank.
To sum it up, unique visitors is one of two parameters influencing your Alexa rank, but as it is more simple, it is easier to climb the rank, especially the regional one, attracting more unique visitors.