How does Targeted traffic affect Alexa Rank?

As a global website ranking service, Alexa.com is about as old as Google, but very different from it. Unlike search engines, Alexa only gets data from its Alexa browser toolbar users as they surf the web and updates its global rank daily.
Your website’s position on Alexa rank, as Alexa announces depends on the number of unique visitors, and the number of pageviews. If you want more insite, Alexa provides a comprehensive guide to improving the rank.

In order to make meaningful conclusions you need to realize that Alexa rank:

  • is not keyword-specific, it is global, i.e. you compete with all websites in this Universe at once;
  • is accurate enough for the websites listed roughly among its top 100,000, as Alexa itself admits;
  • is counted based on the behavior of users who have the Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers - performed through that browser, so if your visitors do not use the Alexa toolbar, you will not get on the list at all.

And to answer the question in the title of this article, let us consider the impact of your targeted traffic on unique visitors and pageviews.

Does Alexa rank depend on targeted traffic

By experience, it is known that besides the officially claimed criteria (uniques and pageviews) the Alexa rank is sensitive to the following criteria:

  • Specific parameters of hits that determine their diversity and quality. For example, geography parameter allows Alexa to report country-specific ranks;
  • Bounce rate - a universal reverse measure of your landing page’s quality and relevance. If users see what they expected to see and easily understand how to navigate your pages towards their goals, they stay on your website and don’t bounce;
  • Time on site is a bit more tricky because depending on your website topic and functions time can have different meaning. If you run a web app where users read novels online, 3 minutes per visit look discouragingly short. If you run an emergency service for people in trouble who are supposed to quickly find your telephone number and call, even 1 minute may be too long. But in general this parameter is believed to indicate how engaging your website is;
  • Search query. Unlike search engines, Alexa does not consider keyword relevance to build the rank, it only counts traffic associated with each keyword. The notion of relevance affects the way users engage with your website, including time on site and bounce rate, which is the indirect influence of keyword relevance upon parameters counted by Alexa.

Quite straightforwardly, any activities that improve some or all of these parameters are beneficial for your position on the Alexa rank. Let is consider those of them that have to do with targeted traffic.

Publish unique & engaging targeted content. Users belonging to a specific target group will eagerly engage with your content, navigate through your pages and thus increase your pageviews parameter. If you update your targeted content regularly users will be waiting to get a new piece of insight and visit our website from time to time, thus increasing your unique visitors (unique within a 24-hour period).

Publish your targeted links on relevant partner websites. This is elegantly done in the form of guest posts on authoritative websites. Having lots of websites referring to yours is great (maybe), but if you want targeted traffic that will really engage with your website, share it, save it to bookmarks and return from time to time, you need to attract this audience from websites where they really hang out and provide them with consistent experience on the landing page.

Invite your visitors to bookmark your website. This increases the chances they will show up again later. Besides bookmarking, you can promise useful content once in a certain period or even offer bonuses for regular visits.

In general, targeted traffic is good for Alexa ranking because it is highly engaging and tends to return on your website regularly.
Shaping your targeted traffic increases your pageviews and makes your audience parameters more meaningful for Alexa algorithms. It doesn’t increase the number of unique visitors unless you take special care of attracting more users from a given target group.
You can benefit focusing on geo specific targeted traffic, because this is how you get to the regional Alexa rank top 100,000. Improving your website usability and making the messages you publish outside your website to attract targeted traffic most relevant to their needs and your offers you get better chances to improve your position on the rank.