This is a breakdown of Alexa stats and what the numbers really mean. This is a general look/evaluation of three sites, my main site and two sites I attend. Remember that these stats are from Alexa, and are used as guidelines only for the purpose of a general evaluation of performance. Stats can change rapidly from one day to the next, so these stats are only reflective of the period in which they were made.
Stats are only indicative of the period in which I first wrote this piece…and…Alexa does not provide 7 days stats for sites not in the top 100,000.
Ranks are reflective of overall traffic performance. In many cases there is ‘ carry-over ‘ from previous positions. This carry-over can usually be seen in the huge jumps that happen in ranking.
For instance my site and BrooWaha have remained fairly stable, so we can determine that during this period there hasn’t been any huge jumps in either direction. By contrast Fried Eggs has had a huge jump. Remember these numbers are ‘ averages ‘…so the ranking is an average over that period.
For instance Fried Eggs 7 day average is 527,320, but it ranks 65,232 over 3 months. It’s ranking has remained low because it has had enough good days over the last 3 months to ‘ compensate ‘ for the bad days. This is what ‘ carry-over ‘ is. If it continues to have bad days, and as the good days exit the 3 month period, it’s rank will go up accordingly. ( Think of a bowling average based upon the last 90 games…game 91 and on no longer count ).
This is very subjective, because if you have ten visitors and they all spend 60 minutes on your site your PV will be an average of 60 minutes. If you have thousands or millions of visitors most of them will be ‘ passers-by ‘ and spend only seconds on your site. While a few may stick around to check things out. Generally speaking any site between 50,000 and 250,000 should be ‘ averaging ‘ 3 page views per visitor. In this case my site and Fried Eggs are just below average, and BrooWaha is well above average.
Remember these are just averages. That means that some people could spend hours on your site, and others just a few seconds. It just ‘ averages ‘ out to what it is.
This is not so much an average as an estimation. It is ‘ estimated ‘ that this percentage of people who visit your site are just ‘ passing-by ‘. The percentage of people spending just enough time to look and leave.
This is not a reflection of your site, as most of these aren’t probably looking for your site, or what you have to offer, to begin with. But it does help to understand the numbers of the previous section ( page-views ), the bigger the bounce percentage the more it will affect your page-views ‘ average ‘. Ultimately you want to keep your bounce rate between 20% and 50%. But your bounce percentage is also very subjective. In that the more people who are actually looking for you the lower your bounce rate will be. As we can see from BrooWaha’s bounce rate that most ( almost 77% ) of the people going to BrooWaha are looking specifically for it.
TIME ON SITE
Again ‘ averages ‘. Like Page-Views this is an average of how long people spend on your site. This does not mean that this is how long people spend on your site but rather what the ‘ average ‘ overall is. Generally a good average for a site between 50,000 and 250,000 is 3 minutes.
This is the percentage of people accessing your site through search engines ( all search engines: Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, Ask, Bing, Ice Rocket, etc… ). In other words, people who came to your site via a search. This does not mean that they were looking for you, it only means that they came to your site directly from a search engine. There are many ways a search engine can affect your site so it’s not good to have a high percentage coming to your site via search. Any more than 40% and you are effectively placing your site, and it’s positioning, and it’s general health and ranking, in the hands of search engines. But less than 20% can greatly affect your site as well. Essentially anything less than 12% means virtually no one is even looking for you, and if they find you it was by accident not intention.
The numbers below indicate to me that the only people going to Fried Eggs and BrooWaha are people who are familiar with them and are going there directly without the use of a search engine. Essentially that means they are getting virtually no ‘ new ‘ traffic. They might be getting some ‘ new ‘ traffic from links on other sites but essentially nothing from search engines.
Search engines, to an extent, can manipulate traffic, in a variety of ways, such as site placements in searches, however they do not cause people to search or determine what they search for.
I suspect, that both BrooWaha and Fried Eggs are highly dependent upon ‘ cross-site-promotion ‘ that is as they are owned by the same people they are getting their traffic primarily from each other and other sites that are owned by the same people.
Well, I hope this brief explanation helps you to understand Alexa and their Stats a little better than before. Remember Alexa is just a ‘ guideline ‘, another tool in your arsenal to determine the health of your site.
Alexa freely and honestly admits ( refreshingly ) that the further away from the top 100,000 your site is, the less accurate their stats become. And there’s really not a lot of difference between a site listed at 10 million and another site at 3 million…or…a site listed at 250,000 and a site listed at 150,000.