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Search engine optimization is a valuable tool in promoting your site to others and it can be successfully argued that without SEO, any given site would simply languish in the pile of millions of other sites similar to it. I have learned over the years that in order to be successful, you have to do the two following things: follow the leader, and think for yourself. While they may sound contradictory, each suggestion has its own place and time.
Using Alexa is one of the "follow the leader" styles of getting results through SEO and is a major player in obtaining backlink traffic and higher search rankings. I will outline some of the tricks that Alexa can help you with so that your site can pop to the top in no time at all.
Using the Alexa Toolbar
The Alexa Toolbar is a tried and true tool that can be installed to any browser (IE, Netscape, Firefox, Chrome) and has been used for years by web developers and SEO strategists as a way to increase their site's success. This tool provides you with information about a site: its Alexa ranking, its ranking solely within the country of origin, the number of inbound links and outbound links and also general site analysis and statistics.
I use this toolbar to gain a plethora of information not only about my own sites, but competitors' sites as well. You will be able to make changes and see how Alexa responds to it, which is important since Google makes many indexing and ranking decisions based off of Alexa's view of your site.
Often, people will go out on the web and try to find quality backlinks by doing a generic search. This is a big no-no and a complete waste of time when considering the valuable data that Alexa has to offer. You can look up any site on the web and through this, find all of the backlinks that each site has.
I will always search my competitors' sites to see what backlinks they have; often, their backlinks can be replicated by me and I now have all the information I need to get hundreds of backlinks in just a few minutes. This eliminates a lot of the homework and researching that so many people put into the backlink section of SEO.
Through the very same free set of tools offered by Alexa, you can also discover what specific keywords your competitors are using to stay on top. While every keyword used by a competitor may not be perfect for you and others may be too hard "to break into" on search engines like Google, you can find several successful phrases and keywords that you can use to increase the flow of traffic to your site.
You may also be like me and find yourself discovering new ideas for keywords by looking at the slew of keywords being used by your competitors. Alexa is much quicker at keyword comparison than using traditional search methods and offers a new perspective; instead of searching a keyword and seeing what sites are using it, you can search a site and see what keywords it is using.
Depending on the scope and size of the website in question, you may also be able to pick up on other SEO-related bits of information that will come in handy for later. Alexa provides in-depth information for larger sites, such as the number of visitors, demographic breakdowns and where visitors to the site in question are going. This will tell you much more about your target audience than you may already know and the information is completely free. Alexa also offers in-depth paid subscription tools that will give you even more SEO data about competitors.
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