Last week was an exciting week for us. We released a new look for Alexa.com with some new features and new datapoints. We received mountains of great feedback which we are using to make ongoing improvements.
One of messages we heard loud and clear about last week's release was that people love, LOVE, all of the nitty gritty stats about websites and want more of it. Beware what you wish for...
Today we are releasing another datapoint: Search Terms
The Search Terms feature allows you to see the search terms that have been driving traffic to a site over the last month. To break it down for those of you who aren't in the biz, it works like this. People type search terms into search engines. Then people click on sites listed in the results. With a little sifting and sorting, we take that information and rearrange it, so you can see what search terms result in traffic to individual sites.
This feature is particularly useful if you are planning to buy search terms, or if you are trying to optimize your site for search engines. Now, you can see a list of terms for virtually any site, in sorted order, that are driving traffic. Rather than hunting, pecking and guessing, trying, failing, trying again... you can see what terms actually work for your competitors.
To see this new data, just go to an Alexa Site Info page for any site, for example, wired.com (Site Info), and click on the "Keywords" tab.
Let's take a couple of examples. First up, Crutchfield.com (Site Info), a popular online electronics retailer. What are their terms?
The first for almost all sites is, not surprisingly, the site name, often followed by the domain, in this crutchfield.com.
As you can see from this list, Crutchfield is getting a lot of traffic from a set of very target search terms and phrases. If you were bestbuy.com, for example, this list would be of particular interest to you. You can see that the three leading non-brand name search terms were all car-related terms and were driving a significant amount of traffic to Crutchfield. By looking at the Search Term data for Crutchfield and for other competing sites bestbuy.com could decide which terms were driving the most traffic and which ones presented the greatest opportunity.
Let's take one more example. Let's say you have a blog about government waste and you are trying to decide what search terms to buy and how to best optimize your site. Where do you begin? Start by looking at leaders in the field. In this case, Citizens Against Government Waste, cagw.org (Site Info):
This list, as most, will contain the name of the site in the number one position and the domain, in this case CAGW, as well. No surprise there. After you get that out of the way you can see where CAGW's bread and butter is: pork products. Pork Barrel Spending, Pork Barrel, Pork Spending, Pig Book. If you have a site about government waste you would be well advised to take note of these terms.
Alexa's newest feature, Search Terms, is not just for the big and highly sophisticated brand name sites. No matter who you are, if you have any online presence at all, from the large retailer, to the small blog, you need to start thinking about how to get more traffic to your site. This feature is your key. It is where you should begin and you start planning the content on your site and your keyword buying strategy.
I hope that you find the new data useful and I encourage you to let us know your thoughts. I would also like to hear some success stories. Were you able to increase your traffic? Make more money? Retire at the age of 25? Let us know! You can leave a comment in this blog, get a hold of us on Twitter, or send us an e-mail.
We will continue to focus our efforts on building the features and services that are most useful to you.
P.S. Lots more is in store. As I mentioned last week, the whole reason for the Alexa redesign was to allow us to build and release new features quickly, and that is just what we intend to do. So stay tuned and expect more to come...