Finding Info About A Website – Online Planing Tutorial #1

Useful when you need to go a quick background check on website trends!

Ever had to compare two, or three websites of a similar genre to decide which one to invest on for advertising? Or simply need to know some online metrics, search analytics and demographics for a website?

Then go to Alexa for the answer. 

Alexa Internet 

Alexa provides an idea of the top 100 sites by country and even by category. So for instance, if you live in Malaysia but you have a client that wants to advertise in Indonesia – head down to Alexa > Top Sites > By Country > Indonesia and you would get a list that looks like this: 

How to find out top sites in a foreign country

Top sites in Indonesia


So with this info you know that Facebook, Google & Yahoo would be your staple media to invest in Indonesia to garner high awareness. 

But if you had a client who wants to target a niche audience, for example shopping then you head to Alexa > Top Sites > By Category > Shopping. You can target specifically for auction sites, flowers or even vehicles. So if my client has a fashion jewelry product, then this is some helpful data I would get… 

Top Sites by Category


I have only taken a screenshot of the Top 5, you’d usually get about 20 results in the first page. So why is this data helpful? Because if you are planning to use an Ad Network to advertise this product, you should cross check the list that the Ad Network represents for their shopping sites. If there are similar sites, then it is worth investing as your target audience are most probably lingering around those sites. 

If you’d like to find out the performance of a single site, whether the visitors have been increasing or decreasing.. You’ll need to go Alexa > Site Info and key in the site URL. For this example, let’s learn about Facebook. 

Measuring Facebook's Growth


Here we can see that over the past year, Facebook has grown about 25% in terms of reach. So this slide translates that ~35% of global internet users visit Facebook (makes you wonder wth are the remaining 65% of net users doing eh?) 

How much time are people spending on Facebook?


And this chart above here shows users have been spending more and more time on Facebook (averaging about 30 minutes) and it has been on a stagnant state in 2010. And each visitors to the site view an average of 14.2 unique pages per day. 

Facebook search analytics


This table above shows when you hit “Search Analytics” in Alexa for Facebook. Looks pretty simple, quite informative for a quick glance if you need to know what kind of keywords are driving traffic to a particular site (but of course, I have to stress it is NO WHERE NEAR GOOGLE’s ANALYTICS – this is simplicity at its best!). 

Here, beyond the obvious keyword “facebook”, notice that Farmville, Mafia Wars & Bejeweled Blitz are also traffic drivers for Facebook. This particular table would work best for blogs, if you want to get an overall idea of what the blog is about. 

Facebook Demographic


This chart shows the audience demographic, rather straight forward. It’s less popular with 45-65+ year olds, more popular with the females, and those with some graduate school and facebook users tend to browse from school (and not so much from office, ermmm maybe because it’s still banned in most companies? I’m curious to know the percentage for those browsing from mobile.) 

Visitors by Country for Facebook


Again, a straight forward graph – which country is contributing the most visitors for facebook and we’re seeing US, India and followed by France. 

Facebook Reviews


With Alexa, you can even find out if users like the site you’re researching about and what’s their feedback – cool! 

Sites users visit before & after Facebook


What upstream & downstream sites? Those are the sites most people visit before heading to a particular website (upstream) and after visiting the sites (downstream). Why is this cruticial? For some corporate websites, eg. a fashion label, they would get an idea where to reinforce their advertising message. 

So say your client only has a small amount of budget to go online, and they have choosen to be on a news portal but are requesting for your recommendation – how to choose which site to advertise in & how do you support your recommendation with data? 

Head to Alexa > Site Info and key in the sites you’d like to compare… so in this case it would be: The Star Online, Malaysia Kini, Utusan and Sinchew-i. 

Comparing site performance


 With this, it’s evident that The Star Online is the higher in terms of reach but Malaysia Kini is catching up. Utusan has about half of The Star’s traffic and Sinchew-i has about a third of Star’s traffic. So with a chart like this, you could highlight that The Star Online has the highest traffic, thus a good placement if you need the reach by just advertising in one website. 

Hope this Alexa tutorial is helpful. Feel free to post any questions or queries you think I should cover & I’ll update accordingly. Happy Alexa’ ing!

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