Alexa vs Google Analytics – How accurate is Alexa?

Date: 03-05-2015

Alexa provides comparative analytics so that website owners can compare how their traffic compares to other websites.  We have seen many restaurant owners think that they are dealing really well with their online marketing because they have an Alexa Ranking that is significantly better than their competitors.

We compare Google Analytics traffic for two sites with the Traffic Rankings from Alexa to see how accurate Alexa is.
We compare Google Analytics traffic for two sites with the Traffic Rankings from Alexa to see how accurate Alexa is.

Alexa differs fundamentally from Google Analytics because Google Analytics provides much more detailed information about the individual website and some comparative information via it’s benchmarking feature.

We were keen to compare Alexa vs Google Analytics so we gathered data from our site, www.marketing4restaurants.com, and a forum site for the 4 wheel drive industry, 4x4earth.com.  Looking at the Alexa rankings, we would see massive swings in the rankings with Marketing4Restaurants sometimes going up or down by 100,000 rankings in a week.

 

                     4x4earth.com.au        marketing4restaurants.com          
Alexa
Global Rank              346,890                     194,636              
Rank in Australia         18,715                       5,591
Google
Sessions                  38,807                       1,838
Pageviews                153,177                       3,852

Alexa vs Google Analytics

So comparing our data, 4x4earth.com.au serves 39.7 times as many web pages and 21 times as many sessions.  Despite this, Alexa ranks Marketing4Restaurants 152,254 places higher than 4x4earth.com.au globably and  13,124 places higher in Australia.  This is widely inaccurate.  We always knew that 4x4earth received a lot more traffic than Marketing4Restuarants.com and yet Alexa consistently ranked the Marketing4Restaurants.com significantly higher, in fact we have never seen 4x4earth above M4R.

Why is the Alexa vs Google Analytics data so different?

We suspect that the difference in Alexa vs Google Analytics is because of the way that the data is collected.  As far as we know, Google has all of the data that it collects from the actual websites.  Alexa captures information from web surfers with the Alexa toolbar installed, which represents a very small part of the total web surfing traffic.  Both websites are in Australia, which may have a lower percentage of people using the Alexa toolbar and finally, M4R is a .com domain as opposed to 4x4earth.com.au.  M4R has a Page Rank 4, partially because of the large number of restaurant websites pointing to the site and to the blog articles, but 4x4earth is one of the largest 4 wheel driving sites in Australia and yet it only has a Page Rank of 2.  This has been such a concern that as part of a redesign of the website, we have moved it from 4x4earth.com.au to 4x4earth.com.

Where can Restaurant owners find comparative analytics for their website traffic?

The team at Marketing4Restaurants have always understood that Restaurant owners needed some hard data to be able to better manage the online marketing for their Restaurant.

I was once talking to a Restaurant owner who said that his website was doing pretty well because it got 100 visits a month.  I asked him if he would be surprised to know that we had a customer 2 kilometers from him who received that much traffic in 1 DAY!  He thought it was impossible, but asked who it was.  I told him the name of the restaurant, and he knew exactly who I was talking about.  He said, “That guy, yeah, he is really busy.”  He now knew that he needed to be doing a lot better with his website.

Each month we send an email to each of our customers ranking them against their peers, so they know whether they are in the Top 10% or if they are below average.  We rank a range of Key Performance Indicators, including visits, pageviews, seats booked and we will shortly include comparative data from our Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system as well.

This really helps Restaurant owners because they know where they are doing well and where they need to improve.

We always prepare ourselves for the start of the month, because the emails that go out to our customers and we often get calls from our customers who are below average.  The good thing is that the average traffic for an M4R customer is around 30 – 50% higher than the industry average.  We see most customers trend upwards after coming across to our platform and we have a range of tools to increase each Restaurants traffic and more importantly Restaurant Bookings and Orders.

If you want more information on our Big Data for Restaurants products, contact the team at Marketing4Restaurants.com.

 

 

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