Site metrics are a complicated, but necessary, element of getting an affiliate marketing business off the ground. After all building a player base is going to a lot easier if you’ve got up-to-the-minute stats like page views, unique visitors and bounce rates.

Free web analytic tools like Google Analytics are a great starting point, but as you become a more experienced webmaster you’ll want something more advanced. That’s where paid analytic tools like MozRank and Alexa.

These two popular applications use very different starting points to provide very different analytics, so understanding how they work is critical. Here are some MozRank and Alexa ranking basics.

Want to learn more about site metrics? Check out Fundamentals of Web Analytics.

MozRank for Beginners

MozRank is a web analytic tool developed by the folks at SEOMoz that measures a web site’s popularity. A site’s MozRank is measured on a 10-point scale based onĀ  link authority.

The reasoning behind using links rather than keywords as the measuring stick is that links are organic and cover a broader space than keywords. According to their website, SEOMoz say that most sites come in at around a 3-point ranking.

Other metrics available MozRank include:

  • External MozRank – which measures a site’s rank based on external links.
  • Domain-Level MozRank (DmR) – compares the popularity of a site compared to all other sites on web.
  • MozRank Passed – determines how much value a particular link adds to the bigger picture.

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Alexa Rank Basics

If nothing else, Alexa is a real web survivor. This company has been bought and sold more times than most of the items on Pawn Stars and is still providing value. These days, their main function is providing a set of narrowly defined web metrics.

Alexa rankings are based on how many visitors you’re getting from web users who have installed an Alexa tool bar on their browsers. This toolbar is very popular with webmasters and developers, so while it’s a small audience it’s also a very influential one.

One nice feature of the Alexa system is that it allows you to easily compare your ranking against your competition’s. Of course, they’ll probably be doing the same thing to your site.

The problem with Alexa is that it does draw from a fairly small sample size. If your visitors aren’t Alexa users, too, you’ll be saddled with a very low rank.

There’s also talk that gaming the Alexa system is pretty easy to do by visiting your own site. Whether that’s true or not is unknown, but it’s definitely a commonly held belief.

What’s Best for Gaming Affiliates?

If you’re in need of a general analytics tool that allows you to drill down further than Google Analytics, MozRank is a good choice. That said, it’s worth exploring all of your options in-depth, and really understanding what is being measured before pulling the trigger on a purchase.

Do you have any experience with MozRank or Alexa? Share you experiences with us on our SEO Forum.

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