If you are going to invest the time and money into building a decent website for your small business, then it makes sense to monitor its performance.
Even if the tools you use are not perfect.
Alexa is Amazon’s web site traffic ranking tool and while it is debatable how truly useful its insights are, people pay attention to it.
Alexa ranks the traffic of a website and is based on three months of historical data collected from users of the Alexa Toolbar. So unless a visitor to your site has the Alexa Toolbar downloaded, they will not count in your ranking. And who tends to have the toolbar? Internet marketers mostly and webmasters. Techies don’t really care for it as they see it as a kind of spying and a bit outdated.
You can also check out Compete and Quantcast as alternatives. Compete gets positive reviews while Quantcast attempts to combine various data sources to get at their rankings which includes demographic information.
At the end of the day you can’t go wrong just using Google Analytics.
But while you can see what your competition is doing with the others, Google Analytics is for your eyes only.
What I find is that Google Analytics works great for most small business websites and if you combine that with the Google Chrome SEO toolbar, you’ll be able to see how well your competition is doing too.