Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Five (FREE) SEO Tools to help your website
This impressive little tool calculates your SEO score on a scale of 1-100, lets you know problems in your site, and then tells you how you can easily fix them. This tool tells you everything from poorly defined (and missing) META tags, to poor page loading speed, and many other factors that may lead to your page not being found on the major search engines.
We ourselves found a problem using this tool with a “rel-canonical” link in our code that was causing our website to not be indexable by some search engines. Without this tool, I doubt we would have even known about it!
In addition to your on-site SEO score, the tool lets you track your link structure and page flow – this helps you see if you are guiding your visitors to links on your site, or pushing them to other sites that you are linking too. The goal here is to have a high page-flow score so that you keep your visitors on your own site.
2) SEO Quake
This tool (another plugin for FireFox and other browsers) tells you valuable information about your (or anyone else’s) site, including the META data, Google page rank, alexia rank, back links – and what I find the most helpful – the site’s keyword density (or how many times a keyword shows up on the page). This tool is a great little device for spying on your competition to see what they are doing for SEO and for you to find ways to beat them.
SEO Quake is also very helpful in finding if your robots.txt and sitemaps are properly being picked up by the search engines. If you don’t know what a robots.txt or a sitemap is, they are files on your web server that help guide the search engine spiders through your site so that they can index it properly.
Grader.com is a great tool to analyze your overall web marketing reach and find out areas that need improvement. The site calculates everything from your Twitter, Facebook, and Blogging scores (on a scale from 1-100), but also give you your MOZRank, readability index, how many pages are currently indexed, and in a recent upgrade – now lets you know if your website is mobile device friendly.
HubSpot is always updating and improving on this tool (as well as their other tools aimed at blogging and social media) and changing their algorithm to best reflect current market conditions (for example, the release of the mobile portion of the grader tool). We use this tool extensively to see how our website upgrades, social media campaigns, and blog postings affect both our and our clients marketing footprint.
Generally speaking, a high grade on Grader.com is a good indication that your site is properly optimized for search engines
Simply put in the name of your site, and the desired keyword that you want to check your rankings for. The tool will spit out where you rank in Google, Bing, Yahoo, and AOL for that keyword. Very simple, but it answers the question that most clients ask – “Where do I rank for X?”.
There are may services that do this same thing, and actually will track your rankings over time (WebCEO, WebPosition, etc), however all of them you have to pay for ($300-500 is the average for these tools). I recommend these paid services if you are tracking more than 10 or so keywords over time and are running major SEO campaings. However, if you just want a quick snapshot into how your doing with your SEO efforts – Mike’s Ranking Tools is a great little tool to have in your arsenal.
While not necessarily “SEO” tools, Google Analytics and Webmaster tools can give you important information on your site and show you exactly how your SEO efforts are helping (or hurting) your site.
First, Google Analytics can show you where your traffic is coming from (direct traffic, search engine traffic, and referring site traffic) and for what keywords those users are finding you on the search engines. If all your seeing is your company name, or your company’s website in the keyword list – then you’re probably not doing a great job with your META data for the keywords you want to rank for. A high bounce rate for your site may indicate that your site is being found in the search engines, but maybe not for the right term (thus your users are leaving your site immediately after not finding what they were originally looking for). Beyond those basics – there are countless other tools that Google Analytics offers you to track your sites progress and help guide you on changes to make to your site. If you would like more information on how Google Analytics can help you with your site, sign up for one of our Google Analytics training sessions.
Google Webmaster Tools is one tool that often goes overlooked, however it can provide valuable feedback on issues that might be causing your site not to be crawled correctly by the search engines. In addition, its HTML suggestions area can flag duplicate content errors that could be hurting your search engine rank. Google Webmaster Tools is also the place to submit your sitemaps and robots.txt files so that Google crawls your site correctly. (note: Yahoo and Bing also offer their own Webmaster tools kits).
In closing, you don’t have to spend a lot of money (or any) to really get a handle on your SEO efforts and web marketing footprint.
Need more SEO Help? Give us a call at 508-435-6776 or email us for a free consultation. Join our newsletter to get special deals and find out new information on how to improve your website and web marketing footprint.