SEO Nuts And Bolts
Once you get past the ads the approach is simple: input your web page URL (address) and the simplistic, anti-spam “access code” (i.e., the CAPTCHA) and wait a bit for it to do its magic. Once it has processed your page you’ll have a tabbed interface divided into the following 8 sections:
- Social Media
Let’s just cover a few of these in turn.
The SEO Tab
What you’ll find on this tab
- The page title, whether it is present, how long it is (although the length recommendation is out of date as of this writing), and whether it is “relevant” (it does this by comparing whether the words in the title are found elsewhere on the page).
- The meta “description” tag (often referred to as simply the description of the page). Like the title it will see if the description tag is present, and if it is it will give similar output on length and relevancy.
- Also checks for the presence of robots.txt and robots element in html, as well as the presence of a sitemap. It doesn’t seem to offer any insight as to the quality of those elements.
- Under this tab you’ll see a “snippet preview” for desktop, showing you approximately how the page might look if it showed up in search results.
- Headings are important for SEO, of course, and the SEO Analyzer offers a nice clear table of H usage with contents of each H tag, so you can review on your own. Of course you need some knowledge of the principle of relevancy to be able to put this table to good use.
What the SEO tab is missing
- It doesn’t give much guidance on <H> tags, for example I placed 2 <H1>s on page (which is a practice normally frowned up on in SEO) and it didn’t alert me to this.
- It does not check whether the “www” variant of the website, or something similar called ip canonicalization, is set up correctly. This is a fine technical point but an important one.
- I would like to see it check for correct implementation of canonical tags on pages.
- Also there is no analysis of the SEO properties of the body content that I could see.
The Content Tab
Highlights of what you’ll find on this tab
- This section cherry picks a couple of technical issues, such as whether your page has a doctype set and whether it is using a technical construct called “frames” that can make the page less Search Engine Friendly (SEF).
- Gives you a word count, which can alert you to pages that don’t have enough textual content.
- It offers a recommendation to keep the load size of your page below 250mb, but I find in this age of rich content experiences (often expected by visitors) and widespread adoption of broadband (offered to most consumers of Internet content) a 250mb limit is a bit unrealistic nowadays.
- This tab also shows a list of links on page and whether they are dofollow or nofollow, which can be moderately useful if you spot a pattern and know what to do about it.
- It does check to see if the alt attribute of images is being made use of, which is a lower priority relevancy factor in SEO
What the Content tab is missing
- I would like to see it show the content of those alt image attributes, so I can determine whether they are actually helping the relevancy of the page.
- For anyone who is not a hard-core SEO, I think there needs to be much more explanation of what to do about many of the results that are reported. There are indeed summaries on most of these, but they are so brief as to be not helpful to novice SEOs, business or marketing people.
The Keywords Tab
Highlights of what you’ll find on this tab, which is one of the more useful tabs this tool offers.
- It has a decent keyword cloud, giving a visual representation of the importance of words it finds on the page.
- You’ll find a number of tables that illustrate how keywords and keyword phrases are used on the page, both single keywords and multi-keyword groupings.
- The “Top Keywords” section does a fairly decent job of picking out the most relevant phrases.
- For each of the keywords and phrases it will indicate whether it is used in Title, Description, or any of the H tags on the page.
- It will also show the keywords used in the anchor text (the clickable part of a link on the page).
What the keywords tab is missing
- It would be nice to see more data on the keywords being used, such as search volume.
The Social Media Tab
- Whether structured data is used (primarily Facebook’s Open Graph) to facilitate sharing on social networks.
- Share data for a limited number of social media networks.
What the Social Media Tab is Missing
- A check for the existence of Facebook Page, Twitter account, Instagram account. The only check is for Google+ which is now a footnote to social media
The Usability Tab
- This tab has a number of useful bits of information, including whether a language declaration is used (which is mainly useful if you serve a mutli lingual audience.
- More importantly it checks for a couple of settings relevant to mobile usability, such as the presence of a viewport and media queries.
What the Usability Tab is missing
- The most important missing feature on this page is a preview of the page on mobile vs. desktop screens.
The Speed Tab
- Information on a lot of specifics related to technical aspects that affect speed.
- Lots of very brief tips on how to implement the tips that are given.
What the Speed Tab is missing
- Any non technical information to guide you in using the data that is presented. The tips that are presented are mainly useful if you already know how to develop websites.
Meta Tag Analyzer by SEOcentro
SEOcentro is one of my favorite free seo tools websites on the Internet, and I use their free seo tools frequently. One of my favorites is called their, Meta Tag Analyzer. Here’s how it works:
- Enter a URL to check. This could be your home page, a specific landing page on your website, or the page of a competitor who is doing well on a Google keyword search that interests you.
- Meta Tag generator generates a tag report analyzing your tags. As I explained above, it really analyzes ALL the tags on the page, not just the Meta tags.
Some of its better features are as follows. First, it analyzes the TITLE and DESCRIPTION tags for both length and relevance to the page. You can assume Google does this as well. Second, it describes where keywords occur inside Anchor text. Again, Google rewards you for having Anchor text in relation to keywords on any given page. Third, it looks at your image tags and reports back to you on keywords present in your image tags. Fourth, it gives you a quick report on keyword density – by listing all keywords on the page in order of their percent density on the page. Fifth, it reports on the URL structure and whether keywords are being found in the URL’s on your page.
It seems like a lot of information, and it is. But assuming you know the most important tags on the page (i.e., the TITLE, META DESCRIPTION and H1/H2 families), it gives you a quick analysis of those tags. One tip – in Firefox do a CTRL+F to open your search box. Type the keyword your are interested in. Firefox will then highlight the keywords as they occur on the page. This visual gives you both a sense of the keyword density of the keyword on the page, plus the strategic placement of the keyword. In sum, this is a fantastic diagnostic and checkup tool you can use to check your website for particular keywords.
Keyword density measures the occurrence of keyword on a given web page. If you want to be No. 1 on ‘SEO Training Los Angeles,’ for example, it stands to reason that you need to have the words, ‘SEO,’ ‘Training,’ and ‘Los Angeles’ occur frequently on that page. You must write keyword heavy prose!
SEOcentro has a great keyword density check up tool as well. You can use the META tool as explained above to check your density, or you can use the tool called, ‘keyword density.’ The tool then spits back a tag cloud about your page as well as a list of the most important words in order of their density.
This tool is also a great checkup to a page. Input your page into the tool and see what comes back. If a priority keyword isn’t prominent in the tag cloud and/or the list of keywords by density, you know you have a problem. You need to go back and re-write the page and include that target keyword more frequently!