SEO: Website Grader

Judy Vedder Search Engine Optimization

How does your site measure up?

How well your web site performs in organic search results depends upon a lot of factors.  Organic search results are the non-paid listings in Google and other search engines.  Your Search Engine Optimization strategy must take into account many different things to rank well.  People often associate SEO with getting the right keywords on your web pages.  Although that is definitely a part of the story, there are many different aspects of SEO to think about.  If you have a large web site or you blog on a regular basis, your keywords will in effect take care of themselves.  Each one of your blog articles or web pages is typically written on a specific topic and the keywords will just come naturally… organically if you will.

When analyzing your SEO strategy you need to consider your web site copy, metadata, alt tags, inbound links, and so much more.

Questions you might ask yourself are:

  • Is your web site getting enough traffic?
  • Does your site have any SEO problems that might actually be hurting your organic search engine rank?
  • How popular is your web site in the social media realm?

If you are curious as to how your web site is doing on all of these fronts, there is a great little tool called Website Grader that will analyze your site and grade it compared to hundreds of thousands of other web sites.  The report generated by this tool includes 5 sections:  Content, Optimization, Social Media Promotion,  Lead-to-Customer Conversion and Analysis.

Part I:  Content

This section looks for a blog – if you don’t have one, you’ll definitely lose points.  A blog is a great way to build your site content, adding more pages to the search engines and increasing your odds for being found organically.  If you have a blog, you will also be given a blog grade based on traffic levels plus the number and quality of links that point to it.  This section also looks to see how many pages you have indexed in Google and rates the reading level of your web site.

Part II:  Optimization

This section looks at your Search Engine Optimization, including your meta data, heading tags and alt tags.  It will take off points if you have any SEO problems but will also let you know specifically what the problems are so that you can correct them.  This section takes a look at your domain registration, including how long your domain has been registered and how much time until it expires.  Newer domains are penalized by the search engines (because so many come and go) and domains that are set to expire in less than a year are also penalized.  You can’t control the former, but you can definitely control the latter by renewing your domain for longer terms.

The Optimization section also looks at:

  • Your inbound links which are vital to your organic rank.  Rule of thumb:  the more links you have, the more important you must be.
  • Your MOZ rank which indicates your link authority or how popular your site is on a scale of 1-10.
  • Your last Google crawl date — You want Google to crawl your site as often as possible to ensure that your latest content shows up in the search results.

Part III: Promotion

The Promotion section looks at your social media performance, including how many bookmarks you have and who’s talking about you on Google Buzz.  You will also receive a grade on your Twitter performance, based on your number of tweets and followers.

Part IV: Convert

The real value of your web site is to help you to convert leads into paying customers.  This section looks to see if you have an RSS feed and a conversion form.  A conversion form is just a fancy way of saying contact form – which is the primary way to get leads from your web site.

Part V: Analyze

The final section analyzes your web site’s traffic rank and overall performance.  You will be given a final “grade” and you can even post on your web site or facebook page a badge with your grade.  If you click on the badge above, you will see the report generated for