Search engine optimization can be a lucrative marketing strategy for almost any business. While it takes a great deal of time and often money to properly execute an SEO strategy, the targeted traffic and return on investment it brings makes it well worth the cost as a business owner.
Keeping Track of SEO
A successful SEO campaign has a lot of moving pieces that all need to be kept track of to ensure success. Many SEO firms offer a free SEO analysis or a site audit as part of their services. As a business owner, you can perform this analysis yourself with a multitude of tools offered online for this very purpose.
Performing a free SEO analysis for your own business has its advantages. It allows you, as the business owner, to go into a meeting with an SEO firm armed with the knowledge of exactly what you need to improve upon from an SEO perspective. Knowledge is power, and with the knowledge gained from these free SEO analysis tools, you won’t get caught paying for services you either don’t need or can perform in-house.
All of the free SEO analysis tools offered in this article are completely free to use as many times as you want. You may be asking: Why do I need five different tools for the same purpose?
- Each tool offers slightly different information.
- Some of the tools score your SEO, and it’s helpful to compare these scores.
- There is no one perfect tool, and different tools may pick up on different aspects of SEO. For example, for our own website (bidpin.com) one SEO tool claimed we were missing a sitemap while another found our sitemap. It’s small things like this that make the use of multiple tools beneficial for business owners.
Without further ado, here are our recommended 5 free SEO analysis tools:
- SEO Site Checkup
This tool analyzes your site or a competitor’s site based on 45 checks ranging in 6 different categories. Based on these results, the tool not only generates a summary of the analysis but also gives a numerical score for the site’s SEO out of 100. The tool breaks down the 45 checks into passed, failed, and less urgent warnings. Below this score the tool lists each check and explains why your site passed or failed.
- Common SEO Issues: This section of the analysis includes title tags, headings, keyword usage, meta data, the inclusion of robots.txt and a sitemap, the inclusion of image alt tags, a broken link test, and even a test to see whether your URLs are SEO friendly.
- Speed Optimizations: All of these checks pertain to the speed of your site, which is an important ranking factor for SEO. A fast loading site will have a lower bounce rate and ultimately convert more customers. Some of the checks performed in this section include site loading speed, number of page objects, HTML compression, a flash test to check whether your site uses flash elements, as well as a page cache test to name a few. Some of the fixes in this section are fairly technical, so if you aren’t the one optimizing your site for SEO, this is good information to bring to the tech saavy person who is.
- Server and Security: This section of the analysis points out any server issues your site may have and is broken down into a few different checks including URL canonicalization, IP canonicalzation to avoid duplicate content problems (a negative ranking factor for SEO), a check for email addresses in plain text that could pose a security risk, and an HTTPS checker. Once again, these checks are more on the technical side, but the tool does give explanations for any failed checks and why they are important.
- Mobile Usability: This aspect of the test mainly analyzes how responsive your site is on mobile devices and includes a preview of what your home page looks like on a mobile device. Because of the prevalence of people using their phones to search for businesses, mobile optimization has become an extremely important ranking factor for SEO.
- Social Media: While social media itself isn’t a ranking factor for SEO it can be a good avenue to drive traffic to your website, share content, reach out to potential customers directly or create a buzz for your brand. SEO Site Checkup will check your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus as well as track your Facebook likes and shares, Twitter posts, Google Plus circles, and Pinterest pins.
- Advanced SEO: The final section takes into account very technical aspects of your site’s on-page optimization including a microdata schema test, a noindex tag check, a nofollow tag checker, and a canonical tag checker. While these terms may seem like a foreign language this tool gives easy to understand definitions for each aspect of this section.
The great part about the SEO Site Checkup tool is that for each check that your (or your competitor’s) site fails the tool gives a helpful “How to Fix” button with instructions on how you can rectify this part of the test. As a business owner, you may not be in control of all of the things tested in this free SEO analysis tool, but it gives you the knowledge to let your web developer or prospective SEO firm know what needs to be done.
Lipperhey is a completely free SEO analysis tool that boasts being the “most comprehensive free SEO service” with a testimonial from the Senior Product Manager at Yellowpages right on the home page. After entering the desired URL to analyze Lipperhey provides some very useful information. The free SEO analysis is broken down into five categories:
- Visitors: This tracks the unique visitors to your site as well as social engagement on Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter. The tool provides a score for each of these elements and qualifies the score as a percentage as well as a label, such as “needs improvement, good, or very good.”
- Indexablity: This aspect of the free SEO analysis gives insight into how easily your site is indexed by the search engines. This includes robots.txt, sitemap.xml, document size and whether or not your site is using flash or frames.
- Hosting: The information in this section includes server location, IP canonicalization, download speed, and redirecting domains.
- Design: This section previews how the site looks on mobile and tablet devices as well as other design elements, such as inline style elements and images.
- On-Page SEO: This illustrates how your site has optimized on page elements like titles, meta data, headings and subheadings, as well as a preview of how your listing will look on the search engine results pages.
The great part about Lipperhey as a free SEO analysis tool is they give actionable improvements for every element that’s part of the test. This is extremely helpful for business owners who are looking to educate themselves on SEO and how to improve their website from an SEO perspective.
- Site Analyzer
This free SEO analysis tool, much like SEO Site Checkup, delivers an overview covering 71 data points across 5 categories. The overview is very helpful from an educational standpoint because it breaks down each of the categories (accessibility, design, texts, multimedia, and networking) and their importance from an SEO perspective.
- Accessibility: This section is further broken down into general data which includes things such as compression, page caching and download time. The accessibility section also includes URL optimization data, server configuration, and mobile compatibility.
- Design: This part of the analysis provides information about how well your site implements HTML/CSS elements, such as meta data, page segmentation, and various CSS information.
- Texts: This section, as the title suggests, involves all of the textual elements of a site that play a part in SEO. This includes titles, text to code ratio, main keywords and density, as well as a security section analyzing any scannable, plain text email addresses.
- Multimedia: This aspect of the analysis is dedicated solely to the use of images on your site. This includes information ranging from the number of images, the use of alt tags for Google’s search robots to be able to “see” your images, as well as the presence of flash content and icons.
- Networking: This covers internal and external links, taking into account SEO best practices for URLs, canonical linking to avoid duplicate content, indexation which includes whether or not your site has a robots.txt and sitemap files, and social network data.
While this free SEO analysis tool does less to educate business owners on what impact each aspect of the test has on SEO, it does cover a multitude of data points and the percentages in the overview can give marketers a great idea of where they stand.
- Up City SEO Report Card
Up City offers a website analysis tool providing a free report card complete with a numerical score. This tool differs from the rest of the free SEO analysis tools on this list because it takes into account a singular targeted keyword as well as including a feature that will compare your website with a competitor’s site. The report card is divided into 6 categories:
- Rank Analysis: This category recognizes whether or not the tested site is ranking in Google and Bing for the targeted keyword compared to the competition.
- Link Building: This part of the analysis is great to compare the number of unique, relevant backlinks your site has compared with a competitor’s site. It also takes this data and puts it into an easy to read graph with your site next to the competition.
- On Site Analysis: This checks if the desired keyword is in the title and body text of the website’s home page.
- Website Accessibility: This category of the report card checks how easily search engines are able to crawl and index the site as well as the site load time, an important ranking factor.
- Trust Metrics: Trust is key when it comes to SEO. More trusted sites in terms of domain age and authority are much more likely to be ranked higher in the search engine results pages. This aspect of the report card compares your domain age and authority to your competitor’s site.
- Current Indexing: This part of the report card shows how many pages are being indexed by Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If these search engines aren’t indexing your pages, your site remains invisible and it becomes impossible to rank for any keywords.
SEOptimer is another free SEO analysis tool that takes a URL and investigates mainly on-pages SEO ranking factors. After the initial analysis, this tool provides you with the most important items to change to improve your SEO efforts. Below this summary, the analysis is further broken down into 7 categories:
- HTML Header: The most important HTML title elements are displayed here, such as title, meta description, and meta keywords.
- Body Content: This section displays HTML body elements by providing text to HTML ratio, headers, and images with alt tags.
- Internal and External Links: This aspect of the analysis simply lists all of the internal and external links on the analyzed site and indicates if any of the links are nofollow.
- Additional Files: This simply identifies the inclusion of a site’s robots.txt and sitemap.xml files.
- HTTP Headers: This shows the HTTP response for the site. While this may not mean much to a business owner it can provide valuable information to a web developer.
- Domain and Server: This section provides the IP address and server location for the analyzed site.
Our SEO services at bidpin include a complete, free SEO analysis for your existing website, but the goal of this article is to help educate business owners on what goes into a successful SEO campaign. We believe knowledge is power, and with the knowledge to ask the right questions you will know exactly what your business needs to bring in the targeted traffic SEO can provide.