In a post last week, PIFPhoto.com talked about Google’s Keyword tool, one of the great free tools made available by Google for free to help analyze, enhance and promote your website. I left a comment mentioning a site called grader.com, which offers a number of great free tools to analyze your site’s visibility to the search engines. It even offers suggestions for how to improve your site specifically. Lindsay at PIF, asked if I would be interested in writing a guest blogger article going into further detail on using the Website Grader. I was happy to take her up on the offer but the PIF site has undergone a redesign and now the post is no longer available. So I have recreated it below:
There are three sections to the site: the ‘Website Grader’, the ‘Twitter Grader’ and the ‘Press-Release Grader’. I have only used the website and Twitter sections, but would like to focus on how to use the Website Grader and walk you through the results for my site.
First thing is to go to the site: website.grader.com
Once you are there, you will see a form to input your site.
Make sure to uncheck the email box before submitting unless you want to end up on their mailing list. They actually offer a lot of great info, so it might be a good idea. I subscribe to their newsletter and RSS feed myself.
By the way, you will notice that you can tyoe in any site so type in mine if you want to see my whole printout. OR – and this is where the site gets really powerful, it allows you type in competitors’ sites and see how you differ. Give it a shot!
Next, we wait while their fancy animation tells us that our site is being analyzed. It might take a few minutes, so you can go answer an email or grab a fresh cup of coffee and come back.
Below that, there is a lot of stuff. I just want to point out a few key areas of interest.
The first section is called the ON PAGE SEO and includes info about the metadata, number of images, number of headings and the structure of the site. It will spell out what is good and bad about each area of interest. For example, it has the following to say about my keywords:
As you can see, it is warning me that I have one too many keywords. I guess I will have to choose one or two to take out.
One element that I never thought of is the age of the domain and the amount of time until it expires. The grader was able to find that my domain expires in less than a year. The search engines actually factor this in when they rank the relevance of a site, assuming that a new site that will expire soon is not serious, whereas a site that has been around and WILL be around is more important. So, if you can buy up that domain name for a number of years at once.
It is telling me that my Google Page Rank is Zero, which is not surprising since this is my newly lauched personal site to showcase my web design and video work, which I get mainly by word of mouth. Google Page Ranks go from 0-10 and you can find out more about how that works here.
The printout goes on to detail whether or not your site is listed in four major search and listing sites: DMOZ Directory, ZoomInfo, DIGG, Del.icio.us. If you haven’t already, go make sure your site has been submitted. You may need to sign up for an account, but most will let you submit a URL. They also mention Yahoo Directory, but I left it out since that costs $299 to submit to. Not worth it for me.
Overall, I think grader.com offers one of the best starting points for improving the visibility of your sites. But strictly trying to enhance your SEO is not really enough anymore. Even this site points out blog listing sites and bookmarking sites, which are sometimes more important, depending on your site.
There are also an increasing number of ways to use social media and word of mouth to get people to your site. For an example of one of the best methods out there right now, I only have to point to this very post. I came across an interesting post on PIF. I commented. I recieved an email asking me to write a guest blog post. Now I have the chance to link back to my site and say, ‘For more information you can check out my post on Why SEO is Not Enough.’
Hopefully this post pointed out a new resource that will help you improve your site and your knowledge about SEO and web traffic. Please explore the grader.com site, they have lots of free articles and downloads (and of course paid services) that will help you along the way to improving the visiblity of your site.