How to Measure Your Website’s SEO Performance: Website Grading Tools
You might have the most beautiful website on the planet, but how do you know if it’s actually working for you? SEO performance tools are the answer.
Is your site being found on Google for the keywords you would expect?
How does Google see your site?
How does Facebook see your site?
What is going for your site and what is holding it back?
If you’re not an SEO expert, you probably don’t know the answers to these questions off the top of your head.
Fortunately, there are a myriad of tools out there designed to help you answer these questions about your website and more. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular and useful as a guideline to get started.
Since you are going to be primarily concerned with how your site is going on Google search, it stands to reason that Google should provide some handy tools for you to use. And so they do.
Google SEO Tools
The granddaddy of SEO tools, Google Analytics, direct from the originator. If you are going to monitor your web site performance on Google, step one will be to complete a current performance audit. Google Analytics will tell you what your current traffic looks like, bounce rate, page views, locations and more. This is the number 1 tool you will want to have operating as soon as your site goes live.
Formerly called Google Webmaster Tools, this free product from Google complements what you’ll see in Google Analytics and also gives you an idea of what search terms are being used to find your site. You can also update your site map, and re-index your site (both very important whenever you add or change content).
Google puts a heavy weight on mobile-friendliness. Your SEO performance rankings will suffer greatly if your website does not render well on mobile. To make things easier, they’ve created the Google Mobile Test. Just type in your domain name and it will tell you if you are in good standing or not.
Google’s Keyword Planner is a viable tool for coming up with keywords for your website. Keep in mind though, that it uses Google Adwords data for its results. That isn’t a bad thing; it just means that when suggesting keywords, it’s taking them based on what percentage of Google Adwords customers are paying for those keywords. You need to have a Google Adwords account to access it.
SEMRush is a third-party tools that gives you a wide range of ways to track and monitor your site’s SEO performance. You can find your own best keywords, find your competitors’ keywords and also check backlinks or yours and your competitors’ sites. With the important Google places on backlinks, this is a great feature.
Speaking of competitive research, SimilarWeb is a tool that can provide a lot of information about your competitors’ SEO performance, and they provide it as a side-by-side analysis. You can compare your site to your toughest competitor in terms of traffic, engagement, search, engagement on social media and more.
Another keyword suggestion tool that takes the competition into account is Neil Patel’s UberSuggest tool. What they can do is described best on their site:
“Ubersuggest allows you to get insight into the strategies that are working for others in your market so you can adopt them, improve them, and gain an edge.” – Neil Patel
Page Load Speed
One of the biggest SEO performance parameters that Google looks at for SEO is page speed. How fast is your site loading? There are a few tools out there for checking this, but one of the most comprehensive is GT Metrix. This tools give you a plethora of information about your site, including which elements are loading when, with recommendations on how to improve included.
Our top pick: SEO Website Grader
All of the above tools are super informative and fairly user-friendly. But some do take a bit of sifting through diagrams and measurements to get the general idea of how your site is doing in terms of SEO performance.
What if you just want to get a quick overview in a simple format that gives you the most important information in a flash?
Enter SEO Website Grader by Hubspot.com, the website checker we recommend most to clients. This is a slick little tool that lets you simply type in your (or a competitor’s) domain and quickly comes up with an overall grade on four key areas:
PERFORMANCE: page size, speed and more;
MOBILE: mobile responsiveness;
SEO: meta titles, descriptions, image optimizations;
SECURITY: SSL certificates
You can get the score on as many websites as you like.
Tip: Just don’t spend all day getting performance results for every website you can think of – it can be addictive!