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3 Free Tools For Website Optimization

January 13, 2010

Today I want to share with you three simple online tools I have found to be helpful for optimizing my developed websites.

  1. Google Webmaster Central
  2. Website Grader
  3. Majestic SEO

Google Webmaster Central

Webmaster Central is the first place you should go after you’ve gone live with your website. According to different reports I have read Google is estimated to have somewhere between 70% – 85% market share of all internet search.

Like it or not, if you want traffic then Google is the primary search engine you need to be optimizing for.

You will need to register an account with Google in order to use their tool. (If you are already using Gmail or any other Google services you can simply login with your existing account.)

Once you’ve added and verified ownership of your website you’ll want to go right down the list of settings in the left sidebar.

You’ll be able to submit your sitemap and see whether there are any crawl errors and other diagnostics such as problems with meta tags. You can also use Fetch As Googlebot to see how your web pages source code appears to Google.

Another thing you can do is set the geo-targetting to a specific country. For example. let’s say you are building on a .com domain but your content is tailored for UK residents.  Webmaster Central allows you to select United Kingdom for your geographic target. I believe this should help boost your rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for Google.co.uk.

Website Grader

Website Grader is a tool developed by HubSpot, Inc under the Grader.com banner of sites.  All you need to do is enter the URL of your site and let their engine run for a few seconds.

Website Grader runs a script to analyze several factors including your on-page SEO (such as meta data, headings, images, keywords, etc) and off-page SEO (page rank, inbound links, domain info, etc) and provides helpful tips on any areas that may be lacking. It will also offer suggestions for social bookmarking and other ideas for optimizing your site.

One thing in particular I like is that it shows when was the last time that Google crawled your website.  I find this helpful for gauging whether or not any recent changes in the search engine results placement for different keywords is correlated to recent changes I may have made to the site.

Majestic SEO

This tool is really focused more on search engine optimization than website optimization, but I wanted to add it anyway because it is still helpful and two sites was just not enough for a list!

Majestic SEO will crawl your website and provide you with the most comprehensive report on backlink analysis that I have seen. You will get a weatlh of different data points telling you everything you can imagine including:

  • Which of your backlinks carry the most weight
  • What the distribution of your anchor text looks like
  • The rate at which your backlinks are being acquired
  • What countries and TLDs your links come from
  • and the list goes on

If you are focused on link-building this can be valuable information, particularly as you can apply what works across other websites you are developing.

This is just a start. There are many more tools available online including tools for competitive analysis that can offer even more hints for how to optimize your website by helping you sleuth out your competitors.

If you know of any other useful tools feel free to comment with your recommendations..

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