Most people know surprisingly little about their website. Unless you are the coder, chances are you know less than you think.
I recently had some work done on my writing website, making it fully responsive, tinkering with the content, boosting the speed and making some other adjustments. I wanted to see how it would perform. So I put it through Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer.
SEO Analyzer allows you to compare your site to three other domains, so I typed in three significant competitors. Then you get three PDFs:
- Website analysis
- Competitor analysis
- Social analysis
Here are some things that SEO Analyzer told me, and everyone should know about their website. I should note that the analysis is just for the home page.
1. What’s your site looks like
Of course you know what your website looks like. On your desktop. Or on your phone. Or on your tablet. But do you know what it looks like on all three? If you don’t own all three devices, probably not. Here’s what I saw.
- Looks good on desktop.
- Looks good on tablet vertically, but the lead capture form is below the fold. Hmm, I know it’s right up there horizontally. Could this be hurting me?
- Looks good on phone, but again, the lead capture form is below the fold.
“Congratulations! You have no errors.”
Well, that’s a relief.
3. SEO warnings
Uh-oh. Looks like a I have quite a few warnings. Most are for having too short or two long <h2> and <h3> tags in text overlays on my rotating banner. Oh, dear. I did not realize they were coded that way. That needs to change! A little work in CSS to replace the header tags with regular <p> tags, without changing the look, is all it needs. Something to fix ASAP!
On a side note, does it really matter if header tags have fewer than 15 characters or more than 65 characters?
I am also told I have lots of images with no alt tags. Oops, those are the trust logos. I wonder if that really matters.
And my title tag is flagged as too long at 69 characters. Funny thing is that Google displays the full title tag, although the words are rearranged in the SERPs. Something to experiment with.
There were 14 tests that the site passed. Yay!
Apparently my top 5 keywords are:
OK, it’s a start. But it does show that I could do some tweaking.
The site has a speed score of 61. That’s a D-. Yikes! I don’t think my efforts worked at speeding up the site all that much. This is important to know, and most website owners don’t. I come away from this with a fistful of recommendations, like compressing images and maybe needing a way to take the slideshow out of the page’s load time.
6. Competitive score
You might be tempted to say, “Who cares about other sites? I just want mine to be the best it can be.” And you would be right, to a point. What competitor analysis does is show areas that you might have the best opportunity to improve.
I picked three competing websites. Mine beat them all for “Estimated Traffic Score”, although all four sites were close.
For the “SEO Score”, mine came in just below one other, well below another and well above the fourth. Good thing I ran this analysis, because I know a few things I can do to boost my SEO Score.
My site had the most warnings, but other sites had errors. The top keywords for the four sites were telling:
- [brand name]
At least my top keyword was on target: “writers”. But my top two-word keyword came from a sample book near the bottom of the page: “Breast cancer”. So I have work to do on the content, too.
Although SEO Analyser found 188 backlinks “low”, it was more than triple any of the competitors. Yes, I am active online.
Much to my surprise, I am not lagging by much on my Speed Score. Tied for last place, my site is somewhat behind the other two, but not insurmountably. Load time is embarrassing (so I won’t tell you what it is). So is the number of requests, which is a great hint at how to reduce the load time and increase the overall speed. Page size is also way too big. That is both good and bad. It means I have a lot of content. But it also means a lot of files are bigger than they should be.
In case you want to compare your site to mine, here are my scores:
- Estimated Traffic Score: 40 (Target for next check: 42)
- SEO Score: 70 (Target for next check: 75)
- Speed Score: 61 (Target for next check: 70)
These were my results. Your results will be different. That’s why this analysis is so helpful. There are some rules in SEO, but there are so many variations and permutations, that each situation is different.
But this is just a tool. People on the Internet get way too distracted by tools, so don’t forget that the best any tool can do is give you hints. Your strategy is just as important. Ask any NASCAR driver; tools can save you from losing, but they won’t make you win.
And each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s worth checking out more than one. Some will focus more on rankings, others more on making your site mobile friendly, and still others on bumping up conversions. All these aspects are interrelated.
Running quick tests like this helps you see what your low-hanging fruit is and where you can make the most gains by tweaking your code or your content. Plus it’s free. Let’s see if you can beat my scores.Written by David Leonhardt
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