Collection of Helpful SEO tools
1. Screaming frog – spiders websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps from an SEO perspective. Allows you to quickly analyse, audit and review a site from an onsite SEO perspective
See screaming frog blog post on how to use it.
2. Web Developer – Firefox plugin
3. User Agent Switcher – Firefox plugin
4. SEOquake toolbar – checking page rank
5. Google Chrome tools:
- Broken Link Checker -mixed reviews. When working with a lot of links has a tendency to return all the links as 408 timed out. But still useful to know about.
- Web Developer
- Redirect Path Checker
- SEOmoz Toolbar – limited free information. Otherwise need an account for more indepth analysis and information.
- Chrome Sniffer
- Google Analytics Debugger
- Microformats for Chrome
- Rulers Guides and Eyedropper Color Picker
- Word Count
- Source Kit
- Analytics Chrome Plugin Debugger
6. Yahoo plugins – works in basically everything except IE
What to look for when using screaming Frog
1. Crawl the site
2. Save the crawl – save in .seospider file format
3. Check page levels – pages too deep won’t be crawled. In screaming frog levels 4 upward give a record of pages that are too deep. The results will show page levels and page url. You can then decide how to go about linking to these deep pages through new blog articles or content links. Be sure the reference links are valid and relevant.
4. Check crawl errors – googleweb master will give you crawl errors but are often out of date or only part results. A fresh crawl with screaming frog may give you a different result list of 400 errors.
Getting crawl errors with Screaming frog:
- Click on “Response Codes”
- Select “Client Error 4xx” from the filter drop down menu
- Export as CSV
5. Find and fix long descriptions
Meta tags and meta descriptions have a fixed length. Screaming frog allows you to check the lengths for any problems, it also allow searching of data.
Producing a new title with the correct length
- Click on over to “Page Titles” in the top menu.
- Select “Over 70 Characters” from the menu.
- Export as CSV
- Create a new column for your new title a column for new length.
- Add this simple formula to the “new length” column; =LEN(E3)
- Select the formula cell
- Hover over the bottom right corner of the formula cell and wait for the cursor to change.
- Drag the square down the entire column
Do this for “descriptions” too.
- Click on descriptions menu in screaming frog
- Select over 156 characters
- Make a new description column and a new length column
- Add =LEN(E2) to new length column to count the length of your description
6. Look at indexation settings
- to check your indexation settings click on “meta and canonical” menu
- You are looking for:
- Missing canonical tags
- Incorrect Canonical tags (pointing to a different page etc)
- Pages that should be indexed but have a “noindex” tag on them.
- Pages that should NOT be indexed but have no meta tag or have “index”.
7. Find all pages with HTML
word press plug in http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cross-linker/ which can help you always internally link and cross link your posts.
Everything to aid understanding Google analytics
CTR – click-through rate
Number of clicks made on your paid ad and number of impression eg. if you have 100 impressions and only 5 people click on it then your CTR is 5%. As you increase the relevance of the keywords in the heading and in the adtext to be relevant to the user then this CTR will go up.
CPA – cost per action
A type of advertising where payment is made based on the action the user performs (eg. purchasing, signing up etc) in relation to a particular ad. This is a common affiliate program model.
CPC – cost per click
Sometimes this is also referred to as Pay per Click (PPC). The advertiser pays a set price for each time the advert is clicked on. Most text ads displayed by search engines will be billed under the CPC model.
CPM – cost per thousand
This model charges a set fee based on every 1000 ad impressions regardless of whether the user viewing the ad clicks on it or not. An example of this model are banner ads.
Search engines such as google give your ads a quality score. This quality score is based on the keyword click-through rate, the relevance of your ad text, keywords and landing page, as well as, several other factors. The higher your score rating the lower your bidding rate to get those ads seen.
Don’t just put rubbish there to get traffic or your quality score will be reduced and your bidding costs will go up. The search engines will penalize you.
Long tail keywords: a keyword phrase that usually consist 3 – 6 words. These keywords are very specific and very targeted. They will not reach a wide audience, but their aim is to reach those users looking for this specific item, product or service eg: ‘italian night course london’.
Short tail keywords: keywords that are more generic and reach a wider audience. Usually these keywords will match a user request who is looking for information but may not have a specific idea of what they want eg ‘night course’.