Optimizing your website is the first step in successful Internet marketing. Off-page promotion will drive people and search engines to your site, but if it doesn’t perform exceptionally well once they get there it’s generally a wasted effort. I am considering search engines and your competition when I set the bar at “exceptionally well”. If you do what your competitor does, then you must do it better.
Unless they have had their website reviewed, analyzed and modified by a reputable Internet marketing service or consultant, then it is probably not optimized. Many website owners erroneously make the assumption that optimization was included in development. It rarely is. Or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say that sufficient optimization was likely not included. Being an excellent site developer does not necessarily translate to knowing how to effectively optimize your website.
When considering a website analysis, be cautious of businesses providing a free website analysis tool. These offers are usually obligation free; however the question is whether their primary concern is the welfare of your business or theirs. Such offers are generally a marketing strategy for “up-sale”. You will probably receive some benefit, but companies that charge a small fee for this service are much more likely to be open, honest and forthcoming with their findings.
One other word of caution: there is an abundance of automated website analysis services on the Internet. With few exceptions, we recommend that you avoid them. The end product is generally insufficient and a waste of money. An automated system simply cannot consider and properly advise you how to best optimize a website for your specific market and objectives. To accomplish that, you need a qualified and breathing human in the process.
In our view, the best website analysis tool has three perspectives. First, it should ensure that the structural elements are in place and optimized for your keywords and objectives. These elements include:
Title tags, Meta description, Meta keywords, Meta refresh, Meta robots, stop words
Headings and visible text, keyword frequency, prominence and weight
ALT attributes keyword frequency and weight
Copy writing spell check
Comments, keyword frequency and weight
Sitemap, search engine crawler navigation
Google doesn’t pay much attention to Meta tags, but other search engines do. The page Meta description is often what appears on a search engine results page, and a sitemap helps search engine crawlers successfully navigate your site.
Next, the analysis should focus on the liveliness of your website and the amount of “juice” it’s drawing from other areas of the web. For example, it should examine the number and quality of inbound links and their keyword weight, outbound links, pages that are indexed by major search engines, page rank, customer reviews, and more.
Finally, the analysis should either include on-page modifications to your web pages or a detailed report with instructions about how your webmaster or you can implement the changes. It should also include a qualified consultant’s recommendations for additional on-page and off-page optimization.