I’m a sucker for new web tools and gadgets and luckily I am surrounded by, and work for, many folks afflicted by the same condition. Last week I saw a TechCrunch article about an SEO analysis tool that went BETA on January 20th called WooRank which has become a quick favorite. Provide this tool with any URL, and it will give you a breakdown and ranking of how well the site does against most of the standard SEO best practice areas and gives you tips for improving your ranking.
The current free version compares 50 fields but the soon-to-be-released version will have 120, according to the TechCrunch article. For me, the free 50-field version is a good gut check on how well I have my SEO basics down as I code and develop a site. For my non-profits friends, it is definitely a great amount of value and insight from only a 15 minute investment in reviewing the results.
At the risk of being hunted down by some friends in marketing, I tested Convio.com to see how well our homepage faired. Fortunately, we came out above average with a score of 66.4. (To give some perspective, median is 51.4 (of sites currently tested), and sites such as code.google.com, Wikipedia and Mozilla.org are in the high 80’s/low 90’s. Like most sites, Convio.com has a mix of easy and hard fixes that will have to be address over time. However, knowing what need to be done now means tweaks can be worked into other projects that are planned in the near future which will reduce overall implementation time.
For most of my results, WooRank had descriptions of what the crawlers are looking for and how I could improve the ranking. The descriptions are very helpful and they link to other references and resources for digging deeper if you want more information. If you are new to SEO, or like me, have long stints between these types of projects where you might forget some of the standard best practices, then it’s a great one-page refresher on what you should be thinking about.
There were a couple things I found myself hoping for in the tool that I would like to see in future releases. Not every item description has information that is actionable by me which can be frustrating. (For example, the Alexa and Compete ranks being ‘high impact’, but there are no descriptions as to why or how.) Also, one of the mantra’s of many SEO companies is ‘content is king’, yet there aren’t many references on the site related to writing good SEO content. However, these items are minor compared to what you do get overall and they could be soon available in the premium version, so I’m interested to see what the new 70 fields will include.
I can describe the tool more but really it’s easier to play around with it at http://www.woorank.com/. Any thoughts on how this stacks up against more industry standard SEO tools that are paid-for services?