I have a client whose website designer is giving them a lot of flak about making SEO and usability changes to their website.
The website designer’s argument is like saying if an eight-track tape player can still play music, why upgrade to the DVD?
They just don’t see the point of optimization beyond the design and are missing out that the owner wants a website that will be discovered when someone searches for what they have to sell. It isn’t frequently I come across a webosaurs, but this stuff happens.
So to give the business owner a clear un-biased point of reference, I sent them the following link where they can pick from amongst the many website audit tools listed and peek into the depths of their website to see what changes are suggested and which to leave alone – here’s the link (but continue reading before you click it) http://www.google.com/analytics/apps/results?category=Site%20Audit
This link is from Google customer service site, but Google isn’t pitching anybody’s products here (most are FREE anyway) – they list these tools so businesses can get a sense of their website performance. And better performing websites in their index actually helps Google in providing better search results. Listing them are a win-win for all – if used with discretion and proper awareness as to what is actually being reported.
That said, it is really important to note that these are pass-fail tools, they are not analytic quality tools that a subscription provides (I pay thousands for my tools for a reason). Nor do these tools replace the knowledge that experience professionals can offer. You should be aware that these free tools don’t measure the quality of elements, just the technical side of some elements (like character counts, the presence of things or absence of other things, and such).
Nonetheless, while I don’t usually recommend these types of tools (for the stated reasons), after trying the first one listed http://www.woorank.com, I found the results complemented what my client needed to know and felt more businesses should know these tools do exist and are probably best used as a first line of defense against larger problems lurking somewhere in code within their website.
So go ahead, try a few out – and if you aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for, think about how you need to dig in deeper to get your website on the fast track to discovery.