Archive for the ‘Webmaster Tools’ Category

Top Five Tools for Website Analysis

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Every SEO will, at one point or another, be confronted with the task of doing some in-depth website analysis.  Sometimes you need to get an idea of the health of on-page elements, at others you want to do comparative analysis.  Often you may simple need a “bigger picture” view of what is going on with a site.   When posed with questions such as – Why has my traffic dropped this month?  To – What areas do I need to focus on for improvement in SERP rankings?  A search engine optimizer will need to sift through some data to better understand the exact circumstances of a website’s performance in order to make accurate and educated recommendations.

SEO Tools for Website Analysis - Page 1 Solutions

There are a number of tools on the market that help with the SEO analysis process, some free, some paid.  What are the programs that can help the most, or are easiest to use and understand?  The following are five of my all-time favorite SEO Tools to use for site analysis and research:

  1. Raven -  Raven Tools offers a paid set of marketing tools – their SEO Software is currently one of my favorite go-to programs for reporting.  Not only does it offer an immense amount of details and a wide range of reporting options, Raven Tools also makes it easy to incorporate your branding on reports.  It used to take me five or six open browser tabs to accomplish what Raven Tools can do with just one click.  It grabs the data, adds it to an easy to use reporting interface and makes accessing that data a snap with color graphics and clickable data links for delving further into the data it has retrieved.  A great tool and a huge time saver.  A busy SEOs dream.
  2. Google – Of course Google Analytics had to make my ‘top five’ list.  Any SEO who is not using Google Analytics is missing out on a boatload of valuable data.  You know the old saying that humans only use 20% of their brains?  Well, I kind of feel  the same way when I’m knee deep in numbers, digging through a client’s dashboard trying to figure out a current statistical anomaly.  It’s times like those when  I realize that most SEOs (including myself) only use a fraction of what Google Analytics can offer – there is just so much information to digest!   A girl (or boy) can get lost in there.  A word of advice – if you are using GA regularly, get certified by taking the  Google Analytics IQ Test and make sure you are using this tool to its greatest potential.   For research and statistics, it is second to none.  For reporting integration – it leaves something to be desired.  But to be fair, it’s not trying to be a branding tool like Raven Tools is – and for a FREE tool, it is one powerful vehicle.
  3. The Hubspot Marketing Grader – HubSpot’s Marketing Grader is a tool that analyzes your website and provides actionable insights to improve your online marketing tactics – for FREE!  It gives you insight into your on-page SEO (meta tag usage, headers, internal linking) as well as off site indicators like social media, blogging, and backlinks.  This is a one stop snapshot of how your site is doing, instantly!  A great place to start your research if you are not sure where to begin.
  4. Webmaster Tools (Bing  and Google ) – Often overlooked, Bing and Google webmaster tools are positioned to be one of the more info heavy (and reliable) of the data providers outside of Google Analytics.  While Bing may actually offer a bit more in the arena of data, both tools offer keywords, links, queries, and site issues so you can maintain a healthy web presence if you take the time to review the information within.  The tools are free, and super intuitive to use (unlike Google Analytics) so finding information fast is very doable from either of these interfaces.
  5. - This is another set of analysis software that is incredibly user friendly.  MySEOTool shows keyword rank, social media monitoring, and backlink statistics all from a very visually appealing interface.  Reports are easy to export in pdf format.  This tool is my favorite for showing local rank.  It has become a go-to favorite in my SEO toolbox.  Google webmaster tools is integrated in their newest release, so you get two great tools in one!
To learn more about SEO, website analysis, or if you need help with your internet marketing, contact one of our experienced digital marketers at Page 1 Solutions or call 800-368-9910!  We can help with any of your online marketing and SEO questions.
by Tammy Smith SEO Analyst, Page 1 Solutions, LLC

Day 1 at PubCon 2012 – G+ and Disavow Links

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

PubCon 2012 Las Vegas, NV – Day 1

Yesterday was the first full day of conference sessions at the PubCon conference in Las Vegas. True to Vegas style it was energetic and loud and full of pumped up music and flashing lights. The keynote, about the psychology of motives and persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini, was an informative introduction to the day ahead.

There were a lot of new people to meet, and an abundance of great information to be digested. I am proud to be a part of an industry that thrives on knowledge and has such passion for guessing the next piece of the puzzle in the game of SEO. As a whole, the SEO community is very exciting and forward thinking. Everyone I met on Tuesday was eager to share what makes them passionate and what gets them excited about working in this field. I was asked questions like: Do you find it difficult to traverse the Google landscape since the changes in local+? What types of A/B testing do you do with your websites and what has been the most influential revelation from that testing? How do you leverage Pinterest for a local small business? Do you Foursquare? Authorship and Search, how huge has that become, and where will it lead? It’s enough to make a nerdy girl like me giddy.

I am literally amazed at the amount of topics covered in just a few hours the first day at PubCon, and I’m grateful for the chance to be a part of such an inquisitive and passionate community.

Two big takeaways for me from the the first day of the conference:

  1. G+ linked content gets indexed faster than content linked from Twitter and Facebook (more about this to come in a follow up blog, but for now, know that it is pretty important to get set up on G+ and utilize it to promote your website and blog content.)
  2. Matt Cutts announced the ability to Disavow Links in Google Webmaster Tools (this is HUGE)

Matt Cutts announces the Disavow Tool

 Best quote of the day?

“Google is really making things complicated!” -Marcus Tober

I’m looking forward to Days 2, 3, and 4 – and sharing some of what I learn with you through this blog.

by Tammy Smith SEO Analyst, Page 1 Solutions, LLC

Bing Investing in Itself, Improving Webmaster Tools and Services

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Bing, the “little brother” search engine, has been ferociously revamping its’ services and image over the last few months and really throughout 2012. Through catchy advertisements, improvements in user interface and layout, social media implementation and even a point system that rewards users for “Binging”, Bing has gone all-in attempting to make ground on a search market largely dominated by Google. In fact, Bing has frequently gone the exact opposite route that Google has taken, possibly because those at Microsoft sense a small agitation over Google and the large corporation’s recent tactics and techniques.

Modern and Catchy Advertisements

While Google has always spent ample amounts on advertising and marketing their search engine and products, Bing wasn’t always as aggressive. However, recently Bing’s marketing team has really upped the ante, especially with television advertisements. Throughout 2012, Bing has targeted the young, web savvy crowd of internet users by using the newest and most popular music and bands to help display their services.

Below is just a small sample size of the bands and songs used in their ads in 2012 alone. Click the link to view the advertisement.

Webmaster Tools Update

Bing has made some excellent strides in upgrading and improving their Webmaster Tools with their dubbed “Phoenix” update. What was once the ugliest, most user-unfriendly layout ever has now become quite the opposite. By mimicking some of Google’s Webmaster Tools layout and adding some of their own pizazz and tools, Bing now provides webmasters with great feedback and allows them to more easily manage their site. The image on the right is a screenshot comparing the menus for Bing and Google Webmaster Tools, respectively.

Bing and Google’s Webmaster Tools now share many common tools and reports, such as:

  • Sitemap Submission and Review
  • Craw Error Reports (404, Access Denied, etc…)
  • Impressions and Clicks Data
  • Keyword Research and Data
  • Fetch as Google or Fetch as Bingbot
  • URL Removal and URL Parameters

While I’m not saying that Bing blatantly copied Google’s layout and techniques, it is pretty obvious where they got some of their creativity from. And why not? Webmasters have become quite familiar with Google’s Webmaster Tools for years now, and Bing is just filling in a gap. They are now on the same plane as Google in these offerings and reports.

Bing has also added new tools: SEO Reports, SEO Analyzer and Link Explorer. The Link Explorer is much more of a complete backlink tool than the links you can find in Google Webmaster Tools, which only shows links to the domain that you manage. Bing’s new Link Explorer is more closely related to the old Yahoo Site Explorer, and I feel/hope that eventually they will be one in the same. The SEO Reports tool, according to Bing,

“…will run an SEO report every other week for any domains verified in your account. Using approximately 15 SEO best practices to scan against, it prepares a report to tell you if you are in or out of compliance with the noted best practices.”

This is pretty awesome, with Bing’s SEO opinions and thought straight from their perspective to the webmaster. SEO Analyzer seems to be somewhat similar to the SEO Reports tool, but you may manually scan any URL from your verified domains to see about best practice compliance.

It is important to note that all of these new tools are still in Beta, so expect them to change frequently.

Facebook Integration and other Partnerships

In an effort to build upon their “Decision Engine” campaign, Bing implemented personalized search results “based on the opinions of your friends by simply signing into Facebook.” Searchers can now see results and opinions from your Facebook Friends via the right sidebar of Bing’s SERPs. While I don’t see the average searcher jumping to Bing simply for this reason alone, I think it’s a large step that Bing is taking that goes against the grain of Google’s efforts. While Google tries to force its own social media platform onto users, Bing embraced the most used social platform on the web and instilled it into its results. Facebook already used Bing Maps and Bing results in its’ search functionality, but this partnership shows that Bing is more dedicated to working with third party companies as opposed to buying them out or pushing them out of the market, a technique commonly used by Google. In a similar fashion, while Google pushed Yelp out of results and targeted Zagat, Bing partnered with Yelp and now displays Yelp reviews on their local and maps sections.

I think it’s interested that while Google pushes and elbows its’ way into practically every business medium that it can, Bing is taking the opposite route: partnering with the very same companies that Google failed at either partnering with or buying out.

I don’t care so much about the effect these updates will have on market share so much as the quality of the search results and the information that I can gather through Bing Webmaster Tools about my site. I personally am excited about the future of Bing if they continue in this direction, and that is something I never saw myself saying.