On-Site Evaluation in Action: What, Where and How

by Ann Smarty August 17th, 2009 

As much as I love SEO tools and extensions, I assume my reviews often lack some practical application. This post is meant to be an actionable checklist aiming to explain what and how to check when doing basic on-page SEO analysis:

1. Check the page HTTP headers:

Make sure the server handles all requests properly – by this you will both achieve better crawl rate and higher rankings.

Tools:

Check HTTP headers

2. Check the page Meta Tags:

Naturally, the main focus is on the title tag and meta description but other tags do matter too:

Tools:

meta tags

3. Check page headings

H1-H6 tags are meant to semantically mark-up the page to show its headings and sub-headings. When done properly, when taken separately they make up the page outline:

Tools:

  • Web-based: w3 Semantic data extractor structures a document based on H tags usage:
  • FireFox extension: Web Developer FireFox extension gives the page semantic outline (accessed via: “Information” => “View Document Outline“):

page headings

4. Check the page keyword prominence

This way you will get an idea which keywords that post was optimized for:

Tool:

Ranks Keyword Density and Prominence Tool analyzes a page most prominent 1-, 2- and 3-word phrases by looking at the page copy, meta tags, h-headings, etc:

keyword prominence

5. Check page outbound links

The four things to analyze here are:

  • External versus internal links;
  • Broken links;
  • Page link anchor text;
  • The abilities to transfer the link juice (nofollow attribute, pages blocked via Robots.txt or meta tags).

Tools:

  • SEOquake FireFox toolbar shows the links overall number: external links versus internal links. When clicked, each number expands to a detailed report listing all links and fecthing essential info for each (Google PR, links to each page based on Yahoo SiteExplorer, etc);
  • Link Evaluator (web-based alternative: LinkValet) is a FireFox addon that shows the linking page header status code by color: green – 200 OK , red – not working;
  • Fangs is the accessibility toolbar that creates a page outline based on H1-H6 headings and link anchor text;
  • FoxyRank is a FireFox addon that lets you easily analyze how much PageRank is passed through a web page as well as visualizing the analysis on page:

Fangs

6. Check page images

Take a few minutes to look at the image alt texts, sizes and file paths:

Tool: Web Developer FireFox: Toolbar offers an array of image analyzing tools:

  • display alt attributes;
  • display image sizes;
  • display image paths;
  • find broken images;

Image analysis

7. Check page load time

Make sure both the user and the search bot don't have to wait too long for your page (elements) to load.

Tools:

  • Web based: Web Page Speed Report provides exhaustive information on a page size and load time inluding total page size, JavaScript size, total size of all images, etc.
  • FireFox addon: Firebug Net tab: Each file there has a bar which shows you when the file started and stopped loading relative to all the other files.

load time

The guest post is by Ann Smarty, Director of Media of Search & Social as well as SEO consultant.

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is a blogger and SEO consultant and professional blogger. Check out Ann's personal project My Blog Guest - the forum meant to connect guest bloggers to blog owner for plenty of mutual benefits. Ann also provides guest blogging services.

SEOsmarty.com

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6 Responses to “On-Site Evaluation in Action: What, Where and How”

  1. hi,

    This on page optimization technigue very use ful which will help in SEO .

    There are off page optimization also

  2. Yes Ann, this was very practical useful information. Love all the tools.

    Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the post Ann. Great info plus adding in links to tools you use was very helpful. Have you found that FoxyRank actually shows different pagerank on links on a page? I tried it out on several pages and I was hoping it would show for example the H1 heading link was PR4 and the content links were a PR2 etc versus all links showing the same PR as the page.

  4. andkon says:

    Very Useful step by step guide. I will surely bookmark this to review again and again…Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Javs says:

    This post can be one of the best resources to explore and innovate the various on page techniques for a website. Cheers