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.
2. Check the page Meta Tags:
Naturally, the main focus is on the title tag and meta description but other tags do matter too:
- Web based: SEOworkers SEO Analysis Tool;
- FireFox addon: Web Developer Toolbar (Information tab -> View the document 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:
- 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“):
4. Check the page keyword prominence
This way you will get an idea which keywords that post was optimized for:
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:
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).
- 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:
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;
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.
- 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.
The guest post is by Ann Smarty, Director of Media of Search & Social as well as SEO consultant.