DemandZEN’s Marketing Tool of the Month: Website Grader

Website Grader - Tool of the Month March 2017

Finding the right tools for your business takes time. There are always new problems to solve, new metrics to track, and new challenges to face.

Every month, we highlight one tool that solves a different business problem. That way, you can learn about tools that could help you meet your business goals without the stress. In this post, we’ll focus on the Website Grader by HubSpot.

Website Grader

Website Grader is a free marketing tool powered by HubSpot that grades your site for key metrics such as performance, responsive design, SEO, and security. After inputting your site, it will give you a score on each of the key metrics and sub-metrics so you know how your site is performing at a glance. It’s a quick and easy way for digital marketers to get an idea of where their website stands and how they can improve it.

Performance

In Website Grader, the “performance” metric is made up of three main metrics that directly impact user experience and your SEO rankings. Performance is also determined by a few simple settings that boil down to “boxes to check.”

The first metric Website Grader considers is page size. The larger the page size, the slower the load time. Since Google’s search algorithm is concerned with user experience, the load time of a page is an important ranking factor for SEO. Subsequently, the slower the page loads, the more likely that Google’s search algorithms will negatively rank the site.

The number of HTTP requests your website makes is the second metric that makes up performance. The more requests your website makes, the slower it will load. Website Grader will tell you how many HTTP page requests your site is making and give you tips on how to minimize the request number.

The final metric within Performance is load time itself. Website Grader recommends your site load in 3 seconds or less to minimize site abandonment.

Website Grader - Page Speed

The “boxes to check” include confirming simple page settings are in place such as browser caching (for speeding up the website), page redirects (which can add an additional loading cycle), compression for JavaScript and CSS, and render blocking for script that interferes with loading content located above the fold.

Mobile

Mobile traffic has increased exponentially over the years and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Google is prioritizing mobile-ready sites in their search rankings and is using mobile-readiness as an SEO metric.

The Website Grader tool also lets you know if your site is responsive as well as if your website’s viewport is set up correctly for mobile users.

SEO

The Website Grader SEO metrics are also pretty basic, but for a free tool, it’s a great way to get started on your SEO journey. It searches for unique page titles, meta descriptions, headings, and a site map.

It is worth it to note that the SEO grader does not grade your entire site. Website Grader only grades the URL that you enter. For a full site SEO audit, you will likely want to look at paid programs such as Moz or SpyFu.

Security

For security, the Website Grader checks to see if you have an accurate SSL certificate. An SSL certificate secures any website that transmits information. This could be something as simple as a form with first name, last name, and email for a whitepaper, or as complex as an eCommerce shopping site.

Not only is the SSL certificate important for securing data and giving your prospects faith in your company, but not having an SSL certificate will negatively affect your search rankings as both Google and Bing have made it an important part of their SEO algorithms.

 

Summary

Website Grader is a go-to tool when you need to optimize a page quickly. You get just what you need for quick fixes and easy wins.

The tool is basic in its functionality and doesn’t provide advanced services such as keyword research or competitive analysis. It does, however, point out key areas where you can implement changes quickly to see improved results for free. Simply put, it’s a must have for any digital marketer.

Click here to see which marketing tool was spotlighted by DemandZEN last month.