4 Tools That Will Shed Light on your SEO Effectiveness

4 Tools That Will Shed Light on your SEO EffectivenessIn school, relationships, and life, we always wonder where we stand. But when it comes to you the effectiveness of your website's SEO strategies, you don’t have to wonder about it (sorry, we can’t help out with those other three…).

Marketing agencies can help you figure out where your website stands when compared to other websites in your industry -- but there are individual tools you can use to put together a comprehensive picture of your standing, too.

Here’s an overview of four free industry tools to help shed some light on the SEO effectiveness of your website. Simply register with these tools and track them monthly to get a well-rounded progress report for your online marketing initiatives:

1. Google's PageRank

Google is still the king of SEO and website analytics, and for good reason: its tools track just about all of the activity around the web that you can imagine. Google’s PageRank is a number from 1 to 10 that ranks the authority and quality of your website. The algorithm is complicated, but the equation focuses on high quality content plus inbound links. The higher the number, the better.

Google’s PageRank is a great indicator of how popular and authoritative your website is, especially for content-heavy websites. You can use any number of tools to check this number, but we recommend PageRank Checker.

Now, there are a few downsides: your PageRank can change at any moment and for any reason, especially when Google makes its occasional search engine algorithm updates. For that reason, it’s good to keep an eye on your PageRank, but not to put 100 percent of your efforts into trying to increase it.

2. Domain Authority

Domain authority is a similar concept to PageRank. But rather than look mostly at inbound links, domain authority compares your links and content to other similar sites, and then ranks your site accordingly. This “ranking” helps explain why your website shows up in search results at the placement that it does. Monitoring this number over time will correspond with higher SEO rankings.

Moz’s Open Site Explorer is the best tool for taking a deep look at your website’s domain authority. You can also add up to five more domains and compare them, allowing you to keep a close eye on any particular competitors you’re trying to beat out of search engine results.

3. Page Authority

Where domain authority looks at your entire URL or domain, page authority looks at the strength of an individual page within your site and how likely it is to rank in search results. This is a particularly valuable tool for measuring the effectiveness of landing pages and sign-up pages within your site.

Moz’s Open Site Explorer is one tool that allows you to identify the page authority of a given URL, but there is also Small SEO Tools’ Page Authority Checker and Moonsy. Track this number in relation to your domain authority and PageRank for an overall view of how your marketing efforts are effecting your website placement.

4. Alexa Ranking

If you’re interested in comparing your rankings compared to others, look no further than Alexa Ranking. Alexa is an Amazon company and popular analytics tool that can show you how often visitors frequent your site compared to other sites.

Alexa is particularly popular in the blogging world, but has recently expanded to ranking just about every website type in terms of thousands and millions. For example, Google ranks as 1 on Alexa, where a less popular website might rank at 2,000,000. That means that Google is two million times more popular and likely to be navigated to than the site that ranks at 2,000,000.

You can shrink this number over time by building strong backlinks to your site and increasing your traffic. You can also use this number to analyze how popular your competitor’s or similar service’s website is to your site.

All of these statistics and sources of data can be overwhelming when you first dip your toe into tracking your online presence. If you don’t have time for that -- or if the thought of it hurts your brain -- your time is better spent working with a marketing firm that can automate and simplify the process for you.

Now, if only they made tracking tools for relationships…

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