Hollinden Inbound Marketing for Professional Service Firms

Going Organic: Three Tools to Help Refine Your Search Strategy


There's nothing quite like a sudden Google algorithm update to leave organic search results in a state of uncertainty. It almost seems like Google waits for sites to get their content optimized and then unleashes an update that sends the sites plummeting to the nether lands. All is not lost, there are a number of great tools out there - some free, some paid - that can help you view your firm’s site the way Google sees it.

These tools are critical to any organic search strategy, allowing you to focus on the elements of your site that Google deems most critical. This post is the beginning of a series presenting three tools that all help you run a site analysis smoothly and efficiently.

1. Google's Webmaster Tools

Cost: Free
Purpose: Website Analysis

Perhaps the best way to understand the way Google sees your site is to ask Google. Google’s Webmaster Tools aren't just for webmasters. They include beginner-friendly tools and resources that explain the fundamentals of Google search.

One of the tools is Fetch as Google which allows you to see a particular URL as Google sees it –critical when troubleshooting poor SEO performance. The information returned can help you understand why the page is not performing up to par, identify modifications for better search results, and can even help isolate problematic code when you believe your site's been hacked.

Another great feature of Google Webmaster Tools is PageSpeed Insights. Yes, speed does matter This SEO tool measures the performance of a site in terms of speed. With mobile search queries overtaking desktop searches, page speed is critical if you want a visitor to linger.

"PageSpeed Insights evaluates how well a page follows common performance best practices and computes a score from 1-100 that estimates its performance headroom," according to Google. That score can be Good (80+); Medium (60 - 79); or Low (0 - 59).

2. HubSpot's Website Grader
Cost: Free
Purpose: Website Analysis

Website Grader generates personalized reports based on the following four key metrics:
Performance- analyzes a site's page size, requests, speed, and similar key SEO metrics.
Mobile Readiness- determines if a site is mobile-friendly – in terms of responsiveness and viewport settings
SEO – determines if a website is easy to find -- both by humans and bots. It takes factors like page titles and meta descriptions into consideration.
Security – a relatively new requirement of Google is the secure setting (https). This serves as a way to prove to visitors that your site is both authentic and safe for contact information submissions.

Type your url into the link and check out your score (1-100), along with a detailed report. {Note: If you are a client of Hollinden’s, this is part of our standard protocol.}

3. Check My Links
Cost: Free
Purpose: Link Optimization

Check My Links is a broken-link checker. Since Google’s bots and crawlers go through a site, including links, having a broken link hurts a site’s search engine rankings. Sometimes, it’s simple things like a page being renamed or moved. However, if your site contains links to external sites, it’s quite difficult, if not impossible to keep track of something beyond your control. This tool gives you a visual, highlighting good links in green, and broken links in red.

Look for our follow up blogs with more tools you can use.