How many times have you felt like a zombie after trolling through mountains of site data for hours on end?
Everything begins to blur, and the metrics blend together, until all you are left with is a vacant stare and a desire for food. At that point, if someone placed a human brain on a plate in front of you, you’d mindlessly eat it, and probably crave more.
The cure for SEO zombification when you’re faced with deep SEO analysis is beyond the scope of this post, as it involves heavy geek artillery, but there are ways to avoid the zombie death grip if you only need quick facts and a basic overview of a site’s SEO health. Don’t pull out the big gun SEO tools when you need a fast site snapshot or you’ll be sucked into the vortex of endless data.
Instead, grab the pertinent facts from a few browser extensions and bookmarklets, for a quick, fast food SEO zombie meal.
Browser Bookmarklets and Extensions
Just yesterday, someone asked me to quickly assess a site’s problems. By “quickly”, I mean “right now”, of course.
Since I was already deeply mired in another site audit, and my brain was well into the zombie stage, I decided the best and quickest way to answer that question was to utilize a few of my Chrome browser’s SEO bookmarklets and extensions. Within a couple of minutes, I had a suitable answer, and I could delve back into the original audit quagmire.
Later, though, I wondered if the bookmarklets and extensions I rely on were still the best around. It’s been a couple of years since I checked, so I went on the hunt for new ones.
As it turned out, the ones I’d been using were still some of the best, but I did find a couple new tools that I’ll keep around to give me a clearer picture of a site’s issues without giving up the SEO fast-food time limits I need in such situations.
To Kill a Zombie…
To evaluate the various tools, I chose to use the CDC’s main zombie page. Next, I used my own old standby browser tools to evaluate it.
First up, the SEO Site Tools extension. This little beauty gives a lot of quick info including on-page and external metrics, social media info, server info, and lots more. Flipping through each section, I can see page elements such as title and meta description, external data such as the number of domain links and number of indexed pages, and quite a bit more bite-sized bits of info. It’s a solid extension that I use often.
Next, I pulled up the SEO Bookmarklet to get another quick view of the specific on-page factors. Lots of tools are also linked to in the bookmarklet results, but honestly, I usually skip those as they tend to lead me into that morass of data that I’m trying to avoid.
Those are the only two browser tools I’ve been using, so now let’s take a look at the two new ones I found in my search.
Website and SEO Analysis is an extension that is somewhat similar in my mind to SEO Site Tools. Although it gives less information, it provides a nice “all in one screen” set of domain metrics, which is perfect for a really quick glance. Instantly, I can see PageRank, Alexa Rank, Compete Rank, number of pages indexed, number of backlinks, and the main social media share numbers. This one is perfect for really quick SEO fast food.
The last Chrome extension that I felt deserved to be added to my arsenal was Woorank’s SEO and Website Analysis. This baby really packs a punch. It gives far more detail than any of the others, and yet, despite the lengthy results it gives, it still qualifies in my mind as SEO fast food.
There is, however, one major drawback with using this one. If you aren’t paying for one of Woorank’s plans, with the cheapest being $49/month, you will be limited to running just one (1) site review per week. That’s not a problem for me, as I rarely need to use this type of tool more often than that, but if you plan to compare sites, for example, you’d run into a brick wall after the first run.
Despite that drawback, the data you get back is substantial, without being a zombie-creator. Here’s what it presented for the CDC zombie page. Sorry for the huge graphic. You’ll need to click it to see it in its entirety, but it’s worth taking a peek.
Lots of juicy tidbits of info at the domain level are shown. Social stats, including the last few tweets are a nice touch. Mobile rendering and technology used is something really relevant these days.
All of the expected on-and-off page metrics are shown, with some nice additional data about each included. Top keyword rankings and competitors are shown, as well as security, trust factors, and more. I wish it wasn’t just domain-specific info, as there are times I want-page specific data, but it’s definitely a nice long, but concise view of the domain, so it will be a tool I’ll utilize when needed.
Those Chrome browser extensions and bookmarklets give me just what I need to quickly assess a site’s SEO health at a high level, without making me feel as though I’ve become one of SEO’s “living dead”.
I know there are many more bookmarklets and extensions available that give this kind of high-level fast-food SEO site info, and I may be missing out on some really great ones, so if you have another that you prefer, I’d love to hear about it.