The speed of a website is a very important factor for providing a better browsing experience to visitors (which directly effects the success of a website).
Specially, after Google announced that "speed" became one of the elements in its search ranking, it is clear that web designers/developers should be focusing more on this.
GTmetrix is a free and online website speed analyzer which uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo YSlow as the analyzing engines and display their results + recommendations online.
It enables you to compare multiple URLs and, once signed up, you can:
- view the past tests ran to compare with the current results
- schedule daily/weekly/monthly automated checks
- save reports
- set any report to be public or private
GTmetrix also has a bookmarklet which you can run a test for any website with a click.
Many websites are using Ajax requests to interact with databases, load content, etc. in order to stay dynamic without page refreshes.
However, any content loaded with Ajax can not be viewed inside the "source of the website" which ends up in non-crawlable web pages.
Google is sharing a detailed information on "making Ajax applications crawlable" which shows how the search engine sees the web pages and things to improve that.
Google simply asks us to:
- use "#!" signs after any URL that generates content with Ajax (like: www.example.com/ajax.html#!mystate)
- create the HTML without Ajax (besides the Ajaxed version) when www.example.com/ajax.html#!mystate is browsed
- update the website's sitemap with the new URLs
The ! sign will be indicating that the content at that part of the web page is Ajax crawlable and Google will crawl the URL (which generates the HTML content) and add it to its search results as a part of the web page.
Although it seems pretty complicated, considering how important it is to getting indexed by Google, it is (almost) a must for Ajaxed websites.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit is a free tool from Microsoft for improving a website’s relevance in search results.
It simply analyzes a website & recommends how to make your new or existing site content/structure more search engine-friendly.
Some features of SEO Toolkit:
full-featured crawler engine
query builder interface that allows you to build custom reports
display of detailed information for each UR
ability to manage robots.txt file
ability to manage sitemap.xml file
It requires an IIS7 enabled computer to run which is basically Vista, Windows 7 or Server 2008. After that it can analyze any local or remote website.
P.S. Besides standard installation, SEO Toolkit can be installed easily using the Microsoft Web Platform.
Requirements: IIS7 enabled computer
GoingUp! is a free web-based website statistics service with powerful SEO features.
The service has a slick Ajaxed interface & offers a complete analytics package with web stats, referring keywords, action/goals & more.
GoingUp! tracks every activity & presents data nicely with charts, heatmaps, flags (for countries), etc.
Some of its SEO features are:
- Inbound Link Monitoring
- Google Page Rank Tracking
- Alexa Rank Tracking
- Keyword Research
- Keyword Position Tracking
- Page Optimizer Tool
- Keyword Density Tool
The service also has some other free SEO tools like "bulk domain analyzer" or "link & SEO optimizer" which can be used directly without the need of signing up.
Requirements: No Requirements
Exactfactor is a free web based service that enables you to analyze the positions of keywords of a website in major search engines.
It lets you to add competitors & compare your website’s results with a competitor.
Another nice feature is the ability to add alerts. You can get alerts when:
- keywords you mentioned become the top 1, top5, etc. in the search engines
- your website beats a competitor for the given keywords
Exactfactor is very easy to use with a clean interface & considering search engines are the most important "factors" of traffic, the service is definitely helpful.