To Grade or Not To Grade. Online Website Grader Tips
Even though I own a Search Engine Optimization (SEO), web and marketing company, you would be surprised how many emails or visits I have with people trying to sell me websites with the pitch of being able to show me my “Website Grade”. I cannot help but laugh. Not the “LOL” laugh but the “LMFAO” laugh….
Are people really going around selling websites based on an online website grader? The answer is yes and the explanation for which I’m not completely sure. In an effort to understand this more clearly, I did some research and found that most companies that do this are not media or web companies. They are companies that are trying to break into the industry by building cheap sites at exorbitant costs. In a recent article I posted I stated that most companies out there that try to sell web design, or what they claim is web design, either outsource your work out
of state or out of the country. Why? Because it is cheaper to outsource than to have an in-house designer. Some of these companies that do the websites in-house just charge you an insane amount of money and use online web-based website building platforms that don’t work. Website companies will use these Website Graders as selling tools figuring that most sites will get a low score and jump on the fact that the sales person is promising their customers a higher grade. Would you trust a gas station that was advertising web design, or a pizza place that was advertising SEO? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Let the professionals handle what their profession is.
Do the graders really work? Are they a fit for most companies out there?
I think not. One thing I do is a lot of research. My research in this case tells me more are against this then for it. Some website graders take a good amount of points off if you do not have a Twitter accoun Really? Fewer points for not being on Twitter? I can see a restaurant, bar, actor or entertainer (to name few) being on Twitter but is this really what a website should be based on? Shouldn’t it be based on more than being on one social media network? Think about it is someone really going to follow a dentist or chiropractor on twitter to see whose teeth they pulled or backs they cracked? Im not saying that in a negative way but I can think of ten things off the top of my head to do for those types of clients that will boost SEO and visits than putting them on twitter.
Don’t get me wrong, some of these website graders can help provide you with a better understanding of what to improve, but should not be something you live by and go about designing or upgrading your site or marketing structure on. Some ways to help improve your place on the World Wide Web: Look at where and what you want to improve; Track your current stats on the site; Define some search terms you want to add; Work on your page structure and branding of the site.
True Story: A little over a year ago I built a website for a client. The client went from spending $12,000/Year on web, SEO, Pay Per Click, etc. I took their online marketing plan and set them up with a number of different tactics to save them a few bucks; SEO, better design, better page structure, online local profiles, and maps. By the next year they saved 50% of what they were spending with other online advertising. Their SEO and marketing on search engines was doing amazing in all of the keywords they wanted. When I ran a test on some website graders the client scored a 56%. 56%? With his tracking report he was reaching well over 50% of the hits he was getting with his old plan. So does that mean his website is bad? Absolutely not.
I know there are many website grading and website ranking tools out there. All of them have a great amount of useful information which helps you in evaluating some information on your website and in some cases even give you a web score, SEO advice and more. But all of these are just tools and in no way a solution towards fixing or upgrading anything on your site. It has been known and proven that some of these website graders will not tell you some of the most important SEO tactics that will help boost your SEO and visits.
Here is an interesting paragraph I found online: “So let’s play worst case scenario, someone with a website who just discovered SEO finds a website grader, runs it on their website and gets a “good score”. They figure their website is good enough and leaves things alone. Chances are that a person won’t have the luxury of defensible traffic that engadget does, and could really use the extra traffic that SEO can bring to the party.”
True Fact: People have gone mad…