Jun 6, 2024

What Is SEO Score: How To Calculate It & Improve It

What Is SEO Score: How To Calculate It & Improve It
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Do you want to rank on top? I guess you do!

So, whether you are seriously working on optimizing your website or just want to get an overview of its SEO friendliness, calculating your SEO score is a handy indicator of where you stand.

What Is SEO Score?

An SEO score measures how your website's on-page and technical elements contribute to search engine optimization.

Getting a high SEO grade means your website is up to date with all the backend and user-facing aspects for searchability and user experience.

On the other hand, a low score is a warning. So then, you need to delve into all the details of your SEO score report to see what needs to be fixed for better performance.

Why Is A Website SEO Score Important?

Checking your website’s SEO score offers a quick overview of its health, mainly from a technical SEO and on-page SEO perspective.

However, Google's algorithm does not actually take your SEO score into account.

So why worry about it?

Simply because all factors that contribute to a high SEO score coincide with Google’s quality standards for indexability and visibility.

But there’s more to it.

Achieving a high score assesses your SEO readiness for any other digital marketing campaigns you wish to run. It ensures that your paid ads investment has a high ROI potential and a higher landing page dwell time.

And the best part? It's free!

How To Calculate Your Website SEO Score?

There are various free tools for calculating your SEO score. They all use similar rating factors, but some analyze your website in more depth and detail than others.

No matter what, running an SEO quality score test on a set schedule helps you take a deeper look into your website’s health and proactively fix any SEO issues before hurting your SERP positioning.

That said, here’s my choice of free SEO checkers to calculate your SEO score.

Some Free SEO Score Checkers

To check your website score, try these free tools to see which serves your current needs best. Note that you may be asked to create a free account or have admin access to the website’s Google Console account.

As you might expect, those free reports are limited (some more than others), but they can give you a pretty good idea of your SEO scoring and basic performance issues.

So, here they are:

Want to find more tools? Just google “Free SEO score checker,” and you will get a list of alternatives.

With your SEO performance score at hand, it’s now time to start improving it.

How To Improve Your SEO Score?

Improving your SEO grading means working on the 4 SEO score factors:

  1. Technical
  2. Content
  3. User Experience
  4. Mobile Usability

Do they sound familiar? I thought so!

But there’s a catch: to score a 100, you need to work on every little detail of your SEO score report. Some issues are quick and easy fixes, while others require more diligent effort.

If you are relatively new to SEO, here are the most common issues that affect your score.

How Does Technical SEO Affect My SEO Score?

Technical SEO issues are the most important SEO score factors as they affect a site’s accessibility, crawlability, and indexability. They also address security issues.

The trick to avoid the majority of technical concerns is to work on your technical SEO from the beginning, i.e., in the development stage of your website.

In light of this, let’s delve into the details of the most common technical issues that can lower your SEO score.

Optimized URLs

All your URLs must be search engine friendly and make sense to human users, too. Things that affect URL quality include:

  • Spelling mistakes
  • Unnecessary characters
  • Invalid syntax, like backslashes or invalid protocols
  • Underscores instead of dashes
  • Multiple rel=canonical tags
  • Long URLs or URLs that exceed the maximum length allowed

Security & Validation

It’s essential to keep your website safe for you and your visitors and communicate this to Google. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Ensure your domain is never flagged as unsafe.
  • Maintain a valid SSL certificate covering all types of pages and transactions on your site.
  • See that your subdomains are equally secure.
  • Maintain your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript error-free.

Server Response

Before your website goes live, choose a fast and reliable server and investigate hosting alternatives like a dedicated server, a content delivery network (CDN), etc.

Moreover, you must check and fix any 4xx and 5xx status errors.

4xx Status Errors

Such errors indicate that a webpage cannot be accessed due to some human-caused reason. 404 errors are probably the most popular, indicating that a particular page cannot be found.

404s occur when a webpage that used to be live is now unpublished and its URL hasn’t been redirected. Or when a user simply makes an error when typing a URL.

5xx Status Errors

These errors indicate that the server is not able to perform a user or crawler request for various reasons. If you spot a 500 to 510 error on your SEO grading analysis, you must contact the server administrator.

Indexability

It’s a no-brainer that your pages must first be indexed by search engines in order to rank. So, try to keep up with Google’s indexability checklist that includes:

1. Sitemap(s)

Updated, error-free sitemaps raise your SEO quality score and help Google crawl your site more efficiently.

Make sure you indicate your sitemap’s location in your robots.txt file and in Google Search Console. Also, try to keep your sitemap short. If needed, make separate sitemaps for different parts or elements of your website, like image sitemaps.

Don’t forget to delete any HTTP URLs from your sitemap if your website runs on HTTPS to avoid downgrading your SEO score due to conflicting security signals.

And remember: your sitemap should include only your ‘good’ pages, i.e., pages you want human users to visit.

Delete URLs of pages with similar content, redirects to external sources, orphan pages URLs and anything else that doesn’t make sense.

2. Structured Data Markup

The SEO score of your website is also affected by structured data markup.

Ensure that your structured data follows Google guidelines, meets the latest standards, and is error-free. This will also help you appear in rich snippets.

3. Nofollow/Noindex

As their name suggests, these attributes tell Google and other search engines not to pass any link equity to the referred webpages (rel=nofollow) or not to index a page or file that belongs to your website (rel=noindex).

Today, many SEOs argue that a balanced use of no follow and follow attributes denotes a balanced page and a high SEO quality. Nevertheless, this does not directly affect your SEO grading.

4. Redirects

301 redirects (permanent redirects) are a great way to maintain your rankings when you delete original content and avoid 404 errors at the same time.

But you need to keep them under control. Too many 301 redirects are bad for your SEO score, so remove them when their ranking has faded. Plus, check that you don’t accidentally create redirect chains and loops.

Finally, when you mark temporary 302 URLs, remember to erase them when they are no longer necessary.

Once you’ve nailed the technical aspects of your website SEO scoring, you then need to focus on your content.

Why Is SEO Content Score Important?

A page’s SEO score deals with content and meta-content, in other words, with what users actually see.

Quality content matching your page title and description increases visitor dwell time and engagement and reduces bounces and exit rates. These are all signs that your content is relevant and valuable.

For a high SEO content score, you should work on these areas:

Content Quality

Your main content should be easy to read. Separate it into smaller sections and add headings with the appropriate H tag. Also, ensure you have more text than code for a good HTML-text ratio.

Plus, ensure that there are no spelling mistakes.

Headings, Titles, And Descriptions

Even though they may be similar, ensure that each page has <title> tag and an H1 heading at the top.

Always add relevant meta titles and meta descriptions on your pages aligning with the current character limit. Remember: using either too many or too few characters can lower your SEO score.

Unique Content

For a better SEO score, always check that every page of your website has unique content and meta-content, as well as a unique page title.

On-Page Links

On every page, balance internal links with grace:

  • Do not overwhelm visitors with too many links on a single piece of content.
  • Ensure you have more than one incoming internal link, especially to pages with important content.
  • Check that your internal links and image links are not broken.
  • Add descriptive anchor text for your links.

Working diligently on your content boosts SEO scoring and enhances the overall user experience with your website and brand.

Why Does User Experience Matter For SEO Scoring?

Here’s the thing: All the elements that improve your page SEO score also account for a positive user experience.

But, depending on your visitors, your industry, and your marketing goals, you can also monitor some additional features, for example:

User-Friendly Visuals

Ensure you include relevant, quality visuals that follow the current size and format standards without slowing down your pages. Plus, don’t forget to add descriptive alt tags.

User-Friendly Navigation

Make a thoughtful and well-organized link hierarchy that makes sense and also accounts for a higher SEO score.

And there’s a good reason why!

By following a logical site structure and clear topic clusters, you facilitate your users to find their way around your site effortlessly!

Also, always place your most important pages 2-3 clicks away from your home page and other popular site sections.

But here’s the thing: you need to provide a good user experience on both your site's desktop and mobile versions.

How Does Mobile Usability Impact SEO Site Score?

Today, mobile devices receive about three times more website visits and unique visitors than desktops. So, to get the most out of your website, you must provide a positive experience to all visitors and devices.

On top of that, a mobile-friendly website is a serious ranking factor. And it also affects your overall SEO site score.

Today, the 3 SEO pillars of mobile usability are the following:

Responsiveness

All site content should be optimized for mobile screens and operating systems.

Touchscreen Ready

Your website must include touchscreen functionalities like tapping and scrolling.

Fast Page Load

All your pages and other website elements need to load fast on every mobile platform.

Providing a great mobile experience on your website is a great way to attract more visitors and keep them coming again and again.

Sounds daunting? Well, you don’t really need to do everything on your own. My team and I are here to help.

Elevate Your SEO Score

At Atropos Digital, we know that a good SEO score is far more than a number. In reality, it shows that your entire website abides by the latest SEO standards and has the greatest potential to reach the top places for targeted searches.

A high SEO grade equals a positive user experience. It also enables you to run any other digital marketing campaigns with confidence.

Sounds exciting? Let us do the hard work so you can reap the fruit of your SEO-perfect website and grow your business organically.

Book a strategy call with our SEO experts.

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