I had a client contact me the other day concerned over an “SEO score” she received. I should preface that the client has done very well with her online marketing and SEO campaign. She is driving significant traffic, leads, and new cases through her online efforts. However, she came across a website recently that professed it would distill her SEO efforts down to a “score” so could see “how well she was doing”.
This particular site, although there are many like it, asks you to enter your website address and it will create an SEO report as well as a score. Here is the report it produced:
The report offers that our client has a score of 61.9%. The percentage itself appears to be an arbitrary percentage which they assign. They offer no frame of reference as to how they are coming up with the percentage or even context regarding what it is based on (is this percentage a comparison to all other sites that registered with the tool? all sites on the web?). The remainder of the report provides additional information about the site, some of which is either incorrect or incomplete.
The Problem With These Sites & Scores
The issue I have is that SEO is far too nuanced and complicated to simply distill down to a single “score” or “percentage” in order to understand how a site is performing.
I would argue that besides the random percentage or “score”, this report might be able to provide value if they gave us some context of what the scores mean or suggestions for areas of improvement, but the report offers neither of those things. It regurgitates stats pulled from Alexa, which has it own problems when measuring data for smaller, local-based websites, or other free online tools. Many of the items presented are trivial in the overall picture of your SEO performance.
Good SEO is not a commodity product, it’s a service. The value of an SEO program should be measured in increased traffic, leads, and business for the firm. Not a score on a free website.
Do Websites Like This Offer Any Value?
I would suggest that if you choose to use these types of tools, you interpret the results of the report with a grain of salt. I wouldn’t get too hung up on the specific “score” you are given. At best, they can offer a few suggestions to improve elements of your site. However, they will not reveal how many leads or how much revenue your SEO campaign has generated which at the end of the day is the true measure of your online marketing success.