You can audit your content in many ways—be it a quick-and-simple social media audit or a full-scale blog review. You can take the time to run the numbers yourself (a useful exercise!), or you can plug a URL into

I’m the type to always plug our Buffer blog URL into a tool to get feedback. If it’s free and simple, count me in.

I’ve bookmarked several of my favorites and dug up a handful of other useful graders and tools to come up with the 12 website graders, content scores, and social media ratings that you see below. Take them for a spin, and let me know which ones are most beneficial for you and your content!

website graders

Indispensable Grading Tools to Fine-Tune Your Marketing

The 7 most fascinating website reports – and all you have to do is type your url

1. Hubspot’s Marketing Grader

marketing-grade

Enter your blog’s URL and your email address, and press go. Marketing Grader will give you an overall score for your website, based on five categories:

  1. Blogging
  2. Social Media
  3. SEO
  4. Lead Generation
  5. Mobile

Each section has a checklist of items as well as grades for individual aspects of the category. For instance, Marketing Grader will check your blog for social share buttons, an email signup form, and an RSS feed, then it will grade the most recent five posts according to social shares.

Useful takeaway:

As part of its lead generation score, Marketing Grader measures blogposts and tweets that link to forms. The thinking is that the more opportunities you give a reader to clickthrough to an optimized landing page, the better off you’ll be for growing your list and collecting leads.

Recommendations for the Buffer blog:

  • Use @media queries or a mobile stylesheet
  • Set up marketing automation

2. Nibbler

nibbler

The free Nibbler test looks at a laundry list of site and blog characteristics—more than 24 high-level items—spitting out an overall score (on a scale of 1 to 10) and a list of improvements ordered by priority.

Useful takeaway:

The heading word cloud at Nibbler shows exactly which words we’ve been using most often in our headings and titles. We’re aiming to be a blog about social media tips, so it’s great to see “social” and “media” rank so highly. It’s also neat to see what other words we’ve been getting mileage out of without even knowing it (“minutes” and “good-looking” come to mind!).

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 9.04.39 AM

Recommendations for the Buffer blog:

  • Make our Facebook page and Google+ page visible from the blog
  • Offer an easy-to-print option
  • Provide a local presence by submitting the blog to local web directories
  • Fix code validation errors
  • Choose descriptive anchor text

3. Woorank

woorank-buffer-blog

WooRank’s free tool tests seven aspects of your site—SEO, mobile, usability, technologies, social, local, and traffic. They’ve got just about everything covered here. The final result is a score on a scale of 1 to 100 and a report that you can download as a pdf or slides to share with your team.

Useful takeaway:

WooRank analyzes the keywords on your site and whether or not they appear in important places. The top five keywords are checked for appearing in the site title, site description, and heading tag. It’s useful to see at-a-glance the opportunities for quick wins with optimizing your most important keywords.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 9.10.14 AM

Recommendations for the Buffer blog:

  • Connect the Buffer Twitter account to the page
  • Fix the code errors
  • Hide email addresses to avoid being spammed
  • Customize the 404 error page
  • Redirect non-www to www

4. Quick Sprout Website Analyzer

The free Quick Sprout tool lets you pull a little competitor research while grading your website, social media, and content. When you begin your test, you can add up to three other sites/blogs from your industry. The report will score all four sites (yours, plus three competitors) and rank them from first to last, with a breakdown of traffic score, SEO score, speed score, and social share score.

Here’s how Buffer compares to some of the sites we most admire:

quick-sprout-compare

Beyond the comparison scores, you also get a breakdown of your most popular content, and you can run the test for other websites, too, in order to see which content has been most highly shared on other blogs.

Useful takeaway:

Inside Quick Sprout’s main report, you can drill down into details on each factor. SEO, for instance, shows you recommendations on what to fix. Specifically, Quick Sprout recommends that <h1> headings are between 15 and 65 characters and that all images have descriptive alt tags.

Recommendations for the Buffer blog:

  • Use top keywords in title tags
  • Improve the load time on the page
  • Add a meta description to the blog homepage

5. W3C validator

_Invalid__Markup_Validation_of_http___blog_bufferapp_com__-_W3C_Markup_Validator

The previous graders on this list have been full of helpful, high-level marketing tips. The W3C Validator gives you straight-up fixes to make.

Run your site through W3C Validator, and see exactly which code errors appear on your website. The validator tool tells you the specific line of code in which the error appears. After the must-fix items, you also receive a series of warnings that could be worth checking into also.

Useful takeaway:

Many of of W3C’s warnings come across as helpful guidance. For instance, W3C recommends that each page have only one <h1> tag. This will typically be the headline of a blogpost or title of a page, and then other information—like calls-to-action or email signup forms—can take <h2> or <h3> headings instead.

Recommendations for the Buffer blog:

  • Double-check the way we add utm parameters to links
  • Fix an alt tag in our email signup form

6. Shopfiy’s Ecommerce Store Grader

ecommerce grader

Ecommerce sites can get quick feedback on SEO, store usability, content, social, and technical aspects by running the store URL through Shopify’s grader (you don’t have to have a Shopify store to run the free test). As you scroll down the results page, you can see all the areas where you succeeded or failed, how to fix the parts that are missing, and why each is important.

Useful takeaways:

Two items that Shopify identifies in its report are free shipping and a phone number. Free shipping, according to Shopify, can increase conversion rates. A phone number helps with phone orders and increasing customer trust.

Sample recommendations:

  • Add an XML sitemap to the store
  • Add alt tags to images
  • Include a privacy policy
  • Place a link to your Pinterest page on your homepage

7. Clarity Grader

Most of the above tools look at various marketing and technical aspects of your site. Clarity Grader checks the words themselves.

Clarity_Grader_Dashboard

The report details the language you use on the site, analyzing 20 pages to come up with some incredibly sharp linguistic insights.

  • Percent use of passive language
  • Readability score
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Cliches and jargon

(Note: When you run the tool, you also sign up for a free seven-day trial of Clarity Grader.)

Useful takeaway:

The “cliches and jargon” test at Clarity Grader has a ton of interesting insights. It’s amazing how often I’m tempted to use words that appear in this list.

common cliches

In addition to the cliches and jargon, you can change the “bad language” dictionary to show your score versus Complex Words, Legal Jargon, and Sexist terms.

Recommendations for the Buffer blog:

  • More sentences of fewer than 20 words
  • An average sentence length of 10 words

Do-it-yourself content scoring

How 6 major brands and websites grade their content

This next series of scores go a bit beyond simply typing your website URL and pressing Enter. Some of these are part of premium products or require a free account or ask you to be pretty proficient with spreadsheets. If you’re wanting to keep things free and easy, you can try the do-it-yourself route, and take inspiration from the way these tools score content.

1. Google’s Content Quality Score

Primary factors:

  • Quality and quantity of main content
  • Level of E.A.T. – Expertise, Authority, Trust
  • Reputation

Secondary factors:

  • Website information
  • Helpful supplemental content
  • Functional page design
  • Website maintenance

Terence Mace of Mace Dynamics wrote a detailed post about the signals of Google’s content quality score, a direct influence on how Google ranks pages in search results. Google does not promote the specifics of the score, so Terence did some digging, testing, and experimenting to come up with his list of factors.

Here’s a little more on three intriguing ones.

Quality and quantity of the main content depends on how well the content meets the purpose of the page. One interesting factor that Google may consider is dwell time, i.e. how long a person spends on a site after clicking a search result and before clicking back to the results page. The more dwell time, the better.

E.A.T. can include author rank, page rank, and a number of specific ways to measure trust (like the very untrustworthy footer text “domain is for sale”)

Reputation includes what others say about your or your company/brand online. These are some of the sources considered:

  • News articles
  • Wikipedia articles
  • Blog posts
  • Magazine articles
  • Forum discussions

2. LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score

Factors:

  • Impressions and views from those within your LinkedIn target audience
  • Impressions and views of competitor content
  • Engagement in LinkedIn Groups, updates, and posts

linkedin content marketing score

Available to its Marketing Solutions customers, the LinkedIn Content Marketing Score is a much-talked about system of measuring the impact of content. The end result is a three-part report.

  1. Quantifies your impact by measuring your engagement with your audience.
  2. Benchmarks your performance versus your peer set.
  3. Provides recommendations for improvement.

The score comes with filtering options, too, so you can see the score based on region, seniority, company size, job function, and industry.

3. Uberflip’s Content Score

Factors:

  • Page views
  • Shares
  • Landing visits
  • Call-to-action clickthroughs
  • Leads generated

Uberflip provides a way to collect your content into hubs that you can share on your website or blog. As part of their product, Uberflip offers a Content Score, which takes the five ingredients above, weighs them, aggregates them, and comes up with a score from 0 to 100 percent.

content-score-individual

4. Moz’s One Metric

Factors:

  • Unique visits
  • Thumbs up on a story
  • Comments
  • Facebook likes
  • Tweets
  • Google+ Plus Ones

The Moz One Metric combines the above factors to compare blogposts and score new content based on its performance relative to the average. So if a new blogpost gets more uniques, comments, and tweets than normal, its One Metric score will soar.

moz one metric

 

Moz outlined their entire process, and you can copy and edit your own version of the One Metric, customized with the stats and weights that are important to you. We’ve been using a Buffer version of the One Metric that also includes Time on Page, LinkedIn Shares, and syndication as part of the final score. (We built one for our social media content, too.)

5. BuzzFeed’s Viral Lift

Factors:

  • Social shares
  • Clicks
  • Views

BuzzFeed editors can see a simple overlay on all stories on the homepage. One of these stats is viral lift, a measurement of the number of times a story is shared (and clicked) per view from the website or an ad.

3001308-inline-clickstatsoverlay

 

 

 

The Contently blog followed up with some added context to some of the other factors that BuzzFeed considers. One of these factors is engaged time, specifically the percentage of the page that the reader has scrolled/read. BuzzFeed’s Ky Harlin explained how this metric impacts the content.

We treat each individual item in a list almost like its own article. So we’ll try to really figure out what people are engaging with and turn a list of 45 items to a list of 25 items without the duds, reordered to make it most likely to share.

6. Kapost’s Content Score

Factors:

  • All the steps taken by a user, from first interaction with the company to becoming a customer

Kapost has a great explanation for the way to score content in terms of generating leads. They assign a score to each step in the buyer journey—each piece of content that a future customer has engaged with.

The first step in the journey and the last step in the journey receive more weight than the steps in between.

The total score for the customer is 1, and each step gets a percentage of that number. For instance, if you were to assign the first and last steps 30 percent each, an example score might look like this:

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 10.15.09 AM

Where things get really interesting is when you begin to add up the scores for a large volume of customers. You can see a complete picture of the content that drives the most leads and has the biggest impact on customers. Also, you can split the score into campaigns (seeing the impact of various ads) and even blogpost authors.

Conclusion

What insights can you find about your website or blog? 

Do you have a system in place for scoring and tracking the performance of your content?

I’d love to hear what you learn from these tools and what you do for your website and blog. Please leave any thoughts you might have in the comments!

Image sources: IconFinder, Blurgrounds, Contently, Fast Company, Jay Mantri

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Written by Kevan Lee

Content crafter at Buffer. You can find me online, tweeting about my writing process, or at home, second-guessing football coaches. Live simply, give generously, beat cancer.

  • http://www.internetlocallistingsinc.com Internet Local Listings

    These are amazing! We tested out a couple and were actually pleasantly surprised at how the site did–it means our strategies have been working better than suspected. Definitely going to bookmark this for future reference!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Congrats! Very happy you found some good use out of these. I had a blast putting the list together!

  • Aristeidis Kypriotis

    Kevan, with posts like these your newsletter is quickly becoming me favourite online marketing newsletter …ever! 🙂

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi Aristeidis! Wow, thanks for the comment! I’m very glad to be providing value to you. 🙂

  • Fergal McGovern

    Kevan, nice roundup & many thanks for covering our @ClarityGrader tool. Another useful application of Bad Language dictionaries we’ve found is to spot brand inconsistencies in web copy especially in larger sites, and even comparing sites. You often see major inconsistencies in product language. For example, we found some major inconsistencies across health insurers: http://www.claritygrader.com/2013/08/consistent-us-health-insurance-websites/ Leading to serious brand risk. best, Fergal, CEO VisibleThread / Clarity Grader.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi Fergal! Thanks so much for the comment! I appreciate the extra info on consistency and copy. That’s a great one to keep in mind. 🙂

  • Pandian

    Awesome tools Kevan.. thanks a ton for sharing. u r the legend i admire these days for content curation 🙂

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Pandian!

  • http://oneskyapp.com Patrick Yip

    Thanks for sharing the tools that can make our websites awesome, Kevan! I just found these tools are cool for certain areas, but they all miss out the matter of localization. In the era of global web, it is beyond any doubt that any website must know more about its global reach. Regarding this, my company OneSky made a free appgrader to track the performance of a website in localization (https://www.oneskyapp.com/localization-grader/). Please feel free to check this out. 🙂

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Patrick! This looks like an excellent one to check out. Very interesting takeaways, it seems!

      • http://oneskyapp.com Patrick Yip

        Thanks for featuring my comment, Kevan! 😀

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleckohler Nicole Kohler

    This is a great list! I’ve never seen Clarity Grader before, but I kind of get the feeling it’s love at first sight with that one. Yesssss.

    We’re actually rebuilding one of our own website grader tools right now. I think the thing you run into sometimes with the more technical ones/SEO-based ones is that they can get outdated so, so fast since things are always changing (which is partly what we ran into — SEO factors we used initially simply don’t matter anymore, and new ones have popped up). But since there are so many superb free tools out there, website owners CAN piece together multiple reports to get a clear picture of where they need to improve, and that’s awesome.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      I’d love to see the tool when it’s ready, Nicole! Sounds amazing! And it seems like you’re all putting some great thought into the usefulness of tools like these, especially with the changing times. 🙂

      • http://twitter.com/nicoleckohler Nicole Kohler

        Thanks Kevan! I’ll try to remember to shoot you an email. I know our team’s been working super hard on it!

  • http://videoforbusiness.ca/ Jeff Pelletier

    Great tips, thanks!

    On a related note (speaking of grading content), I couldn’t help but notice that your blog is hosted on a subdomain instead of a folder on the primary domain which seems to go against commonly taught ‘best practices’. Are you able to give any insight into that decision?

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi Jeff! Thanks for the comment! Sharp eye! Yes, I think we’ve considered moving the blog over to a subfolder rather than a subdomain. The original decision of a subdomain predates me a bit; I think there might have been a little less ‘best-practice’ evidence back when the original set up was put in place. Sorry I don’t have more of a technical answer for you on this! Is a subfolder something that you’d recommend given your experience/research?

      • http://videoforbusiness.ca/ Jeff Pelletier

        As far as I know, subdomains provide absolutely no SEO ‘juice’ to the primary domain, whereas a subfolder does.

        The only time I can see using a subdomain is when you purposely want to separate content and when SEO is of little concern, such as a ‘members only’ section for clients or staff.

  • Dara Schulenberg

    Great roundup. I look forward to checking out Clarity Grader and have used the rest repeatedly. The only caveat I would add is to validate the reported data with GA and other tools, especially with Marketing Grader. My personal favorite is QuickSprout and the ease of the competitive analysis.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Dara! Agreed! And glad to hear you’ve found some value with Quick Sprout. 🙂

  • DirtCheapStartup

    57 errors on one page… I am not dev expert but, I think I may need to hire one =)

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Fascinating to see some of the results for the Buffer blog, too! Always room for improvement it would seem. 🙂

  • http://www.totdental.com/ Tot Dental

    Thank you very much for the contribution.

    I’ve been trying all afternoon links and I have been amazed at what I discovered.

    The links are really useful.

    I encourage all readers to devote some of your time to read the whole article, it’s essential.

    Regards from Tot Dental

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks!

  • Roger Campos

    Useful post! I too want to share!

    I urgently needed artists to very volume of work for
    external advertising. Because of the large debris on my work, we were unable to
    find artists and bosses do not recall this. We thought that everything will be
    fine, but that’s not how it turned out! As a result, we have had about three
    days when my colleagues and I came across a company Black and White Marketing.

    The problem they decided once they have almost the
    whole staff of professional artists. We are very pleased with this fact. We
    easily included in the budget that we have allocated. Artists worked 10-12
    hours a day. They had to draw a few dozen large tracks on certain subjects.

    But Black and White Marketing, coped well with their
    work and now we will go for help only to them. They proved in practice that
    customers can trust their company and they can rely on. By the way, I got
    promoted. Their advertising campaign successful.

    There was only one hitch, it turned out that the
    “considered” of our minds advertising – worthless. As a basis we took
    the same, but the whole context had to rewrite from scratch. Most importantly,
    the Black and White Marketing took this job and did everything on time. Very satisfied!

  • Krystian

    Hey Kev,

    I love this kind of lists… although I always feel that I’m a bit late for the party :/

    We also prepared a website grading tool (although it’s available from inside of our app – Positionly).

    https://positionly.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/on-page-check.gif

    Let’s make a deal – if you like it, we get the mention. What do you think? 😉

  • http://www.dareboost.com/ DareBoost

    Kevan, thanks for sharing these tools!
    I would be very glad to have your feedback on http://www.dareboost.com !
    We are focused on loading time, and we also integrate numerous quality checkpoints (W3C Validators too!).

    Here is a performance and quality report for the Buffer Blog : https://www.dareboost.com/en/report/54cce73ee4b0379770c9ca08

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Looks like a great one, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.moadrgeyi.com/ Moad Rgeyi

    Hi Kevan,

    Great article right there! I came across your piece while researching how to actually put together a grader tool in terms of coding your way through it.

    Do you happy to know of any online resources on the subject? would really appreciate it.

    regards,

  • Talia Escandar

    This was a great article, Kevan! Some of these (like HubSpot and Woorank) I was already familiar with, but there are a few new ones that proved to be extremely detailed (with ‘easily digestable’ information). For only taking a quick “nibble” of client sites, Nibbler was more comprehensive than expected. Working my way down the list but appreciate the share. Nice to see your own results as samples, to understand some of the high level differences between the sources.

  • Chelsea Hutson

    Thank you so much for this list! I have been looking everywhere for websites that will grade my blog! This is exactly what I needed.
    http://www.chelseashootspeople.com

  • http://www.testlauncher.com/ Jason Hamilton-Mascioli

    Wow, great list and will check out @patrickyip:disqus localization grader for sure. Often graders lack checking for issues with regards to UI, mobile responsiveness and bugs across devices that manual testers can detect (or sometimes your users). We have created a free website and app grader that connects to our on demand manual testers and technology providers including some of the sites above to give a full health report and analysis. See for yourself… https://www.testlauncher.com/appgrader

  • Stefano G V FaNo

    I’ve added a Website Graders category to ToolSalad.com with more up-to-date information. Check it out!