Practical Ecommerce

The PEC Review: WooRank Website Analysis Tool

Search engine optimization (SEO) is changing. As search engines like Google, Bing, and Ask seek to provide better, more relevant, personalized, and, perhaps, even real-time results to search queries, so-called traditional SEO tactics may not work as expected.

What’s more, since search engines seek to provide good, human-usable query results and avoid being tricked by cleaver titles, header tags, or even link sculpting, every site administrator should seek first to provide excellent, accessible, and usable content for humans. Only after good content is addressed, should we look to provide structure or meta data aimed at search engines and thereby improve site visibility.

In this new era of SEO, site owners need more and better data about how a site is ranking and performing.

WooRank in Seconds

WooRank is a new, free service that lets site administrators monitor both SEO and human-usable aspects of their sites by aggregating analysis data from several existing tools, including Alexa, Google, and Traffic Travis, along with some other insights that WooRank generates itself. For providing a good sampling of site data in one location, I am awarding WooRank three and a half out of a possible five stars in this “The PEC Review.”

“The PEC Review” is my weekly column created solely to introduce you to products or services that I believe will help you improve your ecommerce business. This week, let me encourage you to check out WooRank.

Visitor Data and Ranking

WooRank begins its analysis of a site by estimating site traffic, getting a site’s Alexa ranking, and ranking a site’s traffic estimates against other sites from the same region.

While you will almost certainly be able to get better traffic data about your own site from Google Analytics, Omniture, or similar site traffic monitoring tools, WooRank lets you compare your site against average results from other sites, to help you identify where you are in the spectrum of sites from your region.

What’s more, WooRank is not limited to your own site. You can easily generate reports for your competitor’s sites and compare their results with your own point by point.

Content

The services also captures a couple of interesting tidbits about your site’s content, including how many pages are index and what your most popular pages are. Again, you can also capture similar data for your competitive set.

SEO and Standards Compliance

Finally, the bulk of the WooRank report focuses on SEO and web standard compliance. For example, WooRank counts header tags, monitors titles, counts images, and notes whether or not you have a robots.txt file to help search engines.

In all, there are 33 SEO and compliance-related data points that can be used to help you monitor your business. As an example, WooRank monitors Twitter and Digg backlinks—to some extent—so that you could use the report to help monitor the success of social marketing campaigns aimed at generating more inbound links from these sites.

Price

As mentioned above, WooRank is a free service. The company does have plans to launch a premium service that site owners might subscribe to, but when that premium service will be available is not yet known.

Minor Bits of Misinformation

I do need to mention a couple of minor points where WooRank could be a little misleading.

First, in its SEO section WooRank monitors text-to-HTML ratios and then suggests to users that “higher ratios boost SEO by increasing keyword density.”

This is wrong for at least two reasons. First, text-to-HTML ratios do not necessarily reflect keyword densities. And second, keyword density strategies are in no way helpful for SEO. Stuffing your copy with keywords is a really bad idea, and I personally distrust any alleged professional that suggests it. But don’t just take my word for it. You can read, as a starter, “The Keyword Density of Non-Sense” report, which explains why this is not an effective SEO tactic in some detail.

three and one-half stars

Next, WooRank’s backlinks for Twitter and Digg seemed to not include shortened URLs that ultimately resolved to the domain in view. As an example, WooRank reported 58 Twitter links for Practical Ecommerce, a manual count of my own Twitter feed shows that I had personally linked to Practical Ecommerce about 20 times in June 2010 alone. But I always used bit.ly addresses, which may be why WooRanks seemingly missed them.

Finally, if your site has any Flash on it at all, WooRank gives you a “red” light indicating that this is somehow damaging your SEO, which is an extreme over simplification.

Summing Up

WooRank is an excellent source of data about your site and about the sites you compete with. It provides dozens of data points that you can use to monitor your marketing or streamline your content and SEO.

Personally, I would simply use the data WooRank offers, along with my own insights and experience, to improve my site and ignore suggestions about keywords or Flash. Overall, WooRank earns the three and a half out of the possible five stars that I awarded it in this review. I would also strongly encourage you to try WooRank right now.

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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Comments ( 5 )

  1. Rob Holzer June 18, 2010 Reply

    I completely agree with this:
    "keyword density strategies are in no way helpful for SEO. Stuffing your copy with keywords is a really bad idea"

    The only reason I ever practiced any of the so-called "best practices" is because it was the only way to keep up with competitors. If the search engines were favoring it AND your competitors were doing it, there’s no way to avoid it. However if search engines are now truly favoring good content over SEO "tricks", the web will be a better place. :-)

    Of course, some "genius" (aka moron who doesn’t care about providing a good user experience) will come up with some other future "best practices" to screw it all up again.

  2. David Lee December 1, 2011 Reply

    I Love Woorank. We use it all the time as one of our many resources for our SEO Clients. As you mentioned it’s a great way to get data from multiple sources (Alexa, Google, and Traffic Travis). Best of all Woorank is free! I highly recommend it. Great Article.

    David Lee
    Generente Financiero
    http://www.laweb.pe

  3. Paul_S May 27, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the detailed review, Armando. It would also be interesting to see how WooRank compares to WebMeUp.com, the new SEO toolset that came out recently. It’s just that I’m thinking of getting a tool that lets me create more than one client report per month…

  4. John O'Riordain November 6, 2013 Reply

    WooRank is nive but it puts a cap on the number of project that you can manage. I switched to webmeup.com for that reason and I must say that I’m satisfied with what it has to offer in terms of pricing/functionality

  5. masud November 17, 2014 Reply

    i love http://woorank.com and http://mastertalk.net also.2 are very good search engine optimization site.