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Tools are Good; Experience is Better

In my time working at That! Company, I’ve really enjoyed using all of the wonderful tools, both free and paid, that we have access to. It’s been my experience, however, that you get what you pay for. Oh, don’t get me wrong; Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics are free tools, and they provide a lot of valuable information. But there is an awful lot that these tools, and others, won’t tell you.

Let me explain. We use a versatile tool that, among other things, performs a site audit. The tool will tell a user what problems exist on a website, from broken links, missing meta information, images without tags, and frankly more items than I can list here. When the tool finishes, it gives an overview with a list of all of the issues it found. It’s possible to download a spreadsheet for each issue, and put them all into one workbook.

Now this is useful information, but it’s missing one vital detail: which of these many issues are the most important? Figuring out that point takes a set of practiced eyes. You can’t go by the numbers. You could have literally hundreds of images missing alt tags – and that’s less important to fix than the ten pages of your website that lack title tags, if you’re trying to rank in Google.

But how do you know which of the many issues a tool turns up are the most important to fix? Well, that’s where the human factor comes in. A tool is only as good as the person interpreting it. That’s why it helps to have an experienced pair of eyes looking over your website. Tools help, but it takes someone who knows SEO to set the right priorities and determine what should be fixed first.

Written By: Terri Wells – SEO

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