7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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!

1. Hubspot’s Marketing Grader

marketing grade 730x283 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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

buffer blog page 730x576 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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 520x438 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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 730x197 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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 520x179 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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 520x435 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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 h1m 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

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. Shopify’s Ecommerce Store 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).

ecommerce grader 730x324 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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 730x254 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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 520x608 7 indispensable (and free!) website graders and content scores

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.


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