Don’t be Fooled by its Old School Appearance
In a lot of ways I really like the SEO Analyzer from SEO Centro, especially its lack of pretension. After all, an analytical SEO Checker is there to provide a function, not an artistic user interface. Still, it’s easy to ignore this free tool when you arrive at their home page, mainly because of the blizzard of ads, one of which tried to drive me away with flashing neon.
[Note: Check out the other SEO Checker reviews we’ve posted on our blog or on our YouTube channel]
I guess that’s a downside to a particular virtue of this tool, which is that it doesn’t demand your email address to use it (not to mention your money), but of course you do pay for it in a way; I counted 7 ads in the screenshot below. At least the advertising doesn’t bedevil you with pop-ups or pop-unders.
SEO Nuts and Bolts
Once you get past the ads the approach is simple: input your web page URL (address) and the simplistic, anti-spam “access code” (i.e., the CAPTCHA) and wait a bit for it to do its magic. Once it has processed your page you’ll have a tabbed interface divided into the following 8 sections:
- Social Media
Let’s just cover a few of these in turn.
The SEO Tab
What you’ll find on this tab
- The page title, whether it is present, how long it is (although the length recommendation is out of date as of this writing), and whether it is “relevant” (it does this by comparing whether the words in the title are found elsewhere on the page).
- The meta “description” tag (often referred to as simply the description of the page). Like the title it will see if the description tag is present, and if it is it will give similar output on length and relevancy.
- Also checks for the presence of robots.txt and robots element in html, as well as the presence of a sitemap. It doesn’t seem to offer any insight as to the quality of those elements.
- Under this tab you’ll see a “snippet preview” for desktop, showing you approximately how the page might look if it showed up in search results.
- Headings are important for SEO, of course, and the SEO Analyzer offers a nice clear table of H usage with contents of each H tag, so you can review on your own. Of course you need some knowledge of the principle of relevancy to be able to put this table to good use.
What the SEO tab is missing
- It doesn’t give much guidance on <H> tags, for example I placed 2 <H1>s on page (which is a practice normally frowned up on in SEO) and it didn’t alert me to this.
- It does not check whether the “www” variant of the website, or something similar called ip canonicalization, is set up correctly. This is a fine technical point but an important one.
- I would like to see it check for correct implementation of canonical tags on pages.
- Also there is no analysis of the SEO properties of the body content that I could see.
The Content Tab
Highlights of what you’ll find on this tab
- This section cherry picks a couple of technical issues, such as whether your page has a doctype set and whether it is using a technical construct called “frames” that can make the page less Search Engine Friendly (SEF).
- Gives you a word count, which can alert you to pages that don’t have enough textual content.
- It offers a recommendation to keep the load size of your page below 250mb, but I find in this age of rich content experiences (often expected by visitors) and widespread adoption of broadband (offered to most consumers of Internet content) a 250mb limit is a bit unrealistic nowadays.
- This tab also shows a list of links on page and whether they are dofollow or nofollow, which can be moderately useful if you spot a pattern and know what to do about it.
- It does check to see if the alt attribute of images is being made use of, which is a lower priority relevancy factor in SEO
What the Content tab is missing
- I would like to see it show the content of those alt image attributes, so I can determine whether they are actually helping the relevancy of the page.
- For anyone who is not a hard-core SEO, I think there needs to be much more explanation of what to do about many of the results that are reported. There are indeed summaries on most of these, but they are so brief as to be not helpful to novice SEOs, business or marketing people.
The Keywords Tab
Highlights of what you’ll find on this tab, which is one of the more useful tabs this tool offers.
- It has a decent keyword cloud, giving a visual representation of the importance of words it finds on the page.
- You’ll find a number of tables that illustrate how keywords and keyword phrases are used on the page, both single keywords and multi-keyword groupings.
- The “Top Keywords” section does a fairly decent job of picking out the most relevant phrases.
- For each of the keywords and phrases it will indicate whether it is used in Title, Description, or any of the H tags on the page.
- It will also show the keywords used in the anchor text (the clickable part of a link on the page).
What the keywords tab is missing
- It would be nice to see more data on the keywords being used, such as search volume.
The Social Media Tab
- Whether structured data is used (primarily Facebook’s Open Graph) to facilitate sharing on social networks.
- Share data for a limited number of social media networks.
What the Social Media Tab is Missing
- A check for the existence of Facebook Page, Twitter account, Instagram account. The only check is for Google+ which is now a footnote to social media
The Usability Tab
- This tab has a number of useful bits of information, including whether a language declaration is used (which is mainly useful if you serve a mutli lingual audience.
- More importantly it checks for a couple of settings relevant to mobile usability, such as the presence of a viewport and media queries.
What the Usability Tab is missing
- The most important missing feature on this page is a preview of the page on mobile vs. desktop screens.
The Speed Tab
- Information on a lot of specifics related to technical aspects that affect speed.
- Lots of very brief tips on how to implement the tips that are given.
What the Speed Tab is missing
- Any non technical information to guide you in using the data that is presented. The tips that are presented are mainly useful if you already know how to develop websites.
SEO Analyzer by SEO Centro is a pretty bare-bones tool. Despite the aging look of the interface and the ad-supported nature of the tool, there’s some handy stuff in here, especially in the keywords tab. However, I would definitely recommend this tool to someone who already has intermediate or advanced knowledge of SEO, not to the typical SEO beginner.
Do you use the SEO Analyzer by SEO Centro? Do you see important things this post overlooks? Do you have a similar tool you’d like to recommend for future reviews? Feel free to post a comment below. And subscribe to this post to be automatically notified of other reviews soon to come in our SEO Checkers review series.
Ross Barefoot is the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Web Marketing. In his work with Horizon Ross brings 35 years of small business management experience, 25 years programming experience, 20 years web development experience, and 13 years experience as a professional SEO. Ross is also currently a certified SEO trainer with the Search Engine Academy and serves on its board of directors.