A wise person once said, “We’re all in the same room—the room for improvement.” That couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to websites. But while we should always be brainstorming ways to improve their performance, it’s not always easy to spot problem areas or opportunity gaps on our own.
That’s where website grader tools come in handy, since they perform evaluations for you and provide actionable reports based on the findings. Today, let’s look at 11 free website graders for content, search engine optimization, accessibility, and other aspects of websites including marketing.
SEO website graders
SEO is complex. It takes a lot of work to get on the first page of Google and stay there. If you’re not a pro, it’s tough to accurately determine how you’re doing with it. And even if you are, it’s helpful to have tools to double-check that you’ve covered all your bases.
1. Google PageSpeed Insights
This is where Google PageSpeed Insights comes in. It’s a page speed grader that scores your mobile and desktop sites based on the number and severity of performance issues, including your Core Web Vitals—which came onto the scene in spring 2021 with the page experience update.
Its report tells you how to improve your Core Web Vitals and take advantage of opportunities, such as:
- Text compression
- Image sizing
- CSS minification
- Text visibility during Webfont load
Some page speed optimization techniques are simple enough for beginners to do themselves. However, other things you may want some expert help with for best results.
2. LOCALiQ Free Website Grader
While Core Web Vitals are important, they’re only a subset of a long list of Google ranking factors—both technical and content—that you need to optimize your site for if you want to increase traffic.
While all-in-one SEO and keyword research tools like Ahrefs and Semrush can help with your SEO content optimizations, the reports are comprehensive and require knowledge of much more than just the SEO basics to understand them.
LOCALiQ’s Free Website Grader performs an instant audit of your website that checks for a mix of technical and content SEO factors, including but not limited to:
- Meta tags
- Word count
- Broken links
- Code quality
- Image optimization
- Site security
The report prioritizes the results, puts them into plain language for you, and you can click on each result to get an explanation with action items.
Even better, this tool checks your social, local, and advertising performance to give you a holistic feel of your online presence and allows you to compare your score with competitors.
3. WebFX SEO Checker
WebFX’s SEO Checker grades your website based on a similar set of factors, including:
- Site speed
- URL optimization
- Meta tags
- The user and SEO-friendliness of your content
- Image optimization
- Your website’s backend code
- Internal links
- Site security
- Crawlability and indexation
Based on these factors, it assigns your site an SEO score of between zero and 100, with 70 to 100 being the ideal range.
The full report then goes on to provide actionable recommendations, many of which you can use right away.
Website content graders
Next up we have website content graders. These graders don’t evaluate your content against direct SEO ranking factors, but the readability of your copy. Readability impacts how long users stay on your page, whether they return, and how they engage with it—all of which factor into your rank.
4. VT Writer
VT Writer (formerly Clarity Grader) allows you to upload and analyze documents and portions of text or, even better, just pop in your domain and get a full page or website analysis.
It can help you make your content clearer and easier to read by calling your attention to:
- Long sentences
- Passive voice
- Average sentence length
- Two types of readability scores (Flesch and LIX)
- Reading grade level
To make adjustments easier to implement, VT Writer shows the piece of content referenced for each recommendation. That way, you don’t have to sift through your content to find and change it. Plus, it often gives specific suggestions for improvement as well.
While you need to sign up to use this tool, you can get insights on up to 10,000 web pages or documents within 14 days with the free account.
5. Hemingway Editor
Hemingway Editor isn’t a typical website or marketing grader that you pop a website URL into and get an audit report from. It’s designed to help you optimize individual pages. However, it does provide a readability rating based on the reading grade level of your content.
On a more granular level, this rating relates to:
- The number of adverbs you use, which often have more forceful, impactful alternatives.
- Opportunities to use active voice instead of passive.
- How many complex phrases are present that have simpler alternatives.
- The number of hard to read and very hard to read sentences, making optimizing for clarity easier.
While there’s a one-time fee for the desktop version of Hemingway, the web app is a 100% free tool.
Accessibility website graders
No matter who lands on your site—individuals with disabilities included—everyone should be able to enjoy a positive, seamless user experience. How do you know if your site delivers that kind of experience? There are graders for that!
6. Accessibility Test
Accessibility Test allows you to test both single pages and full sites. It analyzes and scores both using thousands of tests from four leading accessibility tools and resources. It identifies and provides recommendations for a variety of problems, including:
- Missing alt text for images
- Empty headers
- Non-descriptive link text
- Missing form labels
- Low contrast between background and foreground colors
It even provides context examples so you know where on your site or page these issues appear and can fix them quickly.
The free version of SortSite checks 10 pages and images, which makes it ideal for small business websites. While it technically also evaluates browser compatibility, search engine issues, W3C standards issues, and usability problems, its accessibility checker is excellent. It identifies:
- Level A issues that make using a site impossible for some people, such as links without underlines
- Level AA issues that make using a site very difficult for some, including low contrast between background and foreground colors
- Level AAA issues that make a site difficult to use, such as non-descriptive link text
The report, of course, also explains how to correct problems and what page they’re found on. Granted, some of the language for more technical aspects of the report like CSS can be tricky to understand if you’re not familiar with them. But there are plain English explanations as well, which are helpful.
Other stellar website graders
Your website doesn’t just exist to look pretty; it’s meant to be a cornerstone of your business’s growth strategy. Here are some more website graders to help you figure out whether your current site is fulfilling that important role.
- Accessibility: How accessible a site is for mobile and disabled users
- Experience: How user-friendly your web experience is
- Marketing: How well you’re marketing your site and promoting it on social media
- Technology: How well-designed and built your website is based on factors such as images, headings, internal links, etc.
Each section contains a dropdown with more information. There you’ll find your ranking for individual tests, dealing with a huge list of specific metrics like Facebook activity, coding errors, your site’s printability, etc.
Nibbler is a great website grader tool to help you get a sense of what areas your website could improve on, with a colorful, in-depth, free report.
DareBoost is another powerful grader tool and offers one of the most in-depth 100% free reports (no email or free trial required). Providing an overall quality score, as well as scores and data for each, it shows how your site stacks up against best practices for:
- Several other factors such as browser rendering
It then outlines key areas you should focus on, listing priorities and explaining how to implement best practices.
Unlike other tools, DareBoost allows you to simulate the way your website performs for users in different geographical locations and on different devices. So, ultimately, you’ll be able to take a more well-rounded, comprehensive approach to optimizing your site. That way, all users can enjoy a great experience. As a result, you can enjoy a stronger web presence and get a higher return on investment from your marketing efforts.
10. HubSpot Website Grader
HubSpot Website Grader gives your website an overall score out of 100, as well as individual grades for:
- Performance: Page speed, page size, image size, redirects, etc.
- Search engine optimization: Permission to index, meta descriptions, description link text, etc.
- Mobile-friendliness: Font size and tap targets
For each of those categories, the personalized report explains what your site scores well on, as well as what you could improve and how. It even directs you to short, free lessons on improving various aspects of site performance including site ranking.
Because its reports are straightforward and use plain language, this website grader from HubSpot is great if you’re not an expert marketer and want insights and recommendations presented clearly.
11. W3C Validator
Last up is a tool for more technically inclined people. The W3C Validator tool is an easy way to identify errors and warnings related to your HTML code. It provides line-by-line breakdowns of issues like:
- Missing attributes
- Misuse of labels
- Unnecessary attributes
- Missing headings
If you’re not a coding pro planning to implement the needed improvements yourself, this will at least give a starting point for scoping your project and hiring someone with coding knowledge and skills.
There’s a website grader for that!
With free graders for everything from content and SEO to accessibility and marketing, it’s easier than ever to pinpoint areas of your website that need improvement.
To recap, here are the best free website graders available right now:
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- LOCALiQ Website Grader
- SEO Checker by WebFX
- VT Writer
- Hemingway Editor
- Accessibility Test
- HubSpot Website Grader
- W3C Validator
Use these tools as guides to start making changes today that will help increase your website’s ranking, traffic, and conversions tomorrow. In fact, why not give LOCALiQ’s website grader a go right now? In minutes, you can have a clearer picture of how your site and online presence stack up to competitors, and how you can gain or increase your edge!
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