Want to know a secret? The best thing you can do to improve your site’s SEO is to make it load more quickly.  Not only is site speed a major factor in how Google views your site, but your users will thank you too. We found this out recently when a persistent problem with SSL certificates on our server slowed response times to a crawl. Come to our site: only 30 seconds left to wait! Not cool.

We used the fantastic free site speed tester at GT Metrix a lot as we moved to new, much, much faster servers. Now we can’t stop speed testing as we try to make the small improvements it suggests and cut that fully loaded time down by another fraction of a second.

For a quick overview of how a site’s SEO health we like Searchr, mainly because you don’t have to login! It tests your homepage against all the usual metrics and gives you a score out of 100. Bish, bash, done.

It’s great for reminding you to add a sitemap, robots.txt file and a favicon, as well as the usual meta stuff, so it’s a good early destination for sites being actively developed with SEO in mind.

We do actually login, because it’s free, the restrictions on casual users are removed, and we can access our bookmarks. Drive-by users can only test a site once a day, but registered users can test as many sites as they want, as many times as they need to.

It’s on our cool tool list, but it’s important not to forget that, although it’s measuring Moz and Google PageSpeed,  Searchr’s SEO Score is just a number to help compare sites.