Drupal SEO

Video: How to Determine The Value of Content Entrance Pages

 

In the last video, OE Intelligence: Executive Summary Dashboard, I demonstrated how how the OE Intelligence Dashboard can serve as a high level overview of how your content marketing efforts are valued and how the results are used to increase qualified leads. 

Today's video discusses how to determine the value of content for individual pages within your website and offers insights into usability changes that could increase conversions. As you begin to understand the value of each piece of content, you can better determine which twenty percent of your efforts generate eighty percent of your marketing results.

Determining the value of content entrance pages allows you to maximize your efforts and create more efficient and cost effective marketing campaigns for your business.


View our other videos in our Open Enterprise Intelligence series:

Why Organizations Struggle With Web Analytics

Web analytics software is being used in most organizations for basic analysis and reporting, but provides little (if any) actionable insight into marketing efforts. Many people login to analytics searching for “the magic answers to their business problems”, but they don’t have specific goals, or challenges they want to analyze/address. Then they become overwhelmed with the amount of information they receive. They throw their hands in the air and concede defeat.

True, many organizations are either using sub-par tools, or their analytics are not properly integrated into their website(s). But at the root level, business don't get the answers they are looking for because they don't have a clear understanding of their top goals and objectives and how both are reflected on their website. The result is very generic data reporting that does not help them achieve their business goals.

Fortune 500 companies using Google Analytics (over 51%) must heavily customize analytics to capture unique data in order to glean insights needed to make educated marketing decisions. Many businesses run multiple analytics packages in order to attain more intelligence resulting in more passwords to remember, more reporting to run manually, and more time to consolidate data.


What if there was an easier way to leverage big data platforms like Google analytics to gather actionable intelligence?

What if you could:

  • Determine what subject matter provides the most value (ROI)
  • Determine what traffic sources historically generate the most leads for your organization
  • Better understand what “type” of content gets the most traffic, engagement and conversion
  • Gain insight into which social media network provides the most value
  • Measure which calls to action generate the most interest

Google Analytics actually provides the data points (more than 200) to capture the aforementioned marketing intelligence. It’s really just a matter of understanding what to measure and how to measure it so you can more easily create actionable intelligence.

Here’s an example - LevelTen wanted to gain a better understanding of which blog posts (and blog topics) generated the most value based on a combination of factors. We created an algorithm, which scored each blog post, comment and CTA click, then listed the results by value score. So, if a blog posts visit was worth 5 points, each comment was worth 10 points and each CTA click was worth 20 points, we could simply add up the scores for each action per blog post to determine the value. We could also segment findings by blog post terms to determine what term (topic) provided the most value. Doing so allowed us to better understand where we should focus our time and attention, thus optimizing our marketing efforts.

Why do organizations struggle to integrate web analytics with their websites?

I believe there is a “disconnect” between marketing and IT. Marketers often know what they would like to measure, but don’t how to get the results. IT, on the other hand, doesn’t always see value in marketing so they can be somewhat dismissive when marketers request integration. And honestly, there are very few people that dive deeply into Google Analytics' API to understand how to collect an display the data.

To solve this, marketers should share their goals and objectives with IT so that developers have a better understanding of what needs to be accomplished and why it is important. Developers need to be more receptive to marketers and look for ways to improve marketing processes through technology.

LevelTen is fortunate to have an owner whose background is programming, but whose passion is marketing. He realized the need for better analytics integrations and has worked very hard to bridge the gap. Initially, we created web services and modules between Google Analytics and Drupal as our “secret sauce”, but after our clients saw many benefits, we focused heavily on creating it as a stand-alone product. The result is a suite of supported Drupal modules that help marketers better understand the true value of their marketing efforts so that they can make more informed decisions.

For all intents and purposes, it is Google Analytics (on steroids), built into Drupal, with automated event creation - giving you deeper insights to make more intelligent marketing decisions.

Many businesses struggle to understand their analytics in order to make more informed decisions. If you are one of those businesses, we want to hear from you. Do you agree or disagree with this post? I would love your feedback.

10 Tools to Turn Your Drupal Website into a Lead Generation Machine

Building and launching a new website is a great feeling. All the hard work you put in has finally paid off and you are ready to see the results. The problem that we find is that many business build a new site that looks better, but that gets the same results as the old website. So they find a new agency, find a new marketing manager, and build another website that gets the same results. Over and over again.

If you, or someone you know has this challenge, I recommend that you continue reading to learn about 10 tools that can significantly change the behavior of your visitors, your team and your business.

1. A Well-Constructed Blog

HubSpot research shows us that companies that blog fifteen or more times per month get five times more traffic than those that don’t. There are two main reasons for this. First, people love to read how-to articles, white papers, etc., that help them achieve a goal at work or home. Second, search engines love websites that generate unique, engaging and remarkable content and a search engine’s primary purpose is to provide users with the most relevant results it can find.

A well-constructed Drupal blog allows site owners and marketers to quickly and easily post and organize content (usually how-to articles). This content helps search engines improve its search results by offering more options (references) to users. Companies that increase blogging from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times per month almost double the number of leads they receive per month.

2. A Good Commenting engine

Engagement is a key component for increasing return visits, brand recognition, and ultimately leads. Websites that engage users and make it easy for users to get answers to their questions have a much higher visitor retention/return rate. One of the best ways to engage visitors on your website is through commenting.

We typically find that commenting is more effective on websites that promote professional services (creative, plumbing, marketing, etc.) where site visitors are more inclined to ask questions to experts. Engaging with site visitors and answering their questions enhances your brand perception, generates additional content on your website, and can turn site visits into leads or referrals.

While Drupal has its own blog commenting engine that works reasonably well, we recommend that you integrate your Drupal site with Disqus. It's probably the most popular commenting engine on the web, powering commenting for over 3 million websites. The Disqus Drupal module comes with enhanced features like real-time discussions, instant notifications, following, and rich media support.

3. A great content editing tool

A great content editing tool is on of the most essential components of online marketing and one of the biggest pain points for marketers. Most of these tools come with very basic functionality that allow marketers to link, bold, italicize and align text. The problem is that marketers don’t know html and don’t want to write code to enhance their page layouts.

LevelTen has found a very clever solution to this problem. We have extended a content editor called CKEditor and integrated it very deeply with Bootstrap - our theme framework. Our marketing team and non-technical writers can now easily create advanced page layouts in a matter of minutes without writing a single line of code. It has increase our marketing team’s efficiency, freed up development time, and has enhanced our website.

4. Social sharing (Add This or Share This)

Companies that use social media have a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than they do when using outbound marketing.  Integrating a good social sharing tool like Add This into your Drupal website is relatively straightforward and will increase traffic and referrals to your website. Allowing readers to share your content with their network of friends and colleagues provides brand exposure, leads more visitors to your website and helps generate new leads.

5. Responsive theme

In 2014 mobile usage is predicted to overtake desktop usage. If you think about that for a second, you would probably come to realize that designing for mobile is even more important than designing for desktops. Responsive themes address this by providing a framework that detects the type of browser a visitor is using, then restructures the format of your website to fit the appropriate screen size and device. If your website is not responsive, I highly recommend that you check your analytics (Google Analytics breaks views down by device type) to see just how many potential leads/sales you are losing because mobile visitors have a poor experience with your website.

There are several responsive frameworks for Drupal. We prefer and recommend using Bootstrap for Drupal.

6. Calls-To-Action (CTA)

Did you know that CTAs promoting eBooks get almost twice the click through rate as emails promoting webinars? CTAs on your website are a great way to increase leads, and having a system that manages lead capture workflows helps tremendously.

Creating quality calls-to-action is the key to increasing conversion rates on your website. Here are a couple quick tips to improve your calls to action:

  • Value Assessment – is the offer (eBook, free assessment, infographic, etc.) you are promoting worth giving up my email address and other personal information for? If not, change the offer. We recommend providing site visitors with something that helps them do their job better or makes them more valuable.
  • Easy to Use – is the offer readable, concise and easily clickable? Make sure your message is clear and that links to offer are clickable (don’t forget mobile) and that the links actually work!
  • Prominent – ensure that your CTA stands out from the crowd. Don’t bury your CTA at the bottom of a page of within lots of other text or images. Preferably, position your CTA above the fold and in a prominent location.
  • Action Oriented – If you don’t ask for it, you don’t get it. Use strong action words in headings, verbiage, and also on your buttons. Saying “click here” is NOT a strong action word. Use words like Download, Subscribe, and Begin. Action words should provide the site visitor with an idea of what they are about to do. Don’t put subscribe on a link that is going to download a white paper.

7. Landing Page / Thank You Page Content Types

Landing pages and Thank You pages are the next, and probably, most important pages for lead generation. While quality content, design, and CTAs are all steps to getting users to landing pages, it’s the Landing page that captures lead information and the Thank You page that provides site visitors with the actual offer.

Reducing the barrier of entry for site visitors getting the offer is key for increasing form submissions. The amount/type of personal information to collect can be the difference between high and low conversions, but also impacts the value of the lead. If you try to gather too much information, you may scare away visitors. On the other hand, if you collect too little information, you reduce the value of the lead.

Optimizing landing pages is a science. We recommend testing various offers, forms and layouts to determine the best mix. If you have a very strong offer, increase the type and amount of visitor information you gather. If you feel your conversion rates are too low, reduce the amount of information you gather, or promote a more valuable offer. A good analytics system will help you assess views, conversion, and value so that you can optimize your offers for the best results.

8. Social media links

As previously mentioned, people primarily use the Internet to find (search engines), research (blogs) and connect with like individuals (social networks). While most businesses focus heavily on improving their own website, successful inbound marketers focus heavily on networking where their audience is and leading visitors back to their website.

I know you’re thinking, ”I’m tired of social networks. Facebook and Twitter are getting old, etc.” Honestly, I agree, but there are thousands of social networks geared around very specific industry niches. Understand your target audience, determine where they spend their time and engage them on their terms increases site traffic and opportunities for sales.

9. Meta Tags

While search engines no longer place as much emphasis on meta keywords, it is still a good practice to provide search engines with more information about your pages. If nothing more, it helps search engines organize your content within their index. Adding custom titles, descriptions, and abstracts, can also improve your organic click-through rates by providing enticing descriptions of your content to users who are searching.

Drupal's Metatag module is a good solution that is easy to install and configure. It allows you to set default tags as well as customized tags for individual pages. 

10. Analytics / Reporting

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. And while most businesses use analytics packages like Google Analytics (GA), very few actually use that data in constructive or meaningful way. One reason for this, is that most analytics packages give you very generic executive dashboard reports that only provide a high-level overview. Additionally, most analytics packages are stand-alone systems, so they are not top of mind. Case in point, most companies look at their traffic once per month to see if they have increased or decreased traffic. And while this is good information to have, there are very few systems that can give you actionable insights to improve your traffic or conversion rates.

Because we could not find a great tool, LevelTen decided to build its own. We leverage Google Analytic's API and integrated it directly into Drupal. That way we have a GA-style dashboard built directly into our website. As we dove more into Google's API, it opened up a world of new possibilities. We can now track the value of content authors, assign value to key actions, and score content not only on page views, but also by the number of comments, social shares and more.

This intelligence has really opened our eyes to the importance of good analytics and as a result has improved our website, our content, and our conversion rates.

Did you find that this is what your website or marketing team needs or lacks? How are your analytics? Let us know in the comments.

Secret Weapons to Streamline your SEO and Social Media

By now everybody who has a website should know that search engine optimization and social media marketing is essential for online success. But knowing and doing are two different things.

Optimizing site content for search engines is mystical voodoo to most authors. How do we integrate social media into our site so we can build our tribe and get them sharing the good word?

In the last segment of our Results Oriented Web Quickstart, we peel back the mystery and show you how to streamline your SEO and social media site integration. We reveal a novel suite of tools that enable anybody to start optimizing their site to drive search engine traffic and a dirt simple way to transform your site into a follower building, content sharing hub of your social media universe.

The first two videos in the Results Oriented Web Quickstart are here:
Driving strategic online success
Content management & strategies

Let us know if these videos are helpful in the comments below!

Photo by jena ardell

Why Web Development is Like Building a House

We have some really fantastic clients here at LevelTen and have worked very hard with them to explain how web development works. We find though that there are many people that just have no idea what the process is about. Over the last couple of years of working with a fantastic team here at LevelTen, it has occurred to me just how similar building a website is to building a house. Turns out this analogy helps a lot in explaining what we do and how we do it. It also helps set expectations along the way.

If you were to start building a house today, would you start by hiring an interior decorator? Of course not! You also wouldn't ask them to design the structure of your house and yet this is often what happens when building websites. It is important to gather together all the right people necessary to build a website just like when building a house.

General Contractor/Project Manager

First there is the general contractor. For a house, he is the main contact that you, the customer, will have with all of the other people building the house. You may talk to the other people but at the end of the day he is the one responsible for the whole project, and to make sure that everyone has what they need and works together. At LevelTen we call this person the Project Manager.

Next up you would probably go talk to an architect to design the house. What's interesting at this point is that no one is really talking all that much about the color of the paint on the walls and which pictures go where. Generally you are just trying to get an outline of the house, which rooms go where and how big they are. Then there is the engineering of making sure everything is livable and works right. At LevelTen, this is the Information Architect/Wireframers we have. Their main job is to talk to the client, get a good idea of the breadth of the project and then design the whole thing so it will work.

Architect/Information Architect

It is really important when talking to an Information Architect to make sure that you don't leave stuff out. Could you imagine getting near the end of building your new house and then remember that you wanted a media room right in the middle. How much would it cost to squeeze another room there? That happens all the time in the web world. If we don't know what is going on up front then we can't plan for it and it is going to take a lot of effort (read time and money!) later on.

Builders/Developers

The next person who builds a house is the actual builders. They lay the foundation, raise the walls and make sure everything the plumbing and wiring is done. In typical house construction this usually takes about 40% of the budget to get the foundation laid and the walls framed. This again is very similar to web development. At LevelTen we have a very talented group of developers who use Drupal to build some incredibly feature rich websites very quickly. These are the builders of your website. They are going to be building the content types and views (roughly like rooms) and make sure that all the modules are set up (roughly like plumbing and electrical).

It's at this point that a web shop that really understands Drupal is going to stand out. It takes a while to really learn how to build a Drupal website the right way. We've seen plenty done the wrong way. So finding someone who can do it right the first time is important. Would you hire someone who only has experience building brick buildings to build your wooden framed house? I sure hope not.

Interior Decorator/Graphic Designer

Once the building of your house is done the Interior Decorator takes over. This is the person that picks out the colors, bricks, furniture and finishing touches for the site. So much of this process is dependent on the preferences of the person who will be living in the house that this is a bit of an art to get right. Again we've got a couple of very talented designers here at LevelTen that can make amazing designs for websites. They will pick out the colors and pictures (kinda like furniture!) and make sure everything looks good together.

Painters-Movers/Themers

Of course once the whole design is in place you are going to need The painters and movers to actually get the house looking like the design. This is analogous to our themers. It actually takes quite a bit of work to get all the images, colors and everything set up so that a very dynamic site will always look good. This is one area where I'd say the web world is actually harder than the physical world. Mostly because everything has to be done in such a way that it looks good on hundreds of pages instead of just one room. Luckily we've got a great themer with an eye on detail and a complete understanding of all the different browser quirks.

Occupants/Content Authors

At this point the house and website are more or less done but there is still one thing missing and that is the occupants! In houses people live in them, move around in them and are constantly doing things. With websites that is the role of the Content Authors. In order to have a really great website you need to constantly create and update your content. This is very much like the people that live and breathe in a house. You are going to need some people to live an breathe in your website as well. At LevelTen we typically don't do a lot of the content authoring since that is so specific to the company that it turns out much better when done by someone internal. We do, however, do a lot of training using the newly built website and how to best write for SEO and social marketing.

Security and Maintenance

There is one other group of people that is important for houses and websites but is often overlooked. They are the people who secure and maintain the house. Think of the security monitoring firm and the handyman. Websites need the same monitoring and maintenance. You wouldn't build a house, furnish it and then not look at it again for 3 years would you? Websites are the same way. You need to keep them secure and maintained. LevelTen also offers a support contract that handles this, which allows our expert team to keep your website secure, up to date, and working.

So next time you think about building a website, be sure to not just look for some pretty designs but find a team that has all the skills necessary to take your project through the full process to create a successful website. I can honestly say that our team here at LevelTen is the best team I have ever seen for building websites, and it is an honor and privilege to be working with them.

Photo Credit: wscullin

Release of Drupal 7 Content Analysis & Optimizer modules

During 2011 the list of requests to port the Drupal SEO Tools suite had grown quite long. After a few months of brushing up on the new D7 changes, I finally got a chance to sit down and do some programming over the holidays. So for all of you who have been encouraging the D7 ports, I give you the Drupal 7 release of Content Analysis and Content Optimizer.

If you are not familiar with what these modules do, let's review.

The two modules work together to help assure your site content is optimized for search engines. The magic formula for ranking well in the search engines is:

 

Great Architecture + Great Backlinks and Buzz + Great Content = Great Rankings

 

Traditional Drupal SEO modules, e.g. Meta Tag, Pathauto, XML Sitemap, focus on architecture. Content Optimizer focuses on the neglected yet vital other side of the magic formula, optimized content.

How it works

(click to enlarge images below)

Content optimizer node edit form fieldsetContent Analysis is a modular analysis system that enables various modules to provide analyzers for content analysis. Content Optimizer provides an analyzer to help authors and editor optimize content for search engines. To launch the analyzer from a node edit form select the "Content Analysis" tab, enter a targeted keyword phrase (optional) and click the "Analyze content" button.

Content optimizer modal analysisContent Optimizer analyzes node elements such as the body, title and meta data, calculates stats and provides recommendations for optimizing the content for the search engines.

Content optimizer inline analysisInline analysis can be embedded into the node edit form to enable easy optimization. Simply change the field value and click the refresh button to re-analyze.

Content optimizer inline analysisAdjust your content until you get the Optimized status.

Content optimizer settings adminNew in the Drupal 7 version of Content Optimizer is the ability to adjust all the analysis rules.

 

Drupal SEO made easy

Content optimizer takes the guess work out of content search engine optimization. It is ideal for authors and editors that know how to write great content for humans but lack experience getting it to rank well in the search engines.

Go ahead and give it a try - don't cost nothing!

Have you been using Content Optimizer? We would love to hear from you. What kinds of results have you achieved?

Drupal SEO

Drupal is one of the best CMS for search engine optimization (SEO). This page contains Drupal SEO tutorials, hints, and news.

What is Search Engine Optimization? (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is the practice of making sure your web properties meet the standards set forth by popular search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and others. In simple terms, SEO is the practice of making your content easier for web spiders to crawl, and helping the search engines figure out what your content is about. Typical byproducts of good search optimization include more traffic to your website, increased conversions (through relevant keyword targeting) and more business.

Why Drupal?

Drupal is a top CMS for SEO for a variety of reasons. First of all, the CMS uses efficient and standards compliant coding, which means that search engine spiders are able to easily crawl your site without getting bogged down in extraneous or improper coding.

Secondly, Drupal makes it easy for you to create new high-quality content on your website. Regularly updated and high quality content are essential for better organic search performance - without it your site won't perform very well in search. Think of high-quality and fresh content as the engine that can help propel your site to the top of the organic search results.

Lastly, Drupal benefits from the thousands of modules that are available to members of the community. These Drupal SEO modules can do anything from third party integration with sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to optimization scoring and community development.

What is Drupal SEO?

Drupal SEO can pertain to a variety of factors. It can be anything from performance optimization (site speed is a factor in search rankings) to making sure the proper Drupal SEO Modules are installed and configured correctly, to making sure your site adheres to on-page best practices. Drupal SEO, much like standard SEO, is a fast changing and moving field.

On this page, you'll find an aggregated collection of all our Drupal SEO resources, including blog posts, articles, tutorial videos and white papers. Got a question? Feel free to contact us, and we'll do our best to answer.

Checkup: Drupal coming to the Healthcare & Medical Industry

Healthcare, love it or hate it, it's not going away and in fact the healthcare industry is booming and continues to grow. Almost daily we hear about some revolutionary break through in medicine that will help us to lead longer healthier lives. The web has made sharing knowledge and information easier and easier and the emergence of smart phones allows anyone to access years of historical data at their fingertips. The problem is that traditionally this data has been uploaded through systems that are archaic and quickly becoming obsolete thanks to the rapid emergence of open source tools like Drupal. Over the past few years, we've seen Drupal's adoption in the arts and entertainment industry, government organizations, online publishing, social communities and now healthcare. At LevelTen we have had the opportunity to implement Drupal for numerous healthcare industry clients like: Caris Life Sciences, Health Market Science, Mission Pharmacal and McKesson to name a few. Just like those in other industries, the medical world is starting to realize the speed at which they can deploy new products and brand focused sites utilizing Drupal's intelligent framework. The healthcare industry is extremely specialized and often times the information can be confusing or overwhelming to the end users. Utilizing Drupal, a website can be easily modified or changed based upon feedback from patients and site visitors, and ultimately continue to make the site better and more user-friendly over time as a result of that feedback. Plus, some of the more advanced features allow for easily sharing related information and content; in the long run those extra tools will equate to a greater visitor return rate and longer website visit times. Maybe you're considering Drupal for your medical organization; here are just a couple of great points to consider:
  • Integration - Drupal has a very sophisticated structure and as such can be tied into almost any applications, applications with a solid API are even easier. The benefit of integration is a universal experience for all of your site users and visitors.
  • Customization - Drupal has over 8000 modules (extensions to add functionality) currently available and that list only continues to grow. The benefit speaks for it's self, but the more options available to choose from the faster your site can be deployed, ultimately lowering costs.
  • Easy to Update - Drupal is a CMS and a framework both; the CMS portion when combined with the right modules, makes it easy for non-technical staff to update and manage the website.
I could go on and on, but if you're in the healthcare industry and reading this then Drupal is probably already on your radar; either way I would love to speak with you about some of our past projects and approach to see how we might be able to help you.

Introducing Drupal SEO Tools (finally)

Over the last two years we have spent a lot of time working on a series of content-focused Drupal SEO modules. Just before DrupalCon Chicago, we released the final module that integrated the whole system together: Drupal SEO Tools. The module provides a presets system to streamline configuration of vital Drupal SEO modules and a dashboard (screenshot) that integrates charts from Google Analytics with shortcut links to popular SEO functions.

They system was set up to solve two problems. First, not just knowing which modules to install, which is covered in several good articles and the SEO Checklist, but also to auto-configure the optimal settings for their dozens of options, which can be fairly overwhelming if your are new to Drupal SEO and is rather tedious even for experienced experts.

The second problem it is trying to solve is to facilitate a workflow for doing SEO in a Drupal site. The SEO Tools module provides a dashboard which provides categories of links to various vital tools for doing search engine optimization. Some are to internal modules and some to external tools such as Google Webmaster Tools. It also integrates Google Analytics data to maximize the transparency of the results of your efforts.

In the rush to DrupalCon, we didn't get a chance to formally do a release announcement. Shortly after DrupalCon, one of the required modules, Google Analytics API was abandoned and superseded by another module, Google Analytics Reports. In the crunch of client work we have had to do in the four months since DrupalCon, SEO Tools sat without the required move to use the newer Reports module.

Last week I finally got a chance to change out the data interface. So without further ado, I give you Drupal SEO Tools.

Watch video [permalink] Learn more about the full Drupal SEO Tools Suite

ShowSlow: Monitor Your Site's Performance For Free

Being a fast website is important both for SEO and for creating a pleasant experience for your website's visitors. While some of this is can be measured by how long it takes apache to respond, how fast a page renders in modern browsers is a more interesting and accurate way to measure results. There are several great tools out there for not only checking on a site's performance but also giving suggestions for making it load faster. These include Yahoo's YSlow, Google's Page Speed and webpagetest.org and they are all free! Every web admin should use these tools to keep your sites nice and speedy. YSlow was the first available and set the bar for website testing tools. It comes as a firefox (and just recently a chrome) extension and gives a letter grade for the front end performance of a site. It also makes dozens of suggestions for how to improve a site. Google Page Speed was next and tests slightly different items but has some overlap. It also is a firefox plugin and more recently was added to chrome. Page Speed also gives you a grade out of 100 and seems to make slightly better recommendations than YSlow for how to optimize the front end performance. Another great resource that is a bit different is webpagetest.org. It allows you to enter a url and run repetitive front end tests against a website to measure load speed metrics and take a screen shot. You can also run it against different parts of the country to see if there are differences in load times for different regions and browsers. While fundamentally different from YSlow and Page Speed, it fills a similar need for testing front end performance of your website. These tools are all great to use when developing and deploying a site to make sure things were done as optimally as possible. However, they don't provide a great way to continuously monitor and track the scores and suggestions. This is where my new favorite tool comes in. Showslow.com. I first found it while trying to store data from Page Speed and noticed that there were export and "Send to www.showslow.com" options. I had never heard of showslow and so looked it up. Showslow turned out to do what I wanted better than I could have imagined and was free and open source to boot! So what is Showslow.com? Show Slow is an open source tool that helps monitor various website performance metrics over time. It captures the results of YSlow, Page Speed and dynaTrace AJAX Edition (webpagetest.org) rankings and graphs them, to help you understand how various changes to your site affect its performance. All you have to do is go to their site and enter a url. If they haven't already, they will begin running performance metrics from YSlow and Page Speed against your site daily. If they have been running them already you will automatically see the metrics. They will then collect and chart the changes over time. This allows us to make changes to the performance of a site and see what effects it has over time without having to keep track of past scores ourselves. Simply make the changes and see the changes on the chart. Google.com on showslow This fits in nicely with LevelTen's performance optimizations that we are doing for customers. We have had quite a few people coming to us asking for help in making their sites run faster. Sometimes they have absolutely no optimizations turned on at all, even css and js aggregation. Having a tool like Showslow.com will help us show what the impact of our optimizations are. We plug in the site several days before we do any optimizations and then start to work. Once we are done there should be a major increase in scores and decrease in load times. Thus we can quantify what our clients have gotten in the performance improvements. No longer will it just "feel" faster. If you don't have showslow as part of your arsenal yet, I'd highly recommend that you start now. It costs nothing and is easy to use. If you need to keep the data private (although anyone can run the tests against your websites), you can download the source code and run it on your own server. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nojhan/754257252/