Checkbot: Every Digital Marketer Needs This Extension

by Blake Reichenbach on February 2, 2019
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Digital marketing is a pretty broad field. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, it can be defined as "Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium."

I'm about to drop some knowledge on you that may seem unlikely at first, but it's important given the "mainly on the Internet" aspect of the definition. Are you ready?

...the Internet is really f***ing big, and full of all kinds of content. By extension, Digital Marketing is also really f'ing big and full of all kinds of content. 

But, when you look at the heart of digital marketing, the core element that every marketer wrestles with on a daily basis is your website. If your website is full of great content, plays nicely with search engines, and has what it takes to convert visitors into leads, you're doing digital marketing right. 

While that is an oversimplification, it's still pretty true: a great website is at the core of being a great digital marketer.

Designers can help us make appealing websites, and we can integrate our marketing funnels into the content. Yet, for a website to perform at its best, you've also got to take your site's security, SEO, and page speed into consideration.

Why Your Website's Details Matter

Google and other search engines take the on-page content, security, and load speed of a website into consideration when determining where your site should rank in search engine pages. Plus, other websites will consider these factors when determining whether or not you're reputable and worthy of a link back. Customers, subconsciously or not, will look at your site and make a judgement call about whether or not your business is legitimate and deserving of their money. And if you're not totally secure, don't even think for asking customers to submit payment information!

While you know how important all of these factors are, you know as well as I do that as a marketer, you have far too much on your place to also train yourself into being a techie and to know how to excel in each of these areas. Besides, your business may already have teams designated to handling these issues. Or, if you're a solopreneur, you probably feel like your time is better spent working with clients and building your portfolio rather than learning HTML and web development.

Luckily, you don't have to become a Google dev in order to tighten up your website and score major SERP points. Instead, you can just use Checkbot.

What Checkbot Does

Upfront, I want to make something clear: Checkbot is not endorsing me or sponsoring this post. I just legitimately love what they do.

Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 1.51.45 PMCheckbot is a Chrome browser extension that you can use to crawl your website, and it provides a detailed report on improvements your website can make to improve its SEO, security, and speed. 

It assesses a variety of aspects of your website and provides you with a score on a scale of 0% to 100%. For each category that does not have a score of 100%, they provide insights into not only why it didn't receive a perfect score but also link to the pages or on-page assets that are preventing you from getting a perfect score.

For example, if you haven't set H1 headings for all of your pages, under the category of "Set H1 headings," you'll be able to see which pages don't currently have an H1 set and you can go directly to those pages. 

The insights that Checkbot provides are clear and concise, and I would argue that they're beginner friendly as well. As a HubSpotter, I'm working in web development on a daily basis, so I'm familiar with a variety of SEO tools. Many, including industry leaders like SEMrush, are able to provide more detailed SEO reports, but they can also be quite confusing or even misguided if you haven't invested a significant amount of time in understanding SEO lingo and best practices. 

With Checkbot, it tells you what's wrong and provides instructions for how to fix it. Perhaps the only category that can be a little difficult to interpret is the security section, as many digital marketers who don't have a dev background may not be able to implement HTTP header adjustments on their own, but even then Checkbot can provide you with a very straightforward checklist that you can send to your IT, web developer, or freelance web admin. 

Even as someone who knows web development pretty well, Checkbot is a handy tool. Especially if I'm in a rush or launching a new web project, it's so easy to overlook on-page SEO details or the minutiae of page performance. Checkbot is a handy tool for checking your work and keeping you accountable to your website.

How to Use Checkbot

After installing the extension in your browser (for free), getting started is incredibly simple. Just click on the extension and it will automatically open with the URL of the page that you're on populated. You can replace that with the main URL for your website, or you can start by testing the page that you're on.

After that, all you have to do is hit enter and the crawl is on. For example, check out this quick crawl I did of the Neil Patel Blog.

website crawl checkbotIt really is that simple. I put in the URL, hit enter, and boom. Checkbot crawled the page and many of the URLs at the page's related sitemap, and in a matter of seconds, we had a clear, easy to read report of the page's performance.

On the lefthand site of the screen, you're able to see where improvements can be made, and you can break these down by category and can export the details if desired. 

If you're using the paid version of Checkbot (which only costs around $9 per month... which is really good), you can crawl even more pages, customize your crawl parameters, and even modify your user-agent.  

I use Checkbot on a weekly, if not daily, basis– it really is a digital marketer's best friend. I'm personally of the opinion that every digital marketer should learn HTML and basic web development, but even if you haven't done so, you're going to be able to action Checkbot's advice. And if you're having a hard time putting their advice into action... be sure to reach out for some freelance consulting!