How good is your website? Find out here.
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A quick and effective website health check
I often get asked to review business websites. Many website owners don’t know if their website is high performance.
One of the first things I do is test the site with the tools below. They are easy-to-use and help you understand how well your website has been made.
Is your website error free?
Whack in your url and the W3C Markup validator will highlight HTML, CSS and XML coding errors.
Why fix coding errors? Like a well-maintained car engine, error-free code ensures a reliable and performing website that works correctly.
How fast is your website
Plug your website URL into Google Pagespeed tool to discover your page loading speed on both mobile devices and PC.
A score over 80% is a good. Under 50 and you have problems to resolve.
Implementing the changes is tricky and will require a web developer with intimate knowledge of htaccess, servers and xml (like me).
Why is speed important? Fast websites are favoured in Google search and get more traffic. If your page is too slow, visitors will leave.
Does your website have an AMP?
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are simplified, ultra-fast loading versions of your web pages designed for mobile users.
Google your webpages from a mobile phone. If the search listing has a little AMP symbol nearby, then your website already offers AMP pages.
Why is AMP important? AMP pages get priority in search engine result pages on mobile devices. As this accounts for about 50% of web traffic, AMP is a sure fire way to boost your web traffic.
Eyeball your webpage for keyword optimization
You can check if a page has been optimized in 1 minute. Slightly over-simplifying the SEO process – each webpage should be optimized for 1 keyword or keyphrase. Check that the keyphrase appears in the page url, the browser page title, the page heading and within the page contents.
Why optimize a website? Optimized websites attract thousands more visits from Google.
Is your website mobile ready?
Does your website have a responsive design or a mobile version? Use Google’s mobile friendly tool to test if your site is deemed suitable for mobile users.
Why is mobile so important? Mobile accounts for over 50% of internet usage. If your website is not mobile ready then you are missing out big.
Website and server performance
Pingdom monitors your server speed and website downtime (how often it is off-line due to server problems).
Why downtime is important? Do you really know when your site goes offline? If you are Europe-based but targeting the US, the last thing you want is a server that goes down for maintenance each night whilst you are asleep but your US clients are trying to access your site.
Server downtime and server response time vary from one host to another. If your site is slow, the cause may be slow server. Requesting a server upgrade may well solve your problem.
Test your website’s structured Markup
Schema markup is used to provide enhanced search engine results by showing additional information such as product pictures, ratings, prices, dates and opening hours. Websites using Schema markup stand out against competitors in search results and can greatly increase visitor numbers.
To see if your website is using Schema, input your homepage URL into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. The results will indicate if your site is benefiting from Schema.
Fix broken links
Use the broken link checker to find all broken links on your website.
Why fix broken links? Broken links frustrate users and have a negative impact on your website’s visibility in search. You should check and fix broken links regularly.
How many versions of your homepage
Open two separate browser windows and type in your domain with and without the “www”, for example – www.yoursitename.com and yoursitename.com. How many versions of your website do you have?
Why www / non-www is important? It doesn’t matter which version you use, but it should never be both. Otherwise you have 2 versions of your website. Duplicate content confuses search engines as they do not know which website to index.
Is your website secured with SSL?
Does your website have an SSL certificate? Open any page on your website and inspect the link. Does it begin https or http? If the latter, you need to get an SSL certificate for your website.
Why is SSL important? As well as providing better security for website users, non-SSL websites are now penalized in search, and are generally less trusted by users.
Input any webpage url into Alexa to find an estimate of the number of backlinks to the site. With varying degree of accuracy, Alexa will also rate your website on a host of other other metrics including country rank and website traffic.
Why backlinks are important? As a rule of thumb, more links mean better search indexing and more visitors. Links from leading websites are far more important than links from smaller sites that are irrelevant to your industry.
How authorative and trusted is your website?
Link Explorer shows your domain authority and the number of sites linking to you. It provides a decent seo health check for your website.
Why is authority important? Search engines rank websites on authority and trust. The higher you score the more visibility you will get in organic search.
Get a complete website review
Nibbler will review your website against a growing list of metrics. The paid version, Sitebeam, tests often overlooked aspects such as spelling and css link hover/visited/active differences.
Similar, Woorank provides an overall webpage health check. In my own experience, it does have the habit of throwing up irrelevant or incorrect issues, but is useful for picking up on aspects you may have overlooked whilst developing a website.
Do you dominate search engine results pages within your niche?
This is a major topic and covered in other blogs on this website, so I’ll just outline several key points.
Google your brand name and examine the search results page. You should have clearly communicated titles and descriptions about who you are and what you do. You should also see a Google Map showing your location and company info courtesy of your Google My Business listing.
I usually spend a few minutes on each of these tools when developing a website. For website owners, they provide an excellent website health check, giving a clear indication of how well your website has been made.
Problems? We can fix the issues on this page very quickly (and a whole lot more).