Matt Cunard, Sr. Digital Marketer
There may be no better feeling than launching a brand new website. It’s the culmination of a lot of effort, time and hard work. But over time, a website can deteriorate. As updates are made, usability can suffer, content becomes flat and search engine optimization may suffer.
But there is good news! There are relatively easy ways to identify when these issues arise in order to fix them. Below are five areas to look at to determine how healthy your website is, including a few tools that make evaluating your website easier.
- Mobile- the expectation is that your website performs just as well on mobile devices as it does on a desktop. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool allows you to test individual pages of your website (hint: start with the home page) to see if they are mobile-friendly. If your page is optimized for mobile, you can submit it to the queue to be processed by Google. If your page is deemed to be not friendly for mobile users, you can see what is wrong with it and provide that to your internal or external webmaster to address.
- Search Engine Optimization- there’s no shortage of tools to help you determine how well your site is doing in terms of SEO. For a free tool, I love Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Tool. It allows you to pull all the URLs from your website and helps you check for duplicate metadata, 404 errors and broken links. On the paid side, Raven Tools’ Site Auditor shows you similar items to Screaming Frog, plus other errors like images missing ALT tags, pages with low word counts and duplicate content.
- Usability- this one covers a lot, from page speed to navigation. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool helps you determine how individual pages of your website perform in a speed test, and even gives you the items that need to be fixed to improve your page speed. Website accessibility is hot topic right now, so having a complete audit done to identify issues is a necessity that Forbin can help with. There are also a ton of usability tools out there, but I’d recommend asking some simple questions instead (you can even enlist a willing spouse or friend to help out):
- How easy is it to get to phone numbers, addresses and hours for your office(s)?
- Is all product and service information able to be reached within two clicks?
- Does your website have a search function? Does it work correctly?
- In general, is your website hard or easy for people to use?
- Content- when was the last time you actually read through the content on your website? Is it accurate or is it out of date? If your content is stale, give it a facelift, whether that’s a new voice and tone, accurate information or restructuring how the text shows on each page (table, bullets, comparison chart, etc.).
- Traffic Report- this one requires having Google Analytics or another analytics program installed on your website. Knowing where your website traffic is coming from and where they are going to on your website is crucial. This allows you to make decisions based on data or to measure the progress of other marketing efforts.
Checking your website’s health is not a one and done activity. At minimum, it should be done quarterly, and I recommend most of these checks are done on a monthly basis. This allows you to identify issues and solve them at the pace your customers expect.
Need a helping hand to identify issues with your website? VGM Forbin is here to help! Simply contact us today how we can assist you.