5 easy ways to check the health of your website

Published: Friday, October 14th, 2016

Did you know that the quality of your web design can effect your search engine ranking or that 40% of users will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load? That’s a lot of visitors who could potentially be your next customers!
Broken links or pages that don’t display correctly on mobile phones can also contribute to a poor user experience and that also hurts sales. Technical issues like these may be partly responsible for your poor web performance but how can you find out exactly what the issues are?

With free website auditing tools that’s how! There are now free tools you can use to perform a quick health check that will provide you with a diagnosis of the technical problems affecting your website and suggest ways to resolve them.

Here are 5 web design health checks you can do yourself to help you improve online performance.

1. Test how fast your website is with page speed test tools

First, start by testing how quickly your web pages load. To test this use free tools like Google’s page speed test tool; just enter your website URL and then click the ANALYZE button. Within seconds Google will return a results page showing your score for both mobile and desktop devices. It also indicates issues that need addressing and provides you with an overall user experience score. This is vital information to discuss with your web developer. Pingdom is another free and easy-to-use option.

2. Use the Google mobile-friendly test tool

With more than a third of all internet searches done on mobile devices and mobile ownership at over 70%, it’s vital that your website is mobile-friendly. To test this use Google Developer’s mobile-friendly test tool. Simply enter your URL and click ‘Analyze.’ The results will tell you if your website is mobile-friendly or not. If you’re not mobile-friendly you really are missing out on serious sales opportunities and that’s a fact folks. Don’t ignore mobile!

“People are 5 times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly.” – Google

3. Get a website score for security and SEO

So you’ve checked your page speed and mobile capability, now you may want other information on SEO or web security. Hubspot have their own free audit tool called Website Grader. Again, the interface is simple and user-friendly. Just enter your web URL and click ‘Get Your Answer.’ The application audits your site and within seconds you will have a breakdown of scores for performance, mobile, SEO and security. If your site scores low, we advise sharing this info with an experienced web developer to understand the issues before attempting to resolve them.

4. Check your links; broken links are a serious issue

Another critical health risk to your website are broken links. A link directs your visitors to other useful pages on your website or to an external page on another site. From time to time Google crawls websites to understand what your site is and how to index it on their search results pages. One of the key factors they measure is the quality of your links, both internal and external. Without getting too technical here, too many broken links are a red flag to search engines like Google and can negatively impact your page rank and lower page rank can hurt your sales. Use a free broken link checker tool like Dead Link Checker to quickly analyse the extent of the bad links on your website. Another free and easy-to-use option is Broken Link Check. Again discuss the report results with your web developer to find out how serious the link problems are and the best way to resolve them.

5. Use Google analytics tools to dig deeper into website performance

The Google Analytics Tool offers a wealth of information that you can use to keep your website fighting fit. However, it can be tricky to use and is more for experienced web developers and digital marketers who know how to interpret the results. In your analytics account you can access vital data on your web traffic, site speed, page loading times as well as information on your best performing and under-performing pages. Another health check option is Google Search Console. This tool is also free but again, generally aimed at experienced web developers.

Key Takeaways

Your ability to increase your web traffic and to convert these visits to sales depends on your website having a clean bill of health. There are free easy-to-use auditing tools available to test your website for speed, security, broken links and other web design issues. The tools will help you identify problems that could be negatively affecting your visitor’s user experience and in turn damaging your sales. Always get advice from your professional web design team before attempting to resolve any issues that these tools reveal.

After testing, what next?

These tools are great for evaluating your website but if you are not happy with the results you need to discuss them with an experienced web design team. Remember this is your business we’re talking about, so you need to ensure your customers have the best user experience possible when they visit your site, otherwise they won’t be back. Contact Digitaledge for some professional and practical advice on the web design issues that may be affecting your business website.

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