Check your website health with these great free tools

Responsive Design

We have pulled together some free tools that let you check the health of your website and how this may affect its position in Google

We all know how important it is for a website to rank well in search engines. A whole industry has emerged to help business owners get their websites to appear high up the Google search results.

A lot of nonsense is talked about websites and in particular SEO so we wanted to arm you with some free tools that will give you some unbiased insight into your websites general health and some pointers on areas that can be improved. This of this as an MOT for your website.

The tools will cover your site speed, how well it works on mobile, whether it is secure and a general overview of the health of your site. Lets quickly dive into why these matter.

Test your website speed

How quickly your website loads is a factor Google takes into account when deciding how your site ranks. Google hates slow sites as do your customers. Studies have repeatedly shown that sites that take longer have much higher bounce rates than those that load in 3 seconds or less. Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit your site and the leave or bounce without taking any action or looking at other pages. If you are paying to send users to a website with a high bounce rate you could be throwing money because your site is not performing.

Below are some great tools to see how quickly your site loads and how to improve the site speed. Remember a fast loading site should improve conversion rates and will help with your search engine optimisation or SEO.

Does your site work on mobile?

Mobile has long ago overtaken desktop computers as the tool people use to browse the internet. This means that you need to ensure your site is giving mobile users a good experience. This means your site needs to load fast, be easy to navigate and work well on a small screen. Most business owners look at their own site on an office computer and this can give a false impression of the experience most of your potential customers are getting. Most sites get around 60-70% of traffic from mobile so making sure those users get a good experience is essential. 

Google have also shifted to mobile first indexing which means Google use the mobile version of your site to decide how relevant your site is to a users search rather than the desktop version. This was a major shift that reinforces just how important your sites performance on mobile is. 

Here is how you can check how Google views your website:

A final thought

We hope this little guide was useful and gives some ideas on how to improve your website. This is only a quick snapshot and there are many more great tools out there to help you identify areas to improve. Remember your website and online marketing strategy should be seen as an ongoing process, not something you can tick off the list and move on. 

In addition to the tests above the areas please make sure your website has an active SSL certificate in place, another post on this coming soon.

In the meantime if you would like any help with your digital marketing strategy get in touch and we would be happy to help.

Get your website audited by our team

Do you want our team to audit your website and help you improve your sites search engine rankings? Would you like to see how your site compares to your competitors and what they are doing that is giving them an advantage? Our team can help you improve your search engine rankings and get ahead of your competition.

What makes a great website?

Design Billboard

We look at what makes for a great website in 2019.

We joined a new marketing group recently and as part of our pre-qualification, the organisers asked us what we thought made a website great. We thought this was a great question and it inspired us to write this post and share our thoughts.

You can look at this question in a number of ways so let’s try and breakdown what we think are important considerations and why, and hopefully this will help you if you are thinking about a new website.

All website projects should start with the objective but this is often overlooked. What is the goal of your website and what do you want it to deliver in terms of business benefits? We often get clients who approach us with a request for a new website that is centred around design but we always recommend taking time to really flesh out the requirements and agree on the core objectives before any design work is done.

We want a website that portrays a great image and has a great contemporary design

Whilst those things may be important they are not objectives and are unlikely to be considered a success once a site has gone live. Sure everyone wants their website to look good and portray a professional image but in our experience, generating results is more important. No one is going to thank you if their website looks great, but doesn’t generate any value.

What sort of objectives should we have?

Whilst we can’t give you all the answers without understanding your business, we thought it may be useful to share some ideas around how to set great objectives for your site.

A great model for setting objectives is to use the SMART model which means objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. Let’s look at some specific examples:

  • Increase online sales by 5% in the 3 months after launch
  • Increase our average order value by 20% implementing new product recommendations as part of the checkout process
  • Increase the volume of traffic from natural search (SEO) by 10% in the 3 months following launch of the new site
  • Increase our landing page conversion rate from 2% to 3% within a month of launching the site
  • Increase site speed achieving a target load time on no more than 3 seconds at launch
  • Decrease the bounce rate of our site by 5% within 3 months of going live with the new site

Once you have agreed your objectives you have a clear and measurable set of goals that you can use to benchmark success, this is much better than more subjective measures such as the design which tends to be more a matter of opinion. 

A great website is one that delivers the objectives of the client, or put simply, it just works!