28 Jun 2016

5 Free Essential Tests For Every Website

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When it comes to the health of your website there are some very easy to use and free tests that will help you identify if your website has any major problems affecting Search Engine Optimisation.

Mobile Usability

I’ve previously written about the importance of mobile usability. With more searches now being carried out on mobile devices than desktop it’s even more important. If your website isn’t mobile friendly not only will it put off potential visitors your ranking in Google will be penalized. Creating a responsive, mobile friendly website should be your top priority.

Google’s mobile friendly test is very easy to use, just enter a URL and Google will tell you if it’s considered mobile friendly. It doesn’t guarantee the page is simple to use on mobile devices, you should check that yourself, but at least you won’t be down-ranked:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Loading Speed

Loading speed is closely linked to mobile usability, as customers on slower phone connections still want a website to load quickly. If your website is slow to load then you’re going to see high bounce rates, that in turn is going to harm your ranking in Google.

The Web Page Test is very easy to use and gives simple colour coded results, so you can easily see how well your website ranks. Most website can be tweaked and optimised to see an increase in page loading speeds:

http://www.webpagetest.org/

Page Title and Meta Data

I’ve written widely about Meta Title and Meta Descriptions. It’s one of the best known and still most important factors in describing to Google what your website is about. It’s essential that every page on your website has a Meta Title and Description that accurately describes the content of that page.

It can be tricky to keep track of all your pages and their Meta Data, the SEO Spider tools scans all the pages on your website and displays their Meta Data so it’s very easy to quickly see what they are, if they don’t have it and if the information is too short or long.

The Screaming Frog spider is a free download, once installed enter the URL of the website you wish to scan (it also works on your competitors websites):

Screaming Frog

Your Position in Google

Every website owner should be signed up to Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console). It’s almost certain that over 80% of your website’s organic traffic will be coming from Google. Webmaster Tools will help you identify your position in Google’s search results and allow you to plan appropriate action to get even higher.

Once in your websites dashboard first click on Google Index > Content Keywords. This will show you the top 10 words Google associates with your website. If these words aren’t related to your business then change your Meta Data and website content as quickly as possible.

The second step is to click Search Traffic > Search Analytics. Here you can view the number of impressions your website is generating and the average position each time. Use this data to identify the best search terms to generate the highest traffic and drive the most profitable business to your website:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home

Page Performance

You’re website is mobile friendly, your Meta Data is tip top and you’re starting to attract visitors but you’re not generating any conversions?! You need to look at what those visitors are doing, where they arrive and where they leave. This information will help you layout your website correctly and identify any problem spots with very high bounce or exit rates.

Like Google Webmaster Tools every website should have the tracking code for Google Analytics added. It’s an incredibly powerful free tool and can do much more than this short example.

Once in Google Analytics go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and sort by Bounce Rate and then % Exit. Look for any very high numbers on popular pages. In an ideal world the only page with a high % Exit would be your order confirmation page:

https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/

We hope these five tips are useful and help you spot any glaring errors that are holding back your search engine optimisation. If you have any questions or identify any problems that you’re not able to solve contact SEO Sauce and we can help get your website where it needs to be, at the top of Google!

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