Website Design

The Why and How of Website Health Checks

June 2017
Melissa Sorini

Website health checks are the online equivalent of heading off to your trusted GP for regular check-ups. There might not be anything obviously wrong on the surface but it’s important to check in and make sure that everything is working the way it’s meant to – and to flag anything of concern before it becomes a serious problem.

Here’s some of the key health indicators for your website:

1. Website speed

If your website is slow your visitors are going to get impatient and click out. A quick health check can establish whether your site is working at the best possible speed, and diagnose areas that need optimising.

You can check your website speed here with Google (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/).

2. Mobile responsiveness

Mobile website usage is a significant and growing source of online traffic. If your website is not mobile-ready you are automatically excluding a large percentage of users. Google will reduce traffic to your site if it’s not mobile responsive.

Is your website mobile responsive? Check here with Google’s test. (https://www.google.com.au/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/)

3. Keyword optimisation

It’s important to have the right keywords in the right places on your pages, so that they appear in search results. You’ll need to check that your key phrases appears on the page URL, browser title, on-page title and within the page itself.

Find out what keywords your audience are searching for with Google’s keyword planner. (https://adwords.google.com.au/KeywordPlanner)

4. Server reliability

Health checks can monitor the amount of website downtime and the server speed. Performance can vary greatly between different hosting companies, and you’ll be able to determine if your host is adequately holding up their end of the deal.

Google Page Speed Test (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/) can tell you if you need to reduce your server response time.

5. Pagerank

Pagerank is used by Google to determine your place in search rankings, so it’s extremely important. Your pagerank goes from 0 (low) to 10 (high), and provides an accurate indication of your site’s importance across the web.

Where do you sit? Find out here with Alexa.com. You can even check out your competition! (http://www.alexa.com/).

7. Page errors and broken links

HTML, CSS or XML coding errors and broken links make your page harder for users to navigate and can interfere with updates and maintenance. They look unprofessional and leave visitors with a negative impression of your business.

Google can give you insight into whether or not you need to fix these. https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/).

8. Backlinks

Backlinks are external links to your website, and the more you have the more importance search engines will give to your site, increasing your rank. A healthy website has lots of juicy backlinks, often from reputable sites.

Do you have quality backlinks? Linkody can find out for you. https://www.linkody.com/

And if that all seems overwhelming, there are several fantastic online resources that you can enlist to help, and here are two of the best:

1. Google analytics https://analytics.google.com/

Find out how Google crawls, ranks and indexes your website with one of the most authoritative resources online. You can download reports about your site’s visibility and discover which sites backlink to yours as well. They’ll also alert you to any errors that pop up as they are crawling your site and find search queries that list your site in the results. You can also use it to check other valuable health criteria too.

2. Hubspot website grader https://website.grader.com/

Hubspot’s website grader measures the marketing effectiveness of your website and provides you with an inbound marketing score on a scale of 0 – 100. This incorporates web traffic, SEO, social media and other marketing factors, in addition to providing basic advice on how your website can be improved. It’s a great resource that can determine the health of your website, how it can be improved from a marketing perspective and how it compares to your competitors’ sites.

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