Ninety-nine percent of business owners who have a website don’t understand how to measure their effectiveness. Okay, the percentage may be exaggerated, but it’s true that many business owners don’t comprehend enough about web design and development to know if their website is effective behind-the-scenes or not.
In this article, I want to share 3 simple ways you can test your website to measure its performance. My goal is to keep it basic without much technical jargon so you can take your next steps towards improvement.
1. Look at the Page Title at the top of your browser window
At the very top of your browser window (or within the tab) you will see a title. See how it says “3 Simple Tests to Rate Your Website”. That’s the page title. It is one of the most important and heavily weighted items to help boost your likelihood of showing up on a relevant web search. However, the page title is also one of the most neglected.
If you click through several pages on your website, you should see descriptive language at the top of each page. Page titles that are keyword rich, or specific and descriptive, and not more than 60 characters are ideal. So if yours are only a few words or just your company’s name, it’s time to get the page titles optimized and updated.
2. Search your company name
Performing a Google search for your company name should yield results linking to your website. Ideally, you should see a bold, keyword-rich title that says what you do, followed by a brief, keyword-rich description. Each of these groups of text should NOT be truncated. There are specific character limits, 60 for the bold text (the title as mentioned above), and 155 for the description. If you are omitting this information from your website, the search engines may be presenting random text from your page. Not having the descriptions at all will also reduce your chances of showing up in the first place.
When we design and develop websites at Trillion, we are inputting optimized title and description content specifically for this purpose. The description text is not visible on your website but the search engines love it.
3. Check for responsiveness
Hover on the lower right corner of your web browser window then click and drag the window smaller and larger. Does your website content resize and adjust to fill the space or does it start cropping your website? If it is adjusting, great! This means your website has responsive features built into it and will display optimally on mobile devices.
If the website is getting cropped, it’s likely been programmed in a fixed-width environment which is now obsolete. At Trillion, all of our new website designs are responsive and cater to both desktop and mobile users. Because many websites see 20-40% of visitors now accessing them via a mobile device (a number that’s growing every day), it’s obvious why your website should be easily viewed on them.
BONUS: Check your website’s links
Links within your website should all be connecting or clicking through to valid pages. Sometimes you may have links to articles that no longer exist. This causes a broken link and possible error. Using a free website link validator (http://validator.w3.org/checklink) will help reveal potential broken link problems. Broken links or invalid links can have a negative effect on your search engine page ranking, and even your website grade—not to mention disappointing or frustrating your visitors.
Fixing or eliminating the broken links that are revealed by the link validator is very important. The report generated by the link validator will provide recommended fixes. Some may be easier to implement than others.
If you are noticing issues with your website design or are in need of a website redesign, use our contact form to reach out to us or call 908.219.4703. Mention this article and we will provide a free 30-minute exam of your website and be ready to discuss ways it can be improved.