Be honest - when was the last time you took an in depth look at your website to see how well it is performing? With every day business to attend to, it’s easy to forget about checking on the functionality and productivity of your website. By taking the time to measure and analyze your web metrics you’ll have insight into what’s working and what isn’t, what needs to be updated or fixed, and so on.
Your website is one of your most important marketing tools and you want to make sure you are using it to its full potential. With all of the time and money you’ve invested in building your website, you should make sure it's doing what you want and need it to do. We’ve put together a short list of things to look into when giving your website an annual check-up.
Analyze Website Performance
With 2017 just around the corner, now is the perfect time to take a deeper look into your website and determine what improvements you want to focus on in the coming year. The best place to start is by analyzing your website with one of the many free analyzer tools available.
Each tool works a little bit differently, and may measure slightly different data, so it may be wise to use more than one to compile as much data as possible. If you have the time, you may as well try them all out, because, why not? They’re free!
Here are some of the most popular (and free!) website analysis tools available:
Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer allows users to research backlinks, find opportunities for additional link-building, and find links that are broken, outdated, or that need to be removed altogether. It is a completely free tool offered by Moz, and a great place to start.
Going Up is a free tool that analyzes your personalized URL, backlink sources, page rank, social media mentions, and more. It is fast, easy to use and provides some really great data to help you improve your website performance.
Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer is another free website analyzer tool that measures the speed of your website, your website’s SEO score, and much more. It counts your backlinks and the number of pages that have been indexed by search engines, and provides recommendations on how you can improve web performance.
WooRank is another great tool that can be used to analyze your website. It provides tips for improving your SEO, usability, mobile friendliness and more. It even provides a basic checklist to help you prioritize your efforts to improve your website, starting with the most critical first.
Our list would not be complete without Hubspot’s free Website Grader tool. This tool provides an excellent overview of all of the components that contribute to the overall functionality and usability of your website. By reviewing your grades in each of the areas analyzed, you can determine what areas of your website you want/need to focus on first.
Check for Browser Compatibility
Is your website compatible with the latest versions of the most widely used browsers? If not, you may alienate a large portion of your potential audience. If users can’t experience your website in the way it was intended, then all of your efforts to optimize your website are wasted.Your website should be compatible with at least the following browser versions for the optimal user experience:
- Chrome 52.0
- Internet Explorer 11.0
- Chrome 51.0
- Chrome 45.0
- Edge 13
- Internet Explorer 8.0
- Chrome 49.0
- Firefox 47
- Safari 9.1
- Internet Explorer 9.0
- Firefox 48
You can install all of the above browsers on your computer, and test your website on each browser and version, but it can be difficult to test older versions of a browser using this method. An alternative to this testing method would be to use a free or paid browser testing service, such as Browsershots, Browsera, or CrossBrowserTesting.
Check Brand Consistency
After you’ve reviewed your website analytics and uncovered/fixed any browser compatibility issues, you’ll need to review your website content to make sure your brand, mission and overall messaging still accurately reflect your business. Does your website clearly explain what you need/want it to?
Just as an outdated browser can negatively impact your visitor's’ impression of your website, inconsistent messaging can also drive visitors away. If you haven’t provided website visitors with a clear idea of what your business is about and the problem you can help them solve, they may think you don’t know the answer either.
Beyond Your Website
Remember that branding goes beyond just your website. Yes, you want to have consistent colors, taglines, values, personality, etc., spread throughout your website. Make sure you also take a look at your social media networks, mobile applications, and any other client facing online applications, to determine if they are still portraying your organization in the way you want them to.
If they aren’t, then you have your work cut out for you, and you better get started! Contact Commonplaces to find out how we can help.