Responsive web design is only part of the picture. Take the necessary steps now to help your site achieve optimal performance.
You’ve launched a new website, or maybe it’s been up and running for a while. Your happy with it, but questions linger.
Have I done everything possible to maximize my web presence and visibility?
Is there anything I can do to improve user experience?
Good news: there are free tools to help ensure your website is operating at peak performance. You may already know about some, others will be new to you.
Either way, if you haven’t taken action because you didn’t know where to begin, it’s not too late. The barrier for entry for taking advantage of these technologies is zero. No more delays, let’s get started.
Here they are…
6 Website Optimization Tools You Shouldn’t Live Without
Optimize your presence on this service by adding more content to your page: descriptions, images, solicited reviews from your customers. Check out the GetResponse blog for tips on setting up and improving your Google My Business page.
Make sure your site has an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console in Webmaster Tools. For extra credit, you can do the same for Bing (current estimates show 350,000,000 unique visitors, an audience big enough not to be ignored). If you don’t know what a sitemap is, or how to create one, Google has some advice for you. In WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin will automatically generate one for you.
Track the overall performance and security of your site with this free tool from Hubspot. Simply enter your URL and within 30 seconds or so, it generates a detailed dashboard for what you are doing right, and what needs improvement. In addition to an overall rating, the site also breaks down Performance, Mobile, SEO and Security. Most importantly, the report gives you specific recommendations on improvement.
This tool, courtesy of Google AdWords, allows you to research and test relevant keywords for the content you produce on a regular basis. Take the time to incorporate keywords carefully and thoughtfully into the language you already use. Remember, talk like a human. You still want high quality content that provides a good user experience.
Similar to Website Grader, Nibbler will give you an overall score on your website and then break down the key areas of Accessibility, SEO, Social Media and Technology. How well designed and built is your website? How satisfying is the experience likely to be for users? Nibbler gives you very detailed results, specific examples of the good and the bad and follows through on tips for improvement.
This is a paid service, but for those with smaller sites PowerMapper provides a report on up to 10 pages of a website. Dig deep enough and you’ll find useful info. The service casts a wide net for compatibility, testing Blackberry and even Netscape (!) and content recommendations cover easily overlooked details, such as bad font choices or missing image ‘alt’ attributes.
Use these six tools to their fullest potential and you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your website.
When you view the reports from Website Grader, Nibbler and PowerMapper, you may find there is much that has been overlooked (as well as problems invisibly lurking under the hood).
Don’t despair, focus closely on the problem areas and follow the directions for improvement. And remember, this is not a one-and-done process.
Do your best to stay on top of it with a quarterly review. New content is regularly added to your site by multiple users, which means new issues will creep up.
How did your website do? Did you find these tools useful? Is there anything that I didn’t cover? I’d be grateful for any feedback or comments!