Website AnalysisAll the things you need to know
What is wrong with my website?
This is one of those questions which is often answered by “how long is a piece of string”. The right answer starts with another question – What do you want your site to do?
The answer to this dictates what steps are needed to turn your site around and start performing and returning on that investment.
What are your goals?
What do you want the site to do? Raise awareness? Bring in enquiries? Sell directly to your customer?
Before you decided what to do about your website, its important to take a snapshot and review how it is currently performing. With this in mind, I perform the following web analysis and create a report with my findings.
What CMS (Content Management System) you are using?
Why is this important?
Well, it depend on the developer you use to help you with your website. There are numerous CMS’s available and your developer may not be an expert in your current CMS.
A Fav Icon is the tiny picture that appears in the tab at the top of the screen, which is a further opportunity to add your branding to your website. In fact, by not having a FavIcon on your site draws your eye towards this area, and can have a negative impact on your site.
You can find out more information about what a favicon is and what you can do about it here.
Domain Registration Information
Domain registration details are entered when you decide on a domain name and purchase it for your site. By default, these details are public records and anyone can use the site WHOIS can find out the details you entered during registration of your domain.
You may not think this is a problem and it may not be a concern to you that your name, address and contact details are on free display to anyone who wishes to find out. You can opt out and hide your details if you wish, to protect your details.
It is ESSENTIAL that you have some kind of analytics on your site. WHY? Well, if you do not gather analytical information, how can you really know what is going on with your website. What are your top pages?
How many visitors does your site get each day? Where are they from? There are hundreds of bits of analytical information available, and this is a huge advantage in steering your site in the direction you wish it to go. One of the most popular analytics platforms is Google Analytics, but there are many alternatives should you wish to use them instead.
A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organisation of your site content.
Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site. You should ensure that you have a sitemap, as this tells Google about your site, and the structure of the sections etc.
Why is this important? Well, in simple terms, the faster your pages load, the more likely your visitor will stay, and return to your website.
No one will stay if your web pages takes ages to load. To see if your pages are loading quickly or slowly you can use this site as a guide to review your page performance.
Image ALT Tag
ALT Tags are invisible descriptions of images which are read aloud to blind users on a screen reader. Adding ALT text allows authors to include images, but still provide the content in an alternative text based format. It helps search engines understand what an image is about.
Alternate text is also very helpful in case images on a page cannot be found. Image title is another attribute that can be added to the image tag in HTML. It is used to provide a title for your image.
The robots exclusion standard, also known as the robots exclusion protocol or simply robots.txt, is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots.
The standard specifies how to inform the web robot about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned.
Custom 404 Page
404 pages are displayed when a link is broken or some part of the site visited is no longer available to be viewed.
By default, your site will show some kind of 404 error page, but its good practice to generate your own friendly version of a 404 page, and decide what information is displayed on it to help the visitor recover from the error, and indeed inform you that you have a problem so you can take corrective action.
A 301 redirect is pretty self explanatory. You have a page that may have previously existed that your visitors still have in their computers memory (cache) and whenever they visit this page, a 404 – page not found error is displayed.
If you have replaced this page or wish for historical visitors to visit the new location, you can redirect all requests for page A to go to page B automatically. This is simple to setup, and is a great way to keep your page historical authority and forward it to your new page.
Breadcrumbs are a great way to tell your visitor where they are on the website by showing a path back to the home page.
These can also help your SEO in that a clear path from your home page to all areas of the site is visible to both your website visitors and google. Google likes a nice, clean and clear website structures and this helps demonstrate to google you have followed this practice.
Page by Page analysis
An in-depth analysis if completed for every page on the site to check the content, the look, the feel, the speed etc. Every aspect is inspected and compared to guidelines to see if they are optimally performing.
Advice is given as to why there is an issue and what can be done to update the site to perform better. Other areas reviewed are “Above the fold”, “Header” and “Footer” as these form the major part of the web pages.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer – which I know is still no help in understanding what it is or why you would need it. You may have heard it referred to as HTTPS which again, may not clarify its use. Well, I hope this helps you understand it a bit more.
Without SSL, all data travelling to and from your website is visible over the internet by educated hackers. So, how do we protect ourselves? SSL of course. By adding an SSL certificate protection to your website you are encrypting the data travelling to and from your website, so if it is intercepted, its all gibberish to the hacker.
There are various encryption levels you can add but basically, if you were to gather user registration details of you have users logging in to your site, you should defiantly have SSL.
With recent Google algorithm updates, they have been promoting that a lot of visitor on the internet are using mobile devices to view websites. With this in mind, it makes sense that your site should display correctly on these devices to give your visitor a great experience when on your website.
This is often referred to being “responsive” which means that you can have one website that automatically changes how its viewed depending on what device is being used to view it on. Google provides a checker to see if your site is mobile friendly here, which you can use to see if your site passes the test.
If it does not pass, they you should review your audience to see how many are using mobile devices (using google analytics) and if there is a high percentage, mobile friendly updates should be applied. You will also achieve a higher ranking by being mobile friendly.
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is a vast subject, and this guide is aimed at the small to medium business website owners who can achieve a real boost to their site by complying with these simple guidelines when designing and updating their website.
This is the text that appears at the top of the screen in your tab. These are often used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page, and are important both for SEO and social sharing. The title element of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.
Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag, or as many characters as will fit into a 512-pixel display. If you keep your titles under 55 characters, you can expect at least 95% of your titles to display properly. Keep in mind that search engines may choose to display a different title than what you provide in your HTML. Titles in search results may be rewritten to match your brand, the user query, or other considerations.
The header tag, or the H! tag in HTML, will usually be the title of a post, or other emphasised text on the page. It will usually be the largest text that stands out.
I would usually check to see that you don’t have any missing H1 tags, or any that are duplicated.
The header tag, or the H2 tag in HTML, will usually be the title of a post, or other emphasised text on the page. It will usually be the second largest text that stands out.I would usually check to see that you don’t have any missing H2 tags, or any that are duplicated.
Cookies are a kind of short term memory for the web. They are stored in your browser and enable a site to ‘remember’ little bits of information between pages or visits. They are widely used to make the web experience more personal, which is generally seen as a positive thing. However some cookies collect data across many websites, creating ‘behavioural profiles’ of people.
Terms and Conditions
Help protect your website and its users with clear and fair website terms and conditions. Use these online terms and conditions to govern the use of a website in England & Wales and to set out the legal rights and obligations between you and users. These terms and conditions for a website set out key issues such as acceptable use, privacy, cookies, registration and passwords, intellectual property, links to other sites, termination and disclaimers of responsibility.
When to use
Use these website terms and conditions:
- to set out the legal rights and obligations between you and users of the website
- when the users of your website will be at least 18 years’ old
- when users of your website will visit the website, download and contribute information in a personal capacity
What it covers
These website terms and conditions cover:
- acceptable use of the website
- prohibited use of the website
- registration, password and security
- linked websites
- availability of the website
- disclaimers and limitation of liability
These website terms and conditions are governed by the law of England and Wales.
Once all this information has been gathered it is presented in a report along with recommendations on how the correct any of these issues to ensure your site is performing at its maximum.
Ready to get going on
your next project?
Get in touch today to discuss your requirements
Leave me a message
Monday: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Tuesday: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Wednesday: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Thursday: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Friday: 9.00am - 5.00pm
If you need advice or a review
of your site, contact me today.
Based in WORCESTER