Optimising your website is a process of going above and beyond the look and feel and delving into the really small things that make your site better.
If you’re researching website optimisation, there’s a good chance you have a website that isn’t performing too well, so here’s a list of things that you can do to check it.
We should point out before you read further that optimising a website is quite a complex process that requires several online tools (some free, some not) to get the job done properly.
We’re also talking about a technical audit here, not a content audit (more information on content audits).
What is website optimisation in a nutshell?
- Analysing the build quality of your site
- Checking the on-page SEO
- Researching keyword positions
- Checking image optimisation
- Checking for errors and broken links
- Making sure it works on all devices
- Testing your hosting environment
That’s a paired-down list of the main things that you need to check. We always start with the build quality of the site because if that’s not done well it makes everything else harder to do.
Get a free website optimisation audit
How to analyse the build of your website.
As with all things web, there are lots of different ways to do this, but two free tools that give you an overview are provided by Google (and they are free).
A free tool that will run some tests on your site and give you a score out of 100 for mobile and desktop. It will also give you pointers towards things that need fixing (usually pretty techy stuff).
Some care needs to be taken with this tool. If you have a few over-sized images on your website, Page Speed Insights will severly reduce your score – even if those images are lazy-loading and speed issues are not being reported on the other tools.
Mobile website test.
Think with Google will run some further tests on your site to check it against mobile users.
Using these two free tests will give you a good overview of how well your site is built. Ideally, you want green lights with scores over 85/100.
If you’re not getting this, then some investigation is required into why not. It’s important to remember that there may be a good reason that your scores are low, but you still need to know why.
SEO Site Check.
This will give you some good feedback on other potential issues with the build of your site and it also provides information on your on-page SEO.
Checking the on-page SEO
If you’ve got a WordPress site with YOAST installed (you should consider moving to WordPress if your site is not on it), then you’ll already have a good idea about your on-page SEO. If you’re not on WordPress you can use the SEO Site Check site above for an overview.
There are also other tools to use such as SEM Rush (this won’t check your on-page directly, but will give you an idea of what you rank for).
The best way to check on-page SEO is with a manual check. Automated tools give you some idea of its optimisation, but a real person can take a good look at a cross-section of your content and advise accordingly.
On-page search engine optimisation isn’t rocket science, but there are a lot of seemingly insignificant aspects to it. Done well it makes a huge difference. You need to ask yourself one question; is my time best spent doing on-page SEO, or should I get an agency to do it for me.
Do you actually know what you currently rank for? SEM Rush will help you delve into your current rankings and show you what you’ve got in the top 10. More importantly, it will show you where you’re hovering just outside that first page. You’ll have some easy-win keywords that with a little well-written content will see you on page one in the search.
Pulling it all together
When you’ve spent time and money on a new website, it’s important not to just ‘publish and pray’. You need to know that your site is as good as it can be so all your marketing efforts are given the best opportunity to perform.
An initial site audit and a regular check up on your site will help to keep it in tip-top condition, allowing you to publish great content in the knowledge that it stands the best chance of getting found in searches.
Get in touch to get your free basic site audit today.