If you’re wondering why traffic and interaction with your website has fallen off since all of your hard work getting it up and running – it’s time you looked at your website appraisal checklist. Just like a car needs a regular service and we humans need a regular health check, your website needs a regular inspection to ensure everything is still working as it should and is keeping up with fast-moving web changes.
Chances are you don’t have a checklist which is why we’re put together a website appraisal checklist to help you to keep your website at the top of its game.
This has to be top of the list. In 2016, for the first time ever access to the web from mobile devices overtook access from desktops and laptops. This will most likely continue to rise – think about it, how many people do you know who are constantly checking stuff on their phone or tablet? This is why if you don’t have a mobile responsive website you are definitely missing out on world-wide-web activity.
It’s important to remember too that Google will penalise you if your website isn’t mobile responsive – this means that reaching the strived for top-of-the-leader-board status on search pages will be difficult to get. Google strongly places responsiveness as a sign of a good website which helps to improve your page ranking.
If you’re still unsure what the term mobile responsive means – quite simply a website needs to be usable on a tablet or smart phone. This means…
- Having space for ‘tap’ areas
- No horizontal scrolling
- Readable text without needing to zoom
Go on – check your own website on a phone right now!
If you access the admin panel on your website you might see notifications of updates required. It wouldn’t be advisable to go messing with updating plugins unless you’re sure of what you are doing – fixing a broken site can be a lot more costly than engaging the services of the professionals. Here at Barry Design we offer a very competitive rate for managing your websites technical updates. Keeping plugins and the general mechanics of the site updated will help keep it running smoothly and increase your sites security.
The load speed of your site is another important part of your website appraisal checklist
If your website is slow to load, pages slow to open; you will lose visitors in seconds. Web users today have little patience when it comes to web search. If your site doesn’t open fast enough there will be another on the search page that will. There are a number of things that can slow down your website. It could be the hosting service or other tech talk issues – we can look at those for you. You can check the loading speed of your site here.
It could also be your images. While a vital part of your website and the message you want to portray, if they are not optimized correctly they can seriously slow down the load time of your site.
- Keep the image size suitable for web use.
- Don’t include too many images on a page.
- Make the images you are using relevant to the content
- Use the correct image format; JPEG is usually the best option
- Include an ‘Alt Description’ for images – this helps Google to understand the image and helps with ranking
Site Errors & Re-directs
You’ve seen this I’m sure; ‘404 Error’ or ‘Oops something went wrong’. This happens when a website page has been taken down or the URL changed and they haven’t put in the necessary re-direct or new URL. If you decide to change your site structure or update pages make sure that you put in the re-direct, otherwise you will never know how much business you could have lost.
This is an ongoing task really, but as part of a website appraisal checklist you should check that keywords are still relevant. Use resources like Google Trends to compare keyword searches. Make sure images have Alt descriptions and pages have Meta descriptions (this is what you see on the search results page). There’s a more technical element to SEO too. We have a team of experts that can help with all aspects of SEO.
Content is definitely a buzz word with Google. They are all about the user experience. Having fresh content relevant to the reader will make Google happy and the visitor too. Keeping content interesting, making use of strong keywords and using internal links to other areas of your website will help increase traffic to the site.
Are you ready to act on your website appraisal checklist? Get in touch – Barry Design have the team to help!