7 Reasons You Need
A Website Health Check
If digital marketing and SEO is not your strong point, then you are probably thinking “Why do I need a website health check?“ Most business owners simply don’t have the time or inclination to get into the nitty-gritty of on-page, off-page or technical SEO. However, if your company relies on a website to generate leads and sales then ensuring it continues to perform perfectly is a financial necessity.
In this article, we’re going to explore 7 reasons why a website health check will help you save time and money, and ensure your customers have a seamless experience on your site. We will delve a little deeper into how certain issues can expose you to cybercrime, data security breaches, and delivering poor customer engagement. Finishing with how I can help by carrying out a full investigation each month to ensure your website is in good shape.
Book A Digital MOT
Think of a website health check as a digital MOT. In the same way you look after your car by booking it in for an MOT, you can also protect your website as an online retailer with a digital MOT service.
A car is a machine, with gears, an engine, systems, electronics and panels. Taking care of your vehicle is key to its overall performance and will also help prevent your car from breaking down on the roadside. Topping up your car with fuel helps to keep it moving. While booking an MOT and service helps to check your vehicle for any underlying issues that could leave you stranded on a wet and miserable day. Let’s be honest, no-one wants to end up in that situation!
Now consider your website, hosted on the internet – another remarkable and technological invention. With a range of systems, information, code, files and graphics, a website really is no different to any other machine. So why wouldn’t you book your site in for a digital MOT?
Taking care of your website for many online retailers should be a top priority. Representing your brand and business and a major way to generate leads and sales, should your website break down, you’ll have a serious issue on your hands! As you wait to get your site back up and running, you’ll be watching your competitors drive-by, potentially picking up your customers as they go!
The solution? A monthly website health check, or what we like to call – a digital MOT. This regular service will flag up any issues, investigate poor performance and protect you and your customers from cybercrime.
So let’s take a look at 7 reasons why you should book a website health check for your business.
1: Cyber Security
An online retailer’s worst nightmare! Cybercrime is unfortunately on the rise and the methods online criminals are using to steal information and takedown websites are becoming more sophisticated. These days you need to protect your business against;
- Phishing: A technique used by criminals to steal information by sending out emails pretending to be from an authority such as a bank or reputable company.
- File hijacking: Becoming hacked and your files or software stolen and held for ransom.
- Webcam managing: Hacking a webcam device to steal password details or record videos for blackmailing purposes.
- Screenshot managing: A criminal will hack your computer and take a screenshot of your display to steal data and passwords from your device.
- Keylogging: Recording keystrokes to access sensitive and personal information.
- Ad clicking: Through a website or email link a hacker will encourage you to click onto something so that you download malware onto your computer without you realising it.
Something as simple as installing a plugin can leave you vulnerable to a cyber attack and put your whole website at risk. Outdated software can give hackers access to your site and sensitive data. Once they find their way inside, they will have the opportunity to spread malicious content, steal personal information and misuse them for monetary gains, or shut down your site completely!
The only way to protect your website against cybercrime is by checking your site on a regular basis and by having an HTTPS certificate. This is one of the first thing’s a website health check will look into and if you don’t have one already, we will make this our priority!
2: Data Security
Data security can damage your business’s reputation too! Becoming the victim of cybercrime is one thing, but if your customers find out that you failed to protect their sensitive data, this is something extremely difficult to bounce back from. You may also face legal action! A website health check will check that your website is operating safely and has data security measures in place.
A regular website health check will;
- Check that plugins are always up to date and removing any that are no longer needed for your website to perform well.
- Changing passwords on a regular basis, and if you’re using WordPress, change the username from ‘admin’ if you haven’t done so already.
- Perform frequent site-wide security scans to look for malware and if detected remove it immediately.
- Make sure the content management system you’re using is up to date and running the latest version for optimal online security.
3: Page Speed
Experiencing low volumes of website traffic and poor performance? Don’t panic, it’s likely page speed that is holding you back! Time is of the essence when browsing online and customers simply don’t have the patience to wait more than a couple of microseconds for a website to load. That’s why a fast loading website is key to your online retail success.
Page speed is also an important SEO ranking factor, and search engines such as Google use this metric as a measuring tool to decide whether they will show your website in the search results or not.
Since every second counts, a regular website health check can track and help you improve your website by identifying when there is a page speed issue and revealing what might be causing the problem. Here are a few common page speed culprits to be aware of;
Large images files: The bigger a file, the more time it’s going to take to load. Website images, video content and graphics need to be reduced to improve poor performance.
Unclean code: Messy code can make your website a confusing experience for search engine spiders to crawl.
Poor hosting: A hosting service can also impact page speed and contribute to poor performance.
4: Missing SEO Elements
To climb online you need to input relevant search terms and keywords into your page titles, meta descriptions and throughout your site content. This is going to help search engines such as Google understand what your website is about and when to show your website in the search results.
Page titles: A page title, also known as a title tag, is a short description of a webpage. It is an important element of an optimised SEO page. A page title should include a relevant keyword in the title tag.
Meta description: A meta description summarises the topic of your page for the benefit of users and search engines.
H1s, H2s and H3s: These title tags tell the search engine whether something is the main title (H1), a subheading (H2) or a mini sub heading (H3). Title tags need to include relevant short and long-tail keywords and will help improve your visibility in the search results.
Image alt tags: Used to describe the image and can include keywords too.
A monthly health check will analyse your website and highlight where key SEO elements are missing.
5: Mobile Friendly
Whether you’re on a train, waiting at the school gates or in a coffee shop, almost everyone seems to be on their phones these days. So, if you’re an online retailer, having a mobile-friendly website can help you increase website traffic, convert leads and double your profits!
While a website health check will make sure your site is mobile-friendly, it’s also important that the design is mobile responsive too. This means your website, content and images will automatically resize and rescale to fit different devices, such as a mobile, tablet or desktop. Without a mobile responsive design, your check out process can become distorted when using a tablet device for example, and difficult to use. Google has also rolled out its Mobile-First Index, meaning mobile responsive and mobile-friendly websites will be their priority.
Being mobile-friendly also goes hand in hand with page speed. Accessing a website via a mobile device often means the user is on the move and won’t be patiently waiting for the page to load. Rather than lose out on custom, book a website health check and optimise your site’s performance and design.
A sitemap helps users to navigate your website. If someone is looking for a specific page on your website, a sitemap will help them find exactly what they’re looking for.
An XML sitemap helps search engines and spiders browse your website and access all of your individual web pages. Whereas an HTML sitemap is used by visitors when they access your website. Creating a sitemap is going to help you boost conversions and bring down your bounce rate.
An XML and HTML sitemap can;
- Make finding information, products and services on your website easy
- Bring down your bounce rate by improving the customer experience of your site
- Act as an architectural blueprint for your website
- Draw attention to important content on your site
A monthly website health check will update and adjust your site map as your website develops and web pages increase.
7: Broken Links
Broken links are a menace for online retailers. When you run out of stock or need to remove a product, 401 errors and broken links can start to impact your site’s performance.
If someone is browsing online and comes across an image of a product they want to buy and click through to a 401 error page on your website, this can be rather confusing! Don’t let a potential customer slip through your fingers! Fix 401 errors and use this opportunity to promote other products or services to warm leads.
In addition, broken links within web pages and blog posts on your site are not going to give a great first impression for new customers. Your internal linking structure needs to be on point in order to create a professional experience. Thanks to a monthly website health check report, any broken links that are damaging your website will be instantly brought to your attention and fixed.
A monthly website report will also address any historic and toxic links that could be causing harm to your site.
Professional Website Health Check Service
Improve the performance of your website to attract more customers with a professional website health check report. Checking 120 key factors that can damage your website and impact your ability to increase website traffic and convert valuable customers, protect your business online today.
A website health check report will highlight your current website performance and discuss how well you’re doing in a number of areas, such as;
- Can search engines crawl and index all pages?
- Are all pages HTTPS secure?
- Broken links
- Slow page loading speed
- Missing metadata that impacts ranking
- Pages with low content
- Poor image optimisation
Your report will highlight:
- Specific issues that need to be fixed
- The exact page where these issues have occurred
- How and why you should fix them