Written by Kahl Orr, Founder rise, a digital marketing agency that builds high-performance websites for some of the fastest growing brands.
The foundation of your business and its digital presence is, without a doubt, a well-designed, high-performance website – what we’ll call a “healthy” website. However, if you are a business owner who wears many hats, it can be easy to let other priorities overshadow your website and review analytics regularly, especially if this is not your area of expertise.
As consumers are more knowledgeable than ever, when it comes to searching for products and services online, if your website isn’t easy to find for popular keyword research, you’re leaving new customers and money on the table. Once consumers find you, if you can’t entice them to stay on your site, engage with your content and get them to ask for more information, you’re also leaving money on the table. Bottom line: If you don’t prioritize the health or performance of your website as much as the health of your business, you’re in for a rude awakening – maybe not now, but eventually.
What is the authenticity of the site?
In many cases, your website is the first interaction people have with your brand. Just as if you are visiting your doctor and getting a medical exam, your website also needs a medical exam. Monitoring the health of your website means logging in on your website to make sure everything is working as intended. It allows you to report anything of concern and make improvements before it becomes a serious problem. Poor website health can lead to a loss in traffic and customers. Therefore, a healthy website should be the foundation of your business and marketing strategy.
To ensure that your website continues to perform optimally, follow these seven guidelines:
1. Choose ongoing maintenance and regular website software updates.
2. Use a heat map like Hotjar or Mouseflow to understand how users navigate your site. Use these ideas to update your content, calls to action, or site architecture to ensure that your website delivers an exceptional user experience that converts well.
3. Keep it free from broken links or pixelated images.
4. Update your blog regularly, using quality content focused on keywords to boost your SEO and attract traffic.
5. Set clear, measurable goals that relate to your business goals for all pages. Goals can specify where you succeed, fall short, or have an opportunity for further improvement.
6. Optimize every page and global site structure for speed and performance, avoiding large images, excessive redirects and unused CSS or scripts.
7. Keep your website’s security first, using an SSL certificate, form validation, and sanitation to prevent malware attacks.
Your website quickly becomes slow, unresponsive and vulnerable and may be more expensive to manage without constant maintenance.
Check the integrity of the website.
Your website problems can affect your business more than you realize. These issues present themselves as warnings or red flags, but you need to know what to look for. Key metrics identified by Google called Core Web Vitals can indicate if the health of your website is at risk.
While these metrics are constantly evolving, Google ranks websites higher when they improve the user experience, focusing primarily on loading, interaction, and visual stability. It is necessary to look at metrics such as page speed or time taken to render content on the entire page. If you rarely update your website content, have a poor keyword strategy or have security issues, you could be losing more customers than you think.
Perform website integrity checks regularly.
Now that you know what to look for, you should perform regular check-ins to assess the health of your website. For an initial website health check, consider looking for an experienced digital marketing agency. They can provide expert analysis and recommendations to improve the health of your website. The agency can identify current and potential site performance issues and security concerns and provide a more detailed analysis of load speeds, page optimization, responsiveness, and navigation. After a thorough review of your website and code, the agency can provide a roadmap of actions or steps to take to achieve optimal website health.
After the initial audit is completed, continuous monitoring can identify future issues around content, user experience, search engine optimization, and conversion rate optimization. I recommend monitoring the health of your website at least once every three months, especially if your website is essential for lead generation. Your website can be monitored by reviewing your website analytics and using various tools.
Google offers several free tools to perform regular website health checks, such as PageSpeed Insights, Mobile-Friendly Test, and various reports found in Search Console. However, you may want to use a third-party site audit tool for a more thorough and high-level review of all metrics. Check with your digital marketing agency, as they may have a site audit tool that offers a comprehensive review of the health of your website.
Prioritize the health of your website today.
Monitoring your website’s performance can seem like another thing that takes time and money. However, a website that performs optimally, is secure, easy to find, and provides an exceptional user experience can lead to higher quality leads and new business creation at a fraction of the cost of a marketing or advertising campaign.