When it comes to analysing your website, there are probably 100 questions going through your head:
How can I analyse my website to establish how effective it is?
How do I know how valuable page X is in getting a conversion?
How do I know if my CTAs being clicked on?
Can users find my products or the information they are looking for or are they leaving the site in frustration?
Here are 12 tools and ideas which you can use to analyse your website and answer your questions — best of all they’re free!
1. Google Search Console
You may have heard of this one already but Google’s Search Console is a pretty powerful piece of kit as discussed in this blog. To use it you need to add some code to your website to verify that you are the website owner. You can then start viewing data which comes directly from Google.
Amongst some its coolest features is the ability to see whether a URL has been crawled and indexed by Google, as well as viewing the search queries which your website has been found for. This information is vital to your marketing efforts as you can see if your website is being found by the right keywords for your business.
Other useful tools include submitting a sitemap to Google and being able to identify your highest-ranking pages and CTR (click through rate) metrics.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a comprehensive platform which provides plenty of insight into your website’s performance and usage. It collects real data for you and over time this will prove very useful.
Google Analytics can tell you everything from your most popular content to your top exit pages and the behaviour flow in-between. Goals can help you to track key engagements with ease. Need to know how many times a form was filled in on your homepage? No problem!
You need to be able to interpret the data it spits out since Google Analytics can’t explicitly tell you why or how to fix something. It will point you in the right direction though.
Creating content for your website is as important as the design and the functionality of the website itself. Create professional, grammatically correct copy using Grammarly. We’ve discussed this brilliant tool in a previous blog here.
Grammarly is a writing assistant. It will advise you on things such as punctuation placement as well as sentence structure and spelling corrections. It’s a pretty clever tool, and best of all — it’s free! Well, it’s actually Freemium — you can pay for a Pro service but the free version will get you to where you need to be in no time at all.
Grammarly can now interpret the tone of voice you have used in a piece of copy. This helps to keep you on track when creating content for your different personas. It will also give your writing a score so if your task is to rewrite your website content, you can track your improvements by keeping an eye on this metric (proving to your line manager what an amazing job you’ve done — as if they need telling).
Using MS Word? Not a problem! You can either get a Grammarly plugin, or go to https://app.grammarly.com/ and either paste your text in or upload your file.
Hotjar is a fast and visual way to understand your website visitors’ behaviour using heat maps. Built for marketers and UX Designers, Hotjar allows you to see where people are clicking, how far down a page they reach, and even mouse tracing with screen recordings. This data not only helps you understand if your CTAs are well placed or clear enough, it also helps you to understand which bits of your website are the most seen and digested by your visitors.
Once again though, the data that is collected and must be interpreted to decide how to improve your website’s design, content, functionality, CTAs and layout.
5. Google Lighthouse
This free tool is primarily aimed at web developers. However, it’s easy to run an audit and download a report which can help any digital marketer monitor progress and improvements to a website.
Google Lighthouse lets you run audits for performance, accessibility, SEO and more. You can also run a Lighthouse report against any web page (very useful for tracking your site’s performance against competitors’).
6. Google Page Speed Insights
Submit any URL and get an (almost) instant result about the page speed – for free.
Google Page Speed Insights presents the results in an easy to understand and visual way and it’s easy to switch between the results for desktop and mobile. You might already be aware that Google likes pages to load quickly (especially on mobile) so this is a great tool to use to keep track of your website.
Suggestions for improvements are listed below the results and you’ll need an experienced FED (front end developer) to implement any suggestions.
Moz is all about SEO (search engine optimisation) analysis. Most of Moz’s offerings are locked behind gates which will only open once you’ve entered your company’s credit card details. However, there are some pretty cool SEO tools you can access for free.
For example, you can submit your website’s URL for a free domain SEO analysis which will give you some lovely top-level stats (again, a nice benchmark for tracking progress).
Moz gives you insight into things such as Domain Authority with nice graphs which tell you where most of your website’s keywords are ranked. It also gives you a list of your top search competitors and tells you their Domain Authority. The more savvy amongst us mighty even investigate our competitors’ websites and see where we can fill any gaps on our own websites.
There are other free and useful tools, such as the MozBar (add it to your browser for live page metrics), a Link Explorer and a very good Keyword Explorer Tool.
Some great bits to get you started for free. If you decide that Moz is for you, enter those credit card details and get full access!
8. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog provides a comprehensive free analysis tool for SEO. If you want to unlock all its functionality — you can — for an almost reasonable fee of £149.00 per year (per licence).
Contrary to its name, Screaming Frog is actually an SEO Spider Tool which can crawl websites, fetch elements to analyse and provide audits on technical and onsite SEO. If you think this sounds complicated, it shouldn’t — there is a huge page full of user guides, FAQs and help.
Remember: If you are working on an Intergage website, you’ll need to ensure the script runs to only make one request every two seconds!
9. Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
Another one from Google. Simply pop in a webpage URL and press submit and the tool will look for any structured data on that page. You can also test your structured data code snippet before you upload it to your website. A really great test to make sure the complex schema code you’ve put together is correct.
It’s also another great one to use on your competitors to find out if they are using schema.
10. Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer
Another great SEO tool which allows you to enter your domain name and get instant results, for free. Clear and easy to understand, this tool provides you with a breakdown of important metrics which you can use as a benchmark for measuring improvements — or a checklist for the improvements which need to be made to your website so it’s performing at its best.
Neil Patel also creates really useful content all about digital marketing. He has a great blog which you can subscribe to.
11. Bing Webmaster Tools
It’s not all about Google. Other search engines also exist! Bing Webmaster Tools will give you insight into how your website appears and how it’s performing in Bing.
Like Google, Bing Webmaster Tools will provide you with access to free diagnostic tools and reports to help you get the best out of your website on Bing.
12. A Real Person
Have you ever heard of UX (user experience) or User Journey? Chances are you have. Well, one of the best ways to test UX and make sure your website is easy to navigate is to get a real person to try and achieve a task on your website.
Ask your volunteer to perform a single task (like find information about a service or to make an enquiry) and simply watch and make notes as they go through the process. You shouldn’t help them find anything, even if they become completely stuck.
Ask them to narrate their thoughts and impressions as they make their way through your website. Recording this process will let you revisit their journey later to make sure you haven’t missed anything important.
This simple task should help to highlight weaknesses in your website’s UX, or where it could be tweaked to improve conversion rate. Hearing the person’s thoughts as they progress through your website is valuable information.
Ideally you should use a volunteer who hasn’t used your website extensively (it’s no good asking your marketing team who know your website inside out). They should ideally match one of your personas, but even if they don’t you can still gain some valuable insight.
We use these tools (and many others) when carrying out Digital Marketing Audits, which provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the health of your online presence and website.
A great first step is to know how your competitors are doing online so you know where you sit in the online marketplace. We can help you with that…