Is your website working for you?
Having a presence online is essential to growing your business, however, it could be counter-productive if your website isn't loading quickly or sharing the right information with the right people. The good news is that there are a number of tools and resources out there that can help you check how effective your website is.
Here are six tools that can help and they are free to use!
A great one to start with, Peek UserTesting is the free introduction to UserTesting, an online specialist in analysing websites' usability. Submit your contact details and your website's URL, then wait for them to email you back with a video of a real user navigating through your website for the first time, providing feedback and recommendations.
One of the founders of Crazy Egg, Neil Patel is the man behind QuickSprout, which aims to help you find out why you're not getting the web traffic you want. This begins with a free and in-depth analysis of your website. Enter your URL and after just a few minutes you'll have an insightful overview of what is and isn't working on your website. You can also compare the results with those of three of your competitors' websites, and don't forget to dip into the blog for lots of online marketing advice.
Swedish-based Pingdom monitors website performance and availability. They've developed a range of free tools to help you quickly check a few aspects of your website. The Full Page Test will tell you how long your website is taking to load, DNS Health is useful to test your website's DNS servers, and the Ping test will let you check your server's connectivity. Bookmark these!
A website's design is very important and Spur will help show you what your design looks like in greyscale, zoomed in and when the content is blurred allowing you to focus on the layout of your website and not be distracted by the copy. It will also point out the major "intersections" of your website, i.e. where the eye is drawn to most. Try out spur, even if just for the fun loading image.
While a lot of focus is put on a website's design, not everybody checks how effective the content is. The Juicy Studio Readability test invites you to enter your URL and in return you will then see a table of results. The important ones to look at are the Gunning Fog index, which tells you what sort of reader your website is suitable for, and the Flesche Reading Ease score.
If you have an offline copy that you'd also like to check, you can use this readability checker.
If you're willing to help other people in order to earn feedback on your own website, you can join Usability Hub's community of testers for free. There are a number of different tests on offer and by taking part in tests created by other people you'll earn credit to then be able to set up and share usability tests for your own website. While this may seem a lot of work to get feedback, you can use the time spent on doing tests to learn what does and doesn't work on other websites. There are also pricing plans you can sign up to you if you'd rather have a guaranteed amount of feedback.