Five Simple Checks for Top Website Performance
Run these simple checks today to ensure that your website is running at peak performance.
Contractors are busy. Demolishing, building, remodeling, upgrading, crafting, and designing day in and day out. When you spend every day on the job site with dirt on your knees and blueprints in hand, you often aren’t thinking about one crucial part of your business platform—your website.
Your website’s job is to be forming good impressions of your contracting company while you’re out doing the dirty work. Your website works for you, and just like the rest of your employees should be giving its best.
I want to go over five simple checks you can run on your website today to make sure it is operating at peak performance.
1. Is Your Website Secure? (https://…)
Website security is of utmost importance. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—you will be hacked. It’s not if, it’s when. I’ve discussed website security at length in this post. But for today, just know that at the very minimum you need to check to make sure your site’s URL (webpage address) is protected by a secure socket layer (SSL).
Here’s the simplest way to check this for your website: go to Chrome, Safari, or any other internet browser and enter https://yourdomain. See if you are able to access your site securely or if you get an error message. Make sure you have the “s” after HTTP …. like this… https:// That is the secure protocol for web browsers.
This is important because not only is an unsecured website dangerous to your privacy, but if your potential clients get an error message upon entering your website, they may turn away and never come back. It’s vital that your website is secured with an up-to-date SSL Certificate.
2. Is Your Website Mobile Responsive?
Mobile-responsive websites are designed to look good and run well on both a desktop computer and mobile phone. If you are a millennial this is a no-brainer. You’ve probably got this covered. However, if you are an older contractor and have owned your website for a long time, you should probably check into this. No one wants to pull up your website on their phone and need to zoom all the way in to see your phone number.
The easiest way to check your site’s mobile responsiveness is to run your site through a free online tool. Search “mobile responsive site check” in the search bar, and Google gives access to their site checker right there in the search engine. Super easy. Enter your web address. Then analyze the results. It should be very clear if your website responds to mobile devices or not.
Another easy way to check: pull up your website on a desktop computer. Drag the size of the browser window down so that it is very narrow like a phone. Your website should adjust automatically to a mobile layout if it is mobile responsive.
This is important because today nearly 60% of internet searches are made from phones. If your website is not mobile responsive, you could be losing potential customers. If your website checks out to be not mobile responsive, do some research or hire a professional to fix it for you. You want to be able to meet the needs of the current audience.
3. Is Your Website Fast Enough?
People searching the internet do not like to wait around for a website to load. Waiting is especially trying if it’s being held up by fancy moving graphics with cumbersome files. Most internet searchers will leave the site if it takes more than a few seconds to load. Call it instant gratification, impatience, entitlement, or whatever you want, but it is the state of the internet today. Get in front of it and make sure that your website responds quickly.
Again, there are free tools to check out your site speed. Here are two that I recommend.
This tool will give you a comprehensive report on the speed of your site. If it appears to be too slow, they will even give insight into how to fix it.
Google Dev Tools
Google makes it easy and free for you to check your website speed. Visit that link above and enter your website address. This search will reveal lots of data for your website, but the main thing, for now, is to check how fast your site is.
If it’s slow, do what you can to speed it up—for example, clear the homepage of large, clunky files. This is important because a quickly responding website could be the ticket to getting your website visitors to stick around.
4. Does Your Site Have Broken Links?
When you first designed your website, you probably linked to other pages on the internet. Information pages, contact information, additional resources, etc. Over time, these links will change, but the website pages that contain the embedded link do not change. Clicking on the link will take your website visitors to either the wrong place or nowhere at all. The longer your site exists the more potential there is to have links that no longer work.
There are some cool tools that check for this and show you exactly where these broken links are on your site. Then all you must do is fix them.
The simplest and easiest tool to use for this is probably brokenlinkcheck.com.
This is important because your website visitors need to be able to trust you and your information. If your links are broken, you cannot provide them with the information they need. A secure system of working links makes the experience of visiting your website much easier and enjoyable for them.
5. Is Your Site Being Indexed in the Google Search Engine?
Did you know it’s possible for you to have a website live on the internet without Google indexing it to include in the search results? That is very alarming.
Make sure that you have Google Indexing “turned on” and that there are no other indexing issues concerning your site.
Go to: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/index-status. Add your site and click on “Index/Coverage.” Google will let you know if there are any issues concerning the indexing of your site in their database.
This is important because the main reason you have a website at all is so that you’re there when people search for you. You need to be the answer to their question. If you’re not even in the index, you can’t work on getting to the top of the search results!
How to Move Forward
Once you’ve run these five simple checks, take care of any issues you encounter. If you do not have an SSL Certificate, install one. If your site is not mobile responsive, get a new one. Speed up your lagging website, and make sure your site is included in Google’s search engine.
As a contractor, you are out on the job every day making a huge impact in your community. Don’t forget that the more “unseen” part of your brand is very important too. For many people, their first impression of you is what they see online. Make sure your first impression is a good one by ensuring that your website is performing to the best of its ability.
Thank you for joining me today. If you have any further questions or comments, please join the conversation in the comments below.
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