Maybe you have an agency running your website. Perhaps you have an in-house team. Or you prefer to use a remote support team or hire contractors.
Whatever your model, sometimes you want a quick answer instead of spending time and money waiting for a support ticket to be answered.
With that in mind, here are 10 free and easy online tools for boosting SEO, increasing conversions, improving websites, and positioning you as the “go to” digital person in your organisation.
If you’re regularly reviewing or adding content to your website (which you’ll need to do if you want to rank anywhere in Google), it can be hard to make sure you don’t break any hyperlinks to existing pages. You might delete pages, or move them. This tool ensures all your hyperlinks stay up to date. Not only does this mean your visitors always get to where they want to go, it also means that search engines can carry on “crawling” and indexing your website, which is important for SEO.
Mobile usage has now passed desktop, putting it at the heart of all successful website strategies. Hang on, you might say. In B2B, desktop usage is still higher. But executives are also using tablets, phablets, phones – all with different screen sizes. And if you’re using email marketing, a sizeable percentage of opens will be on mobile. So you need to make sure any clickthroughs land on a page that works on desktop and mobile. This website helps you find out how your pages work across devices.
If you want your website to rank well on Google, it needs to load fast. Less than two seconds should be the target, because 40% of users abandon if it takes 3+ seconds. And when users abandon a website, it sends a signal to Google that the website isn’t performing well. Which is bad for ranking, as well as for customer service. This tool lets you find out how quickly your website loads, from servers around the world. You also get free analysis on how and where to optimise your website.
Talking of website speed… do you have images on your website? It’s essential to reduce (or “compress”) your images before uploading, otherwise your pages load slowly. That’s bad news if you’re an e-commerce operation relying on images to showcase your products – an extra second can cost £1.6 billion. You can do this in Photoshop (File/Save for Web). But if you don’t have an image editing program, this website is the next best thing. Upload your image, and compress it as much as possible. Go through your images, and make sure each one is below 100kb.
The best way to optimise your website and increase your conversions. Find out which pages are most popular, how people are arriving on your website, run A/B tests, see how long people spend on each page – the list goes on and on. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so if you’re just starting out then focus on finding out one goal. And then Google how to do it, because there are lots of great guides. Just be sure to pick a recent guide; Google sometimes changes the way Google Analytics works and looks.
This website answers the question we all have whenever we try to load a page and nothing happens: “Is it down for everyone or just me.” You’ll get an instant reply telling you whether it’s your machine, or a problem with the website.
Got your eye on a domain? Want to know when it expires? Or want to know who owns it? This tool gives you all the information you need. Find out when a domain was registered, when it’s due to expire, who is the hosting company. You might even get a phone number or address of the person who bought the domain, if you want to make them an offer.
Accessibility is another essential element for building a successful website. Around 8% of men and 0.05% of women have some form of colour blindness, and 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired. So there’s no point having a beautifully designed website if your audience can’t read the text. This tool lets you test the colour combinations you’re using, to make any contrast meets general web accessibility standards.
If you copy text from Microsoft Word onto your web pages, you might find its formatting and appearance changes. It’s a language barrier, the html language, because browsers read and understand html differently to Word. It’s frustrating, but you don’t need to be an expert coder to fix small problems with your html. This website shows you what each type of html does, eg make text bold, larger, hyperlinked. Plus it’s interactive, so you can test it. Then when you feel ready, go into your CMS. Find the option to work from “source code” (In WordPress this is the “text” mode). Here’s where you can see the html, and make necessary adjustments.
Want to see how your website has evolved? This handy tool takes snapshots of your domain at different stages of its online life. Use it to demonstrate your website “before and after” redesigns. And use it to check out how your website, or the websites of your competitors, have changed their messaging over time. Here’s how the BBC website looked in December 1998: