This guide is pretty simple compared to some of the others I post, but possibly more helpful. Plus it gives you a few things to think about improving for your business during lockdown.
The idea is for your money sites or business to be as prepared as possible, so you are ready to bank once peoples lives start going back to semi normality.
Seven Tools to Improve your Business and Website During Lockdown
This list is in no particular order, but I have tried to group a few tools together to make it a little easier to read.
Website – Technical
When you first build your website, you spend a lot of time making sure it is fast, has no technical issues and ready for Google to rank. However, over time your website can develop a few technical onsite issues, which need addressing.
Below are a few tools I use which make fixing any technical issues easier.
1. Screaming Frog
Screaming frog is a great piece of software, which has an excellent free version, which is actually perfect for a lot of sites, especially when you are first starting out. I use it regularly to find, fix and exploit:
- Auditing redirects during a site migration
- Canonical errors
- Anchor text my competitors are using for internal linking
- Broken links and redirects
- Missing alt images, descriptions, titles etc
- Duplicate content
- Slow pages
2. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
Google announced that by September 2020, mobile indexing will be the default for all sites, so now is the time to make sure your sites mobile content is perfect.
Google’s Mobile Friendly test checks how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device. It also identifies specific mobile usability issues, like text that’s too small to read, the use of incompatible plugins, etc.
3. GTMetrix / Pingdom / Google Pagespeed
Improving the speed of your site can make a real difference to your rankings. So the question is, why would you not make it as fast as you can? It is even more important given that Google is moving to mobile indexing in September, so now our sites need to be hyper quick, unless you have a global powerhouse authority website, in which case you can get away with a slow site. You don’t own a huge authority site? Thought not, you might want to eek out every second then.
My focus is not on score, but rather actual speed, which is why Google’s own speed test tool is the most important to me. That means reducing the load time for First Contentful Paint (FCP), First Input Delay (FID) and First Meaningful Paint.
That doesn’t mean that GTMetrix and Pingdom are not helpful, they are, as they tell me different actionable information which helps me to reduce loading times.
4. Where Goes?
I have talked about 301 redirects quite a bit in my How to use expired domains effectively post, and one tool that helps me quite a bit is Where Goes.
Basically, what you do not want with 301 page redirects is a redirect chain. Redirect chains kill redirects, it is as simple as that. If you get errors in GWC about redirect chains, use this very simple and helpful tool to find the issues quickly and fix them.
Do you buy links from services on BHW? Yeah, me too. Do you check them to see if they are still live? Why not, you paid for them!
To make life easier, having a trusty tool to bulk test status codes for 500 URLs does make it pretty easy. So no excuses! I am not sure which tool @Zwielicht uses in his marketplace reviews to test to see if the links in the packages are live, but this would do the job.
You can also check redirect chains with this tool as well 😉
Also worth looking at:
I do quite a bit of local SEO, for my own businesses and for clients. One thing that is easy and makes a difference is Google business reviews.
6. Whitespark’s Google Business Review Link Generator
Have you ever tried to get clients to write a Google review? It is not as easy as it sounds, the slightest difficulty and they will give up.
This is where Whitesparks Google business review link generator comes in. Simply type in your business name, city, zip/postal code and your review link will appear under the map. You can either share that directly with your customers or shorten it with Bitly or another URL shortener.
If you have local SEO clients, or you want to boost your own businesses local SEO, get more business reviews. They really help.
Over the last 18 months or so, we have been able to manipulate rich text results in some fun and imaginative ways. Google has closed many of these down (spoil sports) but snippets are still a huge advantage to sites in the SERPs.
7. Google’s Rich Text Results Test
This is another one of Google’s tools which a lot of people have not seen. The Rich Results testing tool simply checks your page for structured markup and tells you if it is eligible for rich snippets in the search results.
Rich snippets help your SERP CTR a lot, so making sure that Google sees your page as ready, is the first step in boosting your traffic.
There is always plenty of things to work on with a website or business, even if you are in lockdown during a worldwide pandemic! Hopefully the tools above give you a few ideas as to how to make improvements to your website and get yourself in to a good position for when the world goes back to the ‘new normal’.
Take care and stay safe.