How to diagnose issues with an underperforming website

A website is an incredibly important part of any business. It is the face you put out to the public and it’s the way you communicate and attract customers and community members.

But, despite the importance of this business tool, too many businesses fail to check their website periodically, and make the changes and amendments required to keep it updated and make it even more useful.

Whether you are working with a white-label link-building agency or not – there are often several positive changes that can be made. So, if you haven’t checked on your website in a while and have no idea how to even diagnose potential issues, here is a guide to conducting a website health check. 

Look at your Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free and highly effective tool that will show you what kind of traffic you are getting, who your audience is and the average time spent on a page, and so many other data points.

Like most Google tools, Google analytics is very user-friendly, but you will need to spend some time using the platform to understand what you are looking for.

Google has many resources that will help you use the platform to its best potential, you can even use analytics templates to make the data digestible. You may also want to note that Google Analytics is soon to be shifting to GA4, so get your ducks in order!

Conduct an SEO audit

Some businesses may say that SEO doesn’t matter to them and that they just want to serve their audience and customers. The trouble is if you are not visible on search engines for the right keywords, then there is no hope of being seen by the right people.

Conducting an SEO audit will give you an insight into how Google ranks your website. You don’t have to be an SEO expert to make changes and implement those low-hanging fruit amendments. But if you want consistent and effective SEO performance, then working with an SEO agency might help you in diagnosing complex issues and coming out even stronger than before. 

Do a content audit

When was the last time you reviewed your content? A content audit is a great use of your time and something you should be aiming to do at least twice a year.

A content audit does not need to be a lengthy process, but if your content is evergreen then it is an important step to avoid content decay – and loss of valuable search traffic.

You want to look for facts that need to be updated, broken links removed, more content if you have new services and products and much more. Typically this is most effective when conducted by a team member that has intimate knowledge of the business so they can easily spot what needs to change.

Use free and paid online tools

Whatever questions you may have about your website, the chances are there is a tool or tutorial out there that will help you identify and solve the issue.

Take a look at the free online tools and paid online tools that are most reliable for identifying issues, and start getting highly detailed reports. Most online tools have a free seven-day or month trial so you can see what kinds of reports and audits are available before you commit to a subscription.

Like most business tools, the best ones are the most expensive, but when you consider how detrimental some of these website issues can be to your business then this might be an expense you are happy to pay.

Survey your audience

Email marketing lists and social media followers are rich with insight and opinions about your business and the market in general. So, why not go straight to the source? Send a short survey to your email database to get a customer pulse check on what they use the website for, what the experience has been and any comments they may have.

You can also engage your social media followers with a static or limited-time poll on your platforms. This might seem like an unorthodox approach, especially if you have some experts on your team, but often we can get too close to our business and no longer have an unbias view. Start getting those golden nuggets of wisdom from your end user and make the changes they want to see.

Make sure your website is performing

An underperforming website is no longer an asset to your business, and can even be detrimental. So don’t delay in making the required changes. Working with an agency or UX practitioner directly will help you roll out the tips we shared, leaving you with positive takeaways to action.