Website traffic and sales can be very difficult to come by, so you’d better make sure your giving yourself as much of a ‘competitive advantage’ as you possible can. In this article, I’ll highlight a few very useful and very free tools you can use to make sure your website works as hard as you do. From tracking the number of visitors you get, to seeing what search words they used and even seeing where they actually look and click on your page, this combination of tools will give you a greater insight than ever before on your website and its users. Feel free to contact me if you would like some help or information on using any these tools on your website.
1) Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg is a heat mapping tool, what this means is that it will track exactly where on the page a user clicks. It will also track how far down the page your users scroll, while also estimating what they spend most of their time looking at. This offers a very useful insight into the behavior of your users, by giving real feedback on what elements they like and what they don’t like.
You can use this information to adjust your websites design in order to find what works best for your users and ultimately gets you the best return . That might mean moving around a few buttons or completely revamping the page layout. Either way, by using Crazy Egg you’ll be able to make an informed decision using real data from your existing client base.
Crazy egg is currently available as a 30 day free trial from www.crazyegg.com.
2) Google Analytics
Google analytics is an absolute necessity for pretty much any website. With analytics you can: see how many visitors your site gets, see how they found you, see where they’re from and what their interests are plus much, much more.
While Crazy Egg lets you see what users are doing on each page, analytics gives you a tonne of information about how they move around the site. For example: You can see how long users tend to stay on a particular page, which pages are most likely to cause them to leave or most most likely to have them contact you.
Analytics offers you a practically endless amount of useful information. It can be installed by using a free Google/Gmail account and visiting http://www.google.com/analytics/ to set it up.
3) SEO Moz Toolbar
The SEO Moz toolbar (mozbar) is a browser plugin which can be downloaded here for free, it is available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
The mozbar gives you up to date information on the strength and reputation of any given website. What does that mean? Firstly, let me explain a little bit about how search engines perceive your website.
Search engines determine your websites ranking based on a huge number of factors which essentially amount to your overall reputation. For example, the number of links to your site is a key indicator of whether or not you should be trusted or respected, and therefore ranked higher. If lots of different people link to you, it probably means they think you’ve got some useful content. If search engines pick up on this they’ll rank you higher up in their listing.
By giving you an indication of your reputation as well as letting you know how many links are pointed to your site, the mozbar provides you with some very valuable data that should help you climb the search engine ladder. Another perk is that you can also check out the strength of your competitors websites.
4) Google Webmaster Tools
Webmaster tools is probably a bit less user friendly than the other tools I’ve mentioned but is still definitely something you should have installed if you don’t already.
WMT is designed to help you optimise your site for search engines. It will allow you to submit sitemaps, view any crawling errors and recommend any HTML improvements you could make. While a lot of it is pretty technical, it gives you an insight into just how healthy your site is from the perspective of a search engine.
Woorank is an online tool that runs a quick scan of your website, while highlighting any issues that may affect its performance. It checks for things like load time, keyword optimisation and mobile performance. It will also prioritise any issues you may have, to give you any idea of what’s doing the most damage as well as estimating how difficult it might be to fix.
While the full version is not free, you can do a free scan every day (or occasionally at least) which gives a great overview of issues to even the most non-technical of website owners.
You can try one right now on your own website at http://www.woorank.com/