What makes a “good” website? High organic rankings? Valuable content? Customer experience? Or something entirely altogether? While experts worldwide have varying opinions of what a website should look like, they all agree that there is no single factor to determine the quality of a website. This is why optimizing your website for both search engines, and users is a crucial part of a website strategy. And here are six free tools that can help you better optimize your website.
Hotjar is your all-in-one suit for gathering qualitative data. It includes a series of tools that help you generate heat maps, funnel tracking, user polls, surveys, and everything qualitative. Hotjar offers webmasters and SEO experts a host of tools to work with, is easy to use, and free-for-all.
2. Google Analytics
Understanding user behavior is crucial for optimizing your website. Whether you are an e-commerce website trying to maximize your conversions or an information website looking to extend user time on your website, forming SEO strategies without understanding what visitors do on your website is a lost cause. Google Analytics allows webmasters to track user behavior when they navigate a site. It automatically collects data and offers customized reports to understand user behavior better. And it is free to use.
3. Google Optimize
If you want to test out a new feature on your website, Google optimize is where you want to go. Offered freely by Google, Google optimize allows webmasters to test different variations on a page like fonts, call to action, headlines, product copy, product placement and match it against the desired objective. If you are looking for a free tool for A/B testing on your website, you won’t find anything better than Google Optimize. And it also seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics.
4. PageSpeed Insights
Another free tool offered by Google, PageSpeed Insights is used to measure a website’s performance on desktop and mobile devices. It assigns a score to each website on a ranking scale from 0 to 100. Websites rated over 90 are considered good, 50 to 90 needs improvement, and below 50 are considered poor. The performance score is based on lab data, meaning performance is evaluated in a controlled environment. Results from PageSpeed presents webmasters with an accurate view of how users interact with the website.
5. Google Search Console
The premise of Google Search Console is straightforward. It allows webmasters to view the performance of their website on Google. The console also comes in handy if you need to troubleshoot your website, fix indexing problems, request re-indexing for new content, and a bunch of other features. But a significant component of the console that makes it invaluable to webmasters is its ability to provide search-related data. How often is your website ranked for in search? What are the keywords you are ranking for? And how often are users clicking through to your website?
6. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is a crawler that crawls your website to find out common SEO issues. It finds broken links, spots duplicate content, finds redirects, extracts relevant data from a webpage, analyses page titles and meta tags, amongst a few other uses. Screaming Frog makes it easier for webmasters to detect abnormalities within a website and improve on elements influencing SEO rankings.
The sooner you start on website optimization, the better. Each of the tools mentioned above is easy to use and offers invaluable information to optimize your website’s performance. And while all of these tools are free, some also come with a paid version should you feel the need.