Saturday, January 31, 2009

Websites Review - What to Look For?

As part of the service that I offer to potential customers I offer to do a review of their existing website. What do I look for when I do this review? I divide the review into 2 sections -

Section 1 - How search engine friendly is the website?

Section 2 - How user friendly is the website?

How Seacrh Engine Friendly is the Website?

The are a number of different factors that I look at to determine if a website is making the most of its search engine exposure.

Current PageRank, Links, Domain Data
To get a guage on where the website is currently at I look at its current Google PageRank, how many links it has in Yahoo Site Explorer, and how many pages it has indexed. I then also look at the age of the domain, when it was last modified, when the domain expires, and what is the last cache date in Google.

I find that this data gives me a good picture of where the site is at. If I am doing a more indepth analysis I will then look at the link profile of the website to see where the links are coming from, what PageRank the sites are that link into the website, and the age of the links.


I then look at the metatags for the website. What is the page title. 'Home Page' is not a useful page title yet I see it. What is the meta-description? Alot of sites do not have a meta-description. The title and metadescription are the bits of your website that appear in the search engine results. Your page title should contain keywords that your users are likely to be searching for, and your meta description should give them a reason to click on your link as oppose to the other ones on the page.


Keywords are the other thing that I then look at for the website review. I still use the metakeyword tag (even though it is rumoured that most search engines ignore it). I find it useful to remind myself of what words we are targeting. Are your keywords in your page title? Are your keywords in your page headings? Are your keywords in your navigation menu? Are your keywords in your inpage links? Are your keywords in your footer?

Your keywords tell the search engines what your website is all about. It is vital that you make the best use of your keywords in all areas of each page on your website.

How User Friendly is Your Website

4 Second Rule

What is the first thing that capturesyour new visitor's attention when they land on your website? Does it compel them to look further? Does it tell them that they landed in the right place? One of the great challenges of efective website design is to create an instant and compelling message to your visitor that makes them want to look further?

Have a friend or colleague look at your website and tell you the first thing that they see. What captures their attention. Send it to me and I will do a website review for you.

If you fail the 4 second rule then your visitor is off looking at another website before you even had a chance to show them what you have to offer.

Colors and Fonts

The rule that I use here is to be consistent. Be consistent throughout the website, and be consistent with your business image. If your customer already knows your business then they will be looking for something familiar to assure them they landed in the right place.


Is your navigation menu easy to identify. Does it utilise keywords? Do all the links work? Are you utilising insite links within your content?

That is the basic overview of a website review that I conduct for my clients. Feel free to add anything else that you think is important to you.
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