As website creation becomes more and more complex due to all that is expected of them, that also leaves a greater potential for problems during the process. As a means for uncovering such difficulties or reworking features that are not working properly, it is important to understand the complexities of the site-building and optimization process in order to backtrack and look for problems. There are also a number of tools available for this exact purpose, so it may be worthwhile to include such tools to help uncover the source of the problem.
Look At It
While it is not a specialized application, trouble-shooting should always begin with the simplest of available tools – the eyes – the designer's, co-workers, or almost any one else. After a good review of the website, ask others who understand how it is supposed to look and function to carefully look at it to see if anything appears to be wrong or could have the potential to cause issues. This can also be done after analytical software is run as well, since that could offer at least an idea of what areas might be slowing down the process or not allowing the website to perform as it should.
Google Website Toolkit
Since Google essentially controls today's search engines, it is a great idea to find, download and use all of the many free tools that Google has made available to help create the most efficient designs according to the most recent search algorithms. These Google apps include Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and Trends.
- Analytics – The Analytics tool provides a number of easy-to-run programs that can furnish information about all website visitors such as demographics, search trends, the type of device that was used to access the site, where it was accessed, and all the basic monthly statistical information that should be closely monitored.
- Webmaster Tools – These tools provide information such as the tracking of specific accession points and paths throughout the website, the identification of dead-end pages, and the presence of alerts to other concerns that could keep users from successful navigation.
- Trends – This application is a useful keyword tool that analyzes specific keywords and suggests similar ones.
Tools for SEO Perfection
In the category of troubleshooting SEO and analyzing optimization results, there are a number of tools available online that can help such as Majestic SEO, Screaming Frog and SEO Toolkit, each of which can be very helpful for specific things.
- Majestic includes keyword explorer and back-link checker functions.
- Screaming Frog finds 302 errors and indexes typically harder-to-index page elements from an optimization point of view such as images and CSS code, also indicating where problems may exist.
- SEO Toolkit is especially useful for determining competitor website performance as well as detecting redirect links.
The speed at which a website loads and operates is important to users who would be unhappy with slow-moving features.
- Adobe Site Catalyst gathers traffic information for yearly comparisons; it also analyzes industry cycles that could prove useful when configuring content and / or optimization. Additionally, this application points out areas where more traffic could be gained if optimization were adjusted to consider that source of traffic.
- You Get Signal is a program that not only measures site speed but can also provide information such as how fast a competitor's site is moving and what kind of effect it is having on their site in general. The program can also make competitor's code visible for comparison, so that it is possible to see how the results that have been identified are being achieved.
While these are not the only programs available for identifying website concerns and pinpointing where there are problems, they are some of the popular ones. Either way, the importance is that the time be taken to run some of the applications that can dig deep and pull to the surface any problems or potential problems that can be remedied before a new website is launched!