July 13, 2021
A website’s performance can be a complex thing to review. Do you start with user experience or organic search metrics? Traffic sources? User behavior? Time on site? When trying to determine how to measure, it can feel like a foreign language.
While reviewing your website can seem daunting, it must be done to ensure it is working as hard as it can to achieve your business goals.
Check out this list of free resources below that can help you track your website performance.
Interested in diving further into your site’s performance? Sign up for our website audit.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (or GSC for short) is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. While it is a free tool, you do have to install it by adding the code to your site.
GSC not only gets you familiar with the basics of optimizing your site for organic search, but helps you monitor your website traffic, optimize your ranking and make informed decisions about the appearance of your site’s search results. This can inform optimizations to current site content and help you determine what content is missing.
It’s also great for monitoring the backend of your site. GSC monitors and can even resolve server errors, site load issues, security issues such as hacking and malware and common issues with markup, such as errors in structured data.
Google Analytics (GA) allows you to track and understand your customer’s behavior, user experience, online content, device functionality and more. It also provides the information needed to help you shape the success strategy of your business, discovering things you probably never knew about visitors on your site.
GA can seem overwhelming, but just having an understanding of the basic metrics it provides can help you report out on website performance. GA:
- Automatically collects data
- Integrates with other tools and platforms
- Has the ability to build custom reports
- Gives you the ability to measure user behavior on your website
- Metrics include: time a user spends on the site or a particular page, how many pages are viewed during an average visit, where traffic is coming from, how many pages do users visit, how often do people bounce from the site, etc.
- Tells you the age, gender, interests, device and locations of site visitors
- And more
Hotjar is a free heat mapping tool that helps you empathize and understand your users while also learning what they are doing on your site.
Heatmaps show you an aggregate of user behavior on individual site pages. It answers questions like:
- Where do your users click and scroll?
- What are they interested in?
- Do they see the most important elements of the page and interact with them?
These answers can help inform many aspects of your site, including navigation items and design.
Another free tool from Google, PageSpeed Insights (PSI), reports on the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices while providing suggestions on how that page might be improved. This is especially helpful when you are seeing a high bounce rate on key site pages. PSI also pairs nicely with GSC, providing technical suggestions on how the page speed can speed up.