Many Angles of Website Performance

Knowing whether your website is performing to the best of its ability can be a tricky project to take on. Websites are often best looked at from a variety of angles instead of head on.

Google’s Free Website Testing Tools

Google offers many different types of free website testing tools to ensure those angles are all being seen by the ideal audience. Start by linking your website in the Search Console to your Merchant Account. The Search Console has the ability to show crawl errors, analytics for your products, and give you feedback on any sitemaps submitted that are improving the crawling of your website. They offer a breakdown of how to best use these services while connecting and coordinating the free website testing tools and the data they provide.

The Mobile-Friendly Test

The Mobile-Friendly Test ensures that your website is responsive across multiple browsers and devices. Since different devices have different operating systems, the testing page allows you to take a look at how others can see your website on their devices as opposed to just how you see it on yours. The Mobile-Friendly Test has a few other helpful features like a site-wide usability report, which combined with Structured Data and the Search Console can give you a breakdown of snags that a customer may hit searching through your website and products. At its most basic, you can be assured the majority of people using updated smartphones will be able to properly navigate your website and at its most in depth, you can check whether the data on your website is easily viewed and accessible to the particular audience you’re trying to reach.

The Structured Data Tool

The Mobile-Friendly Test works in conjunction with another free testing tool from Google – the Structured Data Tool. The frequently used example from Google is the structured data from something like a recipe post versus that of a contact page. When the search results appear for a recipe and have a star rating, that rating has been generated from an existing schema that calculates the number of reviews on a scale of one to five, divided by its total submissions. The Structured Data schema tells Google how to view that info and display it to the target audience, and can provide tips on how to widen that reach based on the schema used and the desired results. Comparatively, a contact page might not offer a star rating but still needs to contain a structured breakdown of a phone number versus an address to display.

The Mobile Speed Testing Tool

The Mobile Speed testing tool is another handy one to use to round out the accessibility of your website. Searching and shopping for products is taking place more and more over mobile devices, and this tool can give you an idea of how quickly customers would be able to reach your products. It claims that most sites lose their visitors based off a slow wait time and a short attention span, and many factors can contribute to that. The tool tests things on a typical 3G network and checks the HTML/CSS, the JavaScript of the pages and the readability of text on the pages. Their threshold for visitors navigating off the page is one to seven seconds with over 100% probability that people will navigate away if they wait any longer than that. This tool isn’t without its flaws. Several things can affect the load time on a website including your server’s location, the device and browser being used, as well as any additional graphics or apps being used on the website itself.

The Full Picture

Using the speed testing tool alongside the other two will give the best possible rounded view of all factors. Whether you want to get a simple idea of how well your website is performing or go more in-depth to optimize your search results, having these free testing tools on hand will keep performance in the forefront of your mind.