Is Your Website Working for Your Business?

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Web_Engine_SEO_Cloud_SMRecently, a friend of mine asked what I thought of her website. The website had been up for several years and she wasn’t sure if it was working properly. I offered to take a look and give her a very basic assessment. This was not going to be an assessment of the quality of the site, but rather the mechanics.

The first thing I did was a “whois” to check the domain age and find out where the site was hosted. To my surprise, she didn’t even own the domain name. A computer consultant had purchased the domain originally and never transferred ownership to her.

The second thing was to find out if all the pages were indexed by Google, Bing & Yahoo. Everything looked good there. The website was being indexed by the major search engines.

Continuing on, I checked all the links internally and externally. Almost 1 in 4 of the links were either not working at all, (generating a 404 error) and thereby losing the viewer, or being directed back to the homepage and not the proper landing page. The site was also difficult to navigate and there was no site map available to find what you were looking for.

To make matters worse, several links where redirecting the viewer to a competitor’s website. This was a result of a link exchange that had not been properly implemented or monitored. After reviewing my results with the business owner, we were able to work with the company that was maintaining the site and get the problems corrected.

This is not an isolated case. Many businesses will publish a website and never check or even look at the site to make sure the mechanics of the website are working properly. It’s always a good idea for the business owner to check the site personally and to have someone visit the website on occasion and make sure they can navigate properly and that all the links are working.

This was an extreme case and most websites won’t have these problems. But to ensure your website is working; make sure to check it on a regular basis.

In a future article, we’ll look at the elements of what makes a website appealing, and why people should want to do business with you.