Check Your Website HealthThis may be something that would never occur to you and not surprisingly, as looking at the front end of your website you may think that everything looks in order. So what health problems might your website have and if it looks OK why should you care?

Possible Health problems

We have put together a list of some of the most important health problems that will affect a website’s performance from an SEO perspective and from a visitor experience point of view. There are many other factors which we have touched on in other blog posts but these are the critical few:

Broken links

These are in-text links on a page or menu that take the visitor to a dead page; it could be an old url that no longer exists if you have removed a page or perhaps an incorrect url has inadvertently been added. These ‘dead’ pages bring up a 404 error page when the visitor clicks the link. This gives the visitor doubts about the integrity of the site and they may well exit at that point. Aside from the usability issue, Google isn’t impressed by broken links either; it signals a website that has not been lovingly maintained.

Server Error

These usually come up as a 505 error when a web page is visited, it means there is a general internal server error which could be a configuration problem that won’t allow the page to be displayed. Fixing these errors is important as visitors will be deterred from browsing the site further and again, Google’s bots will flag a maintenance issue.

Missing Meta Data

To the undiscerning eye, the website won’t ‘look’ any different with missing meta descriptions and title tags. But these little descriptions tell Google (and other search engines) what your web pages are about. The title tag and meta description are what is used in the SERPS (search engine results pages) as the link and short description in the listings of websites that are displayed. Getting these added in correctly and optimised make a big difference to the visibility of your site in the SERPS but also how many times your site is clicked on from those results pages.

Title Tag and Meta DescriptionDuplicate Page Content

This is where two pages on your website have identical content or very similar wording but have a different URL. Although Google is getting cleverer at deciding which page to rank, it is still a ‘health’ problem that is best avoided. Common occurrences of this are when there are two complete versions of a website that are indexable by Google – a www. version and a non www. version. Choose one or the other! Another instance of this happening without the website owner knowing is paginated pages in a blog or separate product pages for colour differences of the same product.

Site Speed and Load Times

A site that loads slowly will not only frustrate visitors but will also be flagged by Google as a slow loader. There are a number of reasons why a site my load slowly, from image size through to unnecessary over use of code. This is an issue that is of high importance to resolve as it is a ranking factor on Google’s radar.

How can I check for these health issues?

Checking for these issues manually would be extremely laborious and somewhat hit and miss. Fortunately, there are a number of tools available to ‘crawl’ your website to detect these errors and give very specific data about any hidden problems with your website.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog




This is a free crawl tool (there is a free version that allows you to crawl up to 500 pages). The tool can be kept locally on your PC and aside from the health issues above, will show you many other technical factors that may be affecting your website performance. See the full list of information here.

The tool allows you to look at different aspects of your website within the tool and you can also download the findings into csv files.

Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools)

Google Search Console




Another free tool provided by Google: will give many insights to problematic areas of your website including our list above. In particular, it is useful for showing whether a site conforms to the all-important ‘mobile friendly’ criteria stipulated by Google themselves. You can also see keyword information in here which was removed from Google Analytics a few years ago.

Moz (formerly SEOMoz)





This tool is not free, but is useful if you are monitoring many websites or have to maintain a very large, revenue driven website within a very competitive sector. There is a complete crawl diagnostics tool, link checker, ranking tool, on-page SEO rating tool, social tools and much more. If you are very serious about your website’s performance, this is money well spent. allows professional PDF reports (and csv) to be produced on any aspect of your website.

Can we help?

If you would rather not get involved with the technical aspects of your website or perhaps you simply don’t have the time…we can audit your website for you and produce a full report with suggestions for improvement from an SEO, technical and user perspective. Call one of the team today to find out more on 01285 50 55 50.

Don’t happen to have a website yet? Why not hire us or go here to build one yourself on WordPress, for those on a tiny budget: