Back in the day, creating a website meant getting your hands dirty in code, figuring out hosting, and maybe even hiring a webmaster. Now you can create a site in minutes; no HTML or CSS experience is needed.
Maybe that site is meant for only certain eyes. Follow these steps to create a private website for sharing family updates, photos, or whatever else you want through Squarespace.
But it’s more likely you want as many people to your website as possible. Make sure once they get there, they’re not disappointed. Tap or click for 10 ways to improve your website.
Now let’s look at some smart, useful resources every website owner should use. Trust me. You’ll want to bookmark these.
Start with Google Search Console
When it comes to search, Google reigns supreme. If you want more traffic, start here. Google provides a free tool to help you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your website’s presence in Google Search results.
There are several reasons to plug your site into the console, but most importantly, it tells you how the search engine finds and crawls your site. You’ll be able to see if there are any indexing issues with pages, and you can request a re-index if new content has been added that doesn’t show up on search results.
Search Console also provides information on your visitors’ browsing habits, like search terms they used to find you or how often your site appears in search results. Helpful.
Check your links
You can have a great design and stellar content, but broken links are annoying enough to push visitors away. Link Checker from WC3 scans website links and gives you a summary of their health.
It provides more information on any 200 errors (“Some of the links to this resource point to broken URI fragments”), 404 errors (“The link is broken. Double-check that you have not made any typo or mistake”), and more.
It is easy to see if all your content and links are pointed in the right direction. Pro tip: Broken links can impact your place in Google search results, which means less traffic.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
How frustrating is it to open a website that’s impossible to navigate on your phone? Most browsers can scale web content into a mobile version, but something is bound to look out of place, broken, or just plain weird.
The Mobile-Friendly Test from Google does exactly what the name implies: It checks your website for mobile-friendliness. Just put in your site URL and hit Test URL.
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See your site’s score
Looking for a more comprehensive look at your site’s health? Nibbler scrutinizes your site and gives you a score from one to 10 across several categories.
Results are broken down per section. Nibble will give you areas to improve on. The Accessibility score, for example, considers internal links, page titles, headings, and mobile-friendliness. The technology analyzes how well your site is designed. Experiences focus on how satisfying the website is likely to be for users.
The test is free to complete, but note you will be limited to three reports.
GET UP TO SPEED: 5 signs your website is outdated
Improve your search results and content
How does your site stack up against competitors? By checking your domain or keywords associated with it, Ubersuggest will show you the top-ranked pages from competitors, suggested keywords for your webpage to rank higher in search results and even some handy content ideas to drive more traffic.
Keep your tech smarts growing. Listen to my podcasts too!
PODCAST PICK: Laptop for your face, smart screws, spot PC snoops
Has someone been snooping on your PC? Here’s how to see what they were doing. Plus, special glasses can help deaf people and smart screws that know when they’re loose. Oh, and these luxury apartments in New York can monitor your health. I’ll also tell you about a new virtual reality headset that will be “a laptop for your face.”
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”
Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Free tests to improve your search results and increase website traffic