Web Development

11 free website checks for small businesses in Wales

Post by
Dr. Daniel Pressley
11 free website checks for small businesses in Wales

Check #1: Google Lighthouse

Lighthouse is a free service which Google has built into its Chrome browser (desktop only). It checks the usability, SEO-friendliness and mobile-friendliness of your website. Always through the eyes of Google itself. The check takes about 30 seconds but it can save you months of headaches.

Check #2: Uptime Robot

An up-time robot is a service which tells you right away if your website has gone offline. It runs a check every five minutes, day and night, and messages you if your server goes down. That way, you know about any hiccups before your customers do. Chase up your server provider or tech team and they should have you back online in no time.

Check #3: Helo Blod

Provided by Business Wales, Helo Blod is a "fast and friendly Welsh translation and advice service to help you use more Welsh in your business or charity". They offer translation, text checking and general advice about how to use the Welsh language to your advantage as a business.

Check #4: Typosaurus

A spell checker for your whole website. Spelling mistakes can be confusing and distracting to website visitors who should be thinking only about how your product is going to make their life easier. Lots of services will spellcheck a single page. Typosaurus checks the whole website in one go. And it's free. Like all spellcheckers, it won't pick up incorrect words, only incorrect spellings. E.g. apples vs applies will not get flagged. So there is no replacement for eyeballing the site or, best of all, reading aloud.

Check #5: .wales or .cymru domains

OurHomeOnline.wales is the place to buy .wales and .cymru domains. It's worth knowing that these domain endings or TLDs (Top Level Domains) do not generally perform well in search engines. If ranking on page one of Google is part of your strategy, then a .com or a .co.uk domain will definitely serve you better. However, if you want to emphasise your locality and your company's connection with Wales, then there is no more prominent way of doing it than putting it in your domain name. Also, while most recognisable .com domains have long since been taken, .wales domains are still widely available. One option is to use both .com and .wales, and have the latter redirect to the former. If you need help with this, it's something we could easily cover with time left over in your free 20-minute consultation call.

Check #6: Responsinator

You know what your website looks like on your computer and your phone. But what does it look like to other people who use different devices to you? Enter Responsinator. This handy website shows you a mock-up of what your website looks like a multiple devices, so there's no more guesswork and no more wondering whether that "Book Now" button is invisible to everyone who uses Android.

Check #7: Google Analytics

If you own a website and you want to know anything about the people who visit it, Google Analytics is a must. And, like everything else in this list, it's totally free. Who visits your website? How do they find it? How long do they stay? Which pages do they visit? Which pages leave them looking for the exit? The answers to all of these questions are waiting for you in Google Analytics. Some website builder programs (e.g. Squarespace) will offer a simplified version of this as part of your subscription and that might be an easy place to start. When you're ready to take some more advanced steps, though, you will struggle to beat Google's own option.

Check #8: Link Sleuth by Xenu

Broken links on your website are bad for users and bad for your rankings in Google. But they're so hard to find. That is, unless you have Link Sleuth in your arsenal. Link Sleuth is a free-to-use, open-source program which you can install on your PC. Enter your website details and click go, then sit back and watch it sniff out every broken link on your website. Although it is much less versatile than some big-name SEO tools like Screaming Frog's SEO Spider, Link Sleuth has two big advantages in that it is easy to use and costs nothing at all. While Link Sleuth does all the hard work, we recommend that you wit back and enjoy a cup of Welsh Brew or Glengettie tea. With a Welsh cake, of course.

Check #9: Google Search Console

Ever wonder what Google thinks about your website? No? Hmm, maybe it's just us.

Well if you did, you could find the answer via Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). If Google knows about your website, then it sends little friendly robots to visit (or 'crawl') your website pretty often. Maybe every few days, maybe every day - it depends on how big and authoritative your website it. Google Search Console is a place where you can leave information for those robots, like where to find your sitemap, which countries you are targeting, and whether there are any nasty website linking to you whose links you would like to disavow. More importantly, it's also a place where these robots can leave information about what they have found on your website, such as errors and warning messages. If you want to rank in Google search results, you should take these reports seriously and get everything fixed as quickly as you can.

Check #10: Sitechecker.pro

Ever wonder how SEO-friendly your website is? Well this tool removes a lot of the guesswork. Sitechecker offers lots of paid services, plus one very handy freebie. Like Google Search Console, it goes through your whole website in detail and tells you everything which you might need to fix if you want users and search engines to like your website.

Check #11: Ubersuggest

Also known as Neil Patel's SEO Analyzer. Ubersuggest is similar to Sitechecker Pro (above) but it often makes slightly different suggestions, so I often find it's worth using both. Neil Patel is a marketing and SEO specialist and the results offered by his software represent that. This is no bad thing if you want to sell lots of products and dominate Google search results.

Bonus #1: Google Site Search

This is more a handy trick than an actual service. But if you want to see all the pages and images of your website laid out neatly before you, then this is the one for you. Go to Google and type "site:example.com" - replacing example.com with your own domain and removing the quotation marks. Google will then present a list of all the pages on your website which it knows about. Now go to Google images and do the same thing. You will see every image on your website. Finally, let's suppose you want to find all the pages of your website which mention free delivery. Go to Google and type "free delivery site:example.com". Google will show you a list of all the pages which mention free delivery. Boom!

Bonus #2: KnowEm.com

Starting a social media account to go with your website? Wondering which name to use? This could be the tool for you. The sad reality is that your brand name will probably be taken on at least one of the social media providers. And wouldn't it be better to have them all match each other? That's where KnowEm.com comes in. It saves you having to go and check which names are available on which services by going and checking for you in just a few seconds. For example, Growth Stream uses the name @AskGrowthStream on all channels because somebody was already using @GrowthStream on Facebook. We know this because we used KnowEm.com to check.

Not our first rodeo

Growth Stream is a new brand, but we have been doing digital marketing since before that term existed. Read our backstory to find out what we've been doing over the last decade. Spoiler alert: it involves lots of small businesses growing massively.