Your website could be hemorrhaging money out of your business and you might not even know it.

The typical scenario is your running your small business and slowly but surely, leads and sales start dwindling down…

…and before you know it, your left scratching your head because business dried up.

The good news is the problem might be lying right under your nose.

Often, issues with declining traffic, leads, and sales can be attributed to your website optimization.

An important part of overall SEO, your business website can make or break your visibility online and customer acquisition.

But most small business owners are busy and don’t have time for website SEO right?

Well luckily there are 3 checks you can do that take less than 3 minutes to identify some of the most major website optimization issues that plague small business websites.

The first 2 checks are related to your customers actually finding your website.

The last check will identify issues relating to customers actually being able to buy your products or services.

Let’s get started with the first check.

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1. Index Check

You’ll want to know that your website is indexed in the search engines (particularly Google) to make sure your customers can find you when they search for you.

This will actually accomplish a couple things.

First, you will see if your website is showing in the search engines. If you see your website show up, you’re good.

Second, you will also be able to identify spam and penalty issues. If you don’t see your website show up, or you see it along with pages you don’t recognize, you could have been penalized or hacked.

How To Do It

To do this, you simply type the following into the Google search bar:

site:yourdomain.com

Here is what it looks like when I check my website:

Website Index Check

Notice how my Home page comes up number 1? This is important.

If your Home page doesn’t come up in the first position, you may have ‘other’ issues going on.

Now here is an example of another website that shows it is not indexed:

 

Google Penalized Website

Now this can mean a few things. One, the website might have some technical issues preventing it from being indexed.

For example, there could be an error in your robots.txt file blocking Google from indexing the website.

Another issue could be this website is under a Google penalty. This is bad news and means you need to address any issues associated with the penalty.

I happen to know that this website has been penalized manually by Google and they removed it from the index.

Here are a couple bonus checks you can do to see whether or not you are dealing with a penalty.

For the first check we are going to use Google Webmaster Tools. It’s free.

If you aren’t using Google Webmaster Tools then you need to start. It will provide tons of valuable data, including what we are looking for now in terms of a Google penalty.

I should clarify that we will discover if we have a manual Google penalty inside of Google Webmaster Tools.

I will show you how to check if you have an algorithmic penalty in just a minute.

Inside Webmaster Tools, take a look at the left sidebar and find ‘Search Traffic’.

Under the dropdown you will see ‘Manual Actions’.

It will look like this (hopefully!):

How To Check For Google Penalty GWT

If you have been hit by a manual Google action, it will look like this:

Google Manual Penalty

Now let’s look at how to find out if you’ve been hit with an algorithmic penalty.

You can simply use a Free tool like the Website Penalty Indicator.

Simply enter your url (without the ‘http’ and ‘www’) and it will align your website traffic with known Google penalties.

You can quickly see if your traffic drops around any of the known Google Panda or Penguin penalties.

Here is a website that was hit with a Google Panda penalty:

Google Penalty Checker

2. Mobile Responsive Check

Over 50% of users search the internet using Mobile devices, and Google has even thrown down the gauntlet for businesses to make their websites more mobile-friendly.

This is a really easy check.

How To Do It

One way you can check is to use Google’s own mobile friendly testing tool. It’s free to use.

Simply enter in your website address and it lets you know if it is mobile-friendly or not.

Here is what it looks like when I enter my website:

Mobile Friendly Test - LA SEO

Here is what it looks like when your website is not mobile optimized:

Not SEO Mobile Friendly

Luckily, Google will show you exactly what it is you need to fix to make your website more mobile-friendly.

3. Broken Links

Broken links are the worst.

You finally find what it is you’re looking for, and then you click on the link and get:

404 Page Example

Broken links can happen if you make changes to your website URL structure, move a page, or delete a page.

No matter what, you want to avoid broken links as they are basically a ‘dead end’ on your website.

Nothing is gained by having a visitor go to a page that doesn’t exist.

You want to make sure they are finding the information they need, and more importantly, making sure your sales funnel isn’t broken.

How To Do It

The first way is to use our trusty friend Google Webmaster Tools again.

This time, in the left sidebar, you will go to ‘Crawl’ and click on ‘Crawl Errors’ to reveal broken URLs on your website.

Here is what it looks like:

Broken Links GWT

Google Webmaster Tools will spit out a list of links that appear to be broken. Audit the list to ensure there aren’t pages listed that shouldn’t be listed.

Another place you can go is to the free online broken link checker. Enter your website address and it will crawl for errors.

If you use WordPress as your Content Management System (CMS), you can simply install the Broken Link Checker plugin and it will send you an email whenever it detects a broken link on your website.

Pretty handy and like every other tool mentioned in this post, it’s free.

What To Do If You Discover Any Optimization Issues?

If you’ve run any of these checks and are getting questionable results…don’t panic!

It will make sense to have a pro take a look and let you know what is going on for sure.

The most important thing is that you’ve identified there might be a problem!

Alright, you’re armed with the tools to make sure your website is healthy and not losing you money.

You got 3 minutes…GO!

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