In the online world, things go wrong. This can happen for a variety of reasons: someone makes a mistake, Google rolls out an algorithm (again), or your server goes down.
Every one of these problems will negatively affect your website SEO. Regardless of why something goes wrong, it’s also important for you to know when a problem pops up to make sure you can minimize the resulting issues as much as possible.
Staying informed about errors and verifying they stay fixed with website monitoring is a great way to spot problems early, avoid indexing issues, and protect your ranking.
This is part 2 of a series meant to show you how Testomato can help prevent SEO disaster and deal with optimization problems that could have serious consequences for your business. In this post, we’ll show you Testomato can help you monitor page elements and site uptime.
Missing HTML Content
Important tags like the h1 tag or meta tags play an important role in telling search engines what a page’s content is about. In addition to acting as ranking factors, h1 tags also contribute to the overall experience a user has on your website.
The h1 tag is the first thing a visitor sees when they arrive on your website and helps signal they’ve come to the correct page. What would you do if you arrived on a page and couldn’t figure out if you were in the right place?
You’d probably leave pretty quickly.
Solution: Monitor critical page elements
Testomato makes it easy to run in-depth checks on your web pages in order to ensure important content is present and monitor SEO impacting page elements.
You can create and customize specific rules for each check to allow you to dig deeper into your page content.
Rules can be used to monitor HTML source code, but you can also check for:
- Plain text strings
- Word presence
- HTTP header content
- HTTP status codes and redirection
- Regular expression patterns
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Check for the presence of h1 tags
To learn more about setting up and configuring rules, we recommend checking out this quick guide.
Performance and Uptime
When your site goes down or is unavailable, it’s the equivalent of your business being closed without warning. This means your visitors (and search engine crawlers) aren’t able to access your website, which could end up costing you business.
From an SEO perspective, downtime not only negatively affects ranking, but indexing as well. While short and temporary periods of downtime aren’t too serious, longer and frequent outages could cause your website to be left out of Google’s index.
“If your website is inaccessible, Google won’t be able to index your site,” warns Donna Duncan on B2C. “If your site is taking too long to load, Google’s crawlers could abandon the effort and exit before indexing completes.”
It’s pretty straight forward: Search engines don’t want to send people to web pages that are always down or slow.
Solution: Check availability and response speed
Testomato automatically tests your web projects every 15 seconds (depending on the interval you select) to check they are online and responding. If your website is down for more than 45 seconds (i.e. for 3 consecutive checks), you’ll receive an alert.
In addition to monitoring website uptime, Testomato is also able to also able to track your website’s response time.
This means that we’re able to show how much time it took each phase of a page to download. In your daily response time charts, each point represents a two-minute interval, whose value is calculated as the median amount it took to load.
Bonus: Analytics Code
Google Analytics is an effective way to spot changes in traffic to your website. If your analytics code is missing from your web pages, you could find yourself without the data you need to make important SEO decisions going forward.
With Testomato, you can check individual pages for analytics code or apply a single rule to all the pages you are monitoring for a project.
Using multiple rules we can apply the same rule to all the pages (test boxes) that are visible on the dashboard.
Here is an example rule to check for analytics code:
If the analytics code is missing, your checks will fail. In this instance, the code we used is not present on any of the project’s pages.
This is what happens when the rule is applied:
To learn how to set up multiple rules, check out this guide.
What SEO problems do you check for the most?
Please leave us a comment here or tweet us @testomatocom.