If you host your website with UK outfit 1and1, you’ll find some tools in the back-end, one of which is a little Mickey Mouse Website Analysis tool. In theory you can point it at anything, but I suspect it’s geared toward sites hosted by 1and1.
The initial scan of the site’s meta-data prompted some interesting questions, particularly if you’re thinking of search engine optimisation.
‘Title (If you’ve added a title for your website, how many words and characters did you use?)
Your website has a title with 18 characters and 2 words. You should use between 30-66 characters and 5-10 words.’
So that’s where Google, Microsoft and IBM have been going wrong all these years… Seriously, though, Microsoft now has a pithy title ‘Microsoft – Devices and Services.’ Done and out. Amazon, on the other hand, goes the whole hog ‘Amazon – Low prices in electronics, books, sports equipment and more.’
‘Meta Description (Have you added a description of your website using enough characters to Google?)
Your website has a description consisting of 86 characters. You should use 160-180 characters.’
We do have a very pithy, self contained tag-line. Possibly not the best for search, but that’s a concious decision.
‘Content (Have you added enough written content to your website to be considered relevant by search engines?)
The content of your website includes words, it should contain at least 500 words.’
There’s a big red cross by this, which I really don’t understand; presumably 1and1’s robots don’t look too deeply, because our homepage isn’t exactly short of words. If yours is a portfolio site, it could be text-lite, but that’s easily remedied if all you add is a decent About Me page.
‘Sitemap (Does your website have a table of contents?)
Your website doesn’t have a table of contents.’
While this is valuable advice – you should have a sitemap – the tool is missing a trick here, also. We have an XML sitemap which is exposed to all search engines, but clearly not to 1and1.
We’ll look some more at the 1and1 website analysis tools another time. RC
Related: Opinion: Web Design Trends 2014