The importance of getting a good ranking in Google is undisputed. It drives traffic to your site, boosting the chances of increased engagement and sales.
Google may be opaque at times when it comes to ranking factors, but it does want to make it easy for you to check that your website is in the best shape technically for a good ranking. So, it provides a number of free testing tools where you can see how your site is doing.
Here’s a rundown of the main ones.
Google’s latest tool was introduced in December and focuses on the structured data types eligible to be shown as rich results. In addition, Google is grouping together all the ‘rich’ data types - rich snippets, rich cards, enriched results - under the single term rich results.
Google says the tool “provides a more accurate reflection of the page’s appearance on Search and includes improved handling for Structured Data found on dynamically loaded content”. Just enter a url and any invalid code will be identified. Once you’ve fixed any problems you can submit for indexing.
The tool currently only works for Recipes, Jobs, Movies, and Courses but Google plan on expanding over time.
Read more on Google’s blog.
Google's Search Console also has a number of tools you can use to test your structured data and help you add structured data to a web page:
Page speed testing tools
No-one likes a slow website and it’s a big factor in people leaving your site. Google also takes note of this and has confirmed that page load speed will be a ranking factor for mobile in their new mobile index.
You can test your site speed on desktop and mobile and work through suggestions to improve your optimization and so, in due course, your speed. See how we did with the Wordtracker case study.
For further reading see Google’s technical help.
This is a simpler mobile speed testing tool for non-developers. As well as a speed rating, the tool also gives you an estimated percentage visitor loss figure - always good for focusing the mind.
You can also have a detailed breakdown report emailed to you, with recommendations and actionable advice specific to your site on how to improve speeds.
This tool highlights loading and usability errors, giving specific pointers relating to your site as well as linking to useful resources such as mobile design principles.
Go to Search Console Help for more detailed reading about this tool.