Website Health Report Guide
Updated: September 5, 2018
The Website Health Report is an initial high-level analysis of a website’s overall health and search engine optimization abilities. The results in the Website Health Report are meant to establish an overall baseline of the websites health and to help determine which strategic marketing services are a good fit for the growth of the website. The Website Health Report tests over 100 individual data points on both front-end and back-end of the website and includes an overall analysis of the website code, keywords, tags and functionality.
Overall Website Health Score
The Website Overall Health Score is a combination of all fifteen sections in this report. The overall website health score, is based on a 100-point scale with 100 being a website that has exceptional search engine optimization. The average score for a new website, built with clean custom code and complete on-page search engine optimization is a 60. As a website’s popularity and trust grows in the market the overall website health score rises as a direct result of the websites search engine optimization increasing. To put is simply, the higher the overall website health score the more likely the search engines rank the website higher on the search engine results pages.
Website Mobile Test Score
The Website Mobile Test Score is a third-party analysis of how Google interacts with the mobile version of the website. On March 26, 2018 Google adjusted their algorithm to rank websites using the mobile version of the website. This is all the more reason to make sure that your website’s mobile test score is 90% or higher. The mobile test score is based off of mobile friendliness, touchscreen readiness, mobile compatibility, readability, mobile viewport configuration and arguably the most important, mobile speed.
Website Desktop Test Score
The Website Desktop Test Score is a third-party analysis of how Google interacts with the desktop version of the website. The desktop version of a website is generally any device that has a viewport width of 1200 pixels or larger. A fully optimized website built with custom HTML code will score above a 90% in this category. The desktop test score is based off of: image optimization, code minification, asset compression, the website’s ability to load in under 1 second and the overall functionality of the website on large screens.
Detected Loading Errors
We use a third-party website rendering tool to test how the search engines interact with the website during the page loading phase. As the page loads from the search engines, many times the search engines will have significate trouble loading a file, image or section of code that will either slow down the page loading process or cause that section of the website to fail completely. By detecting and eliminating these errors, the website has the ability to load faster and perform at full capacity on every device.
Website Speed Optimization Score
Website Compression Optimization Score
According to surveys by Gomez and Akamai, website abandonment increases with every second the user waits for the website or the web page to load. Based on our total website analysis, we are able to accurately predict what percentage of inbound traffic abandons the website before the web page loads. A fully optimized website should have an abandonment rate of less than 5%; this includes a 5% margin of error accounted the various devices and networks used to access the website.
The Keyword Analysis section of our Website Health Report is an analysis of the most used words used on the homepage (root domain) of the website. This sample is based on the homepage of the website, because the homepage is the considered the most important page and in turn, should be the most-optimized. Included in the keyword analysis are three categories: Frequency (Freq.), Title, Description (Desc.) and Header Tags (
Average Page Loading Speed
The Average Page Loading Speed is an average of several website loading speed tests conducted by our team and dedicated third party website analyzers. Optimized websites should load in less than two seconds on a desktop and less than three seconds on a mobile device when connected to a secure network. Our website analyzers test the website loading speed on both desktops and mobile devices.
Website Structure (On-Page SEO) - Part 1
The Website Structure section of the Website Health Report focuses on the key factors that make up the websites structure including: The Title Tag, Meta Description, Image Alt Attributes, Broken Links, 301 Redirects, Robots.txt and Header Tags.
The websites Title Tag is the one of the most important aspects of on-page search engine optimization. Located in the tab of the browser, the Title Tag is used by the search engines to understand the overall theme of the web page. Like the title of a book, the title tag is also the link used in the search engines to attract potential traffic. The Title Tag should include high-profile keywords that are 50-60 characters for optimal performance. If there is a red dot next to this element, then the website contains one or more Title Tags with characters outside of our recommended range or does not have a Title Tag.
The Meta Description is used by the search engines to display a short description about the website to potential traffic. The Meta Description should contain 50-300 characters, made up of high profile keywords. If there is a red dot next to this element, then the website contains one or more Meta Description with characters outside of our recommended range or does not have a Meta Description.
Image Alt Attributes are short descriptions about each image on a web page. These descriptions display on the web page if the image is unable to load. These descriptions are also used by the search engines when attempting to understand what the image is about. If there is a red dot next to this element, then the website contains one or more missing Image Alt Attributes.
Links are hyperlinks within the website that connect the pages of the website together. Hyperlinks can mainly be found on the websites navigation section; however, they can also be embedded in each section of the website and within the text of a blog or article. If there is a red dot next to this element, then the website contains one or more Broken Links and thus leads the viewer to an error page.
301 Redirects are items of code that redirect old links to new ones. For example, if a web page URL name changes to better reflect the theme of the web page, then a 301 Redirect is required to redirect the old URL to the new one. 301 Redirects ensure that when the user clicks on the old link displayed in the search engines, the user is not directed to a broken link. 301 Redirects are also used when directing all traffic to the preferred domain/URL name, and directing http traffic to the preferred https website. If there is a red dot next to this element, then the website does not contain the proper 301 Redirect code or contains a broken 301 Redirect.
The Robots.txt file is used by the search engines when determining which web pages to crawl and which ones to not. The Robots.txt file is useful for websites that do not want all web pages to appear on the search engines result page, such as an administration file. By declaring which web pages not to crawl in the Robots.txt file, the search engines are less likely to view them. However, any declarations made in the Robots.txt file are viewed as recommendations by the search engines and not as requirements. If there is a red dot next to this element, the website does not contain a Robots.txt file or the Robots.txt file is not in the valid format.
The Header Tags are snippets of code that highlight certain keywords within the website. Every website should contain only one H1 tag, and this tag should contain a high-profile keyword. An optimized website will also contain at least one H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 tag, containing keywords with respect to there priority. If there is a red dot next of any of the Header elements, then the Header tag either violates one of the Header Tag rules or does not exist within the code.
Website Structure (On-Page SEO) - Part 2
Part 2 of the Website Structure section focuses on links. Website links (also known as hyperlinks) are ways of connecting the web pages in the website together. Links also connect web pages to other websites that contain relevant information about the content within the web page. There are three types of links we test for in our Website Health Report: Follow Links, No Follow Links and Internal Links.
Follow Links are hyperlinks within a web page that connect to an external website and tell the search engines to “follow” the link to the other website. Follow links add Search Engine Optimization value to the linking web page, acting as an endorsement to the other website.
No Follow Links are hyperlinks within a web page that connect to an external website. However, unlike Follow Links, No Follow Links tell the search engines not to “follow” the link to the other website. In search engine language, this expresses not to endorse the other website. If you cannot 100% trust the website you are linking to, then we recommend applying the No Follow attribute to the hyperlink.
Internal Links are links that connect to other pages within the website.
Website Structure (On-Page SEO) - Part 3
Part 3 of the Website Structure section of the Website Health Report focuses on the Underscored URLs, Blogs, Blocking Factors, SSL Certificates and XML Sitemaps.
A URL is essentially the address of a single web page on the World Wide Web. A URL is determined by the file name within the website. For example, the URL of this web page is the security tag (https://) followed by the domain name (whitewhalewebdesign.com), followed by the main resources folder (/resources), followed by the Reports and Guides section (/reports-and-guides), followed by the name of this page (/website-health-report). This structure helps tell the search engine that this web page is a secured file within the White Whale Web Design website and it is a report or guide within the resources section.
Search engines are not able to read URLs that contain underscores. (For example, https://whitewhalewebdesign.com/resources/reports_and_guides/website_health_report). This type of URL confuses the search engines “crawl bots” and lead to the website being incorrectly ranked or omitted from ranking within the search engine results pages. If there is a red dot next to this element, the website contains one or more URLs with embedded underscores.
Blocking Factors include any code that limits the websites ability to perform correctly. Blocking Factors include Adobe Flash and Frames. Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to animate images and display videos. Adobe Flash not only slows the website down, but is also inaccessible on mobile devices. Like Adobe Flash, Frames slows down a website. Frames (also known as IFrames) are HTML documents embedded inside of another HTML document. Frames are often used to embed content from another source. Unlike Adobe Flash, Frames do have a positive aspect to them; Frames can be used to embed YouTube videos, as well as widgets into a web page, but should only be used sparingly. If there is a red dot next to this element, the website contains one or more blocking factors.
SSL Certificates (also known as HTTPS) is a security encryption layer that a website uses to protect the website visitors from hackers. As of 2018, Google and other search engines are requiring all websites to have a valid SSL Certificate attached to their website. If there is a red dot next to this element, the website does not have a valid SSL Certificate.
XML Sitemaps are used by the search engines to crawl and rank a website efficiently. On average the search engine bots only dedicate a certain amount of time to each website, if the search engine bots do not crawl the entire website in that amount of time, they move on to the next website and those uncrawled web pages never get ranked. An XML Sitemap is a directory connected to the website that search engines can use to ensure that all web pages within a website get crawled and ranked. If there is a red dot next to this element, the website does not contain a valid XML Sitemap.
In this section we also test the structure and the performance of the XML Sitemap attached to the website. If there is a red dot next to any of these elements, the Sitemap may not be being used by search engines.
With over half of all website visitors using a mobile device when using search engines, Mobile Optimization is perhaps the most important section within this Website Health Report. Within the Mobile Optimization section, we test: Mobile Friendliness, Touchscreen Readiness, Mobile Compatibility, Readability, Mobile Viewport Configuration, Content Viewport Optimization and Mobile Speed.
Mobile Friendliness is a test focused on the overall website structure when viewed on a mobile device. A mobile device includes any screen smaller than 1200 pixels (including tablets). In March 2018, Google made it clear that any website that is not mobile friendly will not rank high in the search engine results pages. If there is a red dot next to this element, the website is not considered mobile friendly.
Touchscreen Readiness is a test focused on the size of the buttons and links within each web page. If there is a red dot next to this element, the buttons and links on the web page are too small to be clicked on with an index finger or a thumb.
The Mobile Compatibility test focuses on how interactive the website is on mobile devices. If there is a red dot next to this element, the mobile version of the website may include blocking factors such as Adobe Flash or specialty code, which hinders the websites performance on mobile devices.
The Readability test focuses on how easy it is for a website visitor to read the website content on a mobile device. If there is a red dot next to this element, the size of the content is not large enough to be read clearly on a mobile device.
The Mobile Viewport Configuration test focuses on how the website looks on a mobile device. The mobile version of a website should have set parameters for both horizontal and vertical aspects of a mobile device. A red dot next to this element, indicates that a viewport configuration structure is not in place.
The mobile version of a website should fit into both vertical and horizontal dimensions of the mobile device being used. For example, a website user should never have to scroll the website left or right to see the entire web page. If there is a red dot next to the Content Fits Viewport element, this indicates that the content of the website does not respond to the mobile viewport.
Mobile Speed Optimization is one of the most difficult Search Engine Optimization factors to achieve a perfect score on. This is because, Mobile Speed is often overlooked by both business owners and website designers alike. With that said, it is almost impossible for template-made websites (WordPress, Wix, etc.) to pass this category due to the inherit size and complexity of the structure. To achieve Mobile Speed Optimization the website must Optimize Images, Eliminate Render Blocking Code, Leverage Browser Caching, Minify CSS and Minify HTML.
A red dot next to Mobile Speed indicates that the website failed to load in less than 3 seconds on average. A red dot next to any of the other elements under Mobile Optimization indicates an absence of that element within the website.
The Usability section of the Website Health Report tests the aspects of the website that are often overlooked or hidden from website visitors but are viewed by the search engines to determine optimization and validity. The Usability section includes: Favicon, Custom 404 Page, Language Declared, Analytics Used, Asset Minification, Asset Compression, Asset Cacheability and Structured Data Markup.
A website Favicon is the miniature picture found on the left-hand-side of the browser tab when viewed on a desktop device and is the image that appears on a mobile phone, tablet or desktop when bookmarked to the home screen. Every website should have a Favicon, and the image used should represent the websites theme as a whole. A red dot next to the is element indicates the lack of a Favicon on the website.
A 404 Error is the web page that displays when a broken link has been selected or a URL address has been typed incorrectly. A Custom 404 Page is the last opportunity a website has before the visitor leaves. By having a Custom 404 Page attached to the website, the websites theme can be used to provide other web page options and influence the user to stay on the website. A red dot next to this element indicates the absence of a Custom 404 Page.
Whether a website is meant to be viewed in only one language, that language or languages, should be declared in the code of the web page. This ensures that web page only appears to the audience that speaks the same language. A red dot next to this element indicates that the web page does not have a Declared Language.
The Analytics Used test focuses on the what types of analytics software are being used on the website. Every website should at least have Google Analytics linked to the code, however larger websites may have several analytics software linked. A red dot next to this element indicates the absence of Analytics software linked to the website.
Asset Minification is the process of analyzing and rewriting the text-based parts of the website to reduce its overall size, this includes: HTML, CSS, JS and PHP files. If there is a red dot next to this element, more than 25% of the website is not minified.
Asset Compression is another type of process focused on making the website even smaller to reduce the page loading speed. Asset Compression is inherently used on large websites with hundreds and sometimes thousands of files to allow the websites performance to significantly improve when a user visits the website. However, this practice is becoming more important for small websites to load within the industry standard of 1-3 seconds. A red dot next to this element indicates that less than 25% of the website is compressed.
Asset Cacheability is a rule setup on the server that allows the browser to save a copy of the website when first opened; this reduces the page load speed when the user visits the website again. By using optimal caching methods, a website load speed time can be cut in half when users visit the website multiple times. A red dot next to this element indicates that less than 25% of the website is cached.
Structured Data Markup (also known a Schema Markup) is code embedded in a websites HTML file that provides specific information, in a structured data set, to the search engines. Search engines then use this data when creating rich snippets in the search engine results pages. Rich Snippets include: product or company review data, specific information about people, product information, businesses, recipes, events, music and video content. A red dot next to this element indicates that Structured Data Markup was not found on the website.
Search Engine Optimization - Part 1
The Search Engine Optimization section of our Website Health Report focuses on the metrics and statistics that indicate the current health of the website from an Off-Page SEO standpoint. Unlike On-Page SEO, as referred to in the previous sections, Off-Page SEO is not controlled by the websites inherit structure. Off-Page SEO is everything that happens outside of the code and is largely uncontrolled by the website developer. However, On-Page SEO does have an indirect influence on Off-Page SEO. This section refers to several Off-Page SEO factors, including: Monthly Estimated Organic Traffic, Monthly Paid Estimated Traffic, Backlink Count, Backlink Quality, Keywords Count and Traffic Cost.
The Monthly Estimated Organic Traffic is a third-party analysis of the how the website performs in the search engines based on a large sample of most used keywords submitted to the search engines every day. This metric is not a substitute for Google Analytics data but rather a guide for how the website is growing organically. A red dot next to this element indicates that the website is receiving lower than the monthly average for traffic based on industry and business/organization size and relevance.
The Monthly Paid Estimated Traffic is an analysis of the amount of traffic visiting a website through paid search channels, such as Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords). This metric is not a substitute for Google Analytics data but rather a guide for how paid advertisement campaigns influence the growth of the website. We do not place a red or green dot next to this metric because having a paid advertising campaign is not always instrumental or necessary when growing a website.
The Backlink Count Metric is a measurement of all links that appear in other (external) web pages that connect to web pages within your website. The number of backlinks a website has is used by search engines when determining a websites trust. A website with many backlinks indicates that the content on the website is useful, therefore the search engines will want to introduce more people to it in the search engine results pages. A red dot next to this element indicates that the website is receiving lower than average backlinks based on industry and business/organization size and relevance.
The Backlink Quality Metric identifies how valuable the backlinks pointing to the website are. A backlinks quality is mainly determined by the SEO score of the external website. A website with a high SEO will carry more trust with the search engines than a backlink with low SEO. A red dot next to this element, indicates that the total backlinks pointing to the website is less than optimal and/or hurting the websites SEO.
The Keywords Count Metric is a third-party analysis on what keywords the website currently ranks for in the search engines. The more high-profile keywords the website ranks for, the more traffic visits the website. A red dot next to this element, indicates the website has less than the average amount of keywords based on industry and business/organization size and relevance.
The Traffic Cost Metric is the amount of weight the websites Keyword Count Metric is holding in the search engines. This metric is displayed as a dollar value, meaning if you used a paid advertising campaign to target the keywords used in the website then it would cost this much every month. A red dot next to this element, indicates the keywords used in the website are of little value in the search engines.
Search Engine Optimization - Part 2
Part 2 of the Search Engine Optimization section of the Website Health Report is focused on how the keywords (indicated in part 1) are displayed across each position in the search engine results page. For example, the “1-3” column in the bar graph indicates the number of keywords that appear in positions 1, 2 or 3 on the search engine results page. The more keywords that appear in the “1-3” column directly influence the amount of traffic the website will receive.
All of Search Engine Optimization plans include advanced keyword analysis, meaning we are able to determine what keywords are in each position within the search engine result page and how valuable they are. Then we determine what action needs to be taken to increase the chances of that keyword ranking higher.