The Coffey Blog

Tools that can help you evaluate your hospital website

Posted on: Monday, November 2, 2015

Jeremy Dietz, Executive Digital Editor

Your hospital's website was, no doubt, once a thing to be proud of. But over time, even the best website can become outdated or develop problems that make it less effective than it could be.

How do you know when your site needs help? To fully evaluate how well your website is working and what you can do to improve it, you'll need access to expertise in website design, development and content. But there are some easy-to-use tools that can help you get an idea of whether or not you need to reach out to an expert.

Here are 3 things website evaluation tools can help you do and some examples of tools that you may find helpful:

1. Check your hospital website's overall functionality

When Coffey audits a website, we like to start with the big picture. Does the site function properly? Do the links work? These tools can give you a good overview:

  • Moz Crawl Test.
    What it does: This tool gives you a vast amount of information about each page on a website (up to 3,000 pages), including whether it has redirects pointing to it (or from it), whether there are other pages that have duplicate content, and whether or not search engines are allowed to index it.
    Cost: You can get a free trial of this and other Moz tools, but after that, subscriptions start at $99 a month.
  • Link Checker and Check My Links.
    What they do: Both of these browser plug-ins can check your site for broken links. It's a good idea to run this type of check at least once a month so you can identify and fix any issues. There are many other tools that can provide this kind of data—so if you don't like either of these, find one that suits your needs.
    Cost: Both of these tools are free.

2. Find out if your website is mobile friendly

It's increasingly important to have a website that offers a good experience for people using mobile devices. How does your website measure up? Here's a great tool that can give you Google's perspective.

3. Evaluate your hospital's search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is essential to the success of your hospital's website. There are a wide range of common SEO problems on hospital websites. Here are a few tools that can help you evaluate your site:

  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
    What it does: This is a desktop program that you install on your computer. It crawls websites and creates a report that shows important SEO elements like title tags text and pixel width, meta description text and length, and heading text and length.
    Cost: A "lite" version of the tool is available for free.
  • Google Search Console.
    What it does: The console includes tools that let you evaluate a variety of things, including search queries that have lead people to your site, links that lead to your website, site map errors, the number of pages on the site that Google has indexed and errors found during Google's crawls of the site.
    Cost: Free.

Need help putting the info from these tools into action?

Using tools like the ones listed above can help you get an idea of areas where your site could benefit from help. But the data you get there needs to be evaluated in the context of your overall marketing goals.

If you need help analyzing your hospital website's performance and making a plan for improving it, contact Coffey and ask about scheduling a no-obligation website audit. Our team will use tools, such as these, along with our vast expertise in creating effective hospital websites to identify areas of opportunity for your website and provide solutions that can help you move forward.

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