Why an audit matters.
When you create your website or make significant changes to it, search engines use algorithms to crawl each page of that site. These crawls determine how your site ranks for relevance, usability, and other factors.
These algorithms assign a rank to each page, and that rank determines how high that page shows up on relevant SERPs (search engine results pages). A website audit allows you to analyze your site based on these same factors. Performing a site audit and then making any possible improvements based on the audit report is vital to your site’s visibility and success.
However, a site audit should not be a one-time thing. Each search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) has its own algorithm and list of factors that it tests and ranks for, and these algorithms are adjusted, improved, and updated on a regular basis. Performing a routine audit and making the appropriate improvements to your site will allow you to continue ranking with relevant search engines (and rank competitively with your competitors).
Tip: Audits should be performed at least twice a year, or after any major changes to your website.
What an audit evaluates.
When performing a website audit, there are several key elements that need to be evaluated.
The first element is site performance, which focuses on how users navigate and use your website. You want to provide your visitors with stellar, relevant, informative content, but it’s equally important to make sure that your visitors can easily access that content. This includes:
- Site speed and page load times are optimal
- Site navigation (all valuable propositions are easily accessible; all links are correct)
- Site design/page layout (pages aren’t cluttered or incomplete)
- Conversion paths and/or shopping processes are intuitive
- All indexed pages are internally linked
- AMP (accelerated mobile pages) Implementation
The second element is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which focuses on the quality and optimization of your site’s content. One of the best ways to evaluate your content is to view it from the perspective of your target audience. Is your site content informative and trustworthy? Does your site content answer any and all of your audience’s questions? Does your content motivate your audience to convert, and is the desired action or conversion clear? Once you are confident that your content is quality, relevant, and valuable, you can optimize that content by:
- Including relevant, high-performance keywords
- Creating clear and concise URLs, slugs, and page titles
- Writing strong meta descriptions and tags
The third element is conversion rates. Optimizing your content is a great way to increase your search engine rank and increase your traffic, but what’s most important is what happens once those visitors reach your site. Brand awareness and piquing interest are valuable parts of digital marketing, but the ultimate goal is conversions, so it’s imperative that your site is optimized for lead generation. This includes:
- Strong CTAs (calls-to-action)
- Marketing offers
- Landing pages (when appropriate)
- Data capturing/conversion forms
And finally, your audit should include a technical assessment. While a technical assessment covers some of the same areas that the previous three elements cover, this technical evaluation is essential for an optimal UX (user experience). Your technical assessment should include:
- Responsive design (ensuring your site performs consistently and efficiently on all devices)
- Errors/error messages (ensuring that no links are broken, no conversion paths lead to dead ends, and that your site performs without error)
- URL optimization (URLs are seo- and index-friendly)
- Sitemap/indexing (your sitemap has been submitted for indexing and crawling)
- Crawlability (your site is able to be crawled successfully by search engines)
- HTTPs and other security protocols are in place, enabled, and functional
These elements and factors are just some of the key points that a thorough website audit covers and reports on, and each factor is vital to your site’s visibility and success.
What to do with your audit report.
Once you’ve audited your website for it’s performance, SEO, conversion rates, and technical elements, you can begin to make adjustments and improvements to your site based on the audit results.
Your professional website designer/developer or agency will be able to prioritize the needed adjustments based on the level of impact and then determine the timeline and resource necessary to complete the adjustments…
If links are broken: fix them (or remove them if they are no longer needed).
If titles, tags, or descriptions are missing: write, optimize, and place them.
If site speed or page load time is slow: optimize photos/videos and remove any erroneous script/code.
If content is poorly optimized: research relevant keywords and rewrite content to include them.
If the site doesn’t perform properly on smaller devices: make the appropriate design and development adjustments.
Making adjustments to your site after a thorough audit report will improve your search engine ranking, your site’s overall performance, and your user’s experience.
We can audit your site for free.
Contact us today to have one of our experts perform a full audit on your current site for free. Once the site is crawled and analyzed, we will provide a thorough report, along with an outline of what improvements should be made to your site.