WEbsite Audits are important
Let’s face it, your website is only as good as the results it delivers. And good results come from your website’s position in the search engine rankings page. If you are ranked near the top, your website will generate user click-thrus that can be translated into positive sales results. Ranked near the bottom and, well, results could be slim to none.
Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings are generated by using keyword research to find and place the best targeted keywords or phrases within the content used to describe your company’s product or service. The ease with which a user can navigate your website is another factor, along with your website’s relevancy, page speed, and mobile integration.
A website audit is the process of conducting a deep review of your online assets to make sure your site is performing as best it can in SEO search results. Think of it as an overall website “health checkup” that needs to be completed periodically to assure that your site is optimized for online search engines.
A website audit can identify any errors, find mistakes or issues that need to be fixed, allow you to review what might not be working so you can improve or remove it, and it can also identify what is working well. Just like a regular “checkup” in your doctor’s office where you find out how to improve your daily habits and health, a website audit can give you the opportunity to identify problems that are preventing your site from ranking in the top echelon. Finding any problems is the first step to fixing them.
Important SEO Ranking Factors
One of the most important factors in SEO ranking is high-quality, optimized content that is relevant to the search terms a user enters into a search box. With dynamic content that is consistently updated and refreshed, you can increase the time a user spends on each page, deliver to the user some real value, and you can significantly lower your bounce rate. All of which translates into positive results for you and your company.
Other ranking factors include:
- Overall user experience
- A secure, easily accessible, and easy to navigate website
- Page speed (including mobile page speed)
- Seamless mobile integration
- Domain age, URL, and authority
- Technical SEO
- Links that can be accessed quickly
- Quality of backlinks pointing to your page
- Plug-ins that work effectively
What Does a Website Audit Cover?
Website audits can cover a variety of areas, including search engine optimization (SEO), your website’s technical performance, user experience (UX), website content, design, accessibility, and more.
It also evaluates:
- Total user experience
- Proper use of keywords and phrases
- Indexing and crawlability
- Site architecture
- Competitor benchmarking
- On-page SEO
- Backlink profiles
- And more
Website audits help to optimize your website for SEO rankings and user accessibility. It helps to identify and bridge any holes or disparities in your website so that the resulting user experience is improved, allowing the site to better generate leads and increase conversion rates.
How to Conduct a Website Audit
While there are several online website and software audit tools available, it’s best to have an IT savvy professional conduct your website audit. Audits should be considered a part of the regular maintenance for your site. In order to continue expanding and improving your online presence, you need to monitor your performance and assess your website on a regular basis to identify opportunities that could improve your rankings and usability. It’s also a great way to find any problems that have occurred that could make your website less user friendly or out-of-date.
Let’s explore some of the website audits that can be conducted to improve your SEO rankings.
An SEO audit helps to show you where your website traffic is coming from. It identifies ways you can improve your rankings so that your company’s website moves up higher in search results, generating more traffic and better results. The higher up in the search results you are the more clicks your website will get.
The audit helps you to determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. Your content and how efficient your keywords are, whether you have a strong call-to-action, and it examines any other traffic-generating strategies you might be taking advantage of. It can also help to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing, blogs, insertion of articles, or embedded videos.
Unless you measure how effective your marketing is, you won’t know what is working…and what’s not. If you’re wasting money or if you need to spend more money in one particular area. An SEO audit can help you maximize and optimize your marketing budget and increase traffic to your site.
SEO audits also include:
- Keyword research and content relevancy
- Determining which content strategies work the best
- Alignment of keywords, content, and marketing goals
- Conversion of views to sales ratios
How good is your website’s overall usability? Does it function quickly and easily? Does the website page look the same on smartphones or tablets or does it cut off the sides of your pages? Is your navigation confusing?
A technical audit determines whether or not your website is technically sound and user-friendly. It checks the speed of your page-load, ease of user navigation, quality of images and colors, it looks for any coding issues and it makes sure that your mobile configuration and integration are exact.
Technical audits also include:
- Making sure the order or hierarchy in the way you’ve organized pages is correct
- Determining the speed at which images or videos load
- Finding any technical or backlink errors
- Analyzing internal and external links
- Spotting crawling and indexation issues
Backlink Profile Audit
A backlink is when your website links to any article or relevant content from another source or on another website to give more weight or expertise to your content. Backlinks are extremely important when SEO is determining ranking. We use an SEO analyzer to determine if your links are authoritative and of high-quality, ensuring that they will be recognized in a search.
Bad or low-quality backlinks can harm your rankings. It is extremely important to fully understand and qualify where your links are coming from and the impact—whether negative or positive–they are having on your site. A backlink audit can let you know whether you need to change or update your linking strategy.
Backlink audits also include:
- A review of all the backlinks on your website to identify potentially damaging, irrelevant links, or outdated links
- A review of your backlink marketing strategy so that you are assured of securing quality and fast-loading links from bonafide experts
- A list of bad links so that you can remove them quickly to avoid any search engine penalties or lower SEO rankings
What are your competitors saying on their websites? Is your pricing comparable to ongoing market pricing? If you don’t compare your company to your competitors, how can you measure your performance accurately? How can you precisely target your customers?
Your online product or service competitors may be delivering completely different messaging. Their keywords and phrases may be more accurate, thus producing better results. They may have backlinks to better experts. By doing a comprehensive audit of your competitor’s websites, we can determine what might work better for you and what may increase the level of your SEO rankings.
Competitor audits also include:
- Identifying competitors in your local marketing area
- Searching for their SEO ranking level and investigate how they got there
- Exploring better expert quotes and articles for more effective backlinks
- Determining what type of content is the competition creating. Is it getting traction? Can you duplicate it?
- Finding out their pricing levels for more competitive pricing on your end
Collecting all your data in front of and in back of your website is probably one of the most important features of your entire website audit. Capturing trustworthy, dependable data helps you make smart, evidence-based decisions for your company’s website and for your overall marketing strategies.
An Analytics audit can track and evaluate any core issues within your website configuration and it can fix those issues before they become a major problem. It can help ensure you that your data is the most up-to-date and as high-quality as possible.
Analytics audits also include:
- Making sure that your tracking code is installed correctly and embedded in every page of your website
- Ensuring that you only have one tracking code
- Tracking and capturing all data correctly
- Installing software that adds new functions to your website. These “plug-ins” enable programmers to update a host program, while keeping a user on the company’s pages
Conducting a full website audit periodically helps complete a comprehensive analysis of every aspect in terms of your website performance. It thoroughly checks on page speed, technical issues, the user experience, and the ability for your site to be found on search engines. A full site audit enables you to understand how your website scores according to these metrics.
It allows you to identify problems and fix them early. It can help you optimize your entire website’s performance. It can allow you to compare your metrics to those of your local competitors. But most of all, it can improve your SEO rankings, which in turn, can convert user views to engagement and ultimately, to sales. And isn’t that the whole purpose of your website in the first place?