An audit of your website should be conducted at least once a year, but if you’ve got the capabilities, you should definitely try and do it more regularly.
This activity includes a dive into the website data that will allow you to better understand how it is performing, what your users do on your site and any discrepancies which could cause problems.
Although you may think; “well, I only audited my site last year, what could really change in such a short amount of time?” we’re here to tell you that a lot can change in those short 12 months. That means that your site could be out of date and no longer performing as effectively.
Think of a website audit as a digital MOT, to ensure that you’re running at maximum efficiency and not putting your site at risk of being slapped with a Google penalty.
Automation vs the real deal
So you think you’ve got it covered with an ‘automated’ SEO web audit tool? Well, that’s all well and good but these were never designed to be full analysis.
You see, these ‘automated site audits’ can uncover useful low-level information that will get you off to a good start, however, more often than not, these are typically a lead generation activity in the guise of a ‘tool’ and don’t actually offer any real-world usage.
So, you’re telling me that ‘free’ SEO tools aren’t really all they’re cracked up to be?! You got it! There’s a reason we pay for tools to give us deeper diver information, they often connect to Google Analytics (to work more effectively), which you likely know is private website information afforded only for those who have a login.
However, Google Analytics is free and anyone can use it, it can just take some getting used to in terms of finding the information you need. Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of Google Analytics you can easily look at your web data over certain time periods, and compare month vs month, for example, to identify any changes in traffic, top visited pages, fluctuations in dwell time and so on.
Auditing your site for usability
One of the primary reasons for users leaving your site can be poor user experience. Anything from an outdated site layout and slow load speeds to no designated mobile site can result in a user bouncing shortly after arriving at your site.
If your site structure is all over the place or the layout is poorly designed, you can bet that most users won’t bother to spend time searching for what they want, they’ll just move onto the next search result.
Using your user insights gathered from Google Analytics you should try and make improvements to increase the amount of time users spend on your site and individual pages, as well as if there is anything you can amend to drive interactions and engagement, such as placing an enquiry.
Auditing your site for security
As one of the most important components of an audit, the security of a site should be paramount to your company. Not only does this protect your company and user data, but it also supports in building trust between the market and a brand.
Unsecured sites, i.e. those that are not HTTPS, can see a depletion in their search rankings and a decrease in visitors, due to
Whether your site processes any user login details and payment information or not, should not affect the security of your site. Even the most basic of sites
Auditing your site for search
Title tags, meta descriptions and alt-text will
However, the same cannot be said for other elements, including site structure, content, links and redirects, which should be reviewed periodically.
It’s highly recommended that you regularly review your site’s search capability to ensure that your content and performance is still offering the best user experience. This could include disavowing bad links that are pointing to your site to show that you don’t trust them to avoid being penalised by Google or updating content to more accurately
Also, consider looking at the site structure to ensure all information is easily reached and there are no orphaned pages which cannot be accessed through a menu system.
Finally, implementing 301 redirects where pages with backlinks pointing to them are no longer are in use will ensure that users don’t end up lost if they click through from an older link.
Starting your website audit
So, now you know why you should audit, you need to ensure you have the right tools to do the job.
Google Analytics is a great place to start and can offer you a wealth of insights into how people use your site and what content is performing well and what isn’t, this affords you the chance to fine-tune your user experience.
Furthermore, looking at the search performance and health of your site can allow you to identify opportunities to enhance your online capabilities and further increase your visibility and grow your customer base.
If you’re unsure of how to undertake your own website audit, why not get in touch today to find out more about the benefits of auditing your online presence.