A website audit is a must for any website owner if you want to continue to improve your website rankings. But what really is a website audit? Why do you need one? And, how can you run an audit on your website?
What is a Website Audit? A website audit is a complete examination of everything on your website in relation to its search engine (SEO) performance. Auditing your website helps you determine if your website is optimized to reach your page rank goals, and what can be done to improve it.
Gone are the days when you simply stuff in as many keywords as possible and expect it to rank higher. As ranking factors evolve to better match a searcher’s needs, your website too must continue to improve. It is for this reason that you give your website a checkup.
Why Audit Your Website? An audit benefits your website in many different ways. Before discussing steps to take when auditing your website, here are some benefits from a website audit that will improve your marketing campaign:
Website technical performance: How does your website perform on the technical side of things? Is it easy for users to navigate through to find the content they need? Is it friendly to search engines? A website audit will help answer these questions for you.
- Conversion optimization: Everything from your choice of Calls To Actions (CTAs) to your entire landing page copy and layout may affect conversion. An audit identifies deficiencies in your conversion strategy and opportunities to improve your conversion rate better.
- SEO performance: On the SEO side of things, a website audit helps indicate any SEO-related errors you may have made in your entire website content, and provides actionable information to improve your website SEO.
5-Step Website Audit Process for Conversion and SEO
Auditing your website involves a concise, thorough, and careful process. To do this, you must ask some critical questions and find the answers. What follows are five critical steps to follow to ensure your website audit is as informative and revealing as it should be. There are many website audit tools to use; some of my favorites are WooRank, Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, and HubSpot’s Website Grader. Run your website through these tools to see how it does.
There’s always room for improvement. Every website audit is sure to reveal areas for improvement, both on the technical and content sides of your website that can give your conversion rate and traffic hits a massive boost.
Step 1 – Website Usability
You should begin your evaluation of website usability. This is measured by the ease with which users navigate through your website. How easy is it to navigate from your home page to your landing pages, blog posts, and other related pages? Is the site optimized for maximum usability?
Essentially, this audit level answers the question: how easy is it for site visitors to get the information they need? The easier it is for visitors to find their way around, the more conversion opportunities you have. When auditing for the site usability, ask yourself:
- Is my website’s design simple and intuitive, or is it littered with too much clutter?
- Are conversion paths clearly laid out?
- Will users find all of the website’s value proposition in the main navigation panel or menu items?
Step 2 – Overall Website Speed
There’s no gainsaying that a slow website will cost you traffic and conversions. The longer your site takes to load, the higher the chance a visitor will abandon your page, and be less likely to engage. Site speed may be affected by image file sizes, or HTML and CSS code issues. When considering page speed, ask yourself:
- How long does a webpage take to load on my site?
- Does the site have frequent downtimes?
Step 3 – Website Content
Although everything about your website’s appearance and performance can impact SEO, none has as much of an impact as your content- content is king. While evaluating your website content, your focus should be on whether the content you publish tackles the problems of your target audience.
There are two approaches to auditing your content. The first involves looking at your content’s ability to satisfy visitors. Ensure your content considers the needs, desires, and addresses the pain points of your audience.
Remember, your website content quality depends on your target audience’s perception. Quality content should appeal and be relevant to each target market profile. You should ask these critical questions below.
- Does this information answer every question on the subject? Is it satisfactory enough?
- Does it clearly state what needs to be done and provide the necessary resources?
The second approach involves auditing the content for SEO.
- How well does your content fit into your SEO strategy?
- Are your chosen keywords performing well?
- Is keyword performance factored into your content strategy?
Additionally, check to make sure your content is unique and there are no duplicates. Run your content through Copyscape Plagiarism Checker.
Step 4 – Website Conversion
Once visitors have found your page and frequently engage with it due to your content, it’s time to convert them from prospects into leads and clients. This is where your landing pages, marketing offers, and calls-to-action will begin to play a role. These variables enable you to get quality leads to follow up on and turn into clients. Ask yourself:
- Do I use CTAs effectively in my content, or do I miss chances to include them?
- Do I target different buyer personas or target market profile with my CTAs and marketing offers?
- Are my landing pages optimized and are my conversion forms visible and easy to use? Do I even have these?
- Do I have a clear-cut conversion funnel?
Step 5 – Technical SEO
Lastly, the technical audit of your website is the most critical aspect of your website audit. This audit stage requires a developer or someone with a little more technical know-how and is a little interwoven with the rest of your audit so far – only this time, on the backend of things.
This is where you begin to look at all the backend code that may negatively impact your website. Your technical audit should cover things like:
- Your website design and how responsive (mobile-friendly) it is
- Your website releasing response code errors such as 404, 302, and 500 level errors when and where it shouldn’t and be sure to clean it up
- Your site having overly lengthy keyword-stuffed URLs that may be difficult for search engines to index
As part of your technical audit, you also want to look at your site structure. Linking your pages through content ensures they are indexed by search engine crawlers and hands your SEO strategy a boost. You can also help define how your pages are crawled by using sitemaps and robot files or tags.
Website audits aren’t easy. Before you begin auditing your website, set a clear framework for the direction and flow of the audit. Ideally, your audit should help you determine how your website is performing – both by itself and in comparison with others. It should also identify clear areas for improvement. Once you’re able to measure your website’s performance successfully, success will sure to come.
If you need help with your website audit or you need help fixing it, contact me. I’d love to take care of it for you.