How to Audit your Website for Improvement
by Judith Abani March 08, 2018
Auditing your website isn’t optional. It’s a necessity!
What if I told you your website needs a regular check-up? You know, the same way you visit the hospital for a check-up?
I bet you didn’t know!
You’re not alone. Some people have no clue about that. They design BUT fail to audit every now and then.
When was the last time you gave your website a check-up? A week ago? A month? A year? Never? A website audit is a ‘web’ changer. It determines how optimized your website is to achieve its goals. And also what you can improve or work on.
In Ghana, for example, there’s a high competition to maintain a digital presence. Everyone seems to be going digital these days. The key to gain a competitive advantage is by making sure your website meets the needs of your audience in a much friendly way.
A crappy content = A crappy website.
Every now and then you should audit your website to find out what’s right, wrong and what you need to change.
This blog explains what a website audit is; its importance and how to conduct a website audit.
What is a Website Audit?
Website auditing involves identifying the pages on your website that needs improvement. It indicates what you can also change to ensure quality traffic. This is the full analysis of everything related to your website’s level of search visibility.
Think of it as a report card for your site’s “Googleability”. You may have a well-designed website. But, if search engines can’t read your website, the hard work you put on your pages might never see the light of day.
When should you conduct a website audit?
Some people opt for once or twice a year, while others stick to as often as you can. A good rule of thumb is to audit your website once per quarter. This helps to check if you’re achieving your business goals. Sometimes, you might feel conducting a website audit for every blog will waste time. You can rather opt for a limited audit instead. For example, you can audit a month you felt performed better.
Auditing the blogs published during this time also gives you an idea of what made that month excel over others.
Why you need an Audit?
- To compare yourself to competitors and use your findings to your advantage
- To identify what changes to make
- To get a general overview of the SEO efficiency of your site
- To uncover your website’s weaknesses and fix them
- To set some expectations for your website’s future
- To drive organic traffic to your site and improve your search rankings
- To maximize conversion rates
When was the last time you reviewed the state of your website? Is it achieving its goals? The Internet is becoming overcrowded. Google changes its algorithm every now and then. It’s important you research new ways to stay effective and stand out.
A website audit ensures your digital strategy is on track and your digital properties are performing to their maximum potential.
How to audit your website
Before you begin any website redesign project or search engine optimization (SEO), you first have to conduct a website audit.
Content audit means assessing the existing content on your website to ensure it is driving the right kind of traffic, has the right keywords and improve conversions.
Is your website content of high quality?
The first part of your website audit should target content. From blog posts to landing pages, assess every page on your website.
- Is your content helpful? Remember, content is king. With this in mind, it’s important you create content that appeals to your targeted audience. It should also be well-written, informative, persuasive and educational. Does it have a call-to-action (CTA)?
- Also, quality content should appeal to the needs, interest, desire, and problems of your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research. It should be well-written and free of grammatical errors. Also, it should provide detailed information about a particular topic.
Your reader should also have no doubts about what steps to take next. Such as subscribing to an e-newsletter, link to another blog or download a guide.
- Also, you should ensure that the content on your website is error-free. Update any page containing grammatical and spelling mistakes. This would reduce the risk of readers questioning the credibility and authority of your website.
- Is there any factual inaccuracy? Are your old contents updated with new information? Be on the lookout for inaccurate data and old sources.
- Lastly, what about duplicated content? Contents that are unique, fresh and original usually rule the first page of search engine results. You want to make sure your content is plagiarism-free.
Is your website content search engine optimized?
When auditing your website for a search engine, you want to make sure you follow on-page SEO best practices.
- Quality keywords – Are you using the right keywords that guarantee performance? What keywords do you think to give you the biggest gains in traffic and leads (long tail or short tail keywords)?
- Optimized website URLs – URLs should not be keyword stuffed. But, review URLs, page titles, copy and meta-description to be sure you included relevant keywords.
- Optimized site structure – As you audit your website, you also want to make sure you link to web pages (internal and external).
- Are landing pages, offers, call-to-actions well optimized?
- Well-written title and meta-description – This might not influence your ranking, but it does get you more clicks
- Text formatting – Your text should be well formatted. H1 is for the main title and H2 for the main headings. Use bold and italics when trying to emphasize and lists when necessary.
- Images – Images makes your page attractive and easy to read. Use keywords to describe your image. Use ALT tags to describe images and try as much as you can to reduce large images. This enables the page to load fast.
Use Google Analytics to find out the most performing pages.
Is your website optimized for usability?
Having a website does not guarantee results. Your audit should check to make sure you design your site with your visitors in mind. To audit your website for usability, consider the following:
- Are the unique value propositions of your business accessible through main navigation?
- Are pages cluttered or congested with call-to-action (CTAs) and ads?
- Is your website optimized for lead generation and conversion?
- How many marketing offers do you have in your content?
- Is there a variety of marketing offers that interest your buyer persona?
- Do you have a landing page?
- How effective are your CTAs?
This is the part where you step aside and call your website developer or IT guy to handle. Well, unless you’re tech-savvy. The technical assessment helps identify issues with your site that may be preventing your website from having the visibility it should have.
Some of the things to look out for include:
- Is your website design responsive? Is it mobile friendly? There’s increasing use of smartphones by consumers to access the Internet. So, your website should be responsive. Do your readers have access to your website through their tabs, mobile phones, or even laptops? Also, are important information displayed well on different screen size
- Is your website error message free? You should keep your eye open for error messages and broken links that lead visitors to dead ends. Are there response code errors crowding your website? What about the broken links? Are they cleared? Tools like Google’s Webmaster can be helpful in finding these error messages and cleaning up broken links.
- Is your website scan-able? Visitors rarely read through everything on your website; they’re more likely to scan your page
Website Auditing Tools
Some tools you can use to audit your website include:
- Content reports
The Bottom Line
Auditing your website is a lot of work; it’s generally not easy. It could take several hours before getting the job done. The findings you get will allow you to make informed decisions about the future of your website.
Remember, “If anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” When done correctly, it reveals the weak areas considered for improvement.
If you’re currently auditing your website, what made you realize it was time? How often do you audit your website? Share in the comment section.
If you already have an existing website and would love to see it perform better, contact us.