Website audits are a necessary tool to see where and how you can improve your website. In this article we will discuss how to Audit your Website for improved SEO.
What exactly is a website audit, and how often should it be done?
A website audit is the process of examining a website’s content, layout, links and more to find out how well it performs. There are many reasons for doing a website audit including:
- To see if your site has been hacked or not. Hackers often hide themselves in code so even you might not notice them until it’s too late
- To identify errors in code which could cause people to get redirected to the wrong pages on your site
- For designers and marketers to see where improvements can be made to create better visitor experience.
A website audit can be done on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis depending on the size of your site and how often you want to find out about new issues.
However, in some cases an audit might have to be done more frequently than others such as when:
- You notice that your search engine rankings are starting to slip
- Visitors don’t spend much time on your site
- There’s been unusual traffic coming from the same IP address
- A sudden drop in sales on your e-commerce store.
How to Audit Your Website
There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when auditing your website. In this article will focus on some of the most important parts of an audit and how they can help make your site better.
A website audit for any company should be undertaken, so that there are no missed opportunities for improvement. A website auditor needs to know what type of problems they’re looking for when auditing websites and know how to report the findings back to a client.
How are website audits conducted?
A manual website audit can be a lot of work, even for a small website. Working through every single page and section on a large website, and you’ll soon see that a website audit can become a time consuming exercise.
Fortunately, there are several tools can help. But first, you need to know what you are auditing and what the results mean.
What are the main types of website audits?
There are many types of website Audits that can be conducted, we won’t go through all of them, but here are a few.
Website Security Audit
A website security audit scans your website and its server for existing or potential weaknesses that hackers can exploit. It covers your website’s entire infrastructure, from its core software to extensions, plugins, themes, server settings, SSL connection, and other configurations.
The purpose of a website security audit is to proactively look for vulnerabilities in your website, and eliminate them before hackers with malicious intent can notice.
The importance of regular security auditing is paramount as hackers are constantly challenging your website’s safety, by actively looking for ways to hack into your websites code.
A Security Audit will uncover what should be addressed immediately and what should be implemented to enhance the security of your website.
A Website Care Plan which includes regular website monitoring and maintenance, is highly recommended after performing a Website Security Audit on your website.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the practice of making websites more visible online to search engines, like Google and Bing. SEO efforts are aimed to result in high ranking on the search results and increased organic traffic to your website.
SEO Audits focus on the technical areas of your website that may impact how your website ranks in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
This audit covers aspects such as page speed loading time, meta data and title tags, and can help you with a knowing what can be improved and a strategy that will ensure you improve your SEO rankings to make your website more visible to online.
Site Design Audit
These audits are done to ascertain the user experience while navigating your website. It mainly focuses on how visitors interact with the website and show if the page structure, colours and other features give a good experience to your visitors, while searching for information.
Such audits will uncover what can be adjusted so you can keep more clients on your website, and possibly convert them to make purchase, or contact you about your services.
Competitors Website Audit
This type of audit will uncover a better strategy that can set you apart from other competing brands. It will provide you information on how your website is performing against others in your industry and what they are doing to their advantage. Frequent competition analysis guides your next course of action towards better performance than your competition.
Social Media Audit
Social media audits involve gathering information on how your website and brand interacts on social media platforms, and how it may be affecting your overall performance. This can uncover how frequently your website’s links are posted on social media platforms, how much your websites content has been shared, and interaction levels.
Website owners should take note to the comments left by readers or customers, especially negative ones which show what customers would want to be done differently and, adjust accordingly to attract, and retain their customers.
Website Reputation Audit
A positive reputation is very important for all businesses to inspire trust and confidence when dealing with your brand. Reputation of your brand can directly impact online purchases as your potential clients want to feel safe when purchasing from you.
Reputation audits can be crucial to help you understand if your business enjoys a positive or negative reputation from your audience from popular review websites and makes plans to maintain trust from your target audience.
Now that we have outlined some of the types of ways on how to Audit your Website, we can now look at the tools that can help.
Choosing a Website Auditing Tool
There are several tools that can help when auditing your website, and can discover the areas that need to be updated or improved on.
Several different tools can provide you an overview of your site or what to focus on critical areas such as those we mentioned above.
Ahrefs – Mainly used to analyze a website’s link profile, keyword rankings, and SEO health. Ahrefs can be used to conduct keyword research for Google, YouTube, and Amazon. And many people use Ahrefs to find content that’s performed well (in terms of social shares and/or links) on a given topic.
Their blog is full of useful articles that help you interpret what this data and how to fix problems.
SEO Tester Online – this solution-oriented SEO web-suite is designed to help bloggers, companies, digital specialists and web agencies optimize sites and content for search engines, helping them to improve the volume of organic traffic by climbing the SERP.
Screaming Frog – this website crawling tool yields an impressive heap of information for your developers and designers to work through to improve website performance. Like the other tools mentioned, there are various packages to choose from.
These are just three examples of website auditing tools, and there are many more. It pays to do your research and shop around. Premium or paid SEO tools give a much deeper insight than free tools which can just scrape the surface of a websites information and can often provide sub standard data.
When choosing an auditing tool, you want one that:
- Scans your website pages thoroughly for issues
- Checks for broken links, both internal and external
- Finds thin pages, weak or duplicated content
- Can identify on and off-page SEO problems
- Assesses page loading times, errors, and any pages blocked by your robots.txt file
- Generates accurate information and creates a checklist of problems that need to be fixed
All in all, comprehensive website audits are crucial for your websites success, it can uncover errors that should be addressed to improve not only your visibility in search engines, but also user experience, which in turn can create more leads and sales for your business.
We have discussed many ways on how to Audit your Website. There are many tools in the marketplace to help you audit your website and discover on how to make your website better.
If you prefer to leave it to a professional, AOG Design provides professional website audits so your website is more visible online and consequently get more leads for your business.