Auditing a website is a necessity to assess the page performance before planning for a site redesign or off-page SEO enhancement. A proper audit can determine whether your website is optimized or not to achieve the traffic goals and if it is not so, then how can you improve its performance.
If you haven’t audited your website ever before or if it is a while since you did so, this post will help you to understand how to do it effectively, which is not an option now, but a mandatory move if you are aiming at any results through the portal.
In most of the cases, you may probably be pairing up with someone who has adequate technical knowledge on this, but it is essential for you to have a better insight to this topic to make this process more goal oriented. An ideal website auditing can be done by someone who is your IT department or by an outsourced party.
Benefits of audit
Before we consider auditing a website, it is good to have an understanding of a few benefits of doing so, which will help keep you more focused towards these goals.
Ideal auditing doesn’t only evaluate a website for its content, but also the technical performance. So, audit ultimately gives the site administrators an opportunity to inspect the site for its robustness and its technical framework. You may also assess how much user-friendly your website is alongside checking its worthiness for search engines.
On doing a proper website audit, one can identify if there is any missing search engine optimization opportunity and its remedy. Any poorly administered SEO element and spoiled the other benefits of your website and an audit will unveil any such problems to work better on it.
Optimizing conversion rates
A website audit also enlightens the site owners to re-assess the effectiveness of the website in light of its capability to generate leads and conversions. With this, you can understand if there are any opportunities previously overlooked to convert visitors into business as well as spot any deficiencies on your landing page to optimize those to reap conversions
Website audit assessments
There are four assessment methods to adopt while auditing your site. Let’s next have an overview of these as suggested by Searchical experts, in light of the benefits discussed above and what aspects you should check in this four-tier audit process.
1. Performance assessment
At the first part of any website audit, one should focus on how the users can navigate through your website. Make a list of all pages on your site and assess if your website is optimized for usability. To determine the efficiency of a website, you need to run an audit with your users in mind. The overall design and navigability of a website should correspond to what a visitor to your site will seek for and how much relevant information, resources, product and price details, testimonials, etc. are there.
You also should do some user testing by the members among your target audience to see how effectively they get the content searched for and if they find it easy to navigate through the website without hassles.
Another big thing to consider is the speed. If your site goes down frequency or taking a lot of time to load, then it can adversely impact the SEO performance. Remember that optimized and fast-loading pages may lead to more traffic, visitor engagement, and conversion.
2. SEO assessment
Optimizing website performance is essential to hold on to your visitors and get more results. For this, you should audit the content of your website before each publishing to make sure that it actually solves the visitors’ problems.
On evaluating the content for its quality, also think about it from the perspective of your target audience. Check if the information shared will make them satisfied and if the content answers all the queries. Also, check for the resources relevant to the topic and also whether it leads to the next logical step.
In light of SEO, quality content is something which appeals to the needs, interests, and issues of typical buyer persona; well-written and interesting to them and also provide valuable information about the topic in question. To do a thorough audit for SEO best practice, you can also do a keyword analysis by:
- Reviewing the keyword performance. Check which keywords give you the biggest traffic and leads.
- Check how well you can factor keyword performance to content strategy. How is relevant content getting added to site targeting on those keywords?
- Check the on-page SEO elements like titles, URLs, meta tags, and copies. Ensure relevant keywords are included at all these places.
3. Assessing conversion rates
Highly quality SEO content is an ideal way to boost site traffic. However, it only becomes relevant once if your visitors to the website really convert. Here comes the relevance of optimized CTA (calls-to-action), landing pages, and offers to play vital. To audit your site for its conversion potential, check the following things:
- How many offers are there in your content to route from your landing pages?
- Is there any conversion forms or landing pages on your website for the users to begin with?
- How optimized are the forms and landing pages on your site?
- Are there any conversion opportunities for the visitors at various stages of the sales funnel?
- Are calls-to-actions used effectively or there are any missed opportunities where it can be used effectively on your website?
4. Technical assessment
Once if the above three primary auditing objectives are met, you can next get your IT department involved in the auditing process to run a technical evaluation. You may also hire an outside agency too, but do your homework before doing so.
The first thing you need to check during your technical assessment may be whether your website is “Responsive”? Your site should be mobile friendly for the smartphone users to access it on the go.
Next, you have to audit the response code errors which pop up to the users when they access the pages. Calling out the 404-, 302-, and 500-level responses may be useful to tell your users if something is wrong. However, frequent instances of this are also indicative of someone not cleaning up the broken links, which leads the users to a dead end. You have to try and find those instances and clean them up. You can use Google Webmaster Tools to do this effectively.
Doing a website audit is not easy, especially when you are not tech-savvy. You can take the assistance of ample online resources available to help you out with it.