A well-performed website is crucial to any successful online business. However, many people still do not know how to achieve better website performance. The quickest way to see a website’s most significant performance improvements is to conduct a website audit and make the necessary adjustments to optimize results. This article will show you how to audit a website in 14 simple steps to improve your SEO and user experience.
What Is A Website Audit?
A website audit is an in-depth website analysis to verify its functionality (including page speed, technological problems, and user experience) and search engine visibility.
Doing a website audit can help you assess all the elements influencing your website’s visibility and identify underlying problems affecting its functionality. In addition, you can discover some helpful tips to improve your website’s operation, boost traffic, and enhance client engagement.
5 Types Of Website Audits
There are many types of website audits. Still, we just mention the five main types:
A page SEO audit examines all the elements affecting your website’s performance in search engine results. It considers how closely your site adheres to SEO principles, content, link profile, structured data, accelerated mobile pages (AMP), and security.
SEO audits frequently examine the following:
- Image and video optimization
- Outbound and inbound links
- Internal linking
- User journey
- Goal conversion
- Structured data
- Page and domain authority
You can utilize some SEO audit tools to conduct these audits. Besides, using Google Analytics and Search Console is also a useful way to extrapolate website performance data for analysis. In some cases, using a SEO audit service can be more beneficial. They will help you conduct a more thorough investigation and give the outcomes of the SEO tools more context by including these two platforms in the assessment.
A content audit is a procedure for methodically going through and evaluating every content on your website. The ultimate goal is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your content strategy.
Depending on the size, a website content audit could take a few hours to several months. But eventually, a good evaluation will improve your website in a number of ways.
Below is a typical content audit checklist:
- Content complies with the page’s goal
- Users are clear about what content delivers.
- There are no grammatical or typographical errors.
- Review the most popular and effective pages and promptly update the content.
- Read the comments and respond to them.
- Consider the content structure, including the use of blocks, bullets, space, and illustrative images when designing.
- Use heat maps to observe how readers respond to the content and Google Analytics to determine the typical number of pages visited per session.
This is a type of on-site audit. It considers all the elements that affect how search engine robots index, access, and crawl a website.
Technical audits frequently concentrate on issues that are not always apparent to a user but that can significantly affect how well a website performs, such as:
- Page errors
- Broken links
- Loading speed
- Indexation issues
- Image size
- URL structure
- Web Safety
- Backlink profile
Most technical audits are performed by passing a website through a website audit tool. These tools range in strength, but for a comprehensive technical audit, you should use one that can examine every website page, including subdomains and PDF pages, and find any of the issues mentioned above in some depth.
A design audit is an ideal method for examining a website’s User Experience (UX). This audit type concentrates on how the end user utilizes the website and whether it has up-to-date standards and is distinctive enough to stand out.
Below are some criteria that design audit looks at:
- User Interface
- Page structure and scalability
- Mobile first
- Media usage
- Interactive elements ( chatbot, click-to-call, QR code, etc.)
- Color schemes
Competitive website audit
Around 80% of businesses believed competitive audits necessary for their company’s growth. You need to know what your competitors are doing to ensure that your company stands out from the crowd. And one of the useful ways is analyzing your competitors’ websites to develop strategies for improving business performance.
Examining a rival’s website is essentially the same as your own. Remember that a website’s content is a baseline for a proper assessment. Before auditing the content of the competitors, you should first take a quick look at their websites to get a sense of their online strategy. It would help if you kept an eye on the following:
- Nature and quantity of the material
- Publishing routine
- Language, particularly the tone and intonation
- Contributors, ideally with names and numbers
- Distinctive characteristics
- General perception
What Are Advantages Of A Website Audit?
A website auditing benefits your business in many ways since it can help you detect the problem and determine the right solutions.
Enhance user experience
Your website will load more quickly, be simpler to use, and be mobile-friendly with the assistance of an audit. All of these elements work together to improve user experience, raising higher conversion rates.
Increase conversion rate
Every marketing manager wants to improve conversions and generate leads. Evaluating your website can help you find any holes and fill them, improving user experience and boosting conversion rates.
A website audit will help you find any overlooked SEO chances and correct any erroneous or improperly implemented SEO issues (like keyword stuffing, exact match anchor text links, etc.) in your website content.
Additionally, an audit page also enables you to refocus your SEO efforts from serving search engines to serving users. You won’t need to use unethical methods to rank highly on search engine result pages or run after the search engine algorithm changes.
Optimize website performance
An audit will enable you to check the stability of your website’s technological foundation and structure. It will also determine how user-friendly your website is for search engines and how simply visitors can browse and find the necessary information.
Identify hidden issues in functionality
The audit of website identifies problems like broken links, hidden content, and slow page loads that harm your SEO and conversions. After addressing the right issues, you will find a good solution to improve functionality and increase traffic.
14 Steps In Website Audit Checklist To Improve SEO And UX
There are 14 steps you need to go through in the audit checklist to improve your site’s SEO and user experience.
Step 1: Use Google Analytics to gather some standard statistics.
The first step you have to take is to try to understand how your website is currently performing. You will understand your current and typical traffic mix using Google Analytics reports.
Besides, you can also have data to examine later to see how things have changed after the audit.
Step 2: Verify that Google is only indexing one version of your page.
You may need to be aware that search engines may index four distinct versions of a site. This is because these are all different addresses in the Google crawler’s eyes.
That’s certainly not a good thing. It would help if you ensured all four versions resolve to a single one by setting up your website settings and redirect rules. It is beneficial to use canonical tags in this case. You can learn more about how to use canonical tags to ensure that search engines find the right URL version.
Step 3: Verify your website’s mobile friendliness.
Checking whether your website is mobile-friendly is critical. The reason is that the percentage of users who browse the internet on mobile devices has circled 50% since 2017 and continues to increase. In addition, Google has switched to a mobile-first indexing strategy, favoring a webpage’s mobile experience over its PC experience since 2018.
Fortunately, to evaluate URLs for mobile friendliness, Google offers a straightforward free tool.
You’ll see fixing recommendations you can apply if any problems affect mobile friendliness.
Step 4: Boost the website’s speed.
Page speed is one of the “ranking variables” that Google considers because it improves website user experience by quickly loading pages. Therefore, page load times are another essential aspect to watch and work to improve.
You can use a few free, straightforward tools to evaluate your website’s efficiency and speed in relation to these standards. Besides, they also provide you with some technical suggestions on how to speed up your website. It can be optimizing images, leveraging caching, or changing host providers.
Step 5: Use Google Search Console to address indexing issues.
Google Search Console is one of Google’s free tools to help you check indexing issues. You can see a breakdown of the indexing state of each URL on your website that Google is aware of, along with information about any errors.
You also can use this tool to validate your fix once you’ve corrected these issues on your page.
Step 6: Discard irrelevant and low-quality sites from Google’s index.
Google has made it clear that including low-quality content in the group of pages it indexes won’t improve your search results and, in some cases, might even do the opposite. At the very least, more of Google’s “crawl budget” will be wasted on indexing low-quality, low-value sites.
You should keep these sections from your website. But you should include a non-index tag, so they are not in the list of sites that search engines index.
Step 7: Resolve broken links to prevent 404 errors
Broken links may degrade your user experience. Therefore, it’s profitable to try fixing any fractured links causing your website to display the “404 page not found” error message.
You can still use Google Console to find URLs with 404 errors and then fix them. Or you can apply other professional tools to check for any potentially broken internal and external links on your web pages.
Step 8: Investigate backlinks (and remove toxic links if necessary).
Backlinks are considered an essential factor in search engine visibility. However, you have to understand that not all backlinks are equal. The SEO benefit that a backlink bestows on your website relies on the domain authority of the referring website.
You can find some useful tools to check your backlink quality and find more link opportunities from other websites.
Step 9: Verify that your website meets the accessibility standards
It is essential to ensure that your website meets all Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It means that your web content must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Users should be able to perceive it differently using one or more senses. In addition, the content must be coherent and created using widely-adopted standards compatible with all current and upcoming browsers.
To execute this step, you should utilize tools such as FAE, MAGENTA, and WAVE,…These tools will help you discover all errors, alerts, and accessibility features of your page. Besides, they also recommend how to repair these mistakes.
Step 10: Enhance on-page SEO for your most crucial material.
Select a few of your website’s most crucial pages to concentrate on for this stage.
Ensure that your pages are optimized for their goal keyword first. Ensure your target keyword or keyphrase appears at least once in the page header and the opening paragraph of the content.
Second, ensure your web pages are well connected to other pertinent online pages since
website crawling and indexing takes will follow links. Therefore, try to include internal links to relevant pages on your site and external links to related content from reliable sources.
Finally, ensure your content is simple to skim and read using short sentences, bullet points, graphics, and clear structure.
Step 11: Verify that your content provides users with what they are searching for.
Google aims to show users the web pages that will provide them with the best user experience. This usually involves responding to the user’s inquiry or offering pertinent details regarding the subject they are looking for.
After clicking the search results, you can check how long a user stays on your page. It’s likely a sign that a user did not find what they were looking for on your website if they quickly go back to the search and click on additional results.
So make sure your content gives the users what they seek.
Step 12: Arrange your website layout.
Having a clear, straightforward website layout is crucial because of the following reasons:
- Users will find it simpler to navigate your website and discover the information they need.
- Your content is straightforward for search engine crawlers to learn, making accurate website indexing possible.
- It lets Google (and your users) know which sites are more and which pages are less significant.
Step 13: Look at your competitors’ website content.
You can use a tool like Semrush to find some quality competitors’ websites and investigate the organic terms they rank for.
Once you’ve visited a few of your rivals’ websites, you can spot some content gaps or terms your competitors are ranking for, but you don’t have. Consider using these keywords or related ones when creating new material for your website.
Step 14: Establish recurring website health tracking and alerts.
This step is optional. If you purchase a reputable SEO tool, you can set up a recurring website audit that will scan your website frequently and notify you of many problems we’ve discussed.
How long does it take to do a website content audit?
The length of a thorough website content audit can range from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the size of your site. Care must be taken when making significant changes to a website, and an SEO expert must conduct a comprehensive investigation to provide precise, helpful advice.
How to do a website audit report?
You need to present the website audit report in a clear structure, including the following points:
- Findings from your website audit.
- Your website’s present performance.
- The modifications you suggest.
- Samples and representations.
- Your desired outcomes.
- Plans and alternatives for the execution of the budget.
In addition, giving some website examples can help people visualize adjustments and increase buy-in.
In general, learning how to do a website audit is quite challenging. You must follow all the instructions while using the proper tools to support and address the correct problems and solutions. Besides, a comprehensive website evaluation takes time to complete. If you don’t have time to conduct the website audit, hiring a digital agency can be helpful. They will assist you and offer all the necessary recommendations for a better-performing website.