Why does Website Audit play an important role in SEO?
A website’s health can deteriorate over time without proper maintenance, just as your car needs an MOT. Sadly, many webmasters wait until the wheels fall off before realizing a website audit may be necessary.
As with your vehicle, you are identifying and fixing problems with your website early can save you money and ensure optimal performance.
The Importance of Audits
An audit is designed to provide webmasters with a complete and detailed analysis of their site’s health, performance, and speed.
By examining these areas, you will get a clear picture of the effectiveness of your site and determine where you may be able to optimize further and improve your site, as well as identify issues that could be affecting its health.
Different Types of Website Audits
A website audit analyzes all the factors that can affect a website’s visibility for search engines and user-friendliness. Here are a few of the most common types of audits and tips from our team on when you may need them.
Technical Audit – Regardless of how well you’re content ranks and how many backlinks you have, your efforts will be wasted if there are any technical issues. Technical audits aim to evaluate best practices for site visibility and ensure that all websites meet search engine requirements for crawling and indexing.
SEO Audit – The SEO audit measures how well your website is optimized for search, including keywords, link profiles, traffic behaviour, goal conversions, and media and video optimization.
SEO audits evaluate how well your website is optimized for search; this includes analyzing keywords, links, traffic behaviour, conversion rates, metadata, images, and videos. There will be many technical aspects that need to be audited.
Content Audit – As part of an SEO audit, content is often reviewed. However, a stand-alone content audit can provide even more insight into what messaging and tone of voice convert and what doesn’t.
Other smaller, more targeted audits include UX audits (user experience audits), backlink audits, code/markup audits, social media audits, conversion rate audits (CRO), competitor audits, and Google Analytics audits.
Why Do I Need a Website Audit?
Your Users Can’t Navigate Your Website Properly
Every day you will see your website, so you will have no problem navigating around it – this makes it easy to overlook any issues users may have. Typical features of difficult-to-navigate websites include:
- There are too many items in the navigation bar – instead of listing all your services in the top menu, try to arrange them in dropdowns – keep the number of tabs in the main menu to a minimum.
- Overlinking – users should not have to click more than three times to reach their desired page. The same applies to search engines, which are less apparent to crawl hard-to-reach pages.
- The homepage should be readily accessible from every page (by clicking the logo, etc.).
- Information overload on the homepage dilutes valuable information.
- No search function (essential for e-commerce sites).
- It’s hard to contact you – use social icons, a clickable mobile phone number, a precise address, and an email address.
- You will see a full screen ‘sign up now pop up before your users have made it past the homepage.
Your Website Isn’t Properly Optimised
The breadth of SEO means that it encompasses many things – all of which are detectable and rectified by a site audit; basic checks include:
- Areas for optimization in content – outdated or unnecessary content should be removed, redirected, or updated.
- Images not properly tagged – this is how search engines determine what the image is.
- HTTP / HTTPS – detecting mixed content issues on the website.
- Meta issues – ensuring that each page has its metadata.
- Headers – Ensure that H1’s, H2’s, and H3’s are used appropriately throughout the site.
- Mobile responsiveness – mobile traffic now outweighs desktop traffic, so your site needs to work well on both devices.
- URL structures – Ensure that all your pages have a proper URL structure.
- Indexability – ensuring all relevant pages on your website are indexed and blocking those that should not, such as a ‘thank you’ page.
- Duplicate content – Identify and rectify any same content on your website.
- Broken links – external and internal 404 errors must be corrected/redirected.
Your Website Is At Danger of Penalisation from Search Engines
Established websites may have utilized black hat SEO methods in the past, including link farming, keyword stuffing, cloaking, and similar tactics.
While all of these methods may have worked to increase rankings and traffic at the time, many of them could now be penalized by search engines as their algorithms have become more sophisticated.
Site audits can identify potential penalties and correct the causes before they occur or even rectify the harm itself if the site has already been penalized.
Your Website Is Taking Too Long To Load
Your bounce rate, pages per session, and cart abandonment rates will likely increase if your website loads longer than five seconds.
Furthermore, Google knows that people are lazy and has stated that site speed is a ranking factor – such that sites that take longer to load could be penalized in the SERPS.
You can test your website’s speed with Google’s Page Speed Tool, which will give you an idea of how well it is optimized.
Google will begin using Core Web Vitals in the new page experience ranking metric from May 2021, a new set of metrics focused on speed, responsiveness, and visual stability.
You Want To Analyse Your Competitors
Knowing what online strategies your competitors use is crucial to staying on top of your industry, and a good site audit should include a competitor analysis.
Start by identifying your main competitors (if you do not already know them) and performing a mini audit, including their content, social media activities, targeted keywords, backlinks, and organic / paid search activity.
The analysis of your competitors will provide you with the information you need to determine where you stand compared to them, allowing you to alter and improve your online strategy if you need to become more successful.