Ever get those pesky emails in your inbox offering a free website audit and ignored it? Us too. Despite the annoying clickbait emails, completing a website audit is actually extremely beneficial. A website audit is the first step in creating a website that is attractive to both your target audience and search engines. It can also help you understand how to better reach your customers and determine the site changes needed to improve your business’s online presence. Let’s identify the different types of audits, a few reasons why you should audit your website, and what to do after auditing your business’s website.
Types of Website Audits
Similar to a business audit, a website audit is checked against the ever-changing requirements of search engines to determine if your site meets the qualifications of a high-ranking site. All elements of your site will be audited and once finished you will have a complete analysis of the areas that need improvement to increase your site’s search visibility. Originally search engines primarily focused on content and keywords as ranking factors, but more recently they have included additional criteria such as user experience, page speed, and relevance. There are multiple types of website audits that can be done to measure your website for all the factors that are now taken into consideration by the search engines. Below is a list of these audits and what they used to measure.
- On-site Audit: Used to assess relevancy, on-site audits check keyword usage, metadata, H-tags, and URLs.
- Off-site Audit: Used to determine your site’s relevance on topics based on backlink authority, off-site audits analyze external links used on your website to determine if they are adding or taking away from your website’s relevance in relation to your industry.
- Technical Audit: Used to analyze the performance of your site including, site structure, load speed, broken links, errors, page structure, and more.
- Security Audit: A security audit is one of the most important types of website audits as it evaluates how secure your website is and identifies any areas that may allow a breach to occur. Completing this audit helps protect sensitive information from the client and the business from being compromised.
- SEO for Local Audit: If your goal is to target a local audience for your business, this audit checks the performance of your website locally and determines which areas can be improved.
- Duplicate Content Audit: Having content that is identical on multiple pages of a website makes it more difficult for search engines to crawl and determine its relevance to users. This can lower the ranking of the website which decreases its online visibility. Performing this type of audit allows you to find and update any duplicate content within your website’s pages to ensure your website’s ranking is not affected.
- Google Audit: This audit assesses aspects of your website that Google’s ranking algorithm may use to rank your website in search results and will help you determine what can be done to improve your ranking.
- Competitor Audit: Auditing your competitors’ website can help you have a better understanding of your market and see what parts of their website make it successful. Once determining what elements are working best for your competitors, you can then choose which ones to implement on your own website.
- Social Media Audit: Having well-performing social media platforms is key to any website’s success. Social media acts as an additional stream for incoming traffic, can increase user engagement, and bring in qualified leads. Auditing your social media channels allows you to see which platforms perform best for your business. A social media audit also can show you which type of content, such as a blog, infographic, video, or social media post, your audience finds most valuable.
- Conversion Optimization Audit: This type of audit provides insights on converting your website traffic into leads. When completing a conversion optimization audit you will examine how conversions occur on your website and where they are being lost. Based on those findings, you will be able to create strategic landing pages and forms that will encourage users to complete the desired action.
Reasons Why You Should Audit Your Website
Now that you know the different types of website audits that can be performed, let’s discuss some common reasons why you should audit your website.
Your Website is Hard to Navigate
Your team spends enough time on your website to know where to find what they need, but your users might not be able to find it as easily. Features that might make your website hard to navigate include:
- Too many links in the navigation bar.
- If users have to click more than 3 times to get to the page they desire.
- If your website does not have a search function.
- If your website does not have an easy way to return to the home page.
- If your business’s contact information is not easily accessible.
Your Website Takes Too Long to Load
The internet has caused users’ attention span to be shorter than ever before. If your website takes too long to load you are likely losing out on potential leads. Not to mention, Google also considers Page Load Speed as a factor in determining to rank for SEO. So a slow website loading speed could be causing your website to rank lower on Google.
Your Website Might Be Penalized by Search Engines
The search engine’s algorithms have become increasingly advanced. If your site utilized some older SEO techniques, they could actually be hurting your SEO ranking based on the new parameters.
If your website suffers from any of these issues, a website audit can help you determine the best way to fix these issues and improve your online visibility.
What Comes After a Website Audit
Once the audit is completed, you will receive a list of areas that need improvement and recommendations of updates that can be made to fix these discrepancies. Making the suggested updates can improve your SEO ranking and increase your online visibility to your target audience. Performing a full website audit once or twice per year will ensure your website is always utilizing the most up-to-date SEO tactics.
Can I conduct a website audit myself?
You can attempt to audit your own business’s website with the help of some tools available online, but of course, having a company that specializes in website audits will be the most accurate and more likely to make a large impact. TechArk Solutions is an award-winning web design agency that has helped hundreds of businesses throughout Hampton Roads and Richmond improve their online presence. Before reimagining your company’s website, we will complete a full website audit to an individualized strategy tailored specifically to your business’s needs. If your business is considering a website redesign or needs help auditing your website, contact the experts at TechArk.