The health of a website can deteriorate over time as new techniques and technologies get introduced. What may have been industry-standard, might now be considered dated, or worse, a negative factor when it comes to search engine optimisation. That’s why you should consider auditing your website.
You might also want to do a website audit if you’re considering migrating your website or giving it a complete redesign.
What is a website audit?
A website audit will give webmasters a detailed overview of their site’s health, performance and speed.
This review will allow you to identify any areas that need improving and allow you to improve the overall usability of your website.
What are the different areas of a website audit?
A website audit can be broken down into these main categories:
- SEO – ensuring your website adheres to current SEO best practice. As search engines evolve, so do their ranking algorithms. Search engines are smarter than ever and can now understand and categorise content more accurately than ever before. Some older websites might’ve employed outdated SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, or creating pages that have a lot of duplicated text, both of which should be fixed as part of a review.
- Content – Often a content audit falls within the realms of the SEO audit, but it’s worth reviewing your website content in its own right. Whilst things like keywords and header tags might be more SEO-focused, you might want to review your content to ensure the same tone of voice is kept across your website and review which pieces have been performing better in order to see if you can apply these insights to older pieces of content that may be doing less well.
- Technical – Some of the technical audit may also fall within SEO, things like sitemaps, internal linking errors and poor site structure can have a detrimental effect on the visibility of your website. Not only can these things lead to you falling out of favour with Google, but you could also find your bounce rate increasing as users become frustrated with your website.
- Conversion rate – A website audit will allow you to review the journey your customer takes on your website and create an awareness of how you can improve it.
Whilst these categories might bleed into each other, they will all have their own unique factors that you should review and revise if needed. You might not need to conduct a full website audit and might choose to focus on only one of the areas listed above.
Do I need a website audit?
If you find that traffic is falling off, your conversions are poor or you’re bounce rate is increasing then you might want to consider a website audit.
How do I conduct a website audit?
1. Use a website audit tool
It can seem like an extremely daunting task to start a website audit from scratch, that’s why you should use a trusted website audit tool to help you begin the process of identifying any urgent areas that need addressing.
A website audit tool will often give you an overview of how your website is currently performing, and outline areas for improvement.
The LOCALiQ grader is a free tool that will give you a good, basic foundation to build your website audit around.
2. Review the over all design and usability of your website
In this part of your website audit, you’ll be looking at the overall look and feel of your website. It’s easy to sacrifice functionality for aesthetics, but when it comes to your website you want your site users to be able to find their way around with ease.
Hiding menus and using hard-to-read fonts can cause users to exit your website without completing a meaningful action. When reviewing the design you might want to consider the following:
- Is the design simple and easy to read?
- Is the navigational menu easy to use?
- Are all your main website pages linked in the menu?
- Are the clear CTA’s across your website?
- Are your web pages concise and free of clutter? You don’t want to cram lots of adverts and an assortment of conflicting CTA’s on each page.
- Is there access to the home button on every page?
- Are there any pages of your website that have particularly high bounce rates? Is the design as good as it could be on these pages?
3. Take a look at the technical elements of your website
The word “technical” may be off-putting, but you don’t have to be a technical mastermind to do some base level auditing in this area. However, if you feel more comfortable, you could always work with an external partner to conduct the technical part of your website audit.
When conducting this part of your website audit, you want to consider things like privacy, site speed and usability of the site across devices. You may want to consider reviewing the following:
- How is your site speed? Are your pages loading promptly when clicked on?
- Are all of your images compressed to a small file size that allows them to load quicker onto pages?
- Does the HTML/CSS on your website need cleaning up? Large amounts of unnecessary/dated HTML can cause slower site loading
- Does your website use HTTPS instead of HTTP?
- Do you have any 404 errors on your website that need addressing?
- Are there any broken links, or redirect loops?
If you need insights on page speed, then Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will give you a breakdown with suggestions on how to make improvements.
4. Review SEO implementation
Reviewing your SEO strategy can be a huge task in itself, but reviewing how well your website is optimised for search can be hugely beneficial for your organic traffic.
Ensure that all of your SEO techniques are implemented with the user in mind, and not with the sole aim of appeasing search engines, as you could get penalised for poor practice.
Some things you might want to review are:
- Do all of your page URLs and page titles contain the relevant keywords?
- Do all of your pages have complete meta titles/descriptions?
- Are you implementing header tags and optimising them properly?
- Have you added alt text to your site images?
- Have you identified keywords for each of your web pages?
- Have you ensured you’re not keyword stuffing on certain pages?
- Are you using the optimal anchor text for links?
- Can your pages be crawled and indexed by search engines?
Optimising your website for search is an extremely worthwhile task, if you’d like to learn more on search engine optimisation, then why not get started with our comprehensive SEO guide?
5. Audit your website’s content
This could possibly be considered part of your SEO audit, but auditing your content extends beyond SEO best practice. You want your content to be unique, engaging, and most importantly, reflective of your brand.
A lot can change as businesses grow and adapt, so it’s important that your content is constantly reviewed and refreshed to reflect this. Remember, your website is often one of the first places a potential customer will look when trying to find out more about your business, so ensuring the content on your website is informational and accurate will hopefully help users find the information they’re looking for in order to complete an action.
You may also keep a blog on your website, if you do, you should also consider reviewing your blog posts too.
When reviewing your content you should consider:
- Are there any large chunks of text duplicated across your web pages?
- Is all the content written in a way that reflects your brand tone of voice?
- Is your content written with your target buyer personas in mind?
- Are there any pages on your website that need creating or removing? e.g.; location pages, new product pages, limited offers etc.
- Is the older content on your website displaying out of date, inaccurate information?
Create a checklist of issues that need to be fixed and suggestions on how to fix them
Once you have completed your website audit, you’ll want to create a master document where you can collate all of the site issues that need to be rectified, as well as suggestions on how these issues can be fixed.
A collaborative document is a great way of making light work of the audit, allowing the tasks to be split up between a few members of your team with ease.
If you’d like a more detailed breakdown of your website performance, then get in touch with us today. We thoroughly recommend making use of our free website grader tool and will be happy to talk you through any areas you’re unsure of.