A website audit, or SEO audit, is an evaluation to determine a website’s effectiveness and what issues need to be addressed to allow it to rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs).
A website audit analyses your company’s website and online presence in order to establish gaps that may exist. Website audits are often centred around SEO issues, but can be broader in scope. Issues can relate to technical SEO issues, keyword or content issues, issues regarding the promotion of your products, the appeal of the website itself and other opportunities it might have missed out on completely!
Why Is A Website Audit Important?
It’s important for businesses of all sizes to carry out website audits. An audit is the groundwork for an SEO plan, and it’s vital that all businesses undertake regular audits of their own sites to ensure that their SEO efforts are not going to waste.
Website audits carry extra weight for service-based businesses because audits are so crucial in helping to resolve issues that may be holding back or penalising websites from performing at their optimum in this highly competitive environment.
Anyone who owns a business that isn’t carrying out regular routine website audits is most probably leaving money on the table and missing out on some easy profits.
What’s Included in a Website Audit?
There are different kinds of things included in a website audit. The following is a brief overview of some of the most common inclusions in audits:
A technical SEO audit is an in-depth look at some of the technical components that affect your site’s usability. While looking at things like page speed, indexation levels, and mobile friendliness are crucial for ensuring a positive user experience, you must also be sure to include an SEO audit where the focus will be on ensuring users can understand and access your content. This includes elements such as localised copy and strategic keyword use throughout various locations on your website.
A website security audit is one of the most important components of a website audit. It identifies vulnerabilities to security breaches, which could involve compromising sensitive information of a business or its visitors. A security audit prevents a breach from happening by identifying flaws before they can be exploited for malicious purposes.
A content audit involves an in-depth analysis your existing content to find strengths, weaknesses, and other insights. The goal here is to uncover insights about the performance of your content. A thorough content audit will tell you what’s missing or what needs improvement on a per page basis by investigating page intent, keywords and more so you can optimise it accordingly.
Another part of auditing content is checking for duplicate content. If a search engine crawls your website and discovers that it contains content that is also found on other sites, this can be flagged as duplicate content. This duplicate text can result in lower Google rankings.
Backlinks are an important part of SEO because it can help to identify the expertise, authority and trust of a website.
A backlink audit is the search engine marketing (SEM) process of uncovering all links that point to a specific website, analysing the links and assessing whether or not they are relevant and come from trustworthy sources. A backlink analysis is this essential in order to maintain optimal link profiles and to avoid potential penalties from search engines due to spammy or low-quality backlinks.
Internal links are also important to help users navigate around the site as well as for Google and other search engines to be able to crawl and find all the content on your website.
By utilising website navigation and layout that is intuitive and makes it easy for visitors to find the information they are after can make a substantial difference. Search engines monitor how long people spend on websites and web pages, and if visitors become frustrated by poor navigation or user-experience, they will move quickly to the next website. A visitor spending 3 seconds compared to 3 minutes is obvious to the search engines, and you will likely be penalised. This can be overcome by spending time planning your website and navigation with the aim to improve user-experience. Issues can be brought to your attention through a website audit.
A website audit is advantageous to business growth. If your competitors are doing something better than you, you can use that to your advantage. If they are doing something worse than you, you can make sure that you are not making the same mistakes.
How Often Do You Need A Website Review?
A site audit should be a regular event… at least once per year – and more often if your website is updated regularly. Since the online world and best practices are constantly changing, your website is not a set-and-forget investment. Furthermore, a site audit can often catch small issues before they escalate into serious problems.
Therefore, website audits should be conducted regularly to ensure optimum performance.
Many business owners do not perform website audits or fully implement the changes that are highlighted. Often the changes raised are quite easy to fix and can have dramatic effects. Without implementing the changes, it can affect your website rankings and sending traffic to your competitors.
Regular website reviews keep businesses nimble and in-line with Google’s best practices. Website audits are an essential measure to boost the efficiency and popularity of a website. Implementing the recommendations in a website review can improve Google search ranking while increasing traffic and performance.
If you are seeing a decline in traffic from your website, or if your website is just not performing as week as you think it should, a website audit may be the best way to quickly check for any possible problems in your website that may exist. It will also list the priority of any recommendations that can be implemented to boost your website’s overall performance so that you can focus on the most important things first.