What is Website Audit?
Website Audit is examining you a site with different checkpoints like SEO, User Experience (UX), Conversion Rate Optimization and see how it performs everywhere. You need to understand your website first in order to drive traffic and sales organically.
A clean website audit can provide a backlog of technical tasks, on-page tasks as well the gaps you have on your website.
When to do Website Audit or Website Checkup?
The different scenarios where you need to conduct a website audit are:
1. Your website is not getting enough traffic
2. Your website hit a penalty
3. Your website is not ranking for your money keywords
4. Your website is not converting well
5. You need to migrate your site
If these sounds similar then let’s get to business and examine the website.
Why Website Audit Is Important?
An audit will help you discover opportunities to improve:
- Website Performance (Speed Test, UX )
- Search Engine Visibility
- Conversion Rate Optimization
If you’ve never audited your site before then do it right now. Don’t let your competitors eat up all your hard work.
Let’s start with Optimizing your Website Performance.
Prerequisites to do Website Speed Test
Open up Google Page Speed Insights and plug in your site URL. It will look like this:
Make sure you put the right version of your site. If it has WWW or without WWW, so is for the protocol of your site HTTPS or HTTP. The reason behind this is if you put the wrong URL, PageInsights tool will follow the redirection if there is any and that will give you false positive.
Once the test is done it will provide you with a score based on 100 for both Mobile and Desktop site where you can see what thing you need to prioritize to improve your web performance.
Don’t worry you don’t have to be super technical to do all the stuff recommended here if you have a Developer in your team you can export the report and pass it to them to do the implementation. In case if you don’t have a developer, then hire a Website Optimization expert from UpWork or Fiverr. Trust, me there are many 🙂
Now let’s do the same thing with GTMetrix tool. You may actually sign up for a Free account which will allow you to do the test from your location.
In my case, I’m doing the website audit test from Hong Kong.
GTMetrix has 6 tabs on the top i.e
I love the YSlow tab and Waterfall tab which tells you what is wrong and how you can improve it
All these data will be very helpful for you to optimize and speed up your site. But take note, the above check is for page level and in this case, we are only checking the home page for optimization opportunities.
Make sure to do the same with your other landing pages as well.
Website UX Audit or Usability Test
Speed is definitely the factor you should optimize for and after speed, it’s all about User Experience and the Usability. If the user can’t understand what they need to do on your landing page, all your efforts will fail.
Do these tests:
- Is your Navigation clear
- Does your CTA Stand out?
- Are your WebForms easy to fill? (Remove unnecessary and optional questions)
- Are your services/product page easy to access
- Are your product/services pages easy to understand
- Is your checkout processes easy and free of any technical error
- Do you have Trust symbols
- Have you got any Social proof?
These are the basic UX test you can even manually do to make the flow for users simple. You may also do a usability test with the segment of your audience to make sure they are consuming the right content and can access all the important information.
Search Engine Visibility Test (SEO Website Audit)
SEO is the most important analysis you need to conduct to make sure you’re getting the right visibility. If your website is not even visible, forget about the conversions. And hence you need to look for Paid or Social Traffic instead of Free SEO Traffic.
What things do you need to Audit for SEO Assessment?
- Technical SEO Audit
- Mobile-Friendly Website Audit
- On-Page SEO Audit
- Structured Data Audit
- Link Profile Analysis
Technical SEO Audit
If your website is huge with more than 1000 plus pages you’ve to be very careful and need to focus a lot on Technical SEO.
Some major Technical SEO issues include redirection, Mixed Content Errors, Duplicate/Thin Content, Indexation Bloat or Overindexation, problems with Robots TXT and redundant and non-200 status code URLs inside the Sitemap.
These Technical SEO issues make the crawlers hard to crawl and hence index and rank.
If you’ve a huge site, Technical SEO can be your best friend to help you out with crawling and indexing problems.
So make sure your technical side of the website is doing great without any huge errors.
Mobile Friendliness Analysis
Back in 2015, Google announced that Mobile Responsiveness is one of the ranking factor and non-mobile friendly were getting outranked by their mobile responsive counterparts.
Tools to check if a website is Mobile Friendly:
Google also has announced Mobile-First Indexing which means they crawl and index mobile version to hence rank. So having a mobile-friendly site with good loading speed is a must for all websites.
On-Page SEO Audit
If you are a new website or you’ve less content, then skip Technical SEO and you need to focus more on On-Page SEO.
Some basic On-Page fixes/implementations you can do are:
- Implementing Title Tags with your Target Keywords
- Don’t use duplicate titles, all pages need to have unique page titles for Google to understand the context of the page
- Use Heading tags (H1. H2, H3, H4, H5, H6) to show the content hierarchy
- Use your target keywords in your meta description
- If you have blog posts, write long-form content with target keyword and some LSI’s keywords
- Don’t overload your content with Keywords
- Don’t just go for keywords, as they can hamper user-experience
- Only use Unique Content
- If you’re an e-commerce website, all of your product pages need to have unique content
- Make sure you’re using your target keywords inside the body of your content
- Analyse how your competitor is using the same content and replicate it and try to write better
- Use on-page SEO tools like SurferSEO
Structured Data Audit
SEO’s love to use the Structured Data jargon to show off with their clients. But the reality is many websites I see the wrong use of Structured Data or Schemas.
Structured data are markups on an HTML page for Google to have more context about your page. There are tools that can make your life so easy. So you can enjoy sipping your best coffee and implement Structured Data.
Best Structured Data Markup Generator tools:
- Technical SEO Schema Generator
- Hall Analysis’s JSON-LD Schema Markup Generator
- LXRMarketplace Structured Data Generator
How to do Schema & Structured Data Audit?
The best place to look for schema warnings is your Search Console. Go Inside GSC and look at the Enhancements tabs. You probably will find mistakes in these:
How to Schema and Structured Data Audit?
Crawl the site with Screaming frog SEO and look at the Structured Data report. Make sure to manually check the Screaming Frog report with Google Search Console as well to make sure.
Once you find some errors validate it with Google Structured Data Testing Tool (SDTT).
Also check if there’s any problem with Open Graph or OG Data. Check out my Open Graph tutorial if you don’t know how to implement Open Graph Data in WordPress site.
Link Profile Analysis
Links are one of the major factor driving growth to ranking and authority of a website. There has been a long and never-ending debate ongoing that Links are important/not important.
But there has been a lot of data and research done to prove without external links it’s hard to rank for competitive terms. Like this Backlink study from Ahrefs
How to do Link Profile Analysis for a Website Audit?
In Ahrefs, go to SiteExplorer and type in the URL you want to see links for.
Things to look for in Link Audit:
- Linking Domain Authority
- Linking Domain History (was the domain involved in Spam or linking to porn sites and others, use Archive.org)
- Links from web 2.0 (web 2.0 are manually created sub-domain links and they do not carry much value and can be toxic to your link profile)
- Check for Link Penalties inside GSC
- Check Anchors (Money Keywords are not natural anchors and Google understand this, so use it wisely 🙂 )
- Check links on Page Level
This basic link audit checklist items will help you analyze your’s, as well as competitors, link to further build quality links.
Website Audit is typically the first thing you need to do before starting an SEO Campaign. Always conduct a website audit with open-to opportunities mindset. Do not focus so much on SEO Tools as they sometimes can provide False Positives. So make sure to do manual check too. Follow me Twitter handle @AdityaAmanSEO or connect with me on LinkedIn