If someone mentioned the term ‘website audit’ to you and you nodded in understanding but inwardly tried to decipher the meaning through putting two and two together, then you’re not alone.
Not a lot of people get what Website audit is, even though the term ‘site or website audit’ is thrown around a lot in the web circle. It’s an important procedure in understanding and resolving website issues that may lead to the penalty.
What is a Website Audit?
The website audit is like a checkup of your website to get insights into its overall health.
Some webmasters are like those people who believe in going to the doctor only when the appendix ruptures.
They only seek an auditor when they get a Google warning or when their rankings drop, but to ensure optimal performance of your website throughout the year, you should get frequent auditing done.
How frequently should you get a website audit done?
This is subjective. Annual audits are tax-free, so you can get at least one done a year. But experts are of the opinion that you should get your site audited once every six months.
Can I do a website audit myself? If yes, how?
Website auditing is a lengthy process and one that warrants an expert set of eyes to discern collected data to pinpoint the problem and choose the best possible solutions.
And auditing would cost a good amount. There are cheap options available too but choosing the most ‘economical’ option would end up with you having to spend double the money eventually by having to hire someone again.
That just comes down to double the money spent, and a lot of text wasted.
Always hire someone who’s proved their mettle.
But, you can also do a basic site audit yourself. And DIY audits would both give you a better understand of what does and does not work for a website plus you’d be able to recognize problems in time.
Although a site auditing is technical and honestly, a tedious task that requires expert analysis, here are a few basic components of a site audit that even beginners can do
A lot is riding on the type of keywords you choose. So it makes sense starting with examining the building blocks of your website.
If you have done your homework while researching for keywords, this wouldn’t be a lengthy process. You need to analyze which of the keywords are bringing in organic traffic and where do you rank in comparison with competitors for that keyword.
KeywordXP Pro would give you a quick list of organic keywords and their positions as well.
Now, check which of your competitors rank ahead of you for that keyword. A quick Google search would be enough to give you an idea.
Also, do take into account paid ads that use that keyword too.
When you keep analyzing what keywords are working for you, you can optimize them better.
Website Speed Test
Slow loading sites can cost you in two ways – one it leads to page abandonment, which means that prospects are choosing your competitors only because they don’t have the patience for your site to load.
And two, it sends a message to Google that you’re not performing well.
There are a lot of reasons for a website’s low speed. You mightn’t know the technicalities of it but know that if you click on your web link and it takes a time to load, you need to get this fixed immediately.
Be an unbiased and stern user, and analyze whether your website offers good UX, in terms of layout, navigation and arrangement of content.
Site speed again is a major requisite for good UX.
Content Is King
If you were the targeted audience, would your website’s content work for you? Is it engaging, relevant and most importantly does it offer something of value?
Content is king – in whatever format you choose – do not slack with this. If you feel your content can do better, then definitely hire someone to do it better.
Also, is your website hosting duplicate content? This could lead to a penalty, use OpenSite Explorer to see if there is any duplicity of content.
Google sends bots to your website to crawl and index your pages. The purpose of this is to identify and store keyword-related information that will help your page to show up when those keywords are searched for in Google.
Google’s own Webmasters tool would give you a good idea. If you want to understand how to make your website crawler friendly and how to improve crawling and indexing in detail (and we suggest you should) check out this post.
There are tools like Screaming Frog that provide condensed data after doing a website audit from an SEO perspective. The data thus fetched might take some time and skill to analyze but it’s great insights.
The basic website audit that you do yourself is akin to monitoring at home for breast cancer symptoms, it’s very basic. You should definitely consider investing in getting a professional audit done. But make sure you hire someone who doesn’t just talk through the hat but has past records to prove their expertise.