A website audit involves identifying which pages need improvement and carrying out appropriate changes to ensure your site generates quality traffic and effectively converts leads to sales. Ideally, you should perform a website audit at least once a year and increase the audit frequency if you’re constantly updating your website content. By conducting a thorough website audit, you’ll be able to stay on track toward achieving your business goals. The process is particularly helpful if you’re planning to redesign your website to keep your site in line with your redefined brand.
Follow this simple audit checklist to help you evaluate your entire website. If it’s your first time doing a website audit, you’ll most likely need technical help from your trusted IT personnel or an outsourced provider.
Step 1: Website Content Assessment: Check every content posted on your site, from blog articles to landing pages. Create a comprehensive list of all pages, and evaluate your website pages using the following criteria. After the content audit, you may want to first revise website pages that require the most work.
- Helpful and engaging content — Keeping in mind the ever-relevant Internet marketing mantra “content is king,” you should ensure your site is brimming with well-developed and personable content that appeals to your target market. Your content should be well-written and informative, and your website pages should have persuasive calls-to-action.
- No grammatical and spelling errors — Pages with lots of grammatical and spelling issues should be updated immediately, as these errors inevitably affect your credibility and authority.
- No factual inaccuracies — Revisit old content to check for outdated information, and do proper research to update inaccurate data and add links to newer sources.
- No duplicate content — Unique, original content dominates the first page of search engine results, so make sure your website doesn’t have any rehashed, plagiarized content. Also, Google penalizes websites that bluntly copy pages of content.
- No excessive ads — Nobody likes getting constantly interrupted while viewing an article or seeing overtly distracting ads while navigating a website. Strike a balance between useful content and subtle advertising to avoid annoying users.
For more detail using examples and screenshots, check out this guide.
Step 2: SEO Assessment: This process of your website audit helps you understand how to improve your SEO campaign and identify why some of your tactics are not getting you the results you want. Make sure to follow the best on-page SEO practices at all times.
- Quality keywords — Perform a keyword analysis, and ask yourself if you’re targeting a specific set of quality keywords that perform well instead of going after a thousand keywords that are out of your means. You may do better with less competitive, long tail keywords, especially if your website is relatively new.
- Properly optimized for lead generation and conversions — Landing pages, marketing offers, and calls-to-action should be well-optimized for generating leads and sales.
- Optimized website URLs — URLs shouldn’t be long and keyword stuffed. Be sure to employ SEO-friendly URL syntax practices.
- Optimized site structure — Web pages should be internally linked to other pages on your website for faster indexing by search engines.
- Short, clean, and properly optimized landing page URL — Check if the landing page URL includes the target keyword.
Also, refer to 6 Do’s and Don’ts for Creating a Robust SEO Strategy for more detail.
Step 3: Technical Assessment: If you’re not quite tech-savvy, you may want to ask help from your IT staff or outsource services to handle the technical side. Here’s a roundup of what a technical website audit covers:
- Fast, intuitive, and easy-to-navigate website — Determine if your site loads quickly and if it’s user-friendly. A sluggish website affects user experience and easily drives away prized visitors.
- Responsive web design — Find out if your website is mobile-friendly. Mobile device users make up a significant percentage of Internet surfers, so it’s important to build a mobile-friendly online presence.
- Free of error messages and redirect issues — Check for error messages and broken links that lead site visitors to dead ends.
- Well-indexed website — Ensure your robots.txt file doesn’t instruct web crawlers not to crawl your site. A sitemap also helps your site get indexed properly.
- Smooth overall performance — Loading and server response times should be fast, and page sizes shouldn’t be excessive.
A thorough website audit may take hours, but it’s well worth the hard work and sweat. When done correctly, it will help you unravel weak points and considerably improve your website overall. If necessary, bring in a third-party reviewer who can offer unbiased opinions and help evaluate your site and content strategy from an expert viewpoint.
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