Conducting a website audit is important for identifying opportunities to improve your website’s performance. It helps you identify technical issues as well as user experience issues that could be holding your website back.
Before starting any website development work or updates, conduct a thorough website audit using the following guide.
Review website structure
Website structure is a critical aspect of a website audit. Begin by examining your website’s structure, including its navigation, header, and footer. Ensure that the website is user-friendly, with clear categories and all pages accessible from the main menu. This step helps to ensure a smooth user experience, as well as making it easier for search engines to crawl and index the website.
A well-structured website makes it easier for users to find what they are looking for and can lead to increased engagement and conversions.
Check for broken links
Fixing these links can enhance the user experience and avoid any potential traffic loss. A thorough check for broken links helps to maintain a positive image of the website and ensure smooth navigation for visitors. It is important to regularly monitor and fix broken links to avoid any negative impact on the website’s performance.
Analyse page load speed
By checking the page load speed during a website audit, you can ensure a seamless and efficient user experience.
Using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix, you can analyse the load speed of each page on the website and identify any slow-loading pages. By addressing these issues, you can optimise the website and prevent any loss of traffic.
Page load speed is a crucial aspect of website performance and user experience, and regularly monitoring it can help maintain a high level of website performance. This can help attract and retain more users, leading to increased traffic and improved website engagement.
Evaluate content quality
Evaluating content quality is crucial for ensuring the overall success of your website.
Start by examining the quality and relevance of the content on each page. Check for spelling and grammar errors and make sure the content is current and aligned with the target audience’s needs and interests. This will not only improve the user experience but also positively impact your website’s search engine ranking.
Each page should have a clear purpose and call to action. Consider search engine optimisation when reviewing each page, check that the content is clearly targeting a key search phase (aka “keyword”) and that it is referenced throughout the content.
Finally, make sure content is easy to read and free from jargon or terminology that the user may not be familiar with.
Check the metadata
Metadata is an important part of search engine optimisation as it can improve the website’s visibility in search results pages and drive more traffic to the site.
Check that the metadata for each page is complete, including the page title and meta description.
The page title tells search engines what you would like displayed on the search results page. Keep your titles to 60 characters or less and make sure they’re specific to the content on the page – you want users to have a clear idea of what is on the page before they visit it. Also try to include your target keyword as it will help increase the chance of a user clicking on your link.
The meta description summarises the content on the page for search engines and can appear under the title on the search results page. Try to keep your description to 160 characters or less, and make sure each page has a different description.
Check for mobile responsiveness
With more and more visitors vising websites on mobile devices, the need for mobile optimisation is a basic requirement. A mobile-responsive website is important as it can improve the user experience and search engine ranking.
Check that your website is designed to be mobile-friendly and that the layout is responsive, meaning it can adapt to different screen sizes and devices.
You can use tools, such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which will analyse your website and provide you with feedback for possible improvements.
Review website analytics
A website audit includes reviewing your website’s performance. By using tools like Google Analytics, you can gain valuable insights into your website’s traffic and user behavior.
This information can include the number of visitors your website attracts, the average time they spend on your site, the most popular pages, and other important metrics that can help you understand your audience’s behavior.
With this information, you can make informed decisions about your website’s design, content, and other elements, ensuring that it provides a positive user experience and meets the needs of your target audience.
The information gathered from website analytics can also help you identify areas for improvement and optimisation, allowing you to prioritise and make changes that will enhance your website’s performance.
Check for security
Securing a website is crucial in ensuring the safety of user data and improving its search engine ranking.
One key step in achieving this is by verifying the presence of an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that provides encryption and authentication to secure online communications. By having an SSL certificate, website owners can demonstrate to users that their website is legitimate, trustworthy, and safe to use. Plus, search engines like Google also give preference to websites with SSL certificates, helping to increase its visibility and improve its ranking in search results.
Conduct a keyword analysis
Utilising tools like Google Keyword Planner, you can research and identify keywords and phrases that are relevant to your website and industry.
It’s important to make sure that these keywords are not only included in the website content but also in the metadata and other crucial elements such as page titles and meta descriptions. By including these keywords, you can increase the visibility of your website and improve its chances of appearing in search engine results when users search for terms related to your industry.
Backlinks play a significant role in a website’s online presence and search engine optimization.
During a website audit, it’s crucial to evaluate these backlinks to make sure they meet certain criteria. High-quality backlinks come from reputable and authoritative websites, relevant to the content and industry of your website. These links not only improve your website’s credibility and search engine ranking, but they also provide value to your target audience by linking to valuable resources and information.
Using software such as Semrush you can generate backlink reports that will show you all the links you currently have. They will also highlight any potentially damaging links so you can disavow them.
Create a report
Compiling a report is the crucial final step in any good website audit process. This report should summarise all of the findings from the audit, including any areas for improvement and optimisation. The report should be comprehensive, covering everything from website structure and content quality, to page load speed and security.
This report can then be used to prioritise and implement the necessary changes to enhance the website’s performance and user experience. Having a clear and actionable report will help to streamline the optimisation process, ensuring that all efforts are directed towards making the website as effective and user-friendly as possible.
This may seem like a daunting task if you do not have the right resources, but website audits are extremely important in ensuring your marketing strategy has a strong foundation.