Why is a Website Audit Important for your Business?
Much like how you need a health checkup every once in a while, your website needs to have to be checked for its website health. And by that, I mean checking your website’s performance is on the optimum. Identifying and fixing problems with your website early saves costs on expensive repairs down the line and ensures smooth performance.
Because here’s the fact – search engines crawl up websites and discover elements by a process which is known as indexation. Post crawling and indexing, your website can be served on the search engine results page(SERP) for the appropriate search results. Site Audits can prove beneficial for search engines to crawl your website in a better and easier way.
In this particular article, we are going to cover everything you need to know about website audits – what is it, why it needs to be done, the repercussions if not done precisely, the different types of website audits, and lastly how it’s done. Let’s get started!
What is a Website Audit?
Just like in school how you received a report card on your performance in the exams, a website audit is the evaluation report of your website’s performance. The parameters on the basis in which the auditing is done are mainly user experience, site’s structure, technical performance, functionality, etc.
Why is a Website Audit necessary?
The reason is very simple, you have spent time and money on building a wonderful website. But if your site cannot be read by the search engines, then all the investment is worthless as you’re leaving money on the table. For example, according to a survey conducted by SEMrush in 2017 on a total of 2,50,000 websites, above 80% of them had broken link errors and 75% of them had permanent redirects. It’s not only about rectifying the errors in your website but also having a deep understanding of various dimensions so as to help you build a profitable strategy.
Some of the key benefits of auditing your website includes –
- It helps identify and fix errors like broken links, page loading time, bounce rates, HTML errors, duplicate content to name a few.
- On-page SEO factors like website meta title and description can be checked and improved if there is scope.
- Auditing traffic trends can give us insights into patterns and growth opportunities can be detected which can be capitalized upon.
- With respect to content, many elements can be reviewed such as keyword distribution, structure, duplicate copy, etc.
- Checking for search engine algorithmic updates and aligning to its norms making your website 100% free from algorithmic penalties and up-to-date.
What happens if a website audit is not done accurately?
It so happens that your website audit has been imprecisely done due to a lack of quality, skill, and experience. Therefore, several consequences can be encountered which can harm your website health. Let’s look at the problems that would arise as a result of an improper website audit.
Your Users will have navigational problems to your website
When user experience is not optimized properly, your users will have difficulty in navigation around the website. Aspects such as overlinking, information overload on the home page, no proper display of contact information, even features like the full screen ‘sign up now’ popup before the user has made it past the homepage is a major putoff for them and will result in a drop in traffic flow and user engagement. User testing is an important part of a website audit wherein specified tasks on the website are fulfilled from a user point of view or by getting users to test and provide feedback/suggestions on the UX.
Your website is at risk of getting penalized from search engines
If your website was not checked for search engine algorithm updates, then there are chances of it getting hit by penalizations. The recent ones such as Panda and Penguin updates have affected many websites on the core if there were spammy links or over-optimized anchor text, or thin and low-quality content were found. Though these factors are certainly checked in an audit, the minute details in the guidelines must be thoroughly checked and the website needs to be fine-tuned accordingly.
Your website is not at par with Competitor Audit
Knowing what strategies your competitors are working on is paramount for you to outscore them or else you are losing out some great potential. Running a mini audit on your competitors including their content, social media, paid search activities, etc. allows you to alter and improve your online strategy and a good site audit encompasses certain competitor analysis as well.
Types of Website Audit
Technical SEO Audit
Technical audits focus on best practices for site visibility like working on inconsistencies in the XML sitemap, robots.txt file blocking Googlebot, etc. You can tick all the other checklists such as On-page and Off-page SEO, but compromising on the technical areas can be damaging to the website. Technical SEO is the first and foremost place to start your audit.
Using SEMrush for a technical SEO audit
If you aren’t a user yet, I honestly recommend you to give it a go! It can crawl an entire domain and show potential issues in an easy-to-read format with options for exporting as well. The main highlight of the tool is the comparative and historical sections wherein you can easily view the positive and negative SEO impact on the website. Elaborate on technical seo auditYou have options to crawl your website ie via SEMrush Bot or GoogleBot. It’s always better to choose SEMrush to avoid issues caused by GoogleBot in the crawl statistics if you’re monitoring server logs. Also, there is Trello integration wherein you send issues to the Trello board and your webmasters would be able to act upon them.
SEO audit is all about your on-page and off-page SEO optimization and rebooting which includes keyword analysis, link profile review, traffic analysis, conversion optimization, meta descriptions, and title optimization, image, and video optimization.
SEO audit is a comprehensive audit which encompasses both structural and content components affecting your site’s visibility. It checks for keyword analysis, link profile review, traffic analysis, conversion optimization, meta descriptions, and title optimization, image, and video optimization, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, etc. In short, it provides you a “big picture” of your current website performance.
A Backlink Audit is essentially the analysis of your link profile alone revealing any risky or spammy links and working on building authoritative ones. Due to the recent Panda and Penguin updates it has become important for thorough checkup of your backlink portfolio. There will be websites that are really good, relevant, and authoritative pointing to your websites but also within that very portfolio there will be some questionable links that really need to be checked. A backlink audit helps you to segregate and eliminate the links that are bringing your traffic down.
SEMrush as a perfect SEO audit tool
You can perform a quick, easy, and efficient audit of webpages and their performance on search engines. It has flexible settings on a domain, subdomain or subfolder crawling. The best part of this tool is that it can crawl and bring an in-detailed report for you in minutes! And also the dashboard has a brilliant UI and covers plenty of data with multiple clickable widgets for detailed analysis. It has over 120 checks ranging from broken links, duplicate content to hreflang attributes for international SEO. It can crawl up to a maximum of 20,000 pages per audit(depending on the subscription) and can be scheduled for auto re-crawls for a daily/weekly basis.
Checking for content on a surface-level is a part of a normal SEO audit, but a standalone content audit can prove beneficial and insightful in knowing your brand voice and message delivered by you to your audience. For that, you need to have a holistic understanding of your content or else it will be left unchecked and digressing from your business goals. Tools like SEMrush have come forward in the market to provide a comprehensive content audit.
SEMrush for Content Audit
The content audit tool of SEMrush is a one-stop solution for analyzing the performance of your digital content. It includes real-time metrics from Google Analytics and Google Search Console. It also analyzes webpages up to a maximum of 20,000 and find improvement areas in a matter of minutes! The tool has 2 main functions ie. checking your own website content engagement and tracking off-site content as well. This tool also works till the subfolder level in case you’re auditing large websites enabling you to create an improvement plan one page at a time. You can identify posts that need more work, track rankings of your guest posts and its referral traffic, and also its social media engagement.
SEMrush has been the talk of the town in the SaaS industry for its brilliant market intelligence technology. You can have a free trial of this tool for 14 days and get hands-on experience. Avail it now!
Website audit is not an option anymore and you need to perform it with excellence to avoid unnecessary cost and resource spends fixing the consequences. For that reason, you need to choose the best audit services adept with skill, proficiency, and experience. Contact Us for more information.
January 18, 2021
January 2, 2021