Have You Had Your Website Audited Recently?
Much like your home needs regular maintenance, so does a website. Why? To assess a site’s value to search engines.
The ultimate purpose of search engine ranking is to promote websites which provide helpful and user-friendly content. Search engines use many metrics to determine a site’s ranking. Digital marketing professionals conduct audits to identify how a website can improve its SEO ranking using a wide range of analytical tests.
Different Types Of Audits
Sometimes, a website audit covers all aspects of a site. However, a full audit is only sometimes necessary. It usually makes sense to focus only on areas where the site needs help.
Technical Audit – Foundational to SEO success, technical audits are used to ensure your website is optimized for SERPs (search engine results page).
Here are some of the issues a technical audit identifies:
- Broken links.
- Whether each page is indexable to SERPs.
- Whether the site map is working correctly.
- Checks the robots.txt file is working.
This makes a technical audit an excellent starting point for a website struggling to rank on search engines.
SEO Audit – Audits can be carried out for both on and off-page SEO. They can be used to analyze different aspects of a website, such as keywords, internal and backlinks, media optimization and traffic behavior. It differs from a technical audit because it focuses more on optimizing the website than fixing backend errors.
Content Audit – Although content audits are often carried out as part of an SEO audit, they are worth mentioning as a stand-alone process. This is because search engines primarily focus on promoting websites that issue helpful content to their audience. Therefore, websites must provide excellent content.
The main focus of a content audit is to identify the quality of the website content and its purpose. The auditor considers how the content aligns with the website’s goals and the journey of the potential reader. This type of audit aims to identify gaps in the content and leads to developing the website’s content strategy.
Audits can be categorized further; for example, an auditor could analyze local SEO or mobile SEO. However, the exact type of audit each website requires can vary significantly. So it’s essential to understand when and why you need an audit. This leads to our next point.
Why Is An Audit Important For Your Website?
It’s no secret that the Google algorithm is highly complex. Although it may seem like a mix of luck and magic, some actionable strategies can be used to make the algorithm work in your favor.
Gone are the days of keyword stuffing; now, SERPs are based on a range of variables used to rank your website’s suitability to a particular audience. In order to leverage the algorithm in your favor, you should understand how your website stands in terms of technical and UX standards. The best way to do this is with a website audit.
Following a website audit, you can develop an SEO strategy to improve your website’s search engine visibility. This means more traffic and a better user experience, which translates into a higher conversion rate.
How Often Should Your Site Be Audited?
There are three scenarios for when a website should be audited. The first is when a website hires a new SEO professional. The SEO professional will usually conduct an audit to develop a new ranking strategy.
The second scenario is if a website sees a sudden decrease in traffic. Generally, this would occur when something technical goes wrong on the site. In this scenario, an audit would be carried out to identify and resolve the issue and regain the ranking.
Finally, audits should be carried out by all websites incrementally. This is to catch any issues before they cause problems. For example, a single back-end error may not cause too much detriment to a website’s ranking, but if multiple errors build up over time, they could kill the website’s traffic. Therefore, audits can be used to resolve issues as they occur proactively.
It is recommended that websites are audited annually and for larger sites, at least bi-annually.
Overall, website audits are crucial to a website’s search engine ranking. The type of audit a website needs depends on its circumstances. But even if your website ranks well today, it’s important to proactively identify errors to prevent any nasty surprises in the future!