eCommerce

How to do a website audit – and why

Are you getting the results you want from your website? Whether that’s leads, sales or likes, if you’re not, it’s time to audit your website. And even if you are, it’s worth auditing your website regularly to see if you could be getting even better results.

In these modern, internet-driven days, your website is your shop front. At Demystify Digital we understand that it can be tough considering the cost of a new website but if it’s not generating the results you could be achieving, then it’s time to make that investment in your business.

Before you begin auditing your website, there are tools and a process to follow. It can seem daunting, but there are plenty of tools out there to help. Let’s look at why you should be auditing your website and how to do it.

Need professional help? Call for a chat on 01902 372 402.

Why you should audit your website

At Demystify Digital, we always recommend a website audit to identify any related issues. This helps to determine any issues, such as whether it’s properly optimised for search engines, whether there are broken links, what the optimal load-time is, user friendliness, and the status of the content.

Any business with a website should be carrying out website audits routinely. This allows you to check what traffic you are generating. The more traffic, the higher the amount of sales you should be generating. If this is not the case, then there’s a serious problem. Not addressing these issues, whether it’s poor traffic or low sales, means there’s a problem that you need to face.

How to undertake a website audit

Undertaking a website audit isn’t the easiest task in the world. Even seasoned website professionals find it a challenge. Especially with older, larger websites that are more cumbersome. More pages means more resources to audit, and older websites mean slower load times. This is when audit tools are a necessity.

Email us today at [email protected] for more information.

Choose your weapons

You need to choose your audit tools carefully. There are plenty out there, such as SemRush and Ahre, plus more specialised tools such as Screaming Frog and Sitebulb. They’re not free but they are thorough, accurate, and easy to use. While there are free audit tools there, they don’t match up to these paid tools.

The paid tools allow you to:

  • Scan websites for technical problems
  • Identify SEO issues
  • Check for broken files and broken links
  • Find weak or duplicate content
  • Assess page errors, page load speed issues, or pages blocked by robots. Txt
  • Generate a list of fixable problems
  • And identify SEO issues, best identified by a specialist SEO tool
  • Run your website URL through a site audit tool

Choose a site audit school from one of the ones above. Now enter your website URL into the site auditor. The auditor then ‘crawls’ your site looking for issues and identifying each one. This will identify the issues and help you to fix them.

Find technical errors

Any paid for audit software will provide a list of technical errors. These have the largest impact on your SEO, but even if SEO isn’t your priority, sorting out these issues will help your website load faster and make it more user-friendly.

COMMON TECHNICAL ERRORS

  • Crawl errors – when your audit tool identifies pages that search engine bots can’t crawl for information
  • HTTPS status – whether your SSL certificate is up-to-date and therefore safe for users to access
    XML sitemap status – your XML sitemap is a map for search engine crawlers. Your sitemap should be properly formatted and contain all updated pages
  • Site and page load times – slow load speeds put people off; make sure your site loads quickly enough
  • Broken images – make sure all images show up and don’t show a broken link
  • Robots.txt file – are your pages indexed correctly, and ensure pages you don’t want indexed aren’t
  • Broken links – find if any internal or external links are broken

While these issues can all have a serious impact on your site’s effectiveness, most of them are easy to fix. Let Demystify Digital help.

Identify SEO issues

Technical issues can often be found in conjunction with SEO issues. While all of the above-mentioned issues can affect SEO, we will look at SEO issues separately.

Common SEO issues include:

  • Duplicate, short, long or missing title tags
  • Duplicate, short, long or missing meta descriptions
  • Missing or duplicate image alt text or title text
  • Missing Google Analytics code
  • Missing H2, H3 etc headings
  • Missing or incorrect schema.org microdata
  • Non-optimised internal links and anchor text

A good site auditor will highlight which issues need to be addressed and how. It could mean some substantial work, even If they seem insignificant. You also need to be aware of your focus keywords, which should be included in title tags, meta descriptions etc..

Analyse design and UX

Website design and user-friendliness are key to driving traffic. No-one wants to spend longer than necessary searching for the right page. That’s why it’s recommended that not only should pages be easy to find but they should be a maximum of three clicks from the homepage.

Make it easy for your website users to find what they’re looking for, and they’ll stay. Make it difficult, and they’ll abandon your site for a competitor’s.

At Demystify Digital, we’re experienced in all aspects of design and UX.

Assess your content

Content is king. And if your content isn’t, then your potential customers will go elsewhere. A good audit software or company will identify which pages are delivering and which aren’t. This is down to keywords. Every page should be written with a purpose.

Best practices for SEO content include:

  • It’s concise but adds value for users
  • It complies with the main goal and purpose of the page
  • Well-researched keywords that users are looking for
  • Well-organised and structured with lots of optimised headers
  • No spelling or grammar mistakes
  • No filler – every word serves a purpose
  • It’s easy to read with short paragraphs, bullet points, numbered lists and images
  • It’s optimised for all formats, i.e. PC, laptops, mobiles and tablets
  • There are internal links to relevant content and external links to reputable websites
  • Content is unique

Need help with your content? Call us on 01903 372 402 for help and advice.

Checklist of all site issues

Once you’ve analysed all these issues, you need to create a comprehensive list of everything that needs to be fixed. All good audit tools will generate a list of items to work on plus simple instructions of how to deal with them.

While you may have an inhouse team to deal with these issues, chances are that you don’t. That’s why you need to turn to the professionals. Demystify Digital knows how to analyse a website and rectify the mistakes you’re making to grow your business.

Why not call Demystify Digital on 01903 372 402 today for a free chat to find out how we can help?

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