What is a website audit procedure? Let’s explore what the website audit is, why it is needed, what should be audited, as well as how often it should be done.
Viva One Studio, a full-service web design agency, knows how important it is for the website to perform well and be loved by search engines like Google in order to rank well on the SERPs. One way to help ensure your website performs well is to do a website audit. Today we will be discussing what is website audit, what needs to be audited, and how often the website should be audited.
What is a website audit?
Website audit is the process of assessing every element of a website that affects the website’s performance and visibility on search engines’ algorithms. For the most part, website audit is to check whether the website is optimized to fit the most current Google guideline.
Website audit services help identify the issues that need to be fixed or optimized on the website, leading to a better optimized website that will allow the website to attract more traffic and rank better on SERPs. This process is done for marketing purposes which are to bring more customers and to compete with the competitors, but it also helps the website itself as well. Website audit process will look into every page in the website. It helps you spot the broken pages and check the website loading speed too.
Now, you may think that website audit still does not sound important or necessary at all, because you can just do everything right from the beginning so you would not need a website audit. However, search engines especially, Google, make changes to their algorithm and guidelines all the time. Which is the reason why we need to audit the website regularly in order to make sure that the website still fits the preferences of the search engine.
Let’s take a look at the basics of what needs to be audited first, then we will discuss how often you should get your website audit.
Basic website audit checklists
- Title tags
The title tags need to be unique without any typing and spelling mistakes. It needs to be in the right length which is recommended to be between 60-65 characters. And do not forget to include the keywords in the beginning part of the title. Brand or company name should also be included in the title as well.
- Meta Description tags
The meta description should be 155-160 characters long. It should contain the keywords without stuffing and be descriptive about the content of the website.
Checking for duplicate meta descriptions, title, and keywords. There should not be pages with the same meta descriptions or titles.
The URLs should consist of words, not parameters or session IDs. They should contain the keywords as well as being easy to read and remember.
- Directory structure
Make sure that the website is organised well and help the users understand which page and where they are on the website from the URLs.
Make sure that your website navigates the users well so they can travel to each part of the website easily.
- XML sitemap
Do not forget to submit the sitemap to Google’s Webmaster Tools so that Google’s bot can read and get to know your website. If you have any pages that you do not want Google to crawl, fit them with the robot.txt files.
Check to see if you have 301redirect set up properly to redirect the visitors who visit your old address to your new addresses.
Make sure that every page can load correctly. You do not want any ‘access denied’ nor ‘page not found’ pages.
The keywords used for each page should be the popular keywords. The website should cover all the necessary keywords about your niche. Pick the keywords that more people are searching over the least searched for ones.
- Web content
Web content must be unique, interesting, and relevant to the website’s niche. It must also contain and be relevant to the focus keywords.
- Content Structure
See if your web content is arranged in a comprehensive way as well as assign structures like heading, subheading, and paragraph to the content too.
- Image text
When you have texts in images, make sure you have a copy of that text that you can use in the images’ place in order to allow the search engines to find the texts.
- Anchor text
Using an anchor text that is descriptive is better than using generic phases such as ‘click here’.
Make sure every image on the website has an alt-text that contains the focus keyword of the page. It should also be descriptive and not a duplicate of a paragraph in the content.
- H1s or Heading1
Each page of the website should have only one H1 and it must contain a focus keyword of the page.
Include one or two internal links in each page, especially at the top where most people can see clearly and also at least one external link to other websites related to the topics of the page as well.
Use a helping tool to check the quality of the website linking to your website, what anchor text do they link your website with, and are the backlinks broken.
- Responsive design
It is a must that your website is responsive. Google does favor responsive websites over the regular website. Also, responsive websites make a much better user experience.
- Page Speed
Page load speed is another important element that must be looked into when doing a website audit. It helps you know if your website is too heavy or taking too long to load both on mobile and desktop. Websites that take longer to load will not be favored by Google.
How often should we do a website audit?
Considering that search engines including Google are constantly changing and updating their algorithm and guideline. It is only fair that we do website audits often. The question is, how often?
There is no one right answer for how often you should audit the website. Some say once a year, some say every six months. However, we think 12 months and six months is too long compared to the Google algorithm that is always changing itself. Which is why we recommend you do a website audit regularly in every quarter or every three months. As well as after Google announced any big changes.
Doing the website audit by yourself is possible. Still, we recommend you consider using a professional website audit service once a year if possible.
Website audit is a process of checking every page, every inch of the website to make sure that it fits the standard and favored by the search engines in order for the website to be able to attract more visitors. When doing the website audit, there are many factors that must be looked into including titles, meta descriptions, heading, keywords, page load speed, and many more. This process is important since it helps the website secure a good spot on the SERPs, which is why it is recommended to be done regularly every three months.