So you have this shiny website that makes you look good, but is it really working for you as much as it should be? Does it just sit there looking pretty rather than being utilised as a beneficial business tool?
If your answer is a resounding yes, then here are a few things to check on your website which will help you to determine things that might be hindering (and helping) its visibility in search engines.
Introducing – The Website Audit
A good website audit takes into account all the factors that can influence your website’s success: From your perspective, your customer’s, and Google’s. It can turn a good website into an excellent one!
A website audit will give you a lot of great information on the health and performance of your site, such as:
- if your site is simple enough for your visitors to use
- if your site meets expectations of the latest technologies (e.g., mobile experience)
- if you’re doing enough to achieve search visibility
- if you’re consistent in your messaging and using the right messaging to speak to your ideal audience
- if your social media is getting enough traction and driving referral traffic
- if you have gaps in content, based on off-website traffic data
- if your content marketing tools (like your CMS) sets your team up for success
- if your site has any technical issues.
There are 5 key parts to check as part of an audit, but first you need to get an understanding of where your site is right now. There are a few free tools you can use to achieve this, such as Hubspot Website Grader or the Google Search Console, which will give you the current score out of 100 and where its performing best.
The 5 parts to check are:
- The technical performance such as:
does your site have an SSL certificate
does your site use a content management system to make updates easy
have you got a secure login page
do you have good site security practices such as denying access after xx login attempts
does your site render on all browsers and mobile devices
does your site use Google Analytics
does your site have a Facebook Pixel
are your themes and plugins recently updated
do you have regular (eg daily) backups performed
do all of your forms and social media integrations work
are there any technical errors
- the SEO on each page (on-page), for instance:
are key-words, titles and meta descriptions available of every page?
Does your text content contain key words and is substantial and informative for your industry
Have you logged your sitemap with Google
Do you use keywork enriched URL structures
Do your pages include header tags
Are your images optimised for keywords
- the Off-page SEO
Do you have many backlinks to your site
Do you have backlinks on your site
Are there any broken backlinks
Is your site getting social media mentions
- your User Experience – this is critical if you want your site to be helpful and persuasive, and gives users a level of confidence with your business
Do your pages load in less than 3 seconds
Do you have an easy to navigate menu
Is you advertising or pop-ups minimal so as to not interfere with viewing
Is your site responsive on all devices
Does your site have a lot of unnecessary back-end coding
- the Content and Assets
Do all major content pages include relevant, engaging visual elements?
Do all major content pages include attractive social sharing buttons?
Are your landing pages fully optimised with one page per product, service or offer
Is your content helpful, informative and relevant to your industry
Are your images all the correct size and fully optimised.
WOW, I know that’s a lot to look at, but try not to get too overwhelmed! Doing an audit manually can take some time, and there are many different (paid for) tools you can use to conduct one too. Ideally, it is a good idea to do this kind of audit every 6-12 months, and it will get easier with time. Checking the steps above will put your site in line with digital marketing best practices, and get your site ranking!
Complete your audit with a list of issues and fixes, get them done and then run your score again to see the improvements!
And, of course, I offer this service over at my agency Elevation Digital Boutique, so feel free to contact me for a consultation. Happy auditing!