Your website is your professional business suit. But how many people are you actually impressing with it? If your search engine optimization (SEO) game isn’t strong, then the answer may be embarrassing.
If your business site isn’t performing well, then it’s likely due to various factors. And checking all of these factors is critical to pinpointing the issue and eradicating it.
Unfortunately, you’re just a business owner and likely don’t know how to do a website audit. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t learn.
Even if you decide to hire an SEO expert to do this for you, it’s still a great idea to educate yourself.
So in this guide, we’ll cover the basics on how to do a website audit.
But first, let’s review what an SEO audit consists of.
What is a Website Audit All About?
The purpose of a website audit is to determine whether your SEO is on point. It covers on-site factors to ensure all pieces of your optimization puzzle are in place.
Once you find the weak points, you can begin improving these areas. Again, you can attempt to use the following guide or hire an expert who knows how to do a website audit properly. For example, the experts at Green T Digital.
What to Expect from an SEO Audit
Now, here’s what you should get out of your audit:
- A report analyzing current performance in search, social media and backlinks
- List of actions and explanations for each item on the list
- A strategy to take advantages of available traffic sources
What makes SEO audits so important is the fact the industry is always changing. So what worked six months ago may not work today.
Once you know how to do a website audit, you can do it regularly to ensure you tweak your strategy accordingly.
How to Do a Website Audit
Next, we’ll get into the meat and gravy of performing a website audit. This quick checklist is just an overview, but continue your education to become a professional in your own right.
1. Check Your Title, URL and Meta Descriptions
There are multiple pieces that make up the complete picture of your on-site SEO. For instance, the titles on your pages, the meta descriptions, and URL.
The key here is to check to ensure all of your titles are unique and within a 50 to 65 character range. Then for your meta description, it should contain keywords, but not too many. And between 150 and 160 characters.
Last, the URL on each page should be unique and formatted properly. So remove numbers from your URLs and ensure they contain page titles or truncated versions.
For example, this is a bad URL:http://wwww.badexample.com/13/horribleformat/9809878767
Then a good URL would look something like this: http://www.goodexample.com/great-format-url
2. Get Rid of Plain Text Formatting
Your content is the meat of your website. Without great content, your visitors are going to stray away. So if your site is filled with plain text, then it will bore your audience.
Instead, include H1s, H2s and even some H3s when necessary to break up the content and make it easy to scan. Other formatting improvements you can make include bold and italics.
Of course, including images in your content can really make it eye-catching and appealing.
Next, the content itself should be high-quality. Make sure there are no grammatical errors and the topics are relevant. Google and users both look for this.
3. Go Over Your Internal Links
Linking to other pages on your site helps visitors navigate through your content. You can use your blogs to promote product pages or other blog posts.
Also, make sure you’re not only using keyword anchor text for all of your internal links. Mix it up with different anchor text, so Google doesn’t penalize you.
As a rule of thumb, you should have between two to 10 internal links on each page.
4. Optimize Your Images
Now, it’s important to optimize each of your photos on your site. Hopefully, you don’t overdo your image placement, because it can bog down your site download speed. And if your site loads slowly (especially for mobile users) it will hurt your Google ranking.
Plus, users will leave your site, never to return again.
As for the optimization, you need to fill out the ALT tag and filenames. You can include keywords in the filename, but avoid overdoing it.
5. Look for Broken Links
If there’s anything Google hates its links that don’t work. So if your site is filled with 404 errors and other redirect error codes, then it’s time to clean it up.
But rather than scouring each and every page to check links, you can use special tools. For instance, Xenu. It can crawl all of your pages and check for valid URLs.
6. Don’t Overdo Banners Above the Fold
Over the years, Google banned and penalized numerous sites with too many ads above the fold. Of course, Google never went into detail on what “too many ads” actually means.
However, there are precautions you can take. For instance, making your ads look like ads (not content to trick users to click on it). And not overcrowding the space.
In the end, your site should look professional and clean.
7. Identify User-Friendliness
Ever been to a site that was overly complicated? Maybe it was hard to find the navigational buttons or menus. The key to ensuring your site is user-friendly, just do the following:
- Send visitors to a friendly 404 page when the wrong URL is entered
- Help users find what they want in less than 3 clicks
- An easy-to-find main menu
- Content and ads are distinguishable
- A user sitemap is readily available
- All pages have a consistent interface
8. Check Your Page Load Speed
If your website is loading too slowly, it will hurt your traffic and your ranking. So to improve the speed, you can opt for a better web host, as well as do the following:
- Compress images
- Use sprites and browser caching to minimize HTTP calls
- Compress plugins or page speed service
9. Check the Website Structure
It doesn’t matter what type of site you have. The structure and elements are the same for all. If you want to improve the user experience, then you must ensure the following:
- The content structure is clear and grouped into relevant categories
- Breadcrumbs included on all internal pages (internal links)
10. Check Keyword Density
This goes for your web pages and blog content. If you overstuff your website with keywords, then it’ll only hurt your ranking on Google.
Also, it won’t read well to visitors. It’s hard to create quality content if every few sentences have a keyword that sounds out of place.
Get the Right Tools for Your Website Audit
Now that you have some idea of how to do a website audit, it’s time to get your hands on the right tools. There are some you can use that quickly evaluate your site for obvious flaws.
For instance, SiteReportCard gives you just that – a report card for your website. There are also other tools on the site you can use, such as a site audit tool, URL rewriting tool and keyword planner tool.
Contact SiteReportCard today to learn more about its services and resources.