Semalt Explains What Website Audit Is And Why It Is Necessary For Every Business
In the age of digital technology, most if not all companies have a website to advertise their products or services. This is indeed a powerful tool, but one that requires surveillance and care.
Think of your car, for example. As good as it is, over time it will need to be maintained and checked to diagnose what exactly is going well and what is not, to be in the best possible condition. The exact same process is required for a website.
In this article, you will read:
- What is a website audit?
- What does it include?
- On-site audit Checklist
- Off-site audit Checklist
- Technical audit Checklist
- Why is audit necessary for every website?
What is a website audit?
Let's look at it in even more detail. Every website has some specific features, the performance of which plays a decisive role in whether it will stand out and have a successful presence on the internet.
The website audit essentially inspects and analyzes these critical points that exist on the website and helps the site owner to make decisions about the changes or not that should be made on his / her website. This audit for websites is called "website audit".
What does it include?
The website audit is a complete audit that is done on a website, in this case, on the website of your business. To have remarkable results, many different parameters must be taken into consideration, which will judge how good or not the website is. This check is divided into 3 main parts of your website:
- On-site audit: As its name implies, it concerns the control that is done on what is displayed on the site. That is, everything that is visible to both users and search engines.
- Off-site audit: The off-site audit includes all the actions that can promote your website on the internet, such as e.g. social media. However, this does not include advertising.
- Technical audit: Finally, there is the technical part and it concerns the technical characteristics of the site and whether they work properly and have no errors.
So let's look at the most important of these parameters that largely determine the fate and fortune of a website on the internet. These parameters have only one goal: To make the user-visitor experience as enjoyable as possible.
On-site audit Checklist
"In the beginning was not the reason", as the ancients used to say. Content plays a leading role in a popular and good website. And when we say content, we do not just mean the "stuffing" of our site, with meaningless texts and lots of keywords.
For content to rank well, it must be of good quality, offer useful information, be directly relevant to the content of the site and have keywords in specific places.
Also, the title of the text plays a decisive role in the ranking. It should definitely contain the keyword but also be good to catch the reader's attention.
This is done so that the reader can know what the text is about to read. Then the main topic should be easy to read. Some elements that help with this are the headlines and bullets.
If you want to get even more points in the "Content" section, enrich your website with a blog, with texts on the areas of your business.
The next element that should be emphasized, after the content, is the appearance of our website. That is, how it is designed and whether it is attractive to people who will visit it. What we call User Experience (UX).
It has been observed that a large portion of websites has been created simply to exist. A proper website, however, is one that is guided by the best user experience. For this reason, a company that wants to have a significant presence on the internet, should turn to experts who know how to achieve this.
Off-site audit Checklist
Checking backlinks can reveal how healthy backlinks are to your site. Creating a lot of quality backlinks is considered one of the most important success factors for a site, according to the algorithms established by Google.
It is not enough to have many websites with links to your site. These websites must also be of quality and healthy. The more recognizable the website that makes us backlink, the more positive impact it will have on the ranking of our site.
But there are also cases where our backlinks can prove to be harmful and toxic to us. That is why it is important to check them, to find those that are harmful and with various special tools, to eliminate them.
Social media is now in the daily lives of most, to such an extent that according to official statistics users in 2021 will be more than 3 billion.
It is a pity therefore that such a powerful tool is left untapped for your business. Its use, however, implies proper operation and continuous monitoring. It is not enough to have an active presence on all social media. It needs proper planning and management for your social presence to bear fruit.
Technical audit Checklist
Google has always taken care to "reward" those websites that had a high response speed, and rightly so. Think of yourself as a website visitor. How many times have you left a website because it was not loading fast? I'm sure, enough! In fact, from 2018 onwards, Google has added to its algorithm the speed at which a website "runs" on mobile devices. It is no longer enough to have a fast responsive website on the desktop, but it must have almost the same performance on all possible devices that have access to the internet.
More than 8 among 10 people prefer their mobile phones to connect to the internet.
For this reason, a website should be designed not only for the desktop but also for mobile devices. In fact, in many cases now, webmasters suggest that the design starts from mobile devices and then move on to fixed ones.
Finding broken links
A search that must be done on a website, is to find any "damaged" links.
But how do they occur? Many times, in addition to the text, we also quote multimedia, such as images, audio, video, etc. to have a more complete result. Well so far. However, after a while, some of these media sources may have been deleted, as a result of which they do not appear properly on our website either.
That is why it is necessary to check these links from time to time to avoid such phenomena. This check is now done quite quickly, as there are special tools like the Dedicated SEO Dashboard that can speed up the whole process.
Another important factor in creating a strong website is the security it provides to the user. It no longer means a website without security protocols (SSL Certificates).
Websites that do not have these protocols, not only do not enjoy the appreciation of users. but are considered by some search engines a "red cloth", resulting in their exclusion.
Note that in case the website is also an e-shop, SSL protocols are taken for granted. Of course, when we talk about security we do not refer only to these protocols, but also to all the ways in which your site can avoid possible attacks by malware, bots, etc.
Sitemap and robots.txt
A sitemap is nothing more than a file that exists on a website and which shows its structure. This file is essential for Google because it allows it to locate and list sections of the website in search engines.
As you can see, a sitemap is one of the first things that should be hosted on our site so that anyone can search for it and find it. And if the sitemap is a file that helps search engines crawl a web page, the robots.txt file is the one that indicates what a search engine is allowed or not. Robots.txt consists of specific commands, which the creator uses to specify the above.
As you can easily understand, a website audit is a process that takes time, repetition, and constant vigilance to be successful.
Why is audit necessary for every website?
Let's go back to the example with the car we mentioned at the beginning. When we see that the car does not deliver what we expected when we bought it, we will look for the reasons.
It could be a problem with the machine, a malfunction or wear of which that cannot be easily perceived by us. That's the time for experts. A workshop with modern equipment and technologically trained engineers will find the solution and will save you both time and unnecessary costs. Exactly the same happens with a site that does not bring the earnings you would like.
If you assign the website audit to a team that has the appropriate tools and the necessary technical knowledge on the subject, the results you will have will make you wonder why you did not make such a move earlier. Checking your site is not a 100-meter race, it requires checking at regular intervals so that your website continues to perform at its maximum.
With the website audit, you are given the opportunity to build a dynamic website where not only will your sales increase, but you will also see new visitors coming, who through their online experience, can become your most loyal customers in the future.
Are you ready for this step but do need further clarification? No problem! Contact us to solve any questions you may have.