Website Audit

Websites evolve. For some businesses, their website has been online in one form or another for years. It could be the original site that’s had a design change, or it could have had various reiterations over that period. As sites evolve, things change which need to be audited. Changing the URL structure to be more friendly and then not checking for 404 broken links is a quick way to provide your users with a bad experience and start lowering your conversion rate. Regular site audits should be carried out to ensure you keep on top of any potential problems before they make an impact on your customer experience and your search presence.

Tools will make your site audit process easier, and much quicker to carry out. From free tools such as Google Analytics, and search console to premium tools designed to carry out in-depth analysis.

First thing first. Make sure that only one version of your site is browsable.

For example:

http://yourdomain.com
http://www.yourdomain.com
https://yourdomain.com
https://www.yourdomain.com

Only one of the above should be accessible within the browser.

The rest should be redirected via a 301 redirect to the canonical version of the site itself. A canonical tag lets search engines know which version should be considered as the master copy. By making sure there’s only one version that is browsable, you’ll avoid various problems when it comes to SEO and search.

The next part of your site audit should be to carry out a crawl of your website. Search engines such as Google use crawlers, AKA spiders, to crawl your website and index content. Premium tools give you the ability to do the same and provides invaluable information on the structure and content which you’ll use to identify issues and revise areas of improvements.

Free tools such as Google Search Console, will also be a good place to identify site issues. The data will be more limiting than that of premium tools, however following Google’s recommendations is always worthwhile, considering it’s their search engine you want to rank well in.

Premium tools will give you far more data insights, which you can use to increase your rankings and conversions. The tool we use for all of our clients to carry out site audits analyses over 120 on-page and technicals from surface level issues to critical errors.

This includes a wide range of parameters from crawlability that checks over 20 indexability and crawlability parameters including crawl budget waste, incoming internal links, page crawl depth, and HTTP status codes to HTTPs implementation that identifies potential security issues such as security certificate issues including mixed content warnings, server issues and missing HSTS support.

It doesn’t all have to be technical though. Areas above we carry out as part of a managed process, but if you’re calling upon our consultancy or training services, then there are less technical areas of a website audit that would be just as beneficial for you to carry out internally.

Take an e-commerce site as an example. It’s possible for these types of sites to contain over 1000 URLs due to the number of products the business supplies. That’s too many pages for you to go through manually checking for on-page optimisation

Carrying out a site audit would flag up broken links, duplicated content/metadata and much more besides. It’s all invaluable information that helps you to identify potential issues and resolve them. Doing so gives you an edge over your competitors and can make a huge difference in your organic growth journey.

Keeping an eye on the health of your website will enable you to identify errors today and provide your customers with a better experience tomorrow.

Google Search Console

Google search console should be your first point of call. Why? Because if Google is flagging issues regarding your website, you should most definitely resolve them if you wish to achieve and maintain decent search rankings. The free tool gives you a summary of things that they would like to see resolved. Does it provide a complete picture? No. You’ll still want to use premium tools ideally (We do this for you as part of our managed services), but search console will give you certain insights such as information about appearance, technical status updates, crawl data and so forth. Errors are easily identifiable and provides a good starting point for you on your path to identifying and resolving issues.

SEMrush

SEMrush is a premium tool with a host of features, one of which is its website audit tool. A very powerful website crawler containing over 120 metrics within a friendly interface. It enables you to check and keep an eye on your website health, prioritise issues and increase your sites optimisation. Is it time-consuming to go through any issues it flags up? Yes. Is it worthwhile for your business? Most definitely. Whether you’re carrying out these checks yourself or using my consultancy or managed service, SEMrush provides insights unlike any other tool out there.

GTMetrix

GTmetrix, which is also covered in the speed and performance section, should be used as part of your website audit process. It’s a free online tool, that analyses your page’s performance using Google Page Speed and YSlow. As speed impacts on your sites rankings as well as your conversion rate, it’s not something you should ignore. For more information, refer to website speed & performance optimisation.

Our website audits with actionable insights, used for your own website or to spy on your competitors, covers 120 metrics. Find out more here.

Technicals

Some of the many areas we cover

On-Page SEO

The practice of optimising individual web pages to improving ranking positions. Covering content, structure and metadata.

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Technical SEO

Improving user experience, metrics and your conversion rate through structure, design and (A/B) split testing.

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Website Audit

Website analysis of all factors affecting search engine visibility. Identifying errors and areas of improvement.

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Speed & Performance

Speed has been a ranking signal since 2010. Improving your loading speed, reduce bounce rate and increase conversions.

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Research & Analysis

Gain insights into how your competitors perform organically. Discover untapped phrases by volume search and difficulty.

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Penalty Recovery

Algorithm and manual penalty identification, recovery and avoidance strategies to get your rankings back.

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