When you are feeling sick, you go to a doctor for a checkup, and they likely have a checklist that they will run through to ascertain what is wrong. The same can be said for your website: if there is something wrong with it or if it has dropped in ranking, you will need to perform a website audit and analysis in order to ascertain what the issue might be.
You will need to have a website audit checklist that you can refer to for this process. This list will help to guide you through the process so that it runs smoothly and so that you can look at every element of your website to find the possible issues. However, for those who might not be as technically-minded, a website audit can sound a little daunting.
Below we look at everything that a website audit entails and why this is so important to any business.
A technical audit is arguably one of the most important elements of a website audit. This will provide you with all the information that you need to ascertain if there are any technical problems, as well as how your website is performing…or not performing. Any technical issues will affect the overall usage and functioning of your website, and so a technical audit should always come first.
A technical audit will include the following:
- Whether or not your website has an SSL certificate and if it is correctly implemented?
- Is your CMS (content management system) functioning correctly for uploading and editing content?
- Have any default CMS settings been changed, including the login page?
- Does your website implement security best practices?
- Does your site render and function across all major browsers?
- Is your website responsive and mobile-friendly?
- Are you making use of Google Analytics for reporting?
- Are all of the plugins and software up-to-date?
- Is your site regularly backed up?
A website audit will look at all of these elements and allow you to fix any issues that might crop up.
Web Design And UX Audit
Once you have performed a technical audit, you will need to move on to a website design and UX (user experience) audit. Your website design is what draws in users to your website and welcomes them…but it can also be what causes them to click away from your site and look elsewhere. It is important to ensure that your design and UX are cohesive and streamlined so that users have a positive experience with your website.
A website design and UX audit will include the following:
- Is your page structure easy to distinguish?
- Do you make use of design breadcrumbs and footers?
- Is your content easy-to-read and intuitively designed?
- Are there interactive elements for CTAs and buttons?
- Does the design align well with your brand?
- Do all design elements share the same style for a cohesive experience?
- How fast is the page load speed on pages with several images?
- Does your website use simple, intuitive navigation and menus?
- Have you compressed large images for faster loading times?
A design and UX audit can help you to address any issues that might cause users to have a slow or unpleasant experience.
On-Page SEO Audit
Your on-page SEO (search engine optimisation) is another vital component of a successful website. Many people think of on-page SEO as the “fun” part of a website audit because it is one of the elements that you have the most control over. And it can help you to understand why your website is performing the way it is and how you can improve on this. On-page SEO can be improved in almost one day, making it a quick but essential process.
An on-page SEO audit should include the following:
- Does every page have a keyword-optimised title tag and meta description?
- Is the written content of the correct length and is it SEO-optimised with keywords?
- Is the written content relevant and valuable to readers?
- Does the site have indicators for relevancy (phone number and email address)?
- Does your site use an XML sitemap for indexing and crawlability?
- Are you using readable and SEO-optimised URL structures?
There are many more elements to on-page SEO but the above listed are the most important elements to include on your website audit checklist.
Putting It All Together
Auditing your website involves more than just taking a cursory glance at your website and its various analytics. You will need to look at every element together in order to ascertain where the problem might lie. You should perform an on-page audit including a speed test, a keyword ranking analysis, as well as an analysis of your website’s design and functionality.
The results of these audits will help you to pinpoint any issues that you might notice, such as content that might not be optimised or page-loading speeds that might be too slow. You will have a better-performing website overall thanks to this information. If you are not able to perform your own website audit, NetMechanic offers one for free, so make use of our skills today.