Conducting a site audit is by far one of the most important steps for improving the "marketing grade" of your website. No shortage of industry studies and data underscores the importance of website performance, structure, content, and usability, especially as these factors relate to search engine rankings and the user experience (UX).

What Is Website Auditing?

A website audit, in a nutshell, is an assessment process that evaluates several factors that affect website operability, visibility, accessibility, and search engine optimization.

What is a website auditor tool?

A website auditor is a software application that accelerates the evaluation process of websites against a set of standardized norms related to various factors that enhance performance in several areas. There is a broad array of auditing tool options from simple tools which are limited in their focus to comprehensive website audit tool which probe multiple factors of a website's performance.

Some of the details revealed when taking an audit assessment include information on the numbers of code errors, which assist the web developer in ensuring proper functionality. Disclosed are the amounts of images, CSS resources, JS resources, and HTML pages, which all affect the "weight" of web pages and, therefore, their ability to load quickly.

Website auditor tool checklist:

  1. SEO
  2. Body Content Structure
  3. Headers and Tags
  4. Page Indexing
  5. Internal and Outbound Links
  6. User Experience (UX) Issues
  7. Social Network Features
  8. Website Performance
  9. Web Technology Utilization
  10. Website Security

SEO Analysis

SEO is a big part of any in-depth website audit. An SEO audit will help uncover low-level errors in a website's structure that may be easy to miss, but costly to rankings. Optimization is vital for boosting possibilities for search engine results pages (SERPs) and attaining better site traffic consistently. An analysis can call out the need for more useful SEO practices such as link building and content generation.

Body Content & Header Usage

Body content is a significant part of website audits. The review can identify whether header tag use is logical in its placement. HTML header tags indicate to search engines which content subjects are paramount, and the use of keywords in header tags has, at times, considered an essential element for rankings. However, with recent Google algorithm updates, the emphasis of overall content quality takes precedence over keyword placement.

Website auditor tools are useful in calling out the adequate content volume. The textual content can influence rankings significantly. Website auditors help identify opportunities for white-hat hidden text, for instance, image alt attributes. If a site features images that are devoid of specific ALT attributes, an assessment can make that fact crystal clear.

The consistency of keywords is a big subject among people who use website auditor tools. People should zero in on spreading their keywords out via crucial HTML tags. Page content should center around specific keywords that are desirable for ranking applications. It can help to spread these keywords out via TAGS, including header, meta, and title tags.

Page Indexing

A website auditor should identify indexing matters as these are crucial to your SEO efforts to achieve top 10 rankings. They perform both "noindex header tests" and "noindex tag tests." If a webpage fails to utilize noindex headers, it will specify that. Noindex headers stop indexing from taking place. Noindex tags also stop indexing from occurring. Audits make evaluations that relate to both testing approaches.

Web Links

Links have long been a significant part of page optimization matters. They have long been a vital part of SEO in general. The use of a website auditor can give people an insight into the exact number of backlinks in use. If you want to find out whether you have a sufficient backlink profile that goes to a specific webpage, the utilization of a website auditor tool can aid you significantly. Audits can offer insight that relates to domain authority, referring domains, and even external backlinks. People can get information that goes into their most worthy backlinks. In the website auditing process, identify "beneficial" URLs as well. If a URL has a positive status, then that means that people can read it without any issues. It means that search engines can read it with just as much ease and confidence.

Content with broken links can pose a big problem for websites and their relevant webpages. A site audit appliance can assist in detecting broken links. They make useful discoveries via crawling.

Audits help provide additional insight into on-page link structure matters by counting the number of links that are in place. They distinguish between nofollow and external links.

Web Usability and UX

Often an overlooked matter in web optimization is the usability condition of sites that a proficient website auditor can evaluate. Calling out site usability strengths and weaknesses is crucial to both SEO and the customers' engagement with your site. Sites should strive for high usability with indifference to the specific devices that are in use. Usability is imperative because it expands the accessible audiences of your content. It also decreases bounce rates among users as well. Bounce rates can significantly impact rankings on search engines, as they are a significant ranking factor.

Device rendering should be a significant feature of audits. Optimizing webpages for tablet and mobile users alike ensure maximum compatibility for your content's consumption by web audiences. Recent studies have found that globally, mobile devices now account for slightly more than half of the web traffic. Web traffic that comes from desktop computers is no longer king.

Robust site audits will also analyze mobile viewports use. The viewport limits the users' ability to see a traditional web page as dictated by the mobile devices form factor which constrains a web page's observable real estate. Device viewport size variances increase the importance of suitable rendering regardless of device categories.

Some of the other components that are part of usability assessments are flash, favicon, iFrames, and font sizes. Pages must be simple to read regardless of device classifications. That is why these audits go into legibility matters.

Tapping is a significant aspect of surfing the Internet lately. Webpage buttons and links must be of suitable sizes. That is because appropriate sizes enable visitors to hit their touchscreens effortlessly.

Social Networking Features in Web Audits

There is no denying that social networks are more powerful than ever nowadays. The positive news is that website auditors put a lot of time into social media outcomes. If your social media approach is lacking in any way, shape, or form, an audit may tell you that. It may signify that you do not take on many social media actions week in and week out. Being active on social media platforms is imperative for an abundance of reasons. It empowers businesses that want to be able to communicate well with the people who are part of their customer bases. It allows companies that want to spread the word about their services and products. It even simplifies the marketing process. Business representatives who want to get fresh new people to check out their websites put a lot of energy into social networks. Businesses that superior desire visibility, in many cases, get a lot out of putting social media profile links on their pages.

A website auditor put a lot of thought into analyzing key social elements - Facebook pixels, open graph tags, and connections. They put just as much thought into Twitter subjects. Twitter's popularity as a social media platform is close to that of Facebook. Additional audit social media targets include LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.

Website Performance

It is vital for business website owners to evaluate the results of web performance scores. The critical metric for website performance is a website or page load time. There are free analytics tool options out there that can assess performance matters meticulously. They delve into page scripts, content loading times, and responses from servers. File size details are a big part of audits and how they operate, too. People can receive breakdowns that involve page size.

The website auditor will often simplify the complexity of the metrics by generally classifying the results in laymen's terms as good, bad, or somewhere in the middle of relevant categories. The grades are based on testing and benchmarking against industry norms. If a website receives a "good" classification, then that may mean that it is comparatively responsive. It may mean that enhancements could help it significantly, however. High performance in areas related to usability can pave the way for superior user experiences with decreased bounce rates. Bounce rates can, in some situations, impact how sites rank on search engines.

Web Technology Utilization

Most web hosting arrangements provide website owners with a variety of technology applications, which dramatically improve the overall performance of websites. These technologies include but are not limited to, GZIP compression, page cache, database cache, minification, and image optimization. A proper audit will help identify if a site uses these technologies.

As technology evolves, elements of web development lose viability in favor of higher performing or more secure technologies. A website auditor will help identify the use of outdated techniques that may take the form of deprecated HTML, javascript libraries, inline styles, and various other elements.

Non-optimized images are perhaps the most common contributors to web page bloat. The massive world of SEO takes a host of seemingly small details into consideration, and as previously mentioned, page speed and bounce rates contribute to rankings. Images that have not received appropriate compression or not saved in optimal formats are the most significant contributing factor, on average, to slower page load times and, consequently, higher bounce rates.

Website Security Assessments

Security results assessments can help people who are at the helm of websites and webpages of all varieties. If a website's security status is superb, then it may receive a rock-solid "excellent" grading from a website auditor. Free analytics tools often present users with all sorts of grading classifications. Audits strive to pinpoint apparent security difficulties that may interfere significantly with site functioning. Security is essential since it safeguards the data of users. The last thing website owners want is to frustrate visitors with data loss, downtime, or anything else similar at all.

Consistent patching can be helpful to site owners who want to stay on top of SEO and website security overall. The assistance of supervision devices can come in handy for people who wish to receive updated information regarding prevalent security threats and related concerns or measure. Security results go into whether sites are SSL enabled. They go into malware assessments, and HTTPS redirects all the same. Email privacy matters, last but certainly not least, are also a factor.

Website auditors, in many cases, present users with helpful recommendations. If you get your hands on a free analytics tool, it may be able to present you with pertinent recommendations that can change your results for the better. If you want to take your SERPs status to the next tier, it can help to pay close attention to recommendations. Taking cues from website auditor suggestions can do a lot for organizations that want to make considerable improvements to their respective rankings. Audits, in many cases, recommend that people include ALT attributes in their photographs. They often suggest that people do what they can to expand their audiences via Twitter. They frequently indicate that people should get rid of inline styles. There are so many recommendation possibilities for site owners who want to take charge of search engine matters. They may involve taking care of JavaScript errors. They may require a Facebook Pixel installation. They may include the introduction of Twitter cards. They may even include introducing Facebook open graph tags for good measure.

Website audits can be lifesavers for smaller businesses that want to take control of their digital marketing destinies. These audits can lead to an introduction to opportunities for superior content delivery and better usability for site users – ultimately leading to greater success for the website and company.

Contact 180 Link Media for assistance analyzing the results of our website auditor or if you need assistance improving your overall SEO efforts.


About The Author

Howard White
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Howard White is a marketing leader with nearly 20 years of digital experience. He’s led digital marketing efforts for organizations in multiple verticals and various sizes, from startups to leading digital marketing operations for multi-national enterprises in both B2B and B2B. In his spare time, he is an avid musician, music fanatic and mentor.

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