A Website Audit can be a combination of different types of audits that covers your online presence. The goal of the audit must be to provide insights and recommendations based on the audit data. The principal purpose of a website audit is to detect how much traffic a site attracts and find ways to make improvements. Various factors are examined that are responsible for website ranking, identifying bottlenecks that impede your site performance from reaching its optimal potential. Based on these inspections actionable recommendations that help optimizing websites are recommended for reaching audit objectives. An online reputation audit finds out your brands’ positive and negative ratings as relating to reviews, likes, shares, comments, listings, etc. Reputation triggers online purchases as consumers want safety narratives while paying online. A security audit will indicate whether the website is vulnerable to security violations and has compromised sensitive information for both businesses and users.
Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
Googles Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines uses the E-A-T and Need Met human quality rating scale for evaluating websites and SERPs. YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages, call for content that has both trust and expertise factors eg financial content. Needs Met means intent and the rating depends on both the query and the results. A rater assigns a Needs Met score and more importance is given to pages that satisfy higher intent. E.A.T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is how raters use in rating websites and is not a ranking factor. Raters assign PQ (Page Quality) to pages that come to the top in Google search queries. Page Quality ratings depend on a number of factors, that remain connected with each other.
Types of Website Audit
The success of brands necessitates conducting a website audit for any online business. All aspects that affect your business are analyzed to ascertain causes why your website performance is not fully optimized the way it should be. Below find some common types of websites audit.
Website SEO Audit
An SEO Audit fixes technical problems related to ranking, visibility, links, trust, website loading speed, content, etc. SEO deals with page authority & domain authority, website speed, and trust factors. In an SEO Audit identify issues such as broken links-internal & external, pages having errors, blocked pages, duplicate content, meta issues, missing keywords, non-optimized content, image issues, tracking analytics, etc
Website Design Audit
The Design Audit serves a two-fold purpose of providing a distinct experience for your users related to UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) design. In a UX audit, user problems are identified and fixed. UX can be applied to any product or service. UI follows the UX design which initiates the process of product development. UI relates to digital products in the creation of an interface that is inherent and exquisite.
Website Technical Audit
Find out the technical errors in the performance of your website. To perform a technical SEO audit one must have good knowledge of technical SEO and audit management software tools. Make checks to your website for technical errors & usability issues. Technical errors such as redirects, server issues, broken links, anchor text over-optimization, page not found error, etc. While usability issues pertain to a slow page load website, inaccessible pages, missing images, etc. They can both impact your search rankings negatively. Common Software Auditing tools are Google & Bing Webmaster Tools, Screaming Frog, SEMRush, GT Metrix, Deep Crawl, Copyscape, etc.
Content Website Audit
In a content audit, evaluate elements so that your content is focused on your users’ wants. The Screaming Frog software tool will provide a detailed analysis of your website. Generate content audit reports with the Woorank tool which comes with a free / paid version.
Pixel Tracking Audit
In this type of audit, identify and list all tags that are fired on your website or a specific webpage. Make a list of all such pixels and find which is required and being used. Pixel tracking audit of your site allows you to
- find particular web pages that may need tag execution
- tags testing to see if tags have been correctly implemented
- ensure seamless collection of key data on visitor behavior
- locate tags that cause problems or have become redundant
Site Health Website Audit
A site health audit will evaluate the usability and architecture of your website. Website architecture is about structuring your pages and how they are linked together for providing both search engine crawlers and users to find what they are looking for.
Competitor Website Audit
A competitor website audit provides data pertaining to their brands’ success. Adopting similar strategies that have worked for your competitors can boost your brand to perform even better.
Social Media Audit
A social media audit investigates how your website is engaged with social media platforms and its impact on overall performance. The analysis must include how frequently website content is shared on social media, the quantity of content posted that keeps users engaged, and content promotion by way of likes, shares, reach, etc.
A CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) audit of your website will involve a comparison with competitors’ websites. The data obtained will help identify and fix errors attributed to design testing and analysis. Implementing changes for your website after A/B testing of landing pages and data analysis of the sales funnel can improve leads and conversion rates.
Structured Data Audit
In a structured data audit, check if structured data is implemented on the website by running the URL in Google Search Console. Search Console will highlight current errors (if any) in your structured data. Recrawl your site in Search Console and apply schema types from any of the categories for featured snippets. Find the markup from schema.org for structured data implementation depending on the type of content your website provides.
eCommerce Website Audit
While auditing eCommerce website audits look into SEO, platform software, and conversions. With search functionality, visitors tend to find what they are looking for? Verify search filters and ensure they are running & accurate. Does the search function display the correct results? Search filters improve UX, conversion rates, and limit cart abandonment rates. Find out the cart abandonment rate. Set up an abandoned cart email autoresponder. Are customer services provided? Transparency and ease of navigation to your shipping, returns, and exchange policies from the home page. Allow an easy checkout process and different payment options. An eCommerce website should not route visitors to a third-party checkout.
Online reputation Audit
Online reputation is what people say about your brand. Identify the potential harm that relates to your business when it comes to contact with users whether they are online or offline. Being alert to mentions of your business using different tools such as BrandGrader, Reputology, etc, and taking timely appropriate action minimizes the damages in the public space. Prioritize all threats your brand may perceive that need to be dealt with by becoming proactive to the ones you know have to be attended to and the ones that may be left out. Managing reputation means all responses have to be in a time-bound manner. While addressing negative reviews, comments or claims ensure your response is met in a way that exceeds the users’ expectations. This will provide a boost to your reputation by negative claim management about your business.
Website Audit: Common Basic SEO Issues
A website audit is an ongoing maintaining process for evolving your presence online and remaining abreast in the fast-changing web environments. Some of the common factors affecting website audit areas are outlined below-
Keywords for Website Audit
- Using a keyword research tool, find out the google searches (Most Common Keywords) used by people to find your site with search volume, CPC, etc
- Keywords Usage > is keywords placement in URLs, page titles, subheadings, meta descriptions, images, the body of content, link anchor text, directories & external linking, social media, etc
- The Keyword Cloud test > is done to obtain a list of keywords frequently used on your website.
- Related Keywords > The top 20 organic results will feature URLs showing search terms for related keywords.
Domain Test in Website Audit
Use a domain test tool to find out issues on your domain or competitors’ domain by selecting a small number of test cases from an infinite group of tests.
Use a DNS audit tool to check and troubleshoot DNS & mail server configurations. Auditing all your DNS, domains, and IP addresses is necessary. Conducting a full DNS audit helps prevent problems like bad email reputation, domain hijacking, web attacks, and phishing attacks by stale DNS records. These problems can be avoided if you perform digital auditing tasks using cybersecurity tools.
Secure HTTPS URL
HTTPS stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”. It indicates that info transmitted over HTTP is secure and encrypted.
Header tags are used in the content itself and are abbreviated as H1, H2, …H6 wherein H1 represents the main heading and H2..H6 represents sub-headings. Include relevant keywords in the header tags that lead to a positive UX. Check whether your web pages are missing any header tags.
Meta tags must be unique, description length of about 160 characters, and contain relevant, engaging content.
Body Content in Website Audit
Your Webpage content must relate to the searcher’s intent. Content must be addressed for peoples rather than for search engines. Follow keyword density rules and do not stuff keywords in your website copy. Have sufficient web copy on your site. Check whether your web copy has a minimum of 300 words per copy, is unique with no duplicate content across a webpage or other web pages online.
Check the title tags and meta tags. While title tags are required, meta tags are an option. Follow best practices for optimization by sticking to the 60 character limit, contain unique and well-written researched keywords. Search engines will truncate descriptions exceeding the specified character limits. Focus on relevant titles for your title tag that gets clicked without stuffing keywords
A well-crafted engaging meta description will improve CTR rates from SERPs. The description needs to answer what the page is all about? include the primary keyword for ranking the page. Use action packed text with solutions that provides a positive search experience for users.
With Meta Tags tool such as metatags.io, edit and research with your content=“…” for previewing how your webpage meta name=“title” and meta name=“description” will display on Google search results page. Use a deprecated HTML tags checker such as seositecheckup.com/tools/deprecated-html-tags-test to find out if your site uses any such old tags. These tags will ultimately lose browser support and then the webpage will not display properly
Check for DOCTYPE declaration as it defines the type of (X)HTML usage for your website. With the correct doctype declaration remain assured of proper page rendering and functioning of web pages in complaisant browsers.
Implement canonical tags correctly on your website. Use rel=”canonical” tags (eCommerce websites) allowing search engines while sharing the same content on two URLs. This helps to know which one is the original and which one is a copy and avoid duplicate content penalties.
The canonical tag tells the search engines about a specific URL that stands for the master copy of a page, thereby eliminating duplicate content issues on multiple URLs. URLs must be simple, short, and contain relevant keywords. Moreover, establish the authority of 1 website by ascertaining your website does not load separately for https://www.jobs.sapcanvas.com and https://jobs.sapcanvas.com. In fact, site URLs> http://www.jobs.sapcanvas.com, jobs.sapcanvas.com, https://jobs.sapcanvas.com must resolve to the same URL>https://www.jobs.sapcanvas.com
Check your website – whether rel=”canonical” tag is correctly implemented and is loading for just 1 URL, and with www
URL redirects checker will show the full redirection path of URLs, shortened URLs. Check your website URL by going to your home page say > https://www.jobs.sapcanvas.com.
In an SEO site audit, robots.txt errors are common. robots.txt is not meant to block pages in search engines but to stop pages from being crawled. robots.txt tester tool operates in a manner how Googlebot checks your robots.txt file. It helps to check whether URLs have been blocked correctly. A badly configured robots.txt file affects the crawlability of your website. On the other hand, an optimized robots.txt file can improve the readability and visibility of your site pages in search results. In SEO Site Audit check common issues related to syntax errors, incorrect file location, specify the location of sitemap, unintentional blocking of directories, disallowing JS & CSS, etc have to be fixed. The index section in the Google Search Console Coverage report will show issues (if any) your robots.txt file may be facing.
Use a Sitemap tool to find out the total number of pages and the actual number of indexed pages on your website. The Sitemap thus obtained has to be submitted in Google Search Console.
Google Search preview tool test for Website Audit
Use the Google Search Preview tool test to find out how your website looks on SERPs. Edit the title and description for experimenting with how your text can actually look in Googles’ Search Results. After you have optimized use the copy into your website page for Google to use.
SEO friendly URL test
Use the SEO-friendly URL Checker tool to check the SEO status of your website URLs. This should contain the focus keyword in the URL for Google to figure out exactly that the webpage has related content to the URL.
Image Alt text
Alt text tag added to the image tag correctly describes the image and is visible only if for any reason the image is not loaded. Check whether the Alt tag and image file name has descriptive keywords.
Inline CSS & JS error
Use a JS Hint tool that helps detect errors in your JS code. Remove any inline CSS to external files for improving page loads and use W3 validation services to display errors.
Google Analytics for Website Audit
To analyze search traffic with google analytics, go to Acquisition tab>Overview>All traffic>Channels. The display page will show different sources of traffic to your website. Click on Organic Search to see organic traffic across keyword, source, & landing page. To the top right set the date range for which you want to view data or set date comparisons for comparing data between two periods. Get access to the ‘not provided’ keyword that drives organic traffic by connecting your Analytics with Search Console. If you click on the landing page the display page will show organic traffic from different pages.
Check if Google Analytics is installed and has no errors, linked with Google Search Console and conversion tracking has been set.
Use the Favicon checker tool to find out how your favicon gets displayed in different browsers. Is your site correctly implementing the favicon as it helps to identify your site when bookmarked. Moreover, favicon promotes branding and improves UX.
Find the linkable assets of the websites and which have the most linked pages. Check how many inbound links a website has and the number of different domains that are linked to it. Compare it with competitors. Find out if the anchor text keywords are focused and are internally linked with good anchor text. Does the website have a blog and have listings on Listing on Wikipedia, Dmoz, and Yahoo directories. Has the Google page been claimed along with other local listings?
Check all links that point to your site using the backlinks audit tool. Identify good and bad backlinks and work on a strategy to deal with the bad ones.
Social Media in Website Audit
Social signals are a ranking factor for search engines for proving a websites’ trustworthiness and authority. Check if social media profiles are integrated on your websites and blog posts contain the share button.
A User Experience Audit (UX Audit) is a process to spot flawed areas of a digital product disclosing which fragments of a site or app are causing problems for users thereby obstructing conversions.
Businesses achieve success only if their app, website, or product is effective and delivers a great customer experience (CX). The insights gained from user testing can be applied to your product for gaining complete understanding thereby ensuring getting an optimal product that delivers great UX.
Website structure is key to both usability and visibility. A sound structure allows search engines a better understanding of your site and indexing your content. Users can navigate through content on pages and posts with ease. A site structure includes URLs, menus, categories & posts, links, breadcrumbs etc. In a site structure audit find all structured data and crawl errors that need to be fixed.
Check whether landing pages are optimized for SEO and well consolidated with your sites’ linking architecture. Each product or service must have designated web pages for SEO optimization. The placement of contact details for your business is best in the footer of all web pages on your site
HTML Validation Check
Remove syntax error with a free firefox or chrome browser HTML validator tool. Another open-source free tool is the W3C Markup Validation Service Online Tool validates different formats of application like HTML, XHTML, MathML, SMIL, SVG, SGML, XML DTD
Onsite Sales Strategy
Outbound or inbound marketing is about finding ways to drive customized outreach through engaging messages that resonate. Your professional motivated sales force needs to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Put in place the correct KPIs to measure your success at each stage of the sales funnel.
Website Audit: Advanced SEO
Use the rich results tool to find out if your site is eligible for structured data. Navigate to enhancements from your Google Search Console and check markup errors if any to be fixed. Click the details of warnings. Google provides additional info about the errors along with the list of affected URLs. Check the revised structure in Rich Results Test Tool.
If your website targets local businesses, check for LocalBusiness Schema with contact details and business category.
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) Records
SPF record for your domain is twofold – security and email delivery. Use an SPF record checker such as mxtoolbox.com to check a ‘missing SPF vulnerability’ error. An error indicates that the SPF record does not exist for your domain. Hackers will be able to imitate emails from the vulnerable domain. Moreover, emails will land in your Spam box. The noindex tag pulls out the page from the search index. The nofollow attribute pulls out the link from the search engines’ link graph.
Disallow directive test
The disallow directive is used to instruct search engines to avoid crawling and indexing a file, page, or directory. Use a disallow directive checker tool to find if your robots,txt is informing crawlers not to crawl certain portions of your website
Website Audit: Mobile Usability
Tools such as usability.com can help to get an overview of your site. The mobiReady testing tool evaluates how well your site performs on mobile devices and gives a detailed error report. Check for any broken links or any other usability issues. Are users clear about what action they need to take upon landing on your site?
Media snapshot test
Enter your page URL in the Google Search Console ‘Mobile-friendly testing tool‘. Find out the mobile-friendly score of your page on your site.
Mobile Query Responsive Test
Use the chrome extension ‘Responsive Web Design Tester chrome extension‘ to test the responsiveness of your site on various device sizes 393×786, 360×740, 412×846, 375×812, 414×896……
Use the free Google Mobile-Friendly Page test to see if a certain page is mobile-friendly or not.
Panda and Penguin Checks
Check whether you are affected by a Google algorithm – Panda or a Penguin update.
Panda Update: Poor quality content sites will be affected by the Panda update. Follow On-page SEO best practices for your content strategy to keep away from Panda penalty
Penguin Update: Sites with poor backlinks will be affected by a penguin update. Remain unaffected by Penguin penalty by following Off-page optimization and get high-quality backlinks profile.
Wave > wave.webaim.org is an evaluation tool for accessibility. Browsershots > browsershots.org tests how compatible your site is in different browsers.
Website Audit: Server & Security
Use Mozilla Observatory to check different security parameters and validate against OWASP ( Open Web Application Security Project ) > header security, TLS best practices, and perform third-party tests from High-Tech Bridge, HSTS Preload, SSL Labs, Security Headers, etc.
Safe Browsing Test
Use Googles’ Safe Browsing APIs (v4) for your client applications to check URLs against Googles’ updated lists of unsafe web resources such as malware and phishing. Search engines will penalize your website if your site contains malware or any detection of phishing activity. Check your website regularly fig8 to prevent malware and database phishing thereby protecting your online communities.
Directory Browsing Test
For your site security, disabling directory listing/browsing to your website is key for your sites’ security. Security plugins can scan your site and prevent malware. Install a firewall, create strong passwords and usernames, etc Next, test if directory browsing is enabled for your site. Use an FTP such as FileZilla. Create a dummy folder and name it as ‘Test’ on your local site. Upload this folder in the public.html folder in your remote section. You should not be able to access the contents of the Test directory when you type https://www.websitename/Test/ in your browser.
Plaintext Emails Test
Avoid email spam by not making your email address visible to email harvesting bots. Follow email obfuscation to prevent spam and use the POST method for form submissions.
Server Signature Test in Website Audit
Use the server signature test to find out if your server signature is turned OFF. If server signature is ON Open Apache’s configuration file > httpd.conf or apache.conf and look for server signature. Add the following two lines at the end of the file- -ServerSignature Off -ServerTokens Prod Start the Apache Server after you have modified the configuration file.
The Importance Of Page Speed In A Website Audit