14-Point Checklist for Conducting a Site Audit

A website audit can help you monitor and improve your site’s performance. It is recommended to conduct frequent site audits to ensure your website is up to date and in line with the latest web design practices. Here is a 14-point checklist that you can follow to ensure that you are following the best web practices for indexing, speed optimization, analytics, and more.  

Check mobile compatibility

According to statistics website Statista, over 50% of all global web traffic originated on mobile in the last quarter of 2020. If your website if not updated to cater to mobile users, you need to make changes immediately.

Having a responsive website that runs well on all popular Android and iOS mobile devices is important. Your website should also be updated to account for various screen sizes and aspect ratios of current-gen mobile devices to ensure everyone has a great reading experience regardless of which mobile device they are on. Catering to your mobile audience is a key part of every successful website’s SEO strategy and should not be overlooked.

Check Site Security

When you conduct your SEO audit for 2021, you need to ensure that your website is secure. Data breaches and cybercrime are on the rise and you do not want to put your audience’s information at risk.

Google does not rank websites unless they are secure for all users and following all important security guidelines like site encryption is important as a website owner. The most basic security measure you have to take is HTTPS implementation which is the signal that your website is secure and allows it to be ranked by Google. In addition to encryption, you need to adopt regular security checks and secure your audience’s data.

Assess On-Page SEO

If you have not been focusing on things like meta descriptions, titles, tags, headings and other essential elements, you are doing on-page SEO wrong. It is important for your website to be updated and in line with the latest SEO trends.

SEO practices change over time which is why a site audit is important to ensure you are following the latest practices. Try to optimize your page with unique keywords that you want to rank for. Understanding the best SEO practices takes time and it is essential for your company’s online success. When auditing your website, it is also a good idea to look at your competitor’s websites to know what is working for them and how you can adapt your website to stay ahead of the competition.

Check Google Analytics Setup

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools to help monitor your website traffic and gain insights. You need to setup Google Analytics for your website and make use of all the site content tools to understand your engagement metrics.

To get started with Google Analytics, all you need to do is add a small string of code to the pages you want to track. Pages without a tracking code will not be able to monitor page visitors, time spent on each page, and other metrics. It is important to check your Google Analytics setup and ensure you are actively monitoring all metrics that indicate performance. You should also stay updated with all updates to Google Analytics to ensure you are aware of the latest features and make use of them.

Check Google Analytics Traffic Trends

Google Analytics helps you keep track of all the content on your website including views, shares, geographical data and more. With all of the data the service offers to you, you will be able to optimize your content and make necessary changes to increase engagement.

One of the most basic ways to understand what’s working for your website using Google Analytics is checking the top viewed blogs. You can identify your strengths and learn from your best-performing blogs. The tool offers a breakdown of all the pageviews you receive and also offers geographical data. You can take advantage of this data to target your audience and offer them content they may be interested in. You will also be able to set goals for your website and actively monitor if you are meeting your desired pageviews and other engagement metrics.

Check for Indexing Issues

Whenever Google crawls through your website, it reads your content and creates and index of all your pages. Indexing is a crucial aspect of web design and if your pages are not indexed, they will not show up in search results.

One of the most important steps during the site audit process is to check for any potential indexing issues. If there are missing pages from your index, you need to get them indexed to ensure they are listed on Google’s search results. In some cases, pages can get accidentally blocked by Google. One of the best ways to check your index is by using the Google Search Console which lists all of your pages that have been crawled by Google for your domain.

Run Page Speed Tests

Site speed is an important metric for search engines like Google. No one likes to experience slow loading pages and you risk losing leads to your competition if your website performance is poor.

Google prefers fast loading sites and wants its audience to have a great experience when browsing the internet. When conducting your site audit in 2021, it is important to identify any slow loading pages and make necessary changes. Your audience will not be interested in browsing your site if it takes too long to move from one page to another. You can take advantage of tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to see which pages can be optimized and how you can improve page speeds. Optimizing site speed will require changes in the backend and incur web development costs. 

Perform A Content Review

A web content review is the process of identifying all content that is live on your website. You can review most of your content using analytics tools and a site audit should involve updating old content or deleting irrelevant content.

To start with a content review you need to list all of your current web pages and there are ways to pull the list of pages of your website in the backend. You will need to manually visit pages or identify pages that need changing from your page inventory. Maintaining a content spreadsheet and using Google Analytics alongside Google Search console will allow you access to make decisions about your website and its content. Some of your older content may need updating while some content might need to be deleted if it is no longer relevant or it does not serve any purpose.

Identify any broken links

Broken links are links to pages that no longer exist. Dead links usually occur when you delete a page from your website without adding the proper redirect links. It can lead to broken links and your visitors may run into a 404 error.

During your site audit, you need to identify any broken links on your website and add necessary redirect links. If you have too many broken links, it can lead to a drop in web traffic and hurt your web engagement. If you fail to provide a positive user experience for your searchers, you will also lose search rankings. If you find any broken links during your audit, you should replace and remove them as quickly as possible. 

Check Keyword Rankings

Whenever you create content, you want to ensure that you are creating informative and relevant content with the right keywords. You should always use relevant keywords that are linked to the topic your content is dealing with.

During your site audit, you should identify any low-value pages and identify their keywords. You can take decisions to update your content and adhere to the latest SEO practices including changing or updating the keywords for your content and making necessary edits. By making these changes during an audit, you are making your lower value pages rank higher and potentially get more engagement over time.

Audit URLs And Site Structure

Your users’ navigation experience and site structure are important to your brand’s success. A site audit is necessary to maintain a proper structure for all of your content and maintain a consistent style guide for your pages.

You should audit all of your main landing pages and establish a writing style for all content on your website. Having controlled vocabulary on your pages even if you have a large team of writers working on your website, ensures that everyone follows the same guidelines and content feels consistent. You also need to update your metadata for your websites during your audit if you need to. Having a compact navigation menu and offering easy access to all of your pages via a simple user interface can improve your site structure. You should try to improve your site structure during every audit to offer the best user experience possible.

Assess User Experience

Assessing user experience involves a combination of abovementioned steps. From monitoring page speeds to checking your site conversion rates to analyzing the average time spent on your web pages, these are just some of the ways to assess your site’s user experience.

You can also reach out to your audience via surveys and social media posts to ask them what changes they want to see on your website. Collecting feedback from your audience as well as web design professionals can help you take decisions to update your site and improve user experience. It is important to use a mix of user feedback, professional feedback and your own judgment to make necessary changes to your website. Faster load times, better optimization and quality content strategies are all beneficial to user experience.

Voice Search Optimization

Voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant are very popular on modern gadgets and if you optimize your website for voice search, you will be able to get even more engagement on your website. The first step towards making your content optimized for voice search is to have easily readable text.

If a speaker will read content on your website out loud, you want to make sure that all of your content is clear and easy to understand. You should review your content during a site audit to ensure that you are offering your audience the information they want. All of your information needs to be presented concisely and directly, which is exactly what voice search engines look for.

Competitor Analysis

When conducting an SEO audit for your website, you want to analyze your competitors and see their content marketing and web development strategies. You can learn from your competitors to stay ahead of them and offer something unique to your audience.

The first step towards creating brand identity is to offer something unique to your audience. If you have dozens of websites ranking for a certain keyword, you may need to rethink your strategy and approach SEO differently. Finding keywords that very few websites are ranking for or using good keywords that have never been used before can yield success for your website. You want to learn from your competition and understand how you can generate better leads for your website and improve your content.

Conclusion

Conducting a site audit at regular intervals is a must with SEO practices and web technology improving at a rapid pace. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to be aware of the latest SEO practices and implement them on your website. Making use of analytics tools, surveys and collecting feedback can offer you insights to improve your website. It is important to offer your audience the best user experience possible and deliver content that adds brand value for your website. Web audits take a lot of time and effort but are crucial to the success of any website and you should not neglect it.

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