Auditing Your Website: How and why it’s Crucial for Success
With tax season upon us, I thought I’d discuss an audit of another kind but just as important. While your website may have been in great shape when it was first launched, over time things change and your content may become dated. Also, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and site performance can slip through the cracks as search engines update their algorithms and users come to expect faster sites.
Performing regular website audits can help you stay ahead of the curve. Just as regular checkups at the doctor’s office keep you healthy, examining the status of your site can show you possible pain points, and content needing to be updated or expanded. This can also highlight how you can optimize your site for better speed and visibility.
Why a website audit is crucial for its success?
In short, a website audit is a full analysis of your site, conducted mainly for marketing purposes. When conducting an audit, it’s vital to take stock of your site’s state from top to bottom – including both the front and back ends to make your site more successful.
Performing regularly scheduled website audits has significant benefits to it. Improvements to your SEO can capture new users, and things such as streamlined navigation and improved site speed will help keep users engaged. What’s more, accurate, up-to-date content can help establish you and your website as an authority in your niche or product and/or service area.
How to audit your website? (4 areas to consider)
Analyzing your website can be an intimidating process, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, you can break your site down into four main areas of focus.
1. Make sure your user experience is smooth and simple
User Experience (UX) is all about making your website enjoyable and easy to utilize. Unfortunately, it’s easy for UX to become dated. As web design and web development evolve and new tools become available, expectations change. High quality UX encourages users to take an action, such as subscribing to your email list or making a purchase. This improves the chances of users returning to your site and becoming loyal to your brand.
2. Update and optimize your content to stay relevant
Relevant up to date content is key to bringing in returning users. If the information on your website is outdated users are less likely to see your site as reliable and authoritative. It could even cause confusion regarding your brand. What’s more, relevant content is excellent material for natural link building, which will improve your authority which in turn leads to better ranking.
3. Ensure your SEO is up to the current standards
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial to improving your site’s visibility and increasing organic traffic to your website. However, search engines are constantly striving to improve their algorithms’ accuracy to provide the most relevant result to their users. While this is good for searchers, it can cause difficulties for site owners, as they have to keep up with the changes.
When auditing your site, make sure to take this all into consideration. You should check on-page factors, including your URLs, titles, keywords, and meta descriptions, as well as off-page factors, such as your backlink profile and social media presence.
4. Check and improve your site’s performance
Many aspects of maintaining a site over time can lower its performance. Adding plugins to improve functionality, and more media files to produce high quality content for users, are two most site owners can probably relate to. While they have benefits for you and your users, they also can have a negative impact on your site’s speed. Generally, users expect a page load time of under three seconds, and over 99% uptime.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to remove all of your plugins and images. Media file compression, caching, and using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can all speed your site up.
A full website audit can be an extensive process. Nevertheless, regular audits are crucial to maintaining a healthy site using prime UX, content, and SEO.