Your website is your virtual storefront on the web. Similar to brick & mortar locations, websites require routine maintenance to check in and ensure that your digital strategy is working as well as it should. Oftentimes, especially after having a site live for a while, a website audit can be a great way to get a fresh perspective on what needs to be done for overall performance and optimization.
What is a Website Audit?
A website audit is a critical review of your website (which can include any associated CMS and other web platforms), so that you know what is effective and where you can improve.
Many website audits are focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) only, but increasingly agencies, including ZAG Interactive, offer a more comprehensive digital audit as well. A website audit (also known as a digital audit) considers the overall picture of your web footprint and how it may or may not be working to meet your business goals.
Questions to Ask During a Website Audit
There are many questions that can be addressed during an audit of your website, including:
- Is your site content driving the type of traffic you want?
- If you are able to measure success, is your site improving your conversions?
- Is your website accomplishing your goals and expectations?
- What technical opportunities or issues might there be?
- What legal or compliance risks might your site pose?
Areas to Focus On
- Start by Crawling: To start, you need to have a clear and complete picture of what exactly you are working with. Therefore, it is essential that you do a thorough crawl of the entire website. This is typically accomplished through a website audit or site crawl tool.
- On-Page Factors: Analyze your content in terms of SEO best practices, links, and engagement. Think of it as a critical look at the overall effectiveness of the content you’re publishing and sharing. Content is the reason people visit and stay on your site.
- Off-Page Factors: Your site’s success can also be impacted by off-page factors, such as backlinks, social media referrals, popularity, domain authority and more. In other words, building high quality links OFF your website that drive traffic back to you. An audit can help you find what already exists and areas in which you could improve. Being strategic about whom you partner with on the web helps keep Google happy.
- Technical Considerations: Website success can be impaired by many technical factors. From mobile optimization and site speed to page load errors and domain health, website owners should always understand how the site scores from a technical health perspective.
- Think like a User: How does the content on your site actually convert with real people? This information can be obtained by reviewing and analyzing your marketing metrics, including your site analytics, search console and social media reports, to determine how your audience uses your website. From that key personas can be pulled out and observed as to the effectiveness of attracting those groups.
- Be Accessible: WCAG ADA compliance is on the top of everyone’s website to-do list. Not only does your site need to be made conformant, it then needs to stay in conformance through any site changes and/or policy changes. This category alone can justify a site audit to see where you stand. Note that a thorough ADA compliance scan is likely sold as a separate service by a digital agency.
What to Do After a Site Audit has Been Run?
The next steps post-audit are to identify the areas in which you can make positive, measurable change. Nothing in this digital world is 100% guaranteed to work in your favor, but by following the strategic recommendations, you will be on track to bring your site up-to-date and functioning well.
Also, after your audit is complete, don’t forget to schedule your next one after a pre-determined time period, such as every six months. Website audits are like oil changes in your car; having them on a routine schedule will help keep everything running smoothly. Contact us to learn more.