A website audit will not only check that your website is technically sound and secure, but if you are not being found online, then this is a great tool to identify any search engine optimisation (SEO) issues that need to be configured/tweaked.
Our report lists out all the URLs, or page links where issues have been found, along with a full description of the issue and what could be done to fix it. Sometimes it could be a very minor issue which you could easily fix yourself.
So, what exactly gets picked up in a website audit?
As mentioned above, there is a technical element and the SEO side, but the report also looks at the user experience – how fast does it load, what is the navigation like and has it been correctly configured for mobile?
Below is a list of some of the main areas covered, with further explanations below on each:
- Broken links
- Internal links
- Titles / Header tags
- Meta titles and descriptions
- Alt text
- Page load times
Firstly, and most importantly, do you have an SSL certificate installed on your website?
An SSL certificate is what gives you the https address in front of your domain name and is accompanied by a padlock icon.
I wrote an article last year about SSL Certificates, so check that out for further information, but in a nutshell, an SSL encrypts data between your website and your users. Not having an SSL opens your site to hacking and data breaches. Google also replaces the padlock with a “not secure” warning which does not encourage users to leave their contact details.
Broken links generally come about because you have linked out to another site from your website and that URL has either been deleted or changed. If a user clicks on this, they will generally receive a “404 page unknown” error.
There are broken link checker plugins you can install, which will monitor these links and notify you if something goes wrong. You can even set up a redirection so if a broken link is found, it will redirect the user to a default page. However, this doesn’t lead to a great user experience, so it is best to keep on top of these and update the links where possible.
Internal linking on your website is what helps users navigate through your site easily. You want to make sure there are enough links through to your different services, or blogs, etc to keep your users engaged.
It not only helps keep your users on your site longer (great for SEO), but it helps search engines understand which content on your site is most important.
Our audits will list out the number of internal links on each page, and most importantly which pages don’t have any.
Titles / Header tags
When search engines crawl your website, they look for structure. This is how the bots can identify your topic and categories within that topic.
This is identified by the use of Header tags.
For example, each page must only have one h1 tag per page. This is the main title.
Beneath that you should have h2 tags for your subheadings, with h3, h4 etc beneath that. Then for your next main subheading, you’d use an h2 tag, and so on.
Duplicate h1 tags will be picked up in the audit, along with any page that doesn’t have an h2 tag. These need resolving so the bots can determine what your content is about. The h1 tags need to be unique for each page.
Meta titles and descriptions
Meta titles and descriptions is an area you could easily fix yourself if they are flagged up in your website audit.
These are the title and short description of each page which appears on a Google search engine results page.
These should be optimised for the relevant keyword and be a short clear description of the page, aimed at driving the user to click through to your website.
As with the header tags, your meta titles and descriptions also need to be unique on every page.
Alt text is one of the most important parts of Image SEO and is simply a text alternative for an image.
Its main purpose is to describe the image to a user who uses a screen reader to access a website.
If an image is blocked it will also show this description.
A good image description can also help your images rank under Google image search, bringing in another potential source of traffic.
Alt text is just one area for image optimisation, and you can read my top 6 image SEO Optimisation tips on our blog page.
When Google ranks your site, it looks for two things – authority and relevancy. Google will create a ranking for a website, based on the results of the algorithm and information gathered by search engine “spiders” or “bots”.
Great content encourages people to link to your pages, for e.g. writing their own blog and referencing your site or sharing your content. This shows Google your pages are interesting and authoritative.
Each page should have a minimum of 300-400 words and a good blog or how to guide should be at least 1000 words. Make sure you have the right keywords in there too, to ensure you get found!
Our website audit will flag pages which have duplicate content.
Page load times
This is crucial as people are generally quite impatient. If a website doesn’t load within a matter of seconds, they’ll move on.
Remove anything that slows your site down or utilise plugins to speed it up. Plugins such as WP Optimize (free WordPress plugin) or WP Rocket (paid for) optimise your Database, compresses images and configured caching to help load times.
Google doesn’t like slow sites, so you won’t rank well if your site is slow.
If you want to check the speed of your site a great tool, I always recommend is GTMetrix. If you create a free profile, you can not only save your scans so you can see if changes you make has made a difference or not, but you can then change the search location to London.
A thorough website audit will look at all areas of your website and make suggestions from both the user and search engine’s perspectives.
The quick wins will come from fixing any technical issues such as SSL, broken links, etc first and then working on any Meta and Alt text issues. If you have particularly large images and you can compress these down (again, using plugins like Smush work well), then you will have already made a huge impact.
The content side of things can take time, so something to look at and work through when you can.
Would you like a FREE website audit?
Hopefully you can see just how important these audits are in understanding if there are any issues with your website, or reasons you are not being found online.
Therefore, we are more than happy to produce these for free as our way of helping you succeed.
Each report has a full description of the issue along with a box on how you could fix it.
We strongly believe that you can fix most of the issues but obviously we are here if you get stuck or would like someone else to make the changes for you.
Submit the form below for your FREE website audit