Website Auditing is very crucial! BIG and small websites do it all the time.
You’ve worked so hard on your designing your website / blog / online store / corporate site, etc…
… followed all those tips on the perfect design, branding, SEO, keywords, titles, etc…
… and you think everything is awesome… till it’s not.
See, you are your worst enemy when it comes to testing if everything works as planned or not!
And here’s why…
Google copyright notice isn’t legally required. It’s punctuation!
Users data testing have always shown that the reasoning of a creative mind is not always right.
In the very beginning, Google’s homepage used to show up without a footer.
When Google ran random user tests, they were in for a surprise of a life time…
Early user testers would just stare at the Google home page…
… and not type anything into the search box.
Those testers thought the page did not finish loading, because the footer did not show up!
This discovery convinced Google to start showing this small footer section, against their will to simplify the page layout.
So people can tell that the homepage finished loading.
(Source: Marissa Mayer’s Day 2 Speech, Google IO, 2008)
Website auditing services rely heavily on such user tests and discoveries.
A site audit is in fact a test
… a test to see whether the message is properly delivered and received.
The IT auditor should evaluate the overall performance of the organization’s Website by obtaining or preparing comparative Web performance statistics for several months. These statistics should be examined for significant issues and used in the assessment of the overall performance of the Website. Moreover, IT auditors should review the Web information to ensure that all posted data are current. It is impossible for IT auditors to manually perform a Website audit.
This test checks the content, interface, de facto design requirements, general message, delivery, user experience, etc.
The website audit checklist is always changing… and it will remain this way indefinitely.
Let’s take a look at one of the most famous types of website auditing,
Website Content Audit
Also known as: website review, health check, etc.
Content audit checks each piece of content on a website.
By content, I mean text, images, photos, icons, videos, PDFs, forms, downloadables, etc.
This requires some copywriting / editing skills for improving quality and eventually conversions, sales, etc.
A content audit needs to check for content that is harming the SEO score of the website.
It also checks for the validity of the content. What was important in 2010 is definitely different from that in 2020.
Another type of a website audit is… (drumroll if you please)
SEO Website Audit: What You Need to Know
SEO website auditing is looking at a website and considering all factors that may affect how it appears to search engines.
There are many things to consider. The website’s content, how it is presented, the websites authority, and other factors.
A good SEO audit will point out things that need to be improved.
These improvements will help the website conform to search engine standards.
This should result in better search engine visibility. Your website will start showing up higher on search pages.
Trying to figure out things on your own is…
There are ways one can do web site audits in-house.
One could research what a search engine expects out of a high-quality website and try to conform to these guidelines.
For example, Google explicitly states (link) what it wants webmasters to do to rank higher in Google search.
But be forewarned, understanding everything takes a good deal of time.
These guidelines also frequently change. Just look at this (link) and get an idea of how often Google changes things.
Keeping up with Google is simply not that easy.
According to Netmarketshare, in 2016 – 2017 Google had at least 70% of the desktop search market.
Why would you use an third part website auditing service
In the case of auditing your website(s), an outsider ‘should’ do a better job.
You do not need to experiment or try things yourself. Things that – eventually – would derail you from concentrating on your core business.
In some cases, you need the help of an outside SEO audit to help you reach a better strategy.
There are many website audit companies to choose from. We’d list three of them below. We are not affiliated with them and we’ll explain why we picked each one of them.
Having said that, you need to do you your part and choose the best website auditing partner.
East Coast Catalyst
East Coast Catalyst (link) is a company in Boston, US, that provides website auditing service.
According to online reviews, the company is praised for being flexible. They give plenty of technical advice.
One review points out that the company excels at communication and product management.
Boostability (link) won many rewards and offers a free website analysis to test the waters.
They have positive online reviews for providing great services and good customer service.
Outerbox (link) claim to work with popular eCommerce platforms.
Reviews credit Outerbox for increasing sales, being responsive, and offering new ideas.
How Often Should I Conduct a Website Audit
We prefer to run a web site audit at least twice per year (although we prefer 4 times).
See, the internet is changing all the time;
… new search engines (SEO) updates keep coming out,
… user preferences change by the minute,
… trends keep changing; out with the old, in with the new,
… and you need to keep up with all of those changes.
An important indicator that a web site is indeed needed, is when conversions fall back.
This means something is wrong; a shift in consumers demand, a website with some issues, or something unexpected!
You need to know whether your website is delivering or not. For that, an outsider’s services are required. You need to know and act upon it.
[Disclaimer: At Wajeez, we offer web site audit services as well]