A website audit is an in-depth analysis of all the factors that affect your website’s potential and its visibility in the search engines. Just as an M.O.T. test defines your car’s roadworthiness, so an SEO audit ascertains your website’s “web worthiness”.
To perform a web audit there are numerous tools out there, and, let’s be honest here, a great many of them are free. The free tools can give you an overview of the issues with your site but nothing particularly in-depth. Other tools can give you deeper, more technical insights into what’s right and wrong with your site but they can be expensive and not so easy to use for the uninitiated.
The third way is the greatest tool of all and that is years of experience, something we have in abundance here at Clever Marketing. Using the combination of free tools, paid tools and many years experience of building and optimising websites, we can give you the best website audit.
Here are the aspects that we cover in a Clever Website Audit…
Website Performance Audit
One of the first things we test is the speed of your website. By looking at your page load times, we can tell a few things here – Firstly, people like fast websites. Waiting for a page to load can be frustrating, especially on mobile devices, so when you have no broadband, your 4G coverage is nil and you only have 3G… you want the sites you visit to be as nimble and speedy as possible. A site that is quick on 3G is going to be just as rapid on 4G, broadband and on your desktop or laptop.
Secondly, page speed is a ranking factor. This means that the search engines take into consideration website speed when they place your pages in the Search Engine Registration Pages (SERPs). If your site is quick, your site ranks better. Simple.
So a website performance audit will tell us where the speed issues are and we can propose a plan of action to help accelerate your load times etc.
Website Security Audit
Looking at your website’s security is vital for a number of good reasons:
Having a secure website means it is less vulnerable to attack from hackers and so your business and its online assets are protected. Ensuring that your data is secure means that you’ve mitigated a key business risk and so your directors, shareholders and website users can have confidence in your online operations.
We can conduct penetration testing (pen testing) as part of your security audit too, so please ask as this may involve additional costs over and above a regular security audit.
Security is also considered to be a ranking factor, as we spoke about in the website performance audit. A secure certificate on your website not only reassures all stakeholders but can give you an advantage over your competitors in the SERPs.
Website Audit for Mobile
The growth of mobile traffic to websites has really taken off in the last few years. This surge is mostly down to the availability of 4G network speeds as smartphone users demand services such as streaming video on their devices. However, you must consider how your site performs if users still only have 3G and so your site needs to be mobile-friendly too.
Also, with smaller screen sizes, different dimensions, and the default portrait aspect ratio, it is essential that you deliver a mobile-first experience to your users otherwise they will soon get bored of waiting for your site to load on their mobile phone and go seek out your competitors.
Our website audit for mobile highlights where you can better serve your mobile audience.
Last but by no means least, the SEO audit is a health check of all the essential factors that help you rank in the search engines.
Out-of-the-box CMS are so much more SE-friendly these days but you still need to put in the required effort to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to increase your website’s visibility in the search engines. Even if you’ve got your CMS customised to the max, it can still take an inexperienced content manager to post assets to your website that add little ranking value. If only your content publisher had been trained better to properly SEO your posts and web pages.
The SEO audit will find where your web presence is falling short and gives us the insights we need to make sure your website is the healthiest it can be, increasing your chances of ranking better in the SERPs.
The Added Value of a Clever Website Audit
With all these free and paid tools, they are great at highlighting the overall good and bad points of your website, whether it’s from a mobile, security, performance or SEO audit point of view. But, in our experience, these tools are not completely infallible and it takes that hands-on human intervention to really find the things in your site that an automated website audit can miss.
What’s more, once you’ve got all the data on what can be improved on your site, you need to ask yourself: do you really have the time and the skills to make all the required improvements?