Clever Marketing Blog

Website Audits – piece of cake, right?

All you have to do is visit Hubspot or WebsiteOptimization.com etc. or any one of the many numbers of websites offering a free website audit, press a button and you’ve got a fully-fledged, audit of your website, detailing all the things you need to do fix it. All for free. All for just clicking a button…

Nope. Not quite.

They’re all good, these free website audit tools. They look at performance, mobile-friendliness, speed, SEO and security… But when you submit the URL of your business’ website you get an automated audit… and it’s not all there, we know.

Now that’s fine, nobody’s perfect, no tool is perfect, after all, these automated audits are like Swiss Army knives – they have a lot of things to do and some obscure things too. And if it’s not 100% then that’s OK.

But when you rely purely on the results of an automated audit to give you everything a webmaster needs in order to be able to optimise a website, then you’re not getting the full picture.

Let’s look at a couple of simple things an automated audit will not pick up…

XML Sitemaps

Take XML sitemaps for instance. They are essential for any website and, just as the HTML sitemap is a page for users to glance at your site structure, so the XML sitemap is submitted to the search engines and acts as the de facto, full-fat map of your site. The search engines crawl and index your site based on what they read in the XML sitemap and so these files are crucial to digital health and performance.

One tool that we used crawled the URL we input before spitting out the response that we had no XML sitemap.


Why? Well, the well respected top ten website audit tool seemed to be programmed to find the sitemap at /sitemap.xml

However, with the website being in WordPress the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress likes to use /siteamp_index.xml and then include all the other aspects of your website as child sitemaps. The website audit tool didn’t identify this and thus failed this aspect of the audit.

It’s only experienced website design agencies, like Clever Marketing in Woking, who have years of experience in web design & development and can spot this straight away and audit your website correctly.

Website Security

Another automated website audit we ran showed that security was lacking. Why? Because there was no Secure Certificate and the site was not showing up HTTPS at the start of its URL.

Now an SSL cert is really important to securing a website but it is not the be-all and end-all of website security options. We had the login details for the website and were able to see that there was security plugin that performed a number of best practices for securing a website beyond SSL.

The trouble with an automated web audit is that it cannot tell whether you have taken security measures to protect your website. Only someone with those login details, experience and insights can spot whether you’ve taken those precautions or not.


These are just a couple of very simple examples of how an automated website audit will not pick up on some very basic aspects that are vital to your website. There are plenty of other examples too such as when an automated audit suggests you minify your JavaScript and CSS when you already are, etc.

What this means is that a Clever Marketing agency like ours is best placed to conduct a proper website audit. Additionally, we have access to some tools that are more cost effective when you do your website audit through us. We check for broken links, missing meta descriptions etc so we provide a full featured audit and are in a position to fix all the things that will make your website great again.

So, if you’re worried that your site needs to be faster, more secure, requires more optimisation to be seen in the search engines, your landing pages need to be converting more, then all you have to do is pick up the phone and give us a call. We’re on 0203 146 4341 or you can email info@cleverm.co.uk

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