Something we’ve been stressing lately for both ourselves and our clients is the importance of website audits (or, as we like to call them, website health checks).
We’ve talked about the importance of these before, but this post is going to be done in a bit of a different vein. We’re going to look at all of the elements a website audit deals with, what the final results of one can tell you about how well your website is working for you, and actions you can take if the results aren’t satisfactory.
What They Tell You: A website audit can reveal any technical issues your website is having, such as errors, dangerous software such as malware, or any problems search engines may have crawling your website.
What It Means: This can help ensure you keep your website free of any roadblocks that may pop up and impact your search engine rankings or user experience.
What You Can Do: Contact your developer and have them clean up any technical problems that the audit reveals, then perform another to make sure it’s all fixed.
What They Tell You: A website audit looks at on-page factors for search engine optimization, such as page title tags, META descriptions, headers, image properties, and written content. In each case, it will inform you if any of the above are missing or, for titles and META descriptions, whether or not they’re too short or too long. It will also inform you when you have written content that is too short and any duplicate content issues.
What It Means: This aspect of a website audit can ensure you know what needs to be done to fully optimize your website for both users and search engines.
What You Can Do: Have your web marketing agency implement all necessary changes on all impacted pages.
What They Tell You: For links, a website audit can inform you of problems such as broken links, whether internal (from one page of your site to another) or external (from your website to another website), as well as any links that are missing factors such as anchor text (the actual text used for the link).
What It Means: As linking is an essential aspect of any search engine optimization campaign, a website audit can help you stay up-to-date on which ones need to be fixed, removed or changed, which will help keep your link profile clean and of good quality.
What You Can Do: Talk to your web marketing agency and make sure that all link issues are addressed as soon as possible.
A website audit is made up of several different factors that work together to give you a picture of how well your website is working for those who visit it. It’s an unbiased, fresh pair of (albeit electronic) eyes that says, “Here’s what’s broken, missing, or simply needs work, and here’s why it impacts your website and its potential as a marketing tool.”
This is why we stress them for both ourselves and our clients. Without regular checkups, a website will eventually find itself riddled with problems that can be very expensive and time-consuming to fix, all the while causing potential customers to run into issues – whether it’s a page error, a misleading title tag or a broken link – that may frustrate them and cause them to leave.
Your website is potentially your most powerful marketing tool, but it won’t be if you don’t pay attention to all of the elements that make it up. The audits are worth it – be sure your web marketing agency is performing one at least once a month. If you don’t have a web marketing agency that can do this, give us a shout – we can do weekly audits for your website that will keep it fully up-to-date and working for you.
What do you think? Do you agree that website audits are important? Do you have them performed on a regular basis? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!