When was the last time you carried out an SEO audit of your website? Usually when we hear the word “audit”, we immediately think of tax inspectors and thousands of business receipts waiting to be organised. No need to worry though, not all audits are like that! Performing an SEO website audit on a regular basis, at least once a year but ideally more often, is essential to maintain or improve your organic web presence.

What is a website audit?

A website audit is a thorough and detailed analysis of everything related to your website’s visibility on search engines. When done correctly, a website audit empowers your business with real insight, helping you discover what’s working on your website and what’s failing, and this tells you how to improve your website to rank higher, appeal to your visitors, and generate more leads.Owning and running a website can be a very exciting but challenging endeavour, especially when the website helps you generate new business. You know a website audit is helpful, but why is it important to audit your website regularly, you might be wondering? Well, we’ll answer that question right here!

Owning and running a website can be a very exciting but challenging endeavour, especially when the website helps you generate new business. You know a website audit is helpful, but why is it important to audit your website regularly, you might be wondering? Well, we’ll answer that question right here!

Know the overall health

How does your website’s traffic compare against competitors? Are there any initial red flags, like a recent change in bounce or conversion rates or average page views per visit that need further investigation? This general assessment will give you an insightful overview of the potential problems your website might be experiencing.

Know where you’re standing right now

A website audit gives you a very good idea of where your website is currently standing.

Imagine that you are a travel agent who has received an enquiry from a customer who wants you to plan a dream holiday for them. You are thinking of offering them the opportunity to choose between a holiday in Australia and New Zealand, a skiing holiday in Aspen (Colorado, USA) and a holiday in a big metropolis such as New York or Paris. The customer contacts you again and asks you how long it takes to get to each of these destinations, but you don’t know where the customer is currently based so you can’t answer straight away.

Similarly, for a website you can’t decide where you want to go if you don’t know where you are now. This is where a good website audit is incredibly useful – it tells you where your website is not doing well and how best to optimise it. And if you don’t optimise your website for search engines, you’ll be missing out on a lot of many potential customers.

Set your goals

Auditing your website allows you to set your website’s strategy based on SMART goals – goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. You are probably wondering now, how does a website audit help you set SMART goals?

A website audit gives you the understanding necessary to help you determine the viability of a goal, whether it is achievable or not.

An audit helps you set very specific goals which allow you to find the right path to achieve them. Unlike general and vague goals that won’t get you anywhere, SMART goals are very effective at helping you reach your target. For example, it is not the same for a business to have “we want more revenue” as a goal than “we want to increase our customer base and consistently increment our revenue by 5% each month”.

Therefore, by analysing an entire website, an audit lets you assess what can be done in the time and with the resources available. It identifies the aspects of the website that should be dealt with and helps you prioritise the problems to achieve the most important goals first.

Good start for future audits

A website audit should be the first step in any digital strategy. Once the audit is completed, we will then have a better understanding of any further audits that could be necessary, such as conducting a social media marketing audit or auditing the email communications. The information provided by a website audit is so important that it helps you plan future audits and makes them easier to manage.

Mapping red flags

Are there any practices in use on your website that could be generating penalties from Google? This isn’t an easy question to answer without a website audit – SEO best practices change all the time and what helped you generate traffic last year might be grievously hurting your online reputation today. A website audit will alert you to SEO snags such as keyword stuffing or having large images.

In short…

A website audit is an obligation for any business, whether growing or not, and is essential for a successful digital strategy. Even if you believe your web traffic is optimal, there is always room for improvement. By uncovering any potential issues that might be detrimental to your business and taking steps to correct them now, you are effectively guaranteeing your website’s long-term survival.