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How to conduct your first website audit

17 May, 2023 · 5 min read·Website design
How to conduct your first website audit
Learn how to conduct your first website audit with our step-by-step guide. From identifying technical SEO issues to analyzing user experience, we cover the essential elements of a successful audit.

Conducting a website audit is a vital process for any business owner or website manager who is looking to improve their website's performance. A website audit is essentially an examination of your website's health, effectiveness, and performance.

It helps you identify any issues, gaps, or vulnerabilities that could be impacting your site's optimization and ranking on search engines. For instance, a website audit can help you determine whether your website is loading slowly. Knowing that you have this issue is essential. That’s because nearly 85% of users expect a site to load in 3 seconds or less. With a website audit, you get to know these issues hindering your site’s performance and provide actionable insights to address them.

In this blog post, we'll take you through the essential steps on how to conduct a website audit. We'll also delve into the different types of website audits and explain the importance of auditing your website regularly. By the end of this post, you'll have a better understanding of what a website audit is and how you can optimize your website's performance.

What is a website audit?

A website audit is the process of assessing your website's overall health and performance. It involves analyzing your website's content, design, user experience, technical performance, and functionality to uncover issues or bugs. Website audits can be comprehensive or specific, depending on your site's complexity and size.

Types of website audits

Website audits can be broadly classified into two categories; technical and content audits. Technical audits assess the website's backend and infrastructure, including site speed, mobile responsiveness, indexing, broken links, security, and more. Content audits, on the other hand, evaluate the website's content quality, relevance, and consistency. It also assesses search engine optimization and user engagement.

So which one do you need to conduct: a technical audit, a content audit, or both? This will depend on your goals and your website’s current state. Some businesses may need to perform audits regularly, while others may be okay with a one-time audit.

Why conduct a website audit?

Conducting a website audit offers a variety of benefits such as improving website functionality and user experience, increasing website traffic, decreasing bounce rates, and elevating search engine rankings. Website audits can also help you identify and fix issues like 404 errors, broken links, and duplicate content. It also helps you identify other technical issues that can affect your website's SEO.

Undertaking a website audit can also provide valuable insights into your users' behavior, preferences, and interactions with your website. This information helps you tailor your content and messaging to better serve and engage your audience. By identifying key insights through your website audit, it may be possible to improve website conversion rates and ultimately drive more leads or sales. 

Website audits are essential to the success of any online business, regardless of size or industry. By identifying issues and fixing them promptly, you stand a better chance of driving traffic, improving engagement, and increasing conversions. Additionally, regular website audits can help you stay on top of industry trends and best practices. And this keeps you ahead of the competition.

The benefits of a website audit

Conducting a website audit can provide you with a comprehensive overview of your website's current state. It lets you know your site’s strengths and weaknesses. It uncovers issues and opportunities, letting you better optimize your website for your target audience and drive more traffic and conversions. 

Consistently auditing your website is a critical process that businesses should perform regularly. It helps improve website performance and page speeds and ensures that your site is user and search engine-friendly. By conducting a website audit, you equip your business with insights to make data-driven decisions that can elevate your website to the top of search results pages. 

Here are some benefits of conducting a website audit.

Discover hidden technical issues

Carrying out a website audit can help you uncover technical errors that affect your website's ranking and user experience. These technical errors may be slowing down your website's loading speed, failing to meet accessibility requirements, or not complying with the search engine's algorithm. Identifying and correcting these issues can positively impact your website's overall performance.

Improve website user experience

One of the primary goals of a website audit is to ensure a great user experience. A website that is easy to navigate, fast-loading, accessible, and mobile-friendly will keep users engaged longer. Auditing your website can help you identify areas of improvement and help ensure that your website meets users’ expectations.

Enhance content quality

A website audit helps you evaluate the quality of content on your website. Since content plays a vital role in attracting and retaining visitors, it's crucial to ensure that your website's content is high-quality and relevant. Auditing your website can help you identify any content gaps. Consequently, this helps you improve the overall quality of your site's content.

Boost website rankings

Search engines use several ranking factors to determine the position of your website in search engine results pages. By conducting a website audit, you can ensure that your website aligns with Google's algorithm updates and follows the latest SEO best practices. This can help improve your website's search engine rankings. And you get to drive more organic traffic to your website.

Steps to prepare for a website audit

Before initiating a website audit process, there are several crucial preliminary steps that you need to take to ensure a successful audit. 

Define the purpose of the audit

Understand why you want to conduct an audit and what you aim to achieve from the process. Defining the purpose of the audit will help you create a clear roadmap that outlines your objectives, timeline, methodology, and tools required for the audit.

Set key performance indicators (KPIs)

Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) allows you to measure your website's effectiveness. Set realistic and relevant KPIs tailored to your business's goals and objectives. Common KPIs include website traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, user engagement, and page loading speed.

Audit your website's content

Ensure that you audit your website content before embarking on a technical audit. Carefully review your website's existing content. This will help you identify any gaps, inconsistencies, or errors that may affect your website's performance. Establishing a baseline for high-quality content is critical to measure the effectiveness of your efforts post-audit.

Establish a baseline for site performance

Finally, before initiating an audit, establish a baseline performance metric for your website. Analyze the current site performance and measure the website's speed, load time, mobile optimization, and user experience. By establishing a baseline, you can measure the impact of your audit and the effectiveness of your implemented recommendations post-audit.

Conducting an audit on your website is critical. With a site audit, you can achieve a high-performing and user-friendly website. Preparing for an audit with this checklist can help ensure that you make strategic, data-driven improvements to your website to achieve your business goals.

How to conduct the website audit

Now that you have prepared for the website audit, it's time to conduct it. Follow these steps to ensure a streamlined and efficient audit process.

1. Determine goals and metrics

Determine what specific goals and metrics you want to focus on for your website audit. This could include website traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, or other key performance indicators (KPIs). This will help provide a clear direction during the audit process.

2. Gather data

Gather data about your website's current performance. This includes website analytics data, social media engagement, and any other relevant metrics. This will serve as a baseline for comparison after the audit is complete.

3. Review on-page SEO

Review the on-page SEO of your website, including title tags, meta descriptions, and page content. Ensure they are optimized for your selected keywords and are of high quality. Check for broken links and fix them as needed.

4. Assess user experience

Assess the user experience of your website. This should include the design, navigation, and page load speed. Identify any obstacles that may prevent visitors from navigating and engaging with your website. Consider user feedback and update your website accordingly.

By following these steps, you can conduct a thorough website audit. Plus, you can get valuable insights into your website's performance. Use the data gathered to make informed decisions and optimize your website for better performance.

Implementing changes post-audit

After conducting a successful website audit, you are likely to have identified several areas that require improvement. Implementing the necessary changes will improve your site's performance and ensure that it delivers the intended results. Here's what you need to do after conducting your site audit. 

Determine the priority of each issue

As you review the site audit report, it is crucial to determine the priority of each identified issue. Some issues might require urgent attention, while others can wait a little longer. You should prioritize the issues based on several factors. These include their level of severity, the impact on the user experience, and the potential for business growth.

Assign roles and responsibilities

Once you have identified the priority list, it is time to assign roles and responsibilities for each issue. Depending on the size of your team, several people might need to handle specific tasks. You should clearly define who will be responsible for each task to avoid duplication of roles and reduce the potential for errors.

Create an action plan

Now that you have a clear list of priorities and established roles and responsibilities, it's time to create an action plan. An action plan helps keep you and your team aligned toward achieving the audit's intended outcome. While creating the action plan, ensure that you set timelines, allocate resources, and establish a system to track progress.

Monitor and review changes

Let’s say you’re done implementing the necessary changes. What’s next is to monitor and review the impact of the changes. Regular reviews help ensure that the implemented changes deliver the expected results. It also helps you identify new opportunities for improvement that could have been missed during the initial audit.

Conducting a website audit is the first step toward improving your site's performance. Once you have identified the necessary changes, implementing them is where the real work begins. By following the steps outlined above, you will successfully implement changes post-audit, and ensure that your site delivers the intended results.

Improve your site’s performance with B12

A website audit reveals the various gaps and opportunities that can improve your website. It’s essential to take those insights into account and use them to optimize your site for users and search engines. 

At B12, our team of experts can help you implement any changes you need to make on your website. By investing in your site’s performance, you can deliver a better client experience, building trust and loyalty in your brand. Let B12 handle any website updates to keep your site current and professional. Get started for free today! 

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