Website Audits

A website audit is one of the most important parts of your SEO strategy. It can help you identify critical issues that might affect the performance of your website. Done properly, you will see a website rise in the rankings soon after the audit is complete.

Who can Benefit from a Website Audit?

Website owners, business owners, agencies, or anyone else involved with website management–. basically, anyone who has a website could benefit from a website audit. However, business owners do not have a lot of time to edit images, check content or check internal links.

Outsourcing the job to a competent company you can trust will save you a lot of time and headaches in the future. A proper website audit will cover the following:

  • Checking for any broken links
  • Checking if external links are SSL enabled
  • Checking page loading speed
  • Checking plugins
  • Checking email forms
  • Checking images, meta and alt tags, and size
  • Checking for any spelling  mistakes and checking synonyms including content optimisation
  • Checking for incoming links
  • Checking for anchor texts

Broken Links

Broken links also known as Error 404 are caused by broken images, out of date post links or folders that no longer exist on the website and should be removed. Broken lists are also caused by moving a website from http to https. You have to do a proper redirect for any image post or folder that you are removing from your website. By redirecting to a newer source or similar copy, will enhance the customer experience on your website.

A thorough website audit will list every broken link on your website so that you can go ahead and contact the webmaster to get it fixed.

External Links

Checking all external links should be done to make sure they are SSL enabled and operational, this means they are operating on a secure connection via https and are linking to an external website. It is important to check all header and footer links as this is where the problems are most likely to occur.

Page Load Speeds

Since the Google algorithm update in 2018 that favours fast loading times it is important to make sure that page load speeds are within a normal speed range. The average should be around 3 seconds. If you have pages loading at 10 seconds or more then it may be worth looking into alternate options.

It is also likely that your hosting could be slow, or the images on your website are too large and slowing page load times down.

Ads programs like AdSense and Media.net are scripts that slow pages down. Plugins like Contact Form 7 contribute to page loading speed increasing as they load every page on your website.  So, if ten people are visiting your website, The Ads and Contact Form 7 will load 10 times and if your hosting is not fast, then the pages will load really slow.

These scripts should be modified to load in a specific order to increase PageSpeed.

Images that are sourced from Pexels or Unsplash are huge and should be made smaller to load on web pages. We take images that are 4MB big and resize to 40kb. This does not affect quality but dramatically increases page loading speeds.

Plugins

Outdated plugins are a big issue in website audits and should be updated as soon as possible. Google has a ranking factor that can be affected by plugins, so make sure your plugins are not outdated to avoid any problems on your website. Outdated plugins pose a security risk and Google will not want to serve a website to users that contain any risks to them. Keep all plugins updated at all times to minimise security risks on your website.

Forms

Always make sure that forms are loading correctly on each page, when you have a large blog or website, it can take a lot of time to scan the entire website to make sure all forms are present and working. Make sure all forms have the correct headings and date, and that they are still valid. We don’t want to be seeing 2018 dated headings in 2021. It is best to find them and fix them quickly.

Images

Check all images including the title, alt and description. Make sure that the correct alt tags and image descriptions describe the image to help screen readers convey the meaning to visually impaired readers. Also check the image sizes and resize any images that are too big.

Spelling Mistakes

Scan your copy to make sure there are no spelling mistakes and check synonyms. Use the Google toolbar or online tools like Grammarly to look for any spelling mistakes on your website. Also use Grammarly to see what tone you are writing in. Don’t hesitate to make changes to your copy so you can appeal to different readers.

While you are looking for spelling mistakes, also look for anything in the copy that is old or outdated. Think “Best Link building Company in Berkshire in 2020.” To enhance the copy and make it more relevant, you can update the date to 2021.

It is also useful at this point to look to see if content should be optimised for new keywords. It is a clever idea to refresh or optimise content every few years. You should also consider questions people ask the search engines using devices like Amazon Echo or Google Minis.

Incoming Links

If you have been link building for a few years, you will have a varied landscape of links pointing at your website. Make sure the incoming links are not pure spam either, think of buying links etc. If your business is in SEO for example, you would be seeing links coming from web designers, hosting companies, SEO software companies. These would be the ideal link building profile as they are all highly relevant to Link Building agencies. 

Anchor Text

Make sure the anchor text is varied and natural, using exact matched anchors will be frowned upon by Google, using keyword anchor text is also frowned upon. If you have any links that use keyword anchors, make sure they are high quality and don’t overuse them. Use the naked URLs For example: use https://yoho.digital as a link anchor as it is highly natural.

If your anchor profiles are slightly dodgy, you can start a link building campaign to diversify your anchor text on your website.

Conclusion

It’s important to have a website audit annually to ensure that your site is up-to-date, remains secure, and is well positioned within the search engine results pages. If you want to know more about website audits, get in touch with us and we’ll get back to you right away.

About the author

Gareth worked on competitive projects including keyword research, website audits, content planning to increase search position on domains in Google. See our entire Link building process here.