Website Audit: A Complete Guide

Whether it’s your first time running a checkup on your website or you’re planning a future redesign for your webpage, this article is for you. A website audit is a must for webmasters as it lets you review the overall status of your site’s performance, visibility, and functionality.

FYI, you’ll need a regular website audit if you want your site to increase traffic and become a successful business. Today, you’ll learn about website audit, why you need it, and how you can do it. Let’s get started!

website audit

What Is a Website Audit?

A website audit is a thorough assessment of a website’s performance, functionality, health, speed, and visibility to search engines. Conducting audits gives webmasters the information needed to better optimize their sites for traffic goals.

These comprehensive examinations are also necessary to detect site errors, check duplicate content, and develop effective solutions for seamless implementation. As such, audits are a cornerstone of managing websites.

Types of Website Audits

A website audit is a broad term that refers to a full examination of a website aiming to analyze its performance, functionality, ease of navigation, and visibility for search engines.

As such, a full website audit consists of multiple smaller-scale audits that join to give a complete checkup. The following is a breakdown of some of the most common types of site audits.

SEO Audit

This type of audit focuses on making your content more visible to both search engines and users. An on-page SEO audit is often the first checkup webmasters ask for.

The process starts with analyzing how well your website and content are optimized for ranking in search results by reviewing link profiles, metadata, page titles, meta descriptions, keywords, traffic patterns, and target conversions.

Technical SEO or Maintenance Audit

Your website could have the highest-quality content and a ton of backlinks to get it ranked, but if it’s buggy or the site speed takes forever, you can kiss all your efforts goodbye. This is where an in-depth maintenance or technical audit comes in.

A user-friendly and easy-to-navigate site is a must regardless if users are using mobile devices or laptops. They ensure your site runs smoothly at optimum load time without lagging or crashing.

Content Audit

More often than not, content audits are included in SEO audits. However, you should conduct a more thorough audit of your content to get better insights into the best tone for driving conversions. By refining the content, you’re increasing the chances of the site’s main goal: completing calls to action.

UX and Design Audit

The design of your website is the first thing that greets your visitors. It’s what decides whether they’ll stick around and do what they came to do or leave the page in search of a better one.

This judgment takes a mere second. If your website isn’t attractive enough (and no, more complex isn’t more interesting), then your user retention will suffer.

The goal of a UX audit is to ensure your website offers a smooth and clear user experience. It analyzed the site’s functionality and ease of navigation for insight into what could be done better.

Social Media Presence Audit

This type of audit deals with ensuring an effective presence on social media platforms to achieve as much traffic as possible from linking and referencing. Businesses, especially eCommerce, should not rely on having a website page alone. Social media presence should be established.

website audit

Why Do You Need a Website Audit?

If your website is too tricky to navigate, is too slow to load, is at risk of penalization, isn’t properly optimized, or isn’t doing as well as expected against competitors, then an audit is due. A website audit  will take care of all these issues, starting with streamlining its performance.

A technical audit deals with the infrastructure of your website. It looks into its speed and usability to ensure a smooth, valuable experience for users. A website audit will also pick up on any SEO issues or overlooked opportunities and fix poorly executed SEO techniques. It’ll help you maintain your rank in search results by keeping the site updated on the ever-changing ranking algorithms.

With a website audit, you also evaluate your site’s effectiveness in generating and converting leads more accurately. This gives you a chance to cover any tracks that you missed.

Additionally, website audits discover technical errors and content issues that could hurt your traffic and conversion goals. From site lagging to broken links, audits will pinpoint the problems to help you address them.

Finally, website audits are your ticket to compare how your site is doing against competitors. They can provide insight into how others are scoring high in search rankings so you can develop new strategies for attracting visitors.

How to Do a Website Audit

A general website audit checklist reviews eight main aspects: site health, SEO, off-site presence, website security, user experience, conversion rates, and digital competitors.

If you want more details for each audit type, the following breakdown will help you understand the tasks involved.

SEO Audit

To perform an SEO audit, your checklist should include the following:

  • Using appropriate tags for your content. For example, image tags, title tags, meta tags, and description tags.
  • Set up tracking tools for your website’s desktop and mobile versions to monitor traffic, keywords, exit/entrance pages, and so on.
  • Getting rid of broken/orphan links.
  • Ensuring that the title, headings, and text include the keyword and its variations.
  • Refining internal links and backlink building.

Technical/Maintenance Audit

To optimize your site’s performance and user experience, here’s a website audit checklist to consider:

  • Maximum website loading speed.
  • FID (First Input Delay) is less than 100 milliseconds.
  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) is under 2.5 seconds.
  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) is below 0.1.
  • Enable/check data caching and codebase relevance.
  • Test Google PageSpeed Insights.

Content Audit

Comprehensive content audits involve checking the following points:

  • The content is non-confusing and follows a logical sequence.
  • The content and page goals align.
  • Unless it’s a call to action, there should be no extra content.
  • There are no grammar or spelling errors.
  • You’ve replied to comments on the content.
  • The content format is interesting: bullets, illustrations, no block, and so on.

UX and Design Audit

Your UX website audit checklist should include the following guidelines:

  • The elements of the page’s structure are easy to identify (titles, headers, and body).
  • The density of the content is divided for easy reading (no block, white space, or images).
  • A description of the page’s content is the first thing that the user sees.
  • The navigation flow is flexible (skipping, undoing actions, going back to any step, and so on).
  • The design renders without issues on all devices (mobile, desktop, tablet)

Social Media Presence Audit

To carry out a successful social media presence audit, check that your brand/website exists on social networks via a public group or page.

Also, check that your website has working social media icons placed at its footer or whatever spot you deem appropriate.

Remember to consistently refer to your website in various profiles across social networks. It helps even more if the content reaches a wide audience.

Do You Have to Do It Yourself?

Luckily, no.

Website audits are crucial, but they require time and expertise to provide effective results. While you can rely on audit tools to get the job done yourself, you’d just be wasting your time and effort if you don’t really know what you’re doing.

There are SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and SurferSEO that plenty of digital marketing agency use. But the question is, are you willing to invest in costly subscription pricing even if you need help with how to use the tool fully?

The good news is that you can outsource the whole process, which can be ideal for website owners who are either too busy or need to be more experienced in conducting site checkups and delivering audit reports. Google metrics and algorithms are always changing, and an experienced SEO specialist can help you with that.

For instance, you can entrust the work to SEO North and reach out today for a reliable website audit and a free consultation. The audit process with SEO North involves:

  • Pinpointing the highest-performing content.
  • Checking for any website issues.
  • Resolving each one comprehensively and seamlessly.

How Often Should a Website Audit Be Done?

Doing a website audit should never be a one-time thing.

The purpose of site audits is to provide maintenance, create a benchmark for further improvements, and pinpoint issues that could harm your SEO and conversion results.

These aspects are continuously changing. Not only is there always room for better performance and user experience, but there’s also no guarantee your site won’t encounter any errors. As such, regular website audits are necessary. Typically, the frequency of audits depends on the size of the site.

If your website is small, an annual audit should be enough. Larger websites need to schedule at least two site audits per year. Remember that an audit is due right after going live if you’re dealing with a new website. This is to catch and resolve any immediate problems and help the site get indexed quicker.

Final Thoughts

Establishing a website audit framework is invaluable for staying on top of your online game. Audits allow for constant monitoring of your website’s health, performance, speed, and visibility.

They provide true insight into the current effectiveness of your site and the areas that require improvement to boost your ranking among the competition. Contact SEO North today for a reliable website audit and a free consultation.

Published on: 2023-01-02
Updated on: 2023-11-06

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.