So, you’ve been running your business’ website for a while now: you followed all the SEO tips you found on the internet, stayed up all night doing trial and error web development, ran a few meta-tags, and did promotions on social media.
But no matter how much you try to grow your traffic, there’s still no improvement in your website’s visibility and ranking in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). If you’re in this situation right now, you’re probably about to break down and cry because you’ve spent so much for hardly any result.
Here’s our advice: it’s time for you to do a website audit.
What’s A Website Audit?
Not everyone is familiar with a website audit. After all, it’s not a term you hear when you’re walking down the street or when you’re talking to a friend over at the water cooler.
So what is it?
Essentially, a website audit is a full-on analysis of your website: where your website is getting its traffic, if you’re hitting the right keywords to rank on search engines, and how well-optimised your website is. It’s pretty much like a medical check-up, but for websites.
Other than checking the status of your website, having a comprehensive website audit will also help you formulate a strategy to help increase your website’s traffic and visibility.
I Want To Do A Website Audit! What Should I Know?
Now that you know what a website audit is, it’s time you give your website a check-up.
Here we list a couple of essential things you need to look out for when you do your website audit. Of course, it takes time, practice, and lots of skill to better understand how these elements work in the overall process of your website’s visibility and traffic generation, but you can use this list to help you so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Img.Alt tags, Robots.txt, Sitemap.xml, And GMB
One of the first few things you need to check during a website audit is the Img. Alt tags. Img. Alt Tags are keywords that explain to search engines what the pictures found on your website is about. Since search engine crawlers can’t see or understand images, this becomes a crucial part on how web crawlers index your website’s content (and that includes images)
Robots.txt are like web crawler guides, they tell crawlers what must be scanned and what they shouldn’t include in their indexing. This plays an important role if you want to target a specific ranking for a specific keyword push a specific webpage in the rankings. Without a robot.txt in place, crawlers will scan your entire website and your SEO efforts will start fighting for attention and web crawlers will not be able to index your website properly.
As a support to Robots.txt, a Sitemap.xml serves as a directory for web crawlers so they can crawl through your website more systematically. This protocol lists down URLs available on your website and how relevant these URLs in relation to each other and the entire website.
While doing a website audit, you should also watch out for GMB or Google My Business. GMB is a fascinating tool that lists your business website in Google’s business directory, so Google will know that you’re an active business in a certain location, so when people search for keywords relevant to your business, you’ll be indexed in the results pages.
Custom 404 Page & HTTPS Site
When it comes to individual web pages, it’s good to take note of HTTPS websites and 404 pages during a website audit.
404 pages are error pages that appear when a webpage doesn’t or no longer exists on the website. While these error pages don’t particularly affect your website negatively, it becomes a problem when you want to rank for a specific keyword. If the 404 page contains a particular keyword that you are targeting, you can expect to see a drop in our website’s rank since Google will mark your increased bounce rate for that particular webpage as negative.
On the other hand, HTTPs web pages are secured web pages and something google crawlers like in a website. HTTPs have encrypted data transfers, so the data can’t be mined easily. This is good for e-commerce websites where there is a lot of sensitive information being transferred from one server relay to another. During a website audit, make sure to keep note of this vital information.
Toxic Links (Internal & External)
Lastly, toxic links are very important to watch out for when auditing your website.
Toxic links can really hurt your SERP ranking and could even be a cause for your site to be flagged down by Google. Toxic links are links create only to manipulate the ranking of a website and doesn’t really provide real value to visitors. If Google sees that your website has a bad backlink profile, you can expect them to drop you a warning about it. Non-compliance can mean a big penalty – or wost, removal from the Google database.
Time For An Audit
Website auditing is not an easy task. It’s a complete diagnosis of your website, from every webpage to every targeted keyword. It means leaving no webpage unturned, and any Img. Alt tag left unchecked.
It’s tedious work to do a website audit, but once done, you can expect to know what your website is lacking and what methods and techniques you can use to improve your visibility and ranking in SERPs. Understanding how a website audit work requires a lot of experience and skill to understand. It would be wise for you to hire a good and reliable team of SEO specialists to help you with your website audit.