The Importance of Site Audits

Jan 6, 2015

Reviewing everything from structure and information architecture to content and quality, a website audit is the best way to determine the efficacy of a website. Site audits allows businesses make the necessary changes to aspects that may otherwise have gone unnoticed, and, by conducting website audits on a regular basis, it is possible to continually improve SEO, engagement, conversion, and performance.

These following benefits of a website audit demonstrate just why a basic website checklist alone is insufficient.

1. Keyword Analysis

Appropriate use of keywords and phrases is essential for any company’s SEO efforts. A website audit analyzes current keyword usage, topic groupings (ontology) and content gaps as well as determining what terms could increase qualified traffic to the site.

2. Usability

Businesses need to strike a balance between having enough content and interesting features on a company website to capture users’ attention, and avoiding an overly busy design that may confuse visitors or make finding information difficult. A website audit will reveal which areas of a site need simplifying, and which could benefit from expansion.

3. Loading Speed

People have a limited amount of time to spend anywhere on the Internet. If a site takes too long to load, they will most likely turn somewhere else for the product, service, or information — often, to a competitor. A website audit quickly reveals the source of slow loading; plus, it can provide the company with details about how to resolve the issue.

4. Organic Search

Sites that never appear at the top of relevant Google searches cannot gain much organic traffic, and therefore lose out on potential leads. A website audit ensures that no faulty code is blocking crawlers, that site architecture is SEO friendly, and that URL structures communicate well with search engines.

5. Better Content

A website audit is also the perfect opportunity to improve the quality of content. With statistics like bounce rates, time on site, and page views, a company can discover what content their audience enjoys and finds helpful and what is leading to conversions. With this information, a business can improve both blog and social media strategies.

6. Landing Pages

Examining top landing pages and calls-to-action along with their design, wording, and content can help to ensure maximum conversions. This complex process can take months of in-depth testing; however, it is well-worthwhile, as the results can have a significant impact on ROI.

7. Contact Information

When prospects are not quite ready to convert, they often need to contact the company first, which is why clearly displayed contact information is so important. A website audit will determine the best place to position contact information on a site, where it is immediately noticeable. By increasing the number of inquiries made by phone and email, a company increases their number of sales.

8. Malware

Although the company itself may be unaware that their site is infected with malware, search engines will know instantly. For a short time, pages will probably remain in search results, but these will be accompanied by a warning to users that they may get a virus if they visit the site. This nearly certifies that the amount of new visitors to the website will drop to zero, and the company may gain a reputation for being untrustworthy. A website audit, however, can detect and delete malware before problems get anywhere near so severe.

9. Other Improvements

Finally, an audit can explain what overall improvements are necessary, including factors that the company may never even have considered, along with their priority. For instance, a business may discover that making the site mobile-friendly is a more pressing concern than working on SEO, or that creating higher-quality content should come before spending time on adjusting landing pages. Reviewing everything from structure and information to content and quality, a website audit is the best way to determine the functionality of a website. Site audits allows businesses make the necessary changes to aspects that may otherwise have gone unnoticed, and, by conducting website audits on a regular basic, it is possible to continually improve SEO, conversions, and performance.

With Google making around 500 changes to its algorithm every year, SEO is changing all the time. Even minor changes can have a big impact on site performance, meaning that site optimized just one year ago are already dated and conversions are most likely far less than they could be.

New Perspective has long performed website audits for existing and new clients, and we’d love to help audit your business’ site. Give us a call today at (508) 755-6797 to discuss it.

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