Best Practices for Web Audits in 2022

Your website shouldn’t be static – you need to change it regularly to make sure it is up to date. In addition, search engine algorithms change frequently, and what worked to draw in customers when you first designed your site might not work now. Google carries out several core updates each year, such as the last one in July 2021. While Google does not generally offer the content (or intent) of the impact of these changes, your website could see a drastic decrease in traffic if it lands on the wrong side of an algorithm update.  

That is why regular website audits are very important. This post will discuss some best practices for web audits to guide you through the process. 
To ensure a successful web audit that improves your website design, here are some web audit best practices to follow: 
Automate the Web Audit Process with a Site Audit Tool 
A manual web audit is a time-consuming task, even if your site has only a few pages.  Moreover, there’s a good chance that you might miss something. A site audit tool automates this process. These tools (some of which are free) are comprehensive, accurate, and easy to use, and identify any issues affecting site performance. On top of this, you can be quite sure you won’t miss any important detail. 
Assess Website Content 

Your website content was probably optimised for SEO when it was written but it probably needs a revision as algorithms keep changing. Common search engine optimization (SEO) problems can also affect your rankings, so it’s essential to address them, such as pages that load too slowly or errors in your mobile compatibility.  

Keywords are also important for Google indexing, but good content should be so well-written that you don’t even realise that the keywords are there. Another way to assess your content is to make sure the links are current and working. Google has become progressively more weighted toward recent content rather than years-old sources.  

Broken links are just one aspect of technical errors that could be hurting your website’s ranking in search engines. Others include image errors, lack of meta descriptions and alt. text, or duplicate content. When Google’s bots crawl your site, any technical error can throw them off and prevent your site from appearing in SERPs and being indexed properly in searches.  

Here are some questions to ask yourself when assessing your current website: 

  • How easy is it to navigate your site? Is it easy for a visitor to find information (such as what your business does, how to reach you, your hours, etc.)? 
  • Are you using the right keywords to attract visitors to your site? 
  • Does your website convince visitors to become leads or, more importantly, purchase your product/service? 
  • Is your website too cluttered? Are there too many ads, calls-to-action, or links? 
  • Are there enough internal links that are current? 
  • Is the checkout experience simple and intuitive, or complicated and frustrating? 
  • How quickly does your website load? Does your website crash frequently? 
  • How well does your website work on mobile devices – does it look and feel the same as it would on a larger screen? 
  • Do any error messages pop up constantly? 
  • How long are your URLs? Have you set your preferred (canonical) URL? 
  • Does your website contain a lot of Flash or JavaScript, making it difficult for search engines to read and access it?
  • Have you defined how a web page indexes your site by adding tags and sitemaps? 

Completing this assessment will let you know here to focus your efforts to improve your website. 

Set Clear Metrics for Improvement 

What will improvement look like if you fix the problems with your website - an increase in visitors, the time they spend on a page, or the conversions?  

To understand the effect of your improvements, set some metrics before you launch any website overhaul projects. Make sure these metrics are realistic; it might not be practical to expect an 80% increase in traffic if you revamp only your SEO, for example. Research what metrics make the most sense, then think about what tools to put in place to measure success. 

A person using a computer

List Issues and Plan your Fixes 

The web audit will likely identify at least one issue to work on so that you boost your site’s performance and traffic. Even if you have a few areas for improvement, it might seem overwhelming – what do you tackle first? Creating a checklist of all website issues helps you catalogue what needs fixing. Prioritising and setting timelines for fixing each issue ensures that the issue will be taken care of within a practical period. Moreover, if you know you do not have the internal resources to fix the problem yourself, turn to a trusted third party.

Improve User Experience
With web audits, it’s easy to focus on technical issues affecting your site’s performance or website SEO that drives users to your site. However, don’t lose sight of the user experience.
Many recent Google algorithm updates have focused on user experience as one of the main ways to rank websites, so you need to ensure that your site provides a good user experience. This refers to the experience a visitor has on your site. Everything about your site – from the website design to your content – influences a user’s experience. You might have a beautifully designed site, but if the content does not help visitors, they are likely to not spend very long on your site. 
Take the time to understand what your user experience looks like – is the design easy to navigate? Do you offer helpful content? Is the website accessible? Improving the user experience boosts the time visitors spend on your site, which increases the chances of conversion. One way to do this is to be intuitive in your site design and navigation. User-friendliness should be a priority and can be done by using feedback from your users.

Why Are Web Audits Important for Your Business?

These days, your website is your chance to make an excellent first impression with your potential customers. That is why your website needs to be current, relevant, and influential. Hence, web audits play a crucial role in making sure you make a good and lasting impression.
A web audit reveals problems you might not have known or can pinpoint the cause of issues. For example, you might have low website traffic, but are unsure why. A web audit could reveal a lack of mobile optimisation, so you are not ranking high on the mobile search results, resulting in the low traffic.
Web audits can also reveal content gaps that need to be addressed to have the most effective marketing strategy possible. There may be a new trend that has come up since initially posting your content that you could incorporate or add as a new category or topic for content going forward.
In short, completing a web audit is the best way to improve your website’s function and effectiveness, which will, in turn, lead to improved search rankings and, eventually, better conversion rates to improve your company’s bottom line.

Improve Your Website with Enlighten Designs

Are you thinking about a website audit or a redesign? Is your website user-centred? Do you have problems uploading content on your site and might be looking for a solution? For over two decades, Enlighten Designs have provided amazing digital experiences and websites to our customers that attract more visitors, offer better user experience, and boost conversions. 

Sign up to learn how we can help you too, whether you need a redesign, a Web Health Check, or a Content Management System, all tailored to suit your specific needs.

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