For new business owners who have just put up there a website online, website audit helps you identify what your website lack, what needs fixing and is your website’s already existing SEO elements are up-to-date according to latest Google algorithm.
In this article, I will show you how to perform a website audit to boost website organic traffic and improve rankings.
A Website Audit Checklist to Boost Website Traffic and Rankings
To lift your website in the eyes for Google for the best choice of the relevant search query, it’s better to get with times of latest SEO updates and Google algorithms. A website audit should cover the onsite-page and on-page analysis of your website.
Let’s start with analyzing onsite elements of the website:
An Efficient Site Structure
A website layout is the most important factor for any website. An efficient site structure holds great importance for better user experience, thus, increasing site chances to rank on search engine. Site structure of the website defines the way your website architecture is configured so that the internal linking, external linking, visual elements of pages of your website are properly sectioned and working.
A site structure helps to focus on:
Easy website navigation – better user experience
Proper SEO optimization
All things considered, the structure of your site indicates Google what pages are important. This way you can incorporate the keywords on your important pages and influence the rankings of those pages to better position SEPRs.
More importantly, your website layout tells Google what your website is about. Your website structure is basically a map for Googlebot. You are basically highlighting your business key pages for Google to crawl and index for the search engine.
Site structure is the crucial aspect of SEO practice which should be improved to boost relevant traffic and good rankings.
Robots.txt file is part of your website. You can access it by typing your domainname.com/robots.txt
Is Robots.txt important for my website?
Most definitely, yes!
Google uses this file to craw your website and if Google crawler cannot find this file, your website can’t be a crawl. It’s basically either permit or keep crawler from accessing your website or certain pages of your website.
It’s important to check this file and make sure ensure it isn't confining access to any of your essential pages from crawlers. For instance, you can tell crawlers to index only the certain pages of your website block a URL, etc.
To see if what you’re blocking a certain page, or a page is blocked which you want Google to access; you can check it from Robots.txt Tester in Google Search Console.
One Version of Your Website URL
Basically, your website should only be live with one main URL. Canonicalization issue of the website arises when you have two different URLs for your website.
For example, a website can be accessed either by typing one of the URs:
Since the main URL is https://www.abcd.com/, other should be redirected to this main URL. You can also fix this issue by telling adding a Canonical Rel tag to your website. This tag will tell Google which your main website is and should be considered for ranking.
The rel=canonical tag is added on the header section of the website as:
< link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.abcd.com/ />
Why you should solve the canonical issue?
Canonicalization issue should be resolved to avoid the duplicate content issue. Duplicate content leads to the Panda penalty, hence, in order to keep your content unique, you must solve the canonical issue.
Sitemap File (XML)
The XML sitemap is another important of your website. As a name suggests, it basically is a map of the website which tells the Google bots what you have on your website and helps it index the pages of your site.
You can check if your website has an XML sitemap by visiting www.abcd.com/sitemap.xml. This file should be present on your website as it tells the search engines what the key pages of your website and you are want them to index.
Meta Tags Optimization
Meta tags are the essential on-site elements which a website should have. Meta tags impact the CTR (click-through-rate) of your website. Meta tags ought to be pertinent to your site page content. Make sure your Meta tags are unique and not copied from other sources. These tags are added on the <head> section of your HTML code.
Your website should optimize the following Meta tags on your website:
Social Media Meta Tags (Open Graph)
You can check the Meta tags on your website by simply pressing CTRL+U keys on your keyboard to access the source page.
Efficient Internal Linking
Internal linking is a basic element of enhancing your site's website SEO and give user-friendly experience. Internal links are links pointing to the other pages within your website. It’s important to pass the link juice to the key pages of your website.
It also allows the user to visit the pages you have linked in your blog posts. For better user experience, your website should have a proper navigation menu with drop downs. Each of the menus should be properly labeled. This also holds the great importance of website structure.
Website Speed Check
A website speed is certainly the crucial factor a site owner should not overlook. Little changes in site speed can deliver a gigantic positive effect on indexing, client experience, and transformations. You can achieve good website speed by enrolling your developer to get web developer certifications and by encouraging them to learn skills via online bootcamp classes.
Also, Google has also confirmed page speed is one of the ranking factors. This alone should be enough to compel you to look into the elements that directly or indirectly impact your website’s load time.
Factors like any kind of visual content (images and video) or CSS that increase your website page load time and need a quick clean up.
Tools you can use to analyze website overall speed:
Quality Website Content – No Duplicate Content
A website content should be a quality content which is written with the user- intent in mind. Content should be relevant to your niche but also delivers what your industry audience is searching for.
Remember quality substance should engage the interests, needs, and issues of your purchaser personas; be intriguing and elegantly composed, give significant, thoroughly searched date about a specific topic.
Content should be properly checked for any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. Let’s not forget about the SEO keywords (avoid keyword stuffing) relevant to the topic and niche in your piece of content.
To avoid Panda penalty, write content which is unique and not copied from other sources. Having a duplicate content and plagiarized content a website negatively impact website traffic and rankings.
With this, add interactive images, Infographics, and videos. Make sure you properly add the alt tags for all the images.
Mobile-Friendly Website Test
Now almost every other person is using a mobile phone. Make sure your website is mobile compatible that is, every page and HTML elements should be clearly accessible, visible and clickable though mobile device.
Other Important Website Audit factors
Google Website Analytics and Google Webmaster
Google Analytics is an essential tool for a website; however, it is the most underused by many business owners. It’s a free website tool which helps you analyze your website traffic and your website overall performance. You can see which page of your website is getting more visitors, overall user behavior of your website, conversions etc.
You have to add a Google Analytics code on your website to track user interaction.
Similarly, Google Search Console also known as Google webmaster should be used to analyze your website performance. Google webmaster offers a considerable measure of profitable data which you can use to enhance the performance of your site.
Google Webmaster tool give us bits of knowledge as to how Google sees your website, your website’s links, external links, your website performance on search results, highlights website errors, and much more.
In a Nutshell
In this, we have covered all the basic yet crucial audit elements. The website audit is certainly not easy but is achievable using the right tools and having the right knowledge. From an SEO perspective, a website audit is key to improve your website chance of getting found on search results. You should perform a website audit to boost website traffic and rankings.