Full Website Audit For Beginners – 5 Steps GUIDE

If you own a business that has a website, you’ve probably seen ads or even received emails with offers for a website audit.

And if you don’t understand the term very well, you might consider those offers as other annoying spam ads.

However, a website audit must be performed regularly for any site, being one of the essential marketing tools through which you can grow your online business.

How does a website audit work?

First of all, a website audit is done to identify the areas of your site that are not performing well.

It is an analysis of how the site ranks in search engines.

Thus, several essential elements are followed, such as:

  • Keywords
  • Content quality
  • The type of pages on the site
website audit

For example, a website audit may show that you are not choosing the right keywords for your business.

Thus, if you are not targeting your target audience you cannot make your website known to those who might be interested in it.

Following the signaling of such problems, research is carried out to find the right solution and the best keywords that you can use.

This is because a website audit does not only mean recognizing and reporting problems but also involves finding solutions and applying them.

It is a complete process, the purpose of which is to create an effective SEO strategy, which will place you at the top of Google searches, through organic methods.

A website audit means more than keywords

website audit keywords

In addition to keywords, a website audit will also analyze on-page SEO elements, such as:

  • URLs
  • Titles
  • Tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Images
  • Videos

Then comes an analysis of Off-Page SEO elements and other Technical SEO issues.

These include:

A website audit was done with a sense of responsibility, careful and efficient can take even a good few hours if you want to make sure you reach all the points.

Of course, you can do this yourself, if you are good at SEO.

However, if you are unsure or do not have time, you can hire an SEO agency to do the audit.

After all, your competitors do it too.

And, even if you have competitors who haven’t heard of “website audit” or think they don’t need one, it’s your chance to position yourself ahead of them.

The moment you have a website, and you want to start promoting online or you want to see if it corresponds from an SEO point of view, most agencies recommend you do a full website audit.

What exactly is a website audit?

website audit

The answer is very simple:

A website audit is an analysis of the site through which the optimization opportunities are discovered.

Also, it identifies all the weaknesses of the site, the missing elements, what can be improved, etc.

All these are done for a better performance of the site.

Following a website audit, a list will be created of all the elements that can be improved.

Regardless of your web project, a website audit is a very important starting point that underpins a successful promotion strategy.

This website audit is a basic tool for all SEO experts and no matter what the situation, no one will start working on a website without first resorting to an audit.

Perfect website audit

The perfect website audit is done through 5 simple steps.

Step 1 – SSL certificate

website audit SSL

First of all, when you start a website audit you will have to check if your site has an SSL certificate.

What is an SSL certificate?

It is a security certificate, created from cryptographic protocols that have the role of securing the exchange of information on the Internet.

This is especially important for sites that have online payment modules or that contain personal databases.

So, an SSL certificate encrypts the information in such a way that it can only be decrypted by the server to which it is addressed.

This ensures that the data is not altered or copied.

When the site has this certificate, a lock and the phrase “SECURE” will appear in your browser.

On our blog, it looks like this:

website audit

Step 2 – Scan the website

Once you have verified that the site has an SSL certificate, the website audit will need to continue with a crawl.

This can be done simply with a free tool – Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

This tool can scan up to 500 pages, and if your site exceeds this number of pages, then you will need a license.

Indeed, other tools can be used, but most do not scan as many items as the ones mentioned above.

After the site has finished scanning, you will be able to see a clear statistic of several elements, such as:

  1. Meta elements – title and description – which do not have the appropriate length or which are duplicates;
  2. Headings – if there are duplicates of them, but also the pages they are missing;
  3. 404 errors or broken links – pages that generate this error;
  4. Images – here you will see all the titles of the images, but also the images that lack the “other” attribute;
  5. Wrong code elements that generate poor loading speeds.
website audit speed

You can download all these problems in a .xls document, which you can later modify, and in which you can highlight the elements that require a more important approach.

If you find this tool quite complicated to use, all these elements can be checked manually, using the source code (the page that opens once you press the CRTL + U keys).

Step 3 – The sitemap

The sitemap is a very important part of any website because it is the element that informs search engines about the structure of your site and helps them identify its new content.

If your website does not have this very important document, don’t think about it, talk to the development team and add it as soon as possible.

website audit

Be very careful when checking this document, as it is very important that:

  • Not to contain errors, incorrectly redirected or blocked URLs
  • Be always updated, especially after you have added new content on the site
  • Does not exceed 50,000 pages, because Google will not access it
  • Be clean and of a medium / small size;
  • Sign in to your Google Search Console account

Step 4 – Robots.txt document

This is very simple and you do not need any program.

First, you need to type in the browser, the link to your site, and add the extension Robots.txt.

Therefore, the link should be in the form: www.yourdomain.com/robots.txt

website audit

When it opens, you will have a few lines that will reveal the indexing conditions of the site.

You will have to pay close attention to these conditions in the robots.txt file because they play an essential role when indexing a website.

Step 5 – Check if you have implemented the structural data

You’ve probably heard of structural data before, or maybe not.

Well, structural data is data that helps search engine robots to better understand the content and structure of the site.

website audit

Once the structural data is implemented on the page of the site, the search engine will know and will have a clear and correct image of the classification of the content from the respective page.

These structural data are very easy to verify.

All you have to do is access the free tool provided by Google, enter the site link, and check.

Simple and to the point, it will show you exactly if they are installed correctly.

The procedure goes like this:

Go to Google Seach Central.

Enter the site address and start checking.

Once the check is completed, on the screen on the right, the program will show you the exact results of the check.

There are 3 possibilities:

  1. If the structural data is not implemented on the site, only a white page will appear on the right.
  2. If the structural data is implemented correctly, several categories will appear here in turn, and when you click on each one, different data will be displayed.
  3. If they are implemented, but there are errors, on the right side next to the respective categories you will be shown the number of errors, highlighted in red.

When clicked, they will open and you will be able to see exactly the elements that need to be corrected so that all the content of the page is correctly understood by Google.

website audit

Step 6 – Codes for Google Analytics + Google Search Console

Have you heard of the two free programs offered by Google to track traffic and site errors – Google Analytics and Google Search Console?

Well, if you haven’t heard, these two tools are very important and give you very clear statistics about:

  • Keywords that rank the site,
  • Pages that contain errors,
  • Most followed pages,
  • Demographic and geographic data
website audit

Step 7 – Check Site Speed

The loading speed of the site is a very important element to check.

Why do we say this?

Well, you should know that when the loading speed is low, you will have high traffic loss.

Also, the website may be penalized by Google, and you will have a low conversion rate…

Fortunately, there are free tools that can give you such a check.

There are two options:

  1. Google Page Speed Insights
  2. WebPage Test
website audit

All you have to do is enter the link of the site or page you want to be verified and start the process.

In a few seconds, the report will be generated and you will be able to see exactly the page loading speed.

Once the report is generated, you will know exactly what you will need to ask the developer to optimize.

The list you give it may contain the following:

  • Site database optimization
  • Optimization of images on the site by compression
  • Compression of files containing JS and CSS codes
  • Activation of caching systems at platform and server level
  • CDN implementation

These are all the important steps of a website audit.


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