The simple idea of building a website and posting on a blog may sound easy at first, but there are a myriad of factors to consider, and it’s easy to overlook critical website elements without even realizing it. To ensure you haven’t overlooked anything, it’s important to run a website audit from time to time, but where on Earth should you start?
There are so many different categories of digital marketing it can feel overwhelming, so let’s start by taking a look at the main elements that need to be addressed in an audit.
An audit should focus on four general categories of analyses, as follows:
Each of these core elements contain their own unique optimization techniques and best practices. Let’s take a closer look at each main category as we run down the website audit checklist for beginners.
Your SEO audit should be primarily concerned with organic rankings in search engines and the performance of keywords. Furthermore, an SEO audit should strive to make sure you are doing everything in your power to score high with Google’s ranking algorithm by optimizing ranking factors like page speed, bounce rate, utilization of HTTPS, etc. In addition to making sure you are sending positive signals to the Google ranking algorithm, you should also make sure you’re not associated with negative websites in your backlink profile. Such ties can be severed with the Google Disavow tool.
Next up is the social media portion of your audit. If you’re not already on social media, there’s never been a better time to capitalize on free ways to reach your target audience. Though it is true that platforms like Facebook run ads to generate revenue, you can also setup a business page absolutely free. It’s crucial to optimize this portion of your digital marketing strategy because social media platforms allow leads to disseminate your content through their social circles. In particular, remember to keep the following in mind:
User interface and design
Following social media, the next portion of your digital marketing strategy that must be addressed is the UX and design of your website. Visitors demand pages that load extremely quickly, and you need to create a navigation structure that makes accessing those pages as effortless as possible. Users are turned off by bad designs and deep hierarchical structures that bury information in endless mazes of menus. Remember the following when selecting a WordPress theme, or when designing your own custom website:
Related: See our web design FAQ
Last but not least, your content is arguably the most important facet of your marketing strategy. Without content, visitors have little to no reason to visit your site in the first place, save for looking up data like contact information, prices, or location. You should strive to present your audience with content that improves their lives in some way to offer value. The idea is to be your audiences go-to source for information in your industry, not only to educate and inform visitors to your site, but to also prove you’re a trustworthy authority in your niche.
If you don’t know how or simply don’t feel comfortable performing an audit, it’s time to reach out to a qualified professional to help identify problem areas and polish your website to a glossy sheen. If you would like a more in-depth guide to honing your SEO strategy, watch my 17 Point SEO Checklist training.