10 Key Types of Website Audits and Strategic Mapping
Your business website is live and driving revenue, but you want more lead conversions. The next step every business website owner should engage in is a set of in-depth audits that will result in clear action plans to improve search engine optimization.
Investing in a professional SEO website audit will open up a clearer view as to the state of your SEO. Simple mistakes on SEO tactics that may otherwise impede the crawlability of your website can be quickly addressed. A thorough Internet marketing audit offers every online business website engaged in online business new opportunities for advancement in search. By performing one or all of the following types of website audits, your SEO expert will know the first steps needed to improve your organic rankings.
Clear insights will be gleaned and tailored recommendations created in a report based on current SEO best practices. Not only will a full Technical SEO audit keep your website up-to-date with the latest developments in search marketing, but it will also stop leaks where your marketing money may be going down the drain when you could be on top of the competition.
After choosing one or more audit type(s) that are best for you, set up your on-going SEO progress reports to see your website performance improvements.
Gain more exposure and online leads from an experienced SEO auditor.
12 TYPES OF WEBSITE AUDITS
There are at least twelve distinct types of website audits that should be conducted, as follows:
1. Overall competitive Website Audit including local pack
2. Technical Website Audit includes Google’s Index Coverage Report
3. UX Design and Website Content Audit
4. SEO Link Audit
5. Regularly Scheduled Follow-up Site Audits
6. Lead Conversion Optimization Audits
7. Social Media Audit
8. Site Health Audits or Position Audits
9. Schema Markup Structured Data Audits
10. E-Commerce Shopping Cart Audit
11. Pixel Tag Audit
CHOOSE YOUR WEBSITE AUDIT or RUN ALL 12
There are at least ten distinct types of website audits that should be conducted, as follows:
1. Competitive Website Audit
Capture a full picture of what your clients’ top competitors are doing for SEO and note what is working and what is not, as both can be helpful when making plans for your clients. We help you define your most competitive keywords; identify what pages are ranking well and why. By observing what your competitors are doing right, you can replicate and improve on these successful tactics.
Analyzing your competition can reveal how some search queries are both won or lost. If your website has key gaps in your industry’s vertical, your competitors may be walking away with opportunities you can recapture by growing your site’s optimized content. You can move forward faster when you know how to offer the best answer to search queries. You not only need your web pages indexed and ranking, you will be leaps ahead when you understand your competition and which actionable strategies to implement. It is no longer sufficient to be present online, you need to target the right markets and attract qualified customers for your business products and services. Hill Web Marketing will help you stand out, get noticed, and win new business!
2. Technical Website Audit
Get data on your clients’ current state of affairs for things such as tags, page loading times, navigation and more. From the results received, prioritize areas for improvement based upon the severity of fix needed and the potential level of SEO benefit. You will want to make all of these elements work together to enhance site navigation and to help the right consumers find the site, rather than simply focus on placing content for search bots.
3. Website Content Audit
Of all three audits, this is likely to be the most comprehensive audit given the increasing importance of content in all aspects of SEO today. Evaluate the current state of your website’s content and compare that to the already identified keywords and personas by logically showcasing any gaps and areas for better targeting. When your content elements and information assets on some part or all of your website are mapped, it’s easier to efficiently build-out new high-value content.
4. SEO Link Audit
This covers a website backlink profile deep-dive audit to for a relative strength evaluation of both internal and external links. By conduct a complete SEO link audit, you will not only know where your site stands, but you can also determine new link opportunities. Our SEO link audit will uncover which (if any) of your website’s links entail some form of risk. It will also expose low-quality or less desirable links and identify which links generate the most value. This information is vital for creating a healthier website by avoiding potential penalties from search engines. Links are the life-blood to your site. By mapping your valuable link power, you can make your website’s navigation easy for site visitors and suggest related topics of interest.
5. Follow-Up Audits
It is important to schedule a follow-up SEO audit on your website on a regular basis. The search engines have a big job to do to keep up with their word conducting web crawls and matching searches to relevant content. To accomplish this, they continue to seek new ways to be more efficient. One constant of the SEO industry is how quickly things change. SEO task completed today may need a revamping in 6 months from now. Stay on top in your industry by performing routine SEO audits (we recommend quarterly follow-up audits) to ensure that your website is up-to-date with the latest developments.
6. Lead Conversion Optimization Audits
Analyze website conversion opportunities and issues, which can be onsite or technical. We will find and fix any web pages our tools may indicate have usability issues. An audit of web page usability, conversion rate, copy, call-to-actions, and aesthetics will lead to determining potential areas of improvement. Key insights as to how your visitors perform the desired action once they land on a specific page are the driving force behind increased revenue. By analyzing and interpreting data, you gain new advantages when the conversion potential of your traffic is replicated and improved on for new successful leads. The end result is more dollars in the bank.
7. Social Media Audit
One common loss we see in online marketing is when a business misses out on the potential of re-targeting. Competitive auditing includes the knowledge of which channels your target audience in on, how your competition is engaging them, and other key insights. Metrics can be read which reveal a great strategy for re-targeting to reclaim lost customers and them back to your site. By examining what content, headlines, images, and tactics are working as well as what doesn’t, a social media audit will better align your social media spend for better PPC campaigns and more. Once we have completed researching, analyzing and comparing your social media presence with your competitors, a well-defined marketing strategy is crafted.
There is little benefit in just “posting” and hoping something resonates with viewers. Rather, we work with you to determine how your business can best use social media to get the highest possible return on your investment.
8. Site Health Audits or Position Audits
We consider assessing a site’s general overall health as important when there is a site health issue that comes along from a noticeable drop in SEO rankings, positioning, and traffic. When from an unknown causation, a focus to check for algorithms penalties becomes top of mind. Determining if a site has been algorithmically or manually penalized is foundational to the next steps. After we have forensically examined your site with tools and our trained eyes utilizing our hard-earned knowledge and expertise to inform you of where you have challenges and opportunities.
Gain the benefit of a holistic analysis of your website and an overview of your site’s history and all occurring activities on site. Each page on your website needs a unique selling proposition (USP). This amplifies your marketing online and empowers your products and services to stand out from others. Since online marketing is virtual, potential clients don’t know you and may not trust boasts on your website. A superior USP can remove doubts, improve branding, and build trust. A “Where Do You Stand” audit will answer questions as to a Panda or Penguin issue or if you have none at all.
9. Structured Data and Rich Snippet Audits
Given the increase in the value of a website that is correctly utilize structured data markup, you may also want to check search results for any schema types. If you already content such as events, reviews, news articles and products (to name a few), then today, search engines are expecting to be seeing rich snippets for them. It is important to check whether Google is reading this markup, and whether or not there are any errors being flagged.
10. E-Commerce Shopping Cart Audit
Many small business owners work hard to achieve a great quality e-commerce and shopping cart site. Even when well SEO optimized so that prospective buyers can find your site, statistics indicate that approximately 5% make a purchase on the first visit. With Google Analytics properly set up, you can gain useful data to learn about their user experience and potentially remarket to them.
It is easy for the retailer to feel compelled to ask for contact details and billing information too quickly. The buyer, on the other hand, has different criteria. They want to know shipping details, anticipated time till it arrives, and what former purchasers have to say about the product.
Request the Following to be Included in Your Site Audit:
Your website content audit should encompass at least all of the following assets
• Social media content, including online video
• Digital news releases / digital press releases
• Online reviews
• Directory listings
Where any of these come up short in meeting the determined keywords or personas, this is where you need to work. You should create a map that shows what topics, content types, and delivery mechanisms are to be created as well as what existing content may be eliminated. The result of these three audits should be a full production schedule that your clients agree to with you – including metrics reviews to provide ongoing checks and directional adjustments. Businesses that are new to digital marketing typically feel unorganized and uncoordinated in their efforts. All that will improve by conducting one or all of the above website audits.
Audit for Strength of your End-User Focus
Once you’ve succeeded in gaining an optimized, engaging user-focused website, you can advance through GAP analysis, ROT analysis, user intent analysis, as well as update your content creation/marketing strategy.
Content mapping is going to give logic and improve usability for your site, a comprehensive website audit will empower you to focus on your web site’s content. It will remove technical issues and improve performance so that users and search engines can find and decipher your content.
More importantly, content mapping allows you to see your content as it relates to the goals of your viewers, your site’s users. Your audit and mapping can answer search queries with high-value content. By mapping all pieces of your content in your website (as well as external websites), you can spot gaps (and opportunities) in your content development strategy.
Auditing your Website Means Knowing How Images Preform on Mobile
In May of 2015, we learned from that users were conducting mobile searches over desktop PC across 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan. As fast as mobile engineers are making improvements, it remains challenging to download data on most mobile phones versus on a desktop. As more users opt to search from their smartphone or tablet, page load time becomes more of a critical factor. Webmasters that have this reality in the forefront acknowledge that image optimization is essential. An image audit is a key component to a full website SEO audit. If they are not optimized efficiently, they can be the lead factor that is contributing to a slow site. Diagnosing image optimization issues start with mapping all images used on your website.
Some pages with images require more subjective consideration and it is best to individually evaluate them. Your image audit at the diagnostic phase will evaluate image sizes, metadata, naming conventions, and formatting. You will receive an audit report that details the key factors that can be updated and contribute the greatest impact on page load speed. From there, we will help you determine if an image‘s weight might be best replaced with another format, like a vector or raster. Sometimes images can be combined in sprites to save load time and still deliver the same visual results. While it may seem only too practical, one of the most common mistakes we uncover in an image audit is when an image is called to be displayed to users at one size, but is uploaded in a much larger format. By compressing and saving the image down to the size rendered, a lot of web weight is trimmed.
Where to go After Your Website Audit
SEMPO* released their highly trusted 2016 Edition of the State of Search Survey on November 15, 2016. What surprised some marketers is that the revenue gained from implementing correct organic SEO strategies outstripped ever other form of marketing dollar investment.
* 95% of agencies and independent SEO consultants found that it outstripped paid search, which came in second at 89%.
* 93% of digital marketers places its return on investment spend over that of paid search, which again closely followed at 85%.
* Various forms of social media marketing followed.
Throughout all of this, remember that a user-focused SEO campaign creates long-term plans that target the end user, which is the heart and soul of what Google is looking for today. It keeps your clients intimately involved with your business relationship, aligning you with them and building their trust in you. When your PPC, Marketing Ads, AdWords, and campaigns align with a healthy website with distinguishable matched content, you will be amazed at the difference. You can throw away buckets of money on paid search if your website is begging for an audit and needs fixing. By using Google Webmaster Tools, you can find many fixes your website needs and then build out your marketing plan in confidence.
These audits are meant to offer you a holistic analysis of your site and give you an overview of everything that is occurring or might have occurred to that site. These site audits are also helpful if you’re trying to root out a recent downturn in traffic or positioning of unknown cause.
Our Website audits will typically include red flag warnings or some type of alert to you when discovering something that might be violating the agreed on search engines’ (usually Google) terms of service. If you aren’t receiving “red flag warnings” in your audit, you are missing one of the key points of a site’s health. Make sure it will be addressed.
What to Expect Before Your Audit Begins
Before an audit begins you should always expect the auditor to request the following:
• An initial phone call or meeting to review your site’s history, past issues, and any SEO work performed to date. Again, consider this similar to a visit to your physician. To obtain a proper diagnosis, he/she needs to know what your symptoms are, any medications you are taking, your family’s medical history and much more. Holding information back or forgotten reports only hurt or delay the auditor’s analysis and getting to the root of your issues. Don’t be embarrassed that you bought 10,000 links, have broken links or too much duplicate content. To road to recovery and business begins with a discovery audit.
• Access to your business analytics, Google AdWords Account, and Google Search Console accounts. Whether you use Google, SEMrush or another tool, your auditor can only do a superb job when the data to your site is available. It is all the better if you have both Bing and Google Webmaster Tools; they can offer different insights and can discover something you may otherwise miss.
Don’t Hire An SEO Tool – Hire an SEO Expert
Your audit can increase profits without substantial reliance on on-going overhead costs.
If someone offers you an audit for free or cheap, you may well get a summary report data from tools that may be dated, don’t take into account the ever-changing environment of search, your uniqueness or competitive niche. A report without the ability to interpret it or implement its findings may be just one more document in your files. A site audit is not expensive if hiring skill versus “tools”. The expert is the difference make to reaching a successful result that brings a return on investment.
Your audit is only going to be as revolutionary as the person who uses it. Make sure they know what they are doing and have the experience to back up not only the analysis but also in making the proper recommendations. An audit can also confirm whether or not your content is centered on your consumers wants. Remember cheap SEO is typically expensive in the long-run. SEO tools usually don’t reveal if a site has already been crawled by a search engine, or how well it is crawled, or the speed of crawl and whether or not it avoids server request overloading. Sometimes if a larger site is crawled too swiftly, a web host provider may choose to block your bandwidth to protect their servers and hardware from being slowed down. Most businesses are unaware of when this happens.
It only costs a little today, but can mean a significant loss in revenue if the clean-up is inconclusive, implemented incorrectly, or with old-school tactics. Outdated models of SEO audits abound.
You are Buying the Expertise of the Auditor
People commonly ask me for a list of the audit tools that I use; it could go on and on. More tools surface with regularity and other website auditing tools continue to update with new features. What is more important is to have the know-how to read the reports and to be skilled in implementation. A stack of reports a tool produces can sit on a desk for a long time without fixing and re-testing repeatedly. There are so vast that there is no one right or wrong list of tools. What you are paying the auditor to do is to take whatever analysis tools they are skilled with, and benefit from their comparisons and data interpretations gleaned from those reports.
For example, I once broke my foot. But I didn’t know it till after I mistakenly walked on it for weeks till the pain was so severe, that the general practitioner agreed to refer me to a podiatrist (foot doctor). The break was hairline and in a difficult place to see without the eyes of a niche professional. If you aren’t an SEO expert, hire one. Do you ask your general doctor to perform heart surgery if you need one? Feel free to ask lots of questions; we partner with our client so that can learn a lot about what SEO is and how to incorporate new insights in future web content.
“Here is what you are really paying for – the expertise of the auditor.” – searchengineland.com
In website governance, a content audit is a process of evaluating content elements and information assets on some part or all of a website. ~ Wikepedia
Web Site Audit Services from Hill Web Marketing
Technical SEO Site Audit
Google Business Listing Audit
Schema Markup Audit
AMP Pages Validation Audits
SEO Link Profile Audit
Google AdWords Account Audit
Digital Content Audit
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On-going Small Website Audits and Reports
Follow our blog to obtain new tips and advice website audits and reports. Web marketing continues to evolve and improve; we’ll make sure your website continues to stay healthy after our major audit and improvements are installed. Once you have Google Analytics and key metric reports in place, you can identify areas of improvement for user experience and lead conversions.
How much does a website audit cost?
The simple truth is that the cost of a service like ours varies by type, level of competition, the number of pages and more. While you can find free audits, their value varies widely depending on who you talk to.
There are many digital marketing agencies that charge anywhere from $2,000-$5,000 for a service like ours for a small site. You won’t be paying for a brand cost in our audits; they are based on the time and investment level that you opt for and not our skill set. The cost of our basic website audit starts at $499. We don’t rely on just any software that kicks out cookie-cutter suggestions for a business site. We spend our time on your website, its history, pros, and cons before highlighting the good and bad elements.
When clients are really serious about gaining a completive edge, we go through your website with a fine-toothed comb and hawk eyes. We’re like to go come up with suggestions for changes and new strategies that will increase traffic and improve conversions and business revenue.
If you think that your website isn’t getting the number of inquiries and results you want, call 651-206-2410 or start with a… website audit