What is a Website Audit and Why is it Important?

Many business owners mistakenly believe that as long as they have a website, their potential customers can and will find them. Unfortunately, nearly every industry is overcrowded on today’s world-wide web and standing out or even being discoverable takes more digital know-how than ever before. Fundamentally, a website audit evaluates the health and wellness of your website. If you’re concerned that your company’s message isn’t getting through, it might be time for a website audit.

An audit should include an overarching analysis of essential functions of your site with several markers in mind – effectively convey your branding, improve the user experience, diagnose any critical issues, identify areas of strength and weakness, and enhance SEO/site visibility in search engines.


Understanding Website Audit Jargon

There are several types of website audits, all focusing on various aspects of your site’s performance and key performance indicators (KPI). There are a great number of KPIs but some of the most common are:

  • Authority Score or Domain Rating – an overall numerical score which takes into account all factors that affect site health developed by SEO tools and called something different for each one.
    Page Speed – an assessment of how fast a site loads, how smoothly it moves from page to page, loads images, shows video, etc.
  • Core Web Vitals – a list of essential performance indicators defined by Google that measure “real-world user experience”.
  • Backlinks and Referring Domains – other websites linking to yours and their legitimacy within your industry.
  • Traffic and Keywords – the number of visitors to your site and what they are querying to get to you.
  • Organic Conversions – a conversion can be anything that constitutes a successful site visit: contact form submissions, ebook downloads or shopping cart checkouts.
  • Organic Search Rankings – a view of how you stack up to your main competitors
  • Responsiveness – how well a site functions across all types of devices from desktop and laptop to tablet and phone.


What Kind of Website Audit Do I Need?

Let’s look at a few different types of site audits and how each type is useful.

  1. Performance Audit – looks at indexed pages, page speed, load times, and Core Web Vitals.
  2. User Experience Audit – deals with the overall functionality of the site, including navigation, design, ease of use, mobile friendliness, and the customer journey.
  3. SEO Audit – analyzes how well the site is optimized and positioned for search, including a deep dive into keywords, keyword density, and metadata.
  4. Content and Backlink Audit – reviews all text and graphic content to ensure it is brand appropriate and engaging, along with assessing backlink profiles to ensure that the quality and quantity are helping site visibility.
  5. Conversion Rate Audit – tracks how visitors move through your site, what actions they take, and if they are encountering hang ups with buttons/forms/menu items that may prevent them from completing end goals.
  6. Competitor Audit – identifies your competitors’ digital strategies so you can determine if what works for them may work for your business.

Now that you understand a bit more about the purpose of website audits, you can see that the success of your website is tied to how well you understand the user experience and how quickly you can make tweaks to optimize for peak performance.

Even if your site seems to be running fine, website audits are an important tool to catch any potential problems before they turn into serious complications. If you don’t find any issues, it’s still a good idea to update images, videos, keywords, and phrases from time to time to keep your site fresh and relevant. Full audits should be performed once or twice a year, and mini-audits can be performed as often as you like.


I’m Ready For a Website Audit – Now What?

There are some great site audit tools out there for conducting regular check-ups. Check out SEMRush’s audit tool. It can be a bit sophisticated, but is chock full of good info. For a very basic site performance audit, use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. These are great resources to help you start to understand the health of your site.

For full audits, and to learn the safest and most up to date best practices, it’s best to reach out to a digital marketing and design professional. As search engine algorithms become more complicated, you want to make sure your site is being reviewed by someone you can trust. An expert in the field can assess your website and provide you with an action plan focused on priority and effectiveness. A good agency or marketing person will balance your budget with your goals and help you make the changes that will be the most meaningful for your business.

Take a look at a sample website audit from Bear Paw:

At Bear Paw Creative, there is nothing that makes us happier than a healthy website. Our comprehensive website audit is tailored to your goals and prioritizes your unique position within the market as a throughline in every assessment. It is important to us that we talk in plain speak and give you an idea of the work we want to do. We’ll walk you through each step, help you identify new opportunities, keep Google happy, and watch more prospective customers turn into real customers.

Reach out to us for a full website audit today!

follow us on social