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What Is a Website Audit? And Why You Absolutely Need One

In the dynamic digital marketplace, your website serves as the cornerstone of your business identity, an ambassador to your brand, and a platform for customer engagement. A robust online presence is no longer a luxury but a necessity for small business owners striving to thrive and move ahead of their competition.

However, a website that fails to align with your marketing goals can become more of a liability than an asset. This is where a website audit becomes invaluable. It’s a wise and affordable investment for businesses aiming to refine their digital strategy and enhance their online presence.

what is a website audit? illustration of woman conducting a small business website audit

What is a Website Audit?

A website audit is an exhaustive evaluation process that measures the effectiveness and efficiency of your website. It involves a meticulous analysis across various aspects—user experience, technical integrity, content relevance, and SEO (search engine optimization) efficacy. Think of it as a strategic exercise that scrutinizes your website through the lens of current best practices, search engine guidelines, and user engagement metrics.

By identifying gaps and areas for improvement, a website audit lays the groundwork for actionable strategies that can transform your website into a more effective business and marketing tool.

Common Types of Website Audits

Your website is your greatest marketing asset and in order to navigate the competitive landscape of the online world, a detailed inspection is essential. There are several different types of website audits available. Each can provide you with the information you need to make changes to your site and to better understand any current issues that may be holding you back from a greater degree of success.

Each type of audit also serves as a specialized analytical tool, designed to scrutinize and refine distinct aspects of your website. From the user interface that greets your visitors to the complex technical infrastructure that supports it, and the optimization strategies that connect your content with your audience, these audits collectively chart a course towards a more effective and engaging online presence.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of website audits—User Experience, Technical SEO, and then Full Website Audits. Each will help you pinpoint strengths, reveal opportunities for improvement, uncover technical issues, and set a clear direction forward for your website’s ongoing development and success.

User Experience Website Audit

A User Experience (UX) Website Audit focuses entirely on how visitors interact with your website. It’s a critical analysis designed to ensure that your website is not just usable but delightful to interact with.

By examining factors such as layout and visual design, navigation efficiency, and content quality and accessibility, a UX Audit aims to elevate the overall experience of your website for every visitor, thereby fostering customer loyalty and increasing conversion rates. Every website should have specific goals in mind for how users are meant to journey through the content.

Navigation

Think of the user experience as an invisible map that you use to direct users where you want them to go from the moment they arrive. This map should guide them through the precise process of discovering what you offer all the way to your end goal for them (e.g. lead generation, contact, purchase, etc.)

If you are not making the path clear for them, it is very likely they will get lost or distracted in the journey and ultimately leave your website. You can avoid this common problem by having a strategic journey mapped out and then making changes to your website to guide your visitors along that journey.

Visual Design

A visitor’s engagement with your website is profoundly influenced by its layout, design, and color scheme. Every element plays a pivotal role in guiding and influencing their experience. A UX Audit examines these crucial components with a discerning eye, ensuring that the aesthetic harmony of your site resonates with your brand’s identity and values.

The layout must facilitate intuitive navigation and flow, the design should captivate and hold attention, and the color palette needs to evoke the right emotions and associations. This critical element of a UX Audit ensures that your website does more than just exist; it ensures that it communicates your brand message effectively—turning passive viewers into potential customers.

Technical SEO Website Audit

With search engines being a major gateway to online visibility, an SEO website audit is essential. This audit assesses how well your site ranks in search results by examining target keywords, keyword optimization, content quality, the appearance of duplicate content, backlink profiles, and compliance with SEO best practices. It provides a blueprint for enhancing your website’s search engine rankings, driving organic traffic, and increasing your digital footprint.

SEO Fundamentals

In an SEO Website Audit, we delve into the current state of your visibility to search engines like Google. It’s a meticulous process that begins with SEO fundamentals and competitor research. We use Technical and SEO Audit tools to gather insights on how visitors currently find and use your site, which pages they frequent, and where they face issues.

These tools help us understand the routes people take to reach you and the potential roadblocks they encounter. They also provide detailed information on keyword gaps in your SEO strategy by analyzing competitors in your space to reveal opportunities for growth.

Metadata

The technical website audit also includes a review of your website’s metadata—the behind-the-scenes descriptions that tell search engines what each page is about. It also provides an analysis of your website’s internal linking structure, which should work like a well-organized map, guiding visitors effortlessly to relevant information and keeping them engaged longer.

Links

We also check for broken internal links (including broken image links), which are like dead-ends that can frustrate users and harm your site’s credibility with search engines. External links are also reviewed to ensure that the sites you’re linked to are reputable and relevant, as these are considered by search engines when determining the authority of your website.

Page Speed

Page speed is another critical element; it’s the equivalent of the speed at which your digital doors swing open. According to Hubspot, the first five seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates.

If your website pages load slowly, visitors may turn away, and search engines may downgrade your site in search results. Fast-loading web pages, on the other hand, provide a better user experience and are favored by search engines, contributing to higher rankings. By addressing these and other search engine optimization aspects, a website technical SEO audit can dramatically improve how easily people can find and enjoy your site, ultimately leading to better engagement and conversions.

Best Practices

Finally, an SEO site audit looks out for any practices that could be penalizing your website’s ranking, such as outdated techniques that search engines no longer favor. Optimization for mobile devices is also reviewed and suggestions are made for improving mobile functionality if issues exist. Mobile responsiveness is a critical component of the technical health of your website.

A Technical SEO Audit ensures that you have all the insights necessary and suggestions to implement in order to be found online by your target audience.

Comprehensive Full Website Audit

Combining all of the components of the user experience audit and the technical SEO audit, a comprehensive website audit offers a 360-degree view of your website’s health. It’s an all-encompassing approach that evaluates every facet of your site to provide a detailed assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. A full website audit is the most thorough way to ensure that your website aligns with your business goals and is primed for optimal performance.

A Full Website Audit is the strategic key to unlocking your website’s full potential. It’s a comprehensive assessment that looks at every aspect of your site to ensure it’s working optimally toward your business goals.

Discover Opportunities to Improve

By conducting a full audit, you’re not just spotting minor flaws in your website’s design or navigation; you’re discovering opportunities to improve and innovate. It’s like taking a big step back and peeling back the layers to see the full picture—how your website design, functionality, and content work together to create a user experience that should be as smooth and engaging as possible.

Google Tool Integration

During a full web audit, we also take a look at whether your site is properly integrated with Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These Google tool integrations are vital for capturing ongoing data about the functionality of your website as well as how visitors are finding you. These tools provide a wealth of data to website owners and should be implemented for every website.

Customer Journey

Implementing the changes suggested by a full website audit provides many benefits. It enhances the user’s journey from the moment they land on your homepage to the instant they perform the desired action (e.g. signing up for a newsletter, scheduling a call, making a purchase, etc.).

Technical Foundation

It also ensures that your site is built on a solid technical foundation, free from errors that could deter visitors or search engines. Moreover, it reveals opportunities in your website’s content strategy to align with SEO best practices, making sure that your site communicates effectively with both users and search engines.

Maize Agency Needs Assessment Custom Report

FREE NEEDS ASSESSMENT REPORT

Determine the specific areas of your business that need the most immediate attention. This helpful assessment will provide you with a comprehensive look at the overall health of your business. The custom report will be emailed to you immediately upon completion and will help you decide which areas to address first in order to see more success in your business.

What is Your Website Audit Process?

Analysis of Your Website

The website audit process is an all-encompassing analysis utilizing a variety of tools and metrics to dissect your website’s current state. This process is designed to provide a panoramic view of your website’s performance and alignment with digital best practices. We assess everything from the robustness of its technical framework to the effectiveness of its content strategy.

During the first step of your website audit, we measure your website’s performance against established benchmarks. These benchmarks are informed by industry standards, competitor analysis, and your unique business objectives.

By understanding where your website stands in relation to these benchmarks, we can pinpoint specific areas where it diverges from best practices or falls short of your goals. This process is critical for identifying the strengths to build upon and the weaknesses that require attention. It sets the stage for targeted improvements, ensuring that every action taken post-audit is informed, purposeful, and conducive to driving your website toward achieving its full potential in your digital marketing efforts.

Our Website Audit Report

At the conclusion of the analysis, the findings are compiled into a detailed website audit report. This report is not just a collection of data points but a strategic document that outlines prioritized recommendations and provides guidance on implementing best practices tailored to your website’s unique challenges.

The report is structured to guide you through each aspect of your website’s current state, offering a clear explanation of potential issues and the reasoning behind each suggested course of action. It prioritizes tasks to help you allocate resources efficiently, focusing first on changes that can deliver the most substantial benefits to your website’s performance and user experience.

With this comprehensive document, you’ll have a step-by-step guide to elevating your website to its optimal form and positioning your business for greater online success.

Audit Results by Email and Zoom

At Maize Agency, we take a personal approach to conducting website audits. We prepare a detailed report delivered to you at the completion of your audit, but our website audits also include two Zoom calls. The first is to determine your specific goals for your website and discuss any current known issues. The follow-up call takes place after the audit is complete and allows us time to go through your audit report with you to discuss our findings in real-time and tailor our advice to address your specific business needs. We want to ensure you understand the information while also allowing time for Q&As.

Our Zoom calls are recorded so they are available to you for review at a later time as well.

Ready to Invest In a Website Audit?

Investing in a website audit is an investment in your business’s future. It empowers you with the knowledge and insights necessary to make informed decisions, ensuring your website not only meets but exceeds both user expectations and business objectives. It is also an extremely affordable way to obtain real data, specific to your business, for strategy development.

Generic website audit checklists are available online, but checklists do not provide a custom analysis of your specific business by experienced website auditors.

We would love to help you unlock your website’s full potential! Contact us today to schedule your custom website audit.

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