Checklist to consider when doing a overall website audit
05 Apr 2016
What is Website Audit?
The systematic examination of any website. A website audit involves the inspection of a site by the site auditor with tools by utilizing their knowledge and proficiencies to assess how good or bad a site is; what needs to stay in the website and what needs to go out. With continuous changes taking place in the SEO industry and top SEO services in Dubai keeping a track of the same, site audits are a must to ensure that your website is updated with all that is required to maintain a good health and link profile.
The site audit will present a detailed report on your website’s performance in search, numbers of internal or external links, social media or any other information related to your website. It will also give a list of actions that are to be taken and why each action is required. The website auditors will also suggest an internet marketing strategy that has to be taken up in order to further improve business strategies and to channelize the right ROI.
Why should you choose Minds Metricks for SEO services in Dubai?
Dubai is becoming a hub for digital marketing services. With best SEO practices followed by SEO companies in Dubai, it is now one of the most sought after cities for these services in the entire world.
In a recent survey by McKinsey & Company, internet marketing is going to be the second highest advertising means in regards to growth worldwide. Where the consultants are expecting the business in the MENA region to grow by 10.1% annually until 2018.
The MENA region companies are the biggest spenders on digital advertising and it expects the numbers to grow from $38.8m to $65.2m by 2018.
Internet marketing is not a one-time game which can be completed overnight but, it is a powerful marketing agent, and a website can make or break a business. To know what is wrong with your website and find out ways and means to fix it, a website audit is a must for at least twice in a year.
Some of the issues that would be included in the website audit checklist would be:
Companies have their own website color schemes and typography which they call brand guidelines to keep everything in symmetry and consistency and which also distinguishes it from its competitors. Images and videos should represent the company’s products and brand, the ‘about us’ page should give adequate information about the company and the favicon, or the shortcut icon which provides branding for the website, should be checked.
This includes the website architecture and layout, and one should check that the website is using a consistent template format for headers, text, navigation, and hyperlinks. The layout on the home page of the site should have the critical content above the fold followed by other content material which should be organized with enough white space to make it easy for the visitors to the site. Call-to-actions should be planned early during the development process and should be made easy for any visitor to follow.
It used to be just simple design work for professionals 5-7 years ago, but now things have changed drastically and designers focus more on user-friendly designs with conversions their top priority.
Coding is an important aspect, and the website should support the new coding standards, HTML5 and schema. One has to also make sure that the headers and the sub headers have been used properly. Including the use of dynamic XML sitemaps ensures that search engines discover new or updated pages easily. Speed is essential, and so, coding should be light and images should be minimized to optimize performance of the site. Website’s desktop and mobile speed plays a significant role in the overall performance and the efforts made in your search engine marketing campaign especially SEO.
A lot of content(sensible & informative) is good for your website because that helps you create a lot of internal pages and more & more internal links within the website. Content is the vital part of any content marketing campaign. It also helps you create links to other authoritative sites displaying the relevant information. By making these links, you get to target long tail keywords; which is a hotshot trend in the SEO services in Dubai nowadays and also helps you target different anchor text.
The content quality should be high and should be regularly published so that it indicates your website as fresh website every time Google crawls your website. It should cover topics that are significant to the website and is associated with the industry and should be powerful enough to attract visitors repeatedly and encourage them to share and discuss content in social media.
Content duplication should be avoided as duplicate contents are filtered out by search engines. Duplicate contents might also find themselves penalized and so, web pages should contain unique contents. Excessive advertisements are also liable to present a poor view to the user.
5. Keyword Research
Use keywords which have the most probability of being used by any visitor to locate services relevant to your product. This will help in producing positive results. Focus should be on using a 1-2 keywords optimisation per page. Stuffing the page with keywords will only harm the site’s ranking instead of turning out to be beneficial.
Ever since people have started doing keywords research, using keyword planner tool from the adwords accounts is a regular way of doing. But in the recent times Google have made it a lot more advanced and insights oriented way of understanding important keywords for a brand. Few of the ways are mentioned here:
a. Google’s “Auto complete..”
b. Google’s “Search Related to..”
6. Integrating Social Media
Reality of SEO has changed over a couple of years, social media has occupied a big share in the strategy/game plan when it comes to the importance of a website on Google search engine. It all starts from your content going viral, the common nomenclature “Viral” refers the platform social media. It’s very important for a business to not just have a profile on social media properties like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+, but to have continuous engagement with their audiences. Keeping engagement active helps your brand in following ways.
- Keep your profile healthy and fresh
- You get desired traffic on your website
- You create a brand awareness amongst your targeted audience
Different social media properties have unique ways of adding value to a brand LinkedIn and Twitter and for businesses to share industry insights where you get serious audience and corporates as well. Whereas, Facebook and Instagram are more consumer-oriented audiences, where you get to connect directly to your audience.
A good web design will keep the desktop as well as the mobile on a single URL. Larger websites may dedicate a specific website only for mobile users. The site should avoid use of flash which search engines find difficult to index and the site should be easy to navigate.
Not long back, but in April 2015 Google became strict and rolled out its new update and warned the webmasters for keeping their websites mobile responsive in order to maintain or perform well on Google mobile searches.
Please note that this update:
- Affects only search rankings on mobile devices.
- Affects search results in all languages globally.
- Applies to individual pages and not the entire website
Webmasters just got over off the hangover of Google’s mobile responsive update and they were bombed with another update in October 2015 for the hidden JS and CSS files in the webpages, which prevents Google to index the webpage in the correct format.
One of our client’s website got hit by this update and it was pretty clear that Google Bots were blocked to access the resources of 74 pages of the website and which resulted of massive drop in rankings. To update our website and to ensure that no webpage in the website has blocked resources and Google bots can easily access each and every webpage we performed the below set of steps for every individual page that had blocked resources.
For every web page that has blocked resources, follow the below steps as it is.
1. For each web page, you will be given a three step-by-step procedure to rectify this.
Click on the first step “Fetch as Google” to see if you are getting a partial or complete status.While this is happening, you move on to the second step of the procedure i.e. to verify the host and claim the ownership of the blocked resources.
The third which is “Testing the robots.txt” file will give you the surety that Google bots are completely allowed to access the webpage.
If it shows partial, you need to look deep into your blocked resources by clicking on Partial status.
Once you go deep into the problems it will show you what all elements of CSS and JS are blocking what all resources.
If it shows complete, you are all set to submit your website for indexation and request Google to crawl it again.
Once you confirm that all your web pages follow the guideline given by Google in the newest update you are on a safe side from now on and can be assured of risk free.
We are still monitoring if the rankings will recover or not. But no matter whatever the outcome is, we will update the results here for our readers.
The recent two updates mentioned above clearly shows that Google is becoming very particular in regards to the technicality of the website and will try and make everything in a very user-friendly manner.
This checklist should help one to assess how beneficial his or her website would be. In case the auditing has shown poor results, it is time to fix your website which will help you define strategies for optimal visits and replicate the conversion potential leading to higher revenue.