A website audit affirms that your digital strategy is on track and that your digital assets perform to their full potential.
One of the most important activities you can perform to confirm your digital plan is working and in good shape is to do a website audit. A website audit looks at the website’s entire content and addresses critical questions:
- Is the content on your website driving the type of traffic you want?
- Is it improving your website conversions?
- Is your website achieving your goals and expectations?
A website audit is the most reliable way to determine if your site is actually doing what you want it to do.
With this in mind, you might be wondering when and how frequently you should get a website audit.
There isn’t a hard and fast rule – some people suggest doing them once or twice a year. Other people recommend doing one as often as possible. But striving to do a website audit once per quarter is an excellent general rule to follow.
There are fantastic benefits to conducting a quarterly website audit:
- Provide you with excellent baseline metrics
- Keeps you up to date with the latest SEO trends, or industry shifts
- Make your data more manageable (and therefore more valuable)
- Keep your website up to date.
Let’s dive into these a little deeper.
1. Consistent website audits gives excellent baseline metrics
“We received 100 clicks today,” is meaningless on its own.
Similarly, if you do not know your baseline metrics, conducting a website audit won’t tell you much.
By conducting regular website audits, you will have baselines that you can compare against in the future, and derive real and actionable insights.
Let’s say you’ve performed some significant revisions to your website and worked hard to improve your SEO. With reliable baseline metrics from before you made the changes, you can actually see the difference they made.
Conducting routine a website audit means that you have a trustworthy bank of data about how your site has performed in the past, and you can always use this as a baseline for how your site is doing now.
2. SEO changes often – performing a periodic website audit helps you respond
Search engine algorithms are continually being updated and improved. So it stands to reason, websites should also be refreshed and tweaked in response. Being current with the latest algorithm changes, and modifying your SEO strategy to them, is critical.
In past articles, we discussed iterative design for your website, and the notion also applies to SEO. You don’t want to think about SEO as a one-time thing. Instead, think of it as an ongoing, active project that you are regularly adjusting, testing, and re-evaluating.
A website audit is an excellent way to keep apprised of your ongoing SEO project. A quarterly audit will reveal patterns in your keyword analysis and let you know how successful changes to your SEO strategy have been. A website audit will also allow you to learn about keywords or content that you may have overlooked. You can easily spot problems, and before they become more significant problems, you can solve them.
3. A regularly performed website audit makes your data more manageable.
One of the key advantages of a website audit is that it allows you to sit down and closely examine the data and metrics. But you may not be able to access some of the data if you wait too long to perform a site audit. You could also find it difficult to break down the data that you can access information that is manageable and useful.
The Google Webmaster Tool is a perfect example of this. The Webmaster Tool provides a lot of data about bot activity on your site. The catch is that you can only view three months’ worth of data. Suppose you haven’t performed an audit in a year. In that case, the three months of data you can access won’t be as illuminating as if you had been checking, extracting, and reporting on it consistently.
4. A website audit ensures your site is always up to date
Unless you’re conducting periodic audits, it’s likely there is information or content on your site that is outdated or incorrect. There’s sure to be some content that isn’t generating any traffic. You can recognize this quickly by performing a website audit.
On the other hand, fresh content is crucial for SEO. A quarterly audit will help you accurately recognize whether you’re keeping your content current and up to date. Content can get old quickly, so the more regularly you review it, the better.
A website audit allows you the ability to look at what content actually reaches your audience precisely right, in addition to determining what content is tanking.
Can you do a website audit on your own?
Doing a website audit isn’t most people’s idea of a grand time. But they’re an astonishingly valuable part of a company’s digital strategy. Conducting audits regularly gives you more bang for your buck (and makes the entire auditing process much less unpleasant.)
A website audit will give you a wealth of data. You will know how your site is performing, how visitors are discovering it, and whether your content is converting them into customers. A website audit will also reveal which sections of your site work and which you can improve (or remove), and whether your SEO strategy is current.
Some business owners are concerned about the cost of scheduling professional website audits each quarter. To help keep costs down, some consider the feasibility of auditing their website themselves. While there are several free audit tools available online, there isn’t one that can generate the comprehensive reporting of a professionally prepared website audit.
In general, instead of giving you a big picture analysis, free tools can only give you a small snapshot of your website. Even if you use several free tools to try to get a comprehensive picture of your site, you might find that you might get contradictory information. These inconsistencies would only make it much harder for you to piece together an accurate view of your website.
Your website is like a salesperson who is available to customers around the clock without ever taking a break. As such, your site can inform them, respond to inquiries, attract visitors, and make sales 24 hours per day. Clearly, the hardest-working member of your team is your website. With that in mind, and the ever-changing search ranking requirements, can you really afford not to invest in consistent, professional audits to keep your site as fresh as possible?
In other words, if your website has a bunch of avoidable “sick days,” you need to weigh the expense of a professional website audit with the amount you risk losing. When you do, you will quickly realize that your site needs the best possible care. With free auditing software, you can not have that level of care.
Schedule a website audit consultation with our San Antonio digital marketing agency
We invite you to contact Focused Idea to schedule a consultation if you can’t recall the last time you had a professional website audit or don’t already have routine site audits scheduled. We will explain our auditing process and include examples of the essential details you should expect from our audits.
Regularly scheduled professional audits are essential to maintain your website’s competitive advantage. Are you ready for your comprehensive website audit? Connect with the talented team at our San Antonio digital marketing agency.
We look forward to talking with you soon!