By Ryan Laffler, Account Manager
The internet is a busy place. To say that it’s a “saturated marketplace” is a bit of an understatement. As of September 2014, the internet clocked in at 1 billion websites (website here refers to one with a “unique hostname”), and this figure has climbed even higher since then. With all of these websites fighting to stay relevant on search engines, it is no surprise that SEO is such a sought-after service.
An effective website is much more than SEO, though. Sure, your website ranks high on Google for a specific keyword, but that doesn’t mean it’s also user-friendly. Is your website enjoyable to use? Is the content on your website cohesive and brand-centric? There is a plethora of components that determine a website’s effectiveness, and a website audit is a service we provide to identify what is working and what is not.
The Components of a Website Audit
We begin a website audit by looking at your SEO. From a top-line perspective, we take a look at how your website and its primary pages rank on Google and Bing for various keywords. Are your meta-descriptions optimized and brand-centric? If you are a brick-and-mortar business, are you taking advantage of local SEO best practices and strategies? After this top-line perspective, we take a deep dive into your site to see how well it follows Google’s best practices (e.g., title tags, linking, accessibility, etc.). After we see how your site performs from an SEO perspective, we then take a look at its content.
The content component of a website audit analyzes how all of the forms of content on a site mesh with each other, interact with the audience, and communicate a brand. Our content analysis is comprehensive and covers all forms of content, from copy to audio, video, and more. These findings will help you make your content more brand-centric, objective-driven, and useful to your readers/viewers. This is key to driving more leads, traffic, and revenue for your website and business.
Websites are treasure troves of information and useful data. For this component of the website audit, we take a thorough look at where your site’s users are coming from and how they behave on your site once they get there. From this information, we put together a detailed analysis on your site’s users, your site’s usability and user flow, and key areas where your site is losing users. For example, you may not realize that one of the top pages on your website has a 93% exit rate. Using this kind of information, we can recommend techniques to cycle readers back into the rest of the site and make further recommendations on internal link strategies, site structure, etc.
It has been a long time coming. Google and other search engine giants have been slowly but surely changing their algorithms to favor sites that are mobile-friendly. That means that sites that are not mobile-friendly can be penalized, and the penalties seem to only be getting worse. For the mobile component of the website audit, we explore the usability of your site on mobile phones as well as tablets and identify areas where your site does not meet mobile-friendly best practices. These include everything from mobile responsiveness to load speed.
5. Social Media
Lastly, our website audit takes a look at how your website incorporates and optimizes social media. At the very least, we see if your site has social media icons, but on a deeper level, we see how these various social media components mesh with the content and structure of your website. Are you using calls-to-action where applicable? Is the sliding social media toolbar on the right-hand side of the screen distracting? Does it block any of your content? How are you engaging with social media users once they arrive at your site? This component of the analysis will help you identify ways you optimize communication and engagement on your site using social media.
Websites are ever-changing, and because of that, it is important to audit your website at least once a year to ensure that your website is performing at its very best. If you have seen our web development services and are interested in having The Goss Agency conduct an audit for your website, contact Ryan Laffler at (828) 259-9910 x111 or shoot me an email at Ryan@TheGossAgency.com.