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A Complete Guide to Website Auditing

Website auditing is an important step in evaluating why a website is not achieving its expected goals. These goals can range from the best position in search results (SERP) to a certain level of sales or engagement conversion.

What is a Website Audit

To be exact, a website audit is a series of processes to find out what needs to be improved, improved or optimized on a website. The audit carried out must also be selected according to the website’s purpose because an audit carried out properly requires a lot of time and effort.

If you want your website to be flashy with a striking design and have lots of moving components then you should prioritize a design audit over speed. If you want a website that is lightning fast then the design aspect may need to be sacrificed.

The Importance of a Website Audit

Because a website can have many purposes as mentioned above, it can even greatly affect the image and turnover of a company, website audits play an important role as a guide for optimizing a website.that need to be checked when conducting a website audit:

  • broken links
  • meta titles and descriptions that are not optimal
  • , keywords that are missed,
  • website loading speed
  • , display on mobile devices,
  • reading comfort on various devices and browsers.

points missed when conducting a website audit according to the purpose of the website or page being audited.

How to Conduct a Website Audit

Before starting a website audit, select which goal you want to achieve first below. Each objective has a different audit process.

While all of the goals below are important for positioning in search results, it’s a good idea to focus on one orientation or target at a time. The selection of audit objectives below are sorted by priority in our opinion, but of course you are free to determine which one you want to do first.

Website Content and Structure

Audit. Website content and structure audits are to find parts of the website that can be optimized in terms of content.

  1. Keywords / Keywords

Every article on your website must be optimized for certain keywords or keywords. One indication is that the keyword appears twice in the first 100 words of your article.

In addition, keywords or keywords must also appear in the content title, description or description, URL and it is recommended to also be in the subheading (H2, H3, etc. if possible).

  1. Title Tag The

title tag is our recommendation for what title should be displayed by search engines when someone is looking for our content. These recommendations will not always be followed by search engines but at least the right recommendations will increase the possibility of our content occupying the ideal position in search results.

Besides having to reflect the content of a page, the title tag must also be made attractive so that people are encouraged to click and open your website. But your content must also be interesting and able to meet visitor expectations so that it is not considered clickbait and makes visitors leave your website.

You can easily modify the title tag using an SEO plugin like Rank Math or SEO Press if your website uses WordPress.

  1. Meta Description

Similar to the title tag, the meta description is also a recommended description that search engines should display when someone is looking for our content. The meta description must also be attractive and represent the content of the intended page. SEO plugins like Rank Math or SEO Press you can use to modify the meta description if you are using WordPress.

  1. Images

Unlike a few years ago, today images play an important role in the optimization of a page. All image attributes as below can now be used for optimization and support the position of a page for certain keywords.

Image file

name Image name should be adjusted to the topic of the article and represent what is in the image. The point is to make it easier for Google to know what the image contains.

Image

formats Commonly used image formats are JPG and PNG. A better format is WebP but unfortunately not too many browsers currently can use it. It is possible that the WebP format will be able to replace JPG and PNG in the next few years.

Image file

size The size referred to here is the file size, not the dimensions. The larger the file size, the longer it will take to present the image to visitors.

The image file size should be as small as possible but without compromising the necessary quality.

Placement of images

In addition to file names, another way that Google uses to find out the contents of an image is to look at the context of the image. This means what words and sentences are around the picture.

Therefore, the placement of images should not be arbitrary. Place the image in the place that is best represented by the content of the image.

Image attributes

To help strengthen the context and clarify the meaning of the image, the following image attributes can be used:

  • Caption – is the text that is usually under the image
  • Alt tag – is the text that usually appears when the image cannot be displayed
  • Title tag – is displayed when the mouse cursor is hovered to figure
  1. Website Structure

Every website content intended for visitors must be easily accessible.

This means placing content in the appropriate categories and labeling them with the appropriate tags. What is recommended is 1 category for one article to minimize duplicate content with your own website content. In addition, there should not be 2 or more articles that have the exact same tags even though they are in different categories to avoid duplicate content.

Links to categories or tags should also be easily visible to visitors. In addition, make sure that the visitor does not have to click too much to arrive at the article he is looking for. A commonly used guideline is 2 clicks.

If a visitor takes more than 2 clicks to find your content then it is more likely that visitors will leave your website thinking the content doesn’t exist.

As with human visitors, if search engines take multiple steps to find your content then it can hinder the indexing of your website content.

Website Technical

Audit Website technical audit aims to find out what is preventing search engines from indexing or listing your website content. If a page is not in the search engine “list” then the page will not appear in search results and will not be found through search engines.

There are 2 ways you can do to find out if there is a problem with your website indexing. Using Google’s own search-engine optimization (SEO) tool is step one.

If your website has been monitored using Google Search Console (GSC) then the GSC will notify you if there are pages that cannot be indexed and why. Some pages do not need to be indexed, for example a page for attaching a website background image or an author archive page if there is only 1 author on the website.

However, if there are pages that should be indexed but are not indexed then GSC will send a notification so that you can address them immediately.

The second way is to check it yourself on Google using the search operator “site:”. For example, for sasanadigital.com, type site:sasanadigital.com.

Google will display how many web pages are in its index.

To find out how the results from your website will look in relation to the targeted keywords, use a query such as “keyword site: URL”, for example: digital consultant site: sasanadigital.com. In this example you can check if:

  1. The desired page/article appears first instead of the category/tag page etc. If the expected page does not appear in the first order then this is an indication that the page should be optimized further.
  2. The title and description are displayed as you wish

. Something like this:

  1. Robots TXT

Robots.txt is a file that recommends search engines which pages can or should be indexed. This is useful so that your website does not waste resources serving index requests for pages that are of no use to visitors.

  1. Sitemap

As the name implies, a sitemap can be likened to a map that displays the entire site. From a sitemap can be seen the structure of a website.

If your website uses WordPress then you can easily create a sitemap using an SEO plugin like Rank Math or SEO Press.

  1. Broken links

Broken links are links that point to pages that do not exist. It could be that the page used to exist but for some reason the page no longer exists.

Broken links can occur on internal links (links that point to content on your own website) or external links (points to other websites). Whatever the cause, broken links are annoying for visitors and can affect your website’s page position in search results.

Because there can be thousands or maybe more links on a website, manually checking for broken links one by one doesn’t make sense. There are many tools that can be used to find broken links, including:  Xenu’s Link Sleuth or Dead Link Checker.

If you already have a list of existing broken links then you can choose one of the actions below:

  1. remove the link so that it’s just plain text
  2. recreate the destination page and keep the link (if the destination page is on your own website)
  3. redirect link to another page
  1. Duplicate content

Duplicate content is meant here not only the content of articles that are exactly the same or have many similarities, but also pages that accidentally contain the same.

Then what about duplicate content where the contents of your website are copied and pasted on other websites?

For this problem you can report it to Google via this link (you can select Indonesian on the top right)

Because there is no guarantee of success, it is recommended to:

  1. Report only if the position of the website that retrieves content is higher than your website’s position.
  2. Focus on creating more quality content. Google’s evolving technology can recognize which content is original (usually published first).
  1. Website version

If your website uses WordPress then you can determine the version of your website address through the Settings menu, General, WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL). Decide whether you want to use www or not and if your website already uses SSL then make sure it says https, not http.

Website Security Audits Security

is also a priority for Google because they don’t want to direct users to unsafe websites. Therefore, website security is also worthy of your attention.

Using https

In easy-to-understand language, https is a safer version of the website for visitors. The opposite of https is http where there are no security features for visitors to a website.

This security feature is very useful especially for websites where visitors need to enter personal data or login to access certain features. However, even if your website does not require a visitor login, does not have a transaction page and no user personal data is exchanged, Google still recommends that your website uses https.

In December 2015 Google decided to prioritize indexing the https version of a website.

Website Design Audit Website

design and speed often don’t go hand in hand. This means that if you want a great design then sometimes you have to sacrifice speed.

  1. Font The

type of font also affects whether your website visitors will feel at home or not. But you don’t have to spend too much time choosing the right font. Unless your website is very concerned with design and must be different from others, then you can choose from among these 5 fonts that are widely accepted and suitable for use by many people:

  1. Open Sans
  2. Roboto
  3. Helvetica
  4. Montserrat
  5. Avenir
  1. Navigation

The navigation of a website can be likened to signpost. Navigation in a website can be in the form of links, buttons, images and others that direct visitors to different pages.

Given its similar function to a road sign, you can check whether the navigational elements on your website meet the following criteria:

  • Located in an easy-to-see place
  • The design is easy to see
  • Easy to click (not too close to each other so there are no wrong clicks )
  • There are already points that lead to important pages on your website
  1. Call To Action (CTA)

Call To Action is basically an invitation to website visitors to do something, such as a button that says “Buy Here” or “Register” or a link with an anchor text “Find the Secret”. Because it is instructive, its effectiveness is influenced by the use of words.

To find an effective CTA you need to experiment with different alternatives. Using an analytics tool like Google Analytics will be very helpful in tracking the results of each CTA and selecting the best one.

  1. Pop Up

A pop-up is a part of a website page that just pops up, usually in the middle of the screen and contains a request for visitors to do something (either download an e-book, buy something or subscribe to a newsletter). Pop-ups that appear too frequently or are difficult to get rid of can make visitors illegal and leave your page.

  1. Mobile Friendly

Website cannot be read comfortably using a gadget such as a cellphone or tablet, then your website’s position in search results will most likely go down. Starting July 1, 2019 Google is indexing the mobile version for all websites that have never been indexed by Google.

This means that Google stores the information in the mobile version of your website.

Website Speed ​​Audits

As already stated in the Website Design Audit section, speed and design often go hand in hand. If you want a fast website then there are times when design has to be sacrificed.

However Google seems to give more weight to content than speed. This means first optimizing the content on your website and then creating your website as quickly as possible without having to sacrifice informative content that is useful for visitors.

There are many factors that affect the loading speed of a page, including:

  1. Use of media such as images, video and sound

Media usage consumes more resources and takes more time than text. But there are times when images, video and sound are needed to strengthen the existing text so that their use is unavoidable.

  1. Use of fonts

Website speed is also affected by the length of time it takes to display the fonts used on your website.

However, if the device used by the visitor has the font used on your website, the browser only needs to load the font from that device which is certainly much faster. Well, there are some fonts which are already present on most of the devices in the world. Internet-friendly typefaces are what you probably know them as.

  1. Plugins

If your website is built using WordPress, chances are your website also uses several plugins. Speed ​​issues can arise if there are plugins whose benefits are not worth the resources required to provide those benefits.

If you feel your website is slow then you can consider removing unnecessary plugins. Or if you feel all these plugins are needed then you can consider increasing your hosting capacity.

  1. The number of visitors

over time, your website will experience additional daily visitors. If this affects the speed of your website then you need to consider increasing the hosting capacity.

  1. Hosting

The hosting you choose greatly affects the speed of your website.

  1. Internet speed of visitors

Although this is obvious, there are times when it goes unnoticed.

Do not forget if this is beyond your control. What you can do is adapt your website to the average internet speed of your visitors by tweaking the components mentioned above.

Audit Your Website Now!

In this article we have discussed the inside and outside of website auditing. Starting from the importance of a website audit to the priority choices you can take.

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