How To Do a Website Audit: 11 Site Audit Steps

Terkel

5 min read

steps for auditing websites

Decentralized Question and Answer Marketplace

Table of Contents

What is one step you take to do a website audit?

To help you with the steps to carry out website audits properly, we asked webmasters this question for their best insights. From testing the website load time to analyzing traffic patterns, there are several practical steps that may help you conduct a thorough audit of your website like a pro.

Here are 11 steps for auditing websites:

  • Test The Website Load Time
  • Live-Demo The Website Design and User Experience
  • Use MozPro Website Auditing Tool
  • Check That The Search Intent is Satisfied
  • Browse The Website To Have a Feel and Find Errors
  • Crawl The Website With Multiple Tools
  • Check To Ensure Content Is Current and Relevant
  • Gather Audit Details Using Ahrefs.com
  • Consider Customer Perspectives in Your Digital Audit
  • Start With a Technical SEO Audit
  • Analyze Traffic Patterns
Site Audit Steps

Test The Website Load Time

The first, and most important step of a website audit is the load time. Every page should load in less than 2 seconds. Once we got under the 2 second mark through simplification and elimination, our bounce rate went from 39% to under 9%. Anyone performing an audit must do whatever is necessary to be under this 2 second mark or their business will suffer. Eliminate any large photos, and any pages that are rarely viewed. Simplify, simplify, simplify. 

Robert Burns, Nuleev

Live-Demo The Website Design and User Experience

Analyzing design and user experience with live demos is an effective part of a website audit. Domain owners should get a live person to visit their website in order to test the interface and various functions available. The best way to get an accurate assessment of the user experience is by testing the website with a real person. The designer may not be able to see the flaws of a website without another set of eyes to critique it. The more people that a domain owner can get to test the website design and UX, the more successful they will be in improving their website’s functionality.

Liza Kirsh, DYMAPAK

Use MozPro Website Auditing Tool

While using Moz has numerous products and benefits for building a healthy website, one auditing tool I recommend testing out is Link Explorer. Find insights into the types and quantities of links pointing to your site, while also exploring competitor sites. The basic level of this tool is free to use, and you can sign up for a free 30 trial of their premium service, MozPro. Ultimately, your website audit should help you identify what’s working, what’s not, and give you a sense of adjustments you can make to see improvement. Keep in mind, link building is a long game that takes time, persistence and patience.

Natalie Figueroa, Peerlogic

Check That The Search Intent is Satisfied

Today, more than ever, the satisfaction of search intent is essential to position a website on search engines. Therefore, when carrying out an audit, it is necessary to check if all the main pages of a website or E-commerce meet the queries expressed by the people who search on Google. If a website answers the question asked by users, it is already halfway there. This plus technical SEO and link building will guarantee a notable web positioning.

Piergiorgio Zotti, Consulente SEO SEM Specialist Bari

Browse The Website To Have a Feel and Find Errors

Casually browsing the website is underrated in a website audit. Crawling and auditing the page to find the technical opportunities is essential. However, the browsing experience is as critical. The technical aspects are for bots and crawlers, while the front end is what users interact with. 

Open the website on various devices and audit:
– responsiveness of the various elements
– contrast between text and background at different brightness levels
– location of the call to action buttons
– font-family, size, class, and weight
– dimension of images in various display alignment (mobile)
– pop-ups, forms, and social media buttons
– the flow of pages and information on the website 

You will encounter outdated statistics, the wrong year in blog post titles, poorly structured blog posts, the low gap between heading and paragraph, and a lack of white space. The browsing experience is important to get higher rankings, and you should browse the website to find the errors.

Faizan Fahim, Breeze

Crawl The Website With Multiple Tools

The first step to any website audit – I do them for SEO – is to crawl the website, ideally with multiple tools. I usually use ScreamingFrog and Sitebulb and connect both with Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Before I hit the “start” button, I double-check that there is a sitemap linked in the robots.txt and crawlable, otherwise you might not get all of the website content in the crawl. There is never a guarantee that you catch everything, but those two crawlers in combination with the Google services provide a very good overview of what is on the website and reveal the most important opportunities for improvements.

Julia-Carolin Zeng, Charlie on the Move Ltd

Check To Ensure Content Is Current and Relevant

When doing a website audit, it’s essential to check if your content is relevant and up to date. Look at your blog articles to see if they still deliver value to your audience and address their pain points. You want to make sure that your content is of high quality and appeals to the needs of your target groups. While you want to use keywords in your content to rank high in SERPs, remember that you shouldn’t stuff your articles with keywords and sound unnatural. The most important is to write your text that is appealing to your audience and includes keywords in places where it makes sense. Keywords are also essential for your on-page SEO elements like URLs, page titles, and meta description. Keep in mind to regularly check in your analytics tools which keywords bring you the most traffic and think about how you can incorporate them on your website to achieve the best results.

Dorota Lysienia, MyPerfectResume

Gather Audit Details Using Ahrefs.com

There are plenty of 3rd party websites that can help you with your website audit. One of the most popular ones is ahrefs.com that can give you all the details needed about in depth SEO structure of your website, starting from how many backlinks point towards it (new and lost ones) as well as give you you further tips on how to get better rankings in your niche, such as include alt texts to your images, write meta description for your pages and so on. My website is primarily audited by ahrefs, feel free to check it out.

Kamil Gusaev, China Access Health

Consider Customer Perspectives in Your Digital Audit

The most important thing to consider when conducting a website audit is your customer’s perspective. Try to imagine how they would interact with your site and what their specific needs are. From there, you can start to assess what areas of your site need improvement and make changes accordingly. Things to look for include overall navigation (how easy it is to find what you’re looking for), content quality (check spelling and grammar), and conversion optimisation (check your links to e.g. Paypal).

Mary Donne, Mary Donne Media

Start With a Technical SEO Audit

Your organic traffic is declining and you don’t know what to do. It’s a reality many businesses can face whether they’re small startups or huge brands. So how do you diagnose the issue? This is where a technical SEO audit comes in, and should always be the first step when auditing organic traffic issues or preparing for a site migration. While there can be a wide range of issues, some key ones to look out for are 404 pages, redirect chains and any other issues that could impact crawling and indexing.

Ed Roberts, Milexa Group

Analyze Traffic Patterns

There are many steps that can be taken to do a website audit, but one of the most important is to analyze traffic patterns. This includes looking at where visitors are coming from, what pages they are spending the most time on, and what pages they are leaving from. This information can further help you to identify areas where your website is performing well and areas that need improvement. Additionally, it can help you to understand what type of content is most popular with your audience and how you can better optimize your website to meet their needs. For this, you can use a variety of tools for analysis, such as Google Analytics, Webmaster, or any similar programs.

Sunny Kumar, HeySERP

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.