Battle of the Crawlers
Google’s main objective is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and helpful. They do this by sending out web crawlers to analyze and rank website content according to Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (or EAT). These crawlers index website content in real-time and send the best pages to the most prominent positions on search results.
On the other hand, website owners have access to a range of private website audit tools (SEO crawlers) designed to anticipate what Google is looking for. These crawlers improve onsite SEO by extracting data & auditing for common SEO issues. These and other tools are vital to site audits.
Benefits of running a regular website audit
If you’re running a regular website audit, you’re staying top of mind. Simple. The more frequently you update your content, improve SEO and eliminate dead links, the more likely you will bring in…
📈 Higher traffic and conversion potential
🦾 Stronger SEO and ranking best practices
📣 Enhanced customer usability and access to information
📚 Expert content that answers questions and attracts interest
✏️ Stronger potential to rank for contested keywords.
🌱 Improved Organic Search Visibility.
Here are a few of the most effective steps to conduct a simple site audit.
Step 1: Invest in a Website Audit Crawler
To better understand how your website is performing, you’ll need a website audit tool or website crawler. Some of the top options on the market include SEMRush, Screaming Frog SEO Spider, or Ahrefs. You’ll need to pay a monthly fee to unlock the most powerful features, but what you stand to gain in optimization and ranking potential is well worth the initial cost. These tools provide specific recommendations and tips to improve onsite page performance, including:
How to better optimize H1 tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, and titles
Recommendations to improve page speed and loading times
Keyword suggestions and content construction guidelines
Highlighting deadlinks, broken images, and other website flaws
A website audit usually takes a few minutes to conclude. After that, it’s up to you to use the data generated to improve your overall website performance. Check out the Ultimate SEO Ranking Guide for more detailed tips and tricks for boosting on-site performance.
Step 2: Find, track and fix onsite technical issues
After your auditing tool has brought back the data needed to start improving your website, you’ll need to run through the results and repair the most pressing issues that are popping up. Look out for suggestions and fixes around content quality, titles, and meta-descriptions, image sizing, mobile-friendliness, security, backlinking and more.
Take the most critical elements and place them onto a spreadsheet that you can refer to as you’re fixing your site. Categorize according to the issues you want to improve first, add the URLs that need to be addressed and start auditing. Depending on the size of your site, this can take a while. Pick one element and refine it across all pages. Cross it off from your Excel checklist and move on to the next. You’ll be able to refer to this checklist in months to come and further refine your findings as you go.
Step 3 – Identify SEO-specific issues.
Seo plays a considerable role in getting your site up to par with the Google Search algorithm. At this stage, you’re going to want to make sure to take the time you need to optimize your page to the fullest, looking out for suggestions on keywords, meta-descriptions, backlinking, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Step 4. Refine your design and user experience
From here, you’ll want to get a better idea of your end-to-end user experience onsite. You can do a few things to improve your overall user interface, like refining content, enhancing images, and placing the right call to action buttons where they will show up most prominently. Some of the above website auditing tools will have built-in heatmaps to help you better understand which pages and topics your users are gravitating to and where you can make lasting improvements that grab attention as a web developer.
Step 5. Assess and correct website content
And lastly, you’re going to want to improve your content to consistently rank higher in search results. Having the right content marketing strategy can go a long way to building credibility with your end audience. Some general guidelines include populating your onsite content with FAQs that can be drawn on quickly, finding the right keywords that rank in niche search results, and keeping your word count between 1200 and 2000 to boost relevance. Having the right content strategy in place will ensure that you:
📣 Keep your existing audience engaged and interested for the long run.
👀 Increase your site’s visibility and ranking potential (combined with the right SEO efforts).
💡 Generate rich leads that will stay engaged even after converting.
🏆 Bring in new prospects that are willing to champion and convert to your brand.
Quick-Fire Website Audit Summary
When you start running your website audit, there are a few fixes you can implement off the bat to start ranking higher in quick time. Google will check to ensure your website adheres to the below before anything else. These include:
Ensuring that your URL/Title tags contain relevant keywords and information specific to your brand.
Optimizing all of your pages for mobile.
Having rich, informative, longer content that answers questions and builds trust.
Placing the right keywords onsite to rank for searches in your niche or vertical.
Not adding images that are too large and resizing them where needed.
Ensuring all website pages are fully indexable.
And so, taking the above into account and with the right website audit at your disposal, you can run quick site audits regularly that keep you top of mind and maximize your ranking potential.
All the best on the road ahead, and catch you on the next one.