Who is a website audit for?
No matter who built your website, whether it was a freelancer using Wix or WordPress, an agency producing you a completely bespoke website, or a dedicated in-house web development team for a large corporation, most websites have room for improvement.
Many have relatively minor things which could be considered a matter of opinion whether they’re worth taking action over, whilst at the other end of the scale there could be severe problems which stop part or all the website from working.
A website audit aims to identify areas of improvement to help your website work better, improve customer experience, and also help to improve search engine results.
What is a website audit?
It is important to check the condition of your website regularly, but what exactly is a website audit (also known as a website technical audit, or website health check)?
This kind of check is a quality evaluation of your website which aims to identify and troubleshoot problems with your website. It is an analysis of a website to identify things such as broken links, missing images, how pages display on different screen sizes and devices, an assessment of page load times, and reasons why your website may be slow... especially on mobiles.
To help evaluate the quality of your website based on the above criteria, Targa offers a website auditing service on two levels:
- A FREE website audit, which will focus on some of your main website pages, as well as providing a more global report on missing pages or images, image sizes, excess code, and other thing which could be affecting the performance of your website.
- A full website audit, which is at a reasonable cost based on the size and complexity of your website.
What are the benefits of a free website audit?
Some of the most common problems found during a website health check can be fixed fairly quickly, especially where image optimisation has not been carried out correctly.
With our FREE website auditing service we use a number of website analysis tools including Semrush, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, Schema.org and some of Google's web page inspection tools. These, combined with many years of experience, enable us to analyse your website and produce an easy to understand report which can be emailed to you.
We found Daron to be very professional and thorough with his review on our company website. We were so surprised at the depth of his investigation. He identified some areas the needed to be improved and informed us on how this should be carried out. We would highly recommend his services!
Su Stirling - Prime Marine
You'll be under no obligation to act on any of the findings, but at least you'll be made aware of any problems, and if you want Targa to provide costs to fix any of the problems, we'll be happy to do so.
We can also help you to prioritise things, because there will certainly be some things which are quicker and cheaper to resolve than other things, and some things which will have a greater impact on your website's performance.
Full website audit
Our comprehensive paid-for website audit goes deep into your website with far more thorough checks than it's possible to carry out in our free website audit service, and covers your entire website.
Of course with some websites consisting of hundreds or thousands of pages, you might prefer that we target specific pages or sections of your site, and prioritise according to your objectives and your budget.
Selecting and prioritising sections of your website in this way will of course be cheaper, and if the 80/20 rules applies, you should see benefits for a much smaller investment than a thorough granular analysis and report would cost.
Error checking, page speed & display testing
Let Targa analyse your website to identify things such as broken links, missing images, page speed issues, and how your pages display on all screen sizes and devices.
Website analysis, error checking, page speed & display testing
What will an audit of my website find?
Some examples of what a website health check can reveal could include:
- Checking for errors, such as:
- Broken links.
- Buttons which don't work.
- Missing pages, missing images and missing
alt tagsfor images.
- Oversized images which are slowing your website down.
- Problems with form validation and associated error messages.
- Review for improvements:
- Checking how the major tags such as
<h2>etc are being used.
- Website speed test
- Page load speed analysis.
- Website architecture analysis.
- Page structure validation.
- Internal links - analysis and review of existing internal links and identifying opportunities for improvement.
- Checking how the major tags such as
Can a website audit improve my site's performance?
On it's own, a website health check won't improve a website's performance anymore than an annual MOT (road safety check) on a car will improve a car's performance. The objective of a website audit is to identify problems and areas of improvement.
Once those problems and areas of improvement have been resolved, improvements with speed, page load times and page stability can be expected.
The impact of speed and ease of use can have a direct impact on conversion, but different and more focused analysis on how customers interact with your website can be achieved through usability testing, and that can be important for keeping people engaged with your website so they stay instead of dropping off.
Give people a reason to stay on your website
Regardless of how great your products or services are, a website which is slow, confusing or overwhelming to a visitor will encourage them to leave quickly.
This is not only bad from the perspective of each visitor who decides to leave your website, but it can also impact your ability to reach more prospective clients through the search engines.
If the visitor stays on your website for a few minutes or more it will deem that to be a successful match for what the visitor was searching for. But if that visitor left after a few seconds, Google will interpret that as a bad match or poor experience.
Why did they send you there in the first place?
Liken this to someone recommending that you visit a specific shop to buy a particular item. But when you walk in and get a bad first impression, or quickly realise that it's doesn't meet with your expectations for any reason, you could walk out of that store in seconds and wonder why that person recommended you go there!
Reasons why people leave a website early
These may include:
- Slow load time (especially for mobile users)
- Confusing layout.
- Buttons or links do not work.
- The page the user landed on isn't relevant to their needs.
- Poor website content and missing images.
- Amateur looking website suggests a lack of professionalism.
- Poor overall experience.
Reasons why Google likes a website
Even though a page may be relevant to the search term, to avoid giving visitors with a poor experience, Google tends to favour pages which are relevant and easy to use.
Google therefore favours websites which are:
- Quick to load.
- Stable during page load.
- Relevant to the needs of the user.
Google also likes site which have:
- Good website content, which is up to date and well written.
- Good overall experience on mobile and desktop versions.
- Good quality
backlinkswhich suggest that other people rate your website highly enough to link to it.
- No broken links, missing pages or images.
Make the purpose of each web page crystal clear
Google also needs to be able to clearly identify the purpose of a web page. Of course the content on the page should be a big enough clue, but good use of specific HTML tags such as the H1 and TITLE tags on each web page is also important.
Key features, tags and snippets
Other things which can help your web pages to be more effective in search results and make people more likely visit include
schema markup (also known as structured data) and
Analysis of these during a website audit can be really useful. For example, if your website doesn't use
schema markup or uses it ineffectively or with errors or invalid sections, a website audit can reveal those issues and we may be able to make suggestions on what remedial action to take.
So you can see that by giving potential customers what they want and satisfying Google's search criteria, you’ll stand a better chance of being successful in search engine results, and this is where a website audit can really help.
A poor user experience is not always obvious
Sometimes a poor user experience is not easy to detect on your own website, because you’ll be naturally biased to what your own website looks like, what it does, what it says, where things are, and what YOU think your potential customers want and should do.
But that’s not necessarily what your customers think...
This is confusing.
I need X but all I can find is Y.
The text was too small to read.
I don't understand all of this jargon. Why can't they use plain English?
This popup keeps opening and covering the form I’m trying to complete.
It tells me that the credit card in my profile has expired, but it doesn’t let me update it and I can't complete my purchase.
Every time I use a filter on the list of items it displays, the page freezes and I have to start over.
I added another item and the price has gone up by more than it should have done, but it doesn’t explain why.
This annoying popup keeps asking me to rate my experience, but it’s actually making the experience worse!
I really need to contact this company, but they make it so difficult. I give up!
I’m sure we have all experienced these and many other frustrations when we have visited websites. How many times has this caused you to personally abandon the website?
What about your website content?
Whilst a website audit might not be able to validate the accuracy of your website’s content, it may be able to spot unnecessary repetition and other characteristics.
Checking for spelling errors is an obvious point to include here, but you might have many pages on your website which have not been updated recently, but most visitors to your website are unlikely to notice. What they will most certainly notice is when a page, blog or post actually displays the date that the page was published or last updated.
Is that important?
Well if you visited a website and the last visible updates to that website showed that they were made in 2016, what would you think? It suggests a lack of attention to detail, but is the company they still business? Even if they are still in business, how likely are they to respond to a query you submit through their website if they haven't updated something as simple as the copyright for several years?
A mobile audit of your website
You might think that your website looks and works great on a desktop or laptop, and you might be right. But can you say the same about your website on a mobile?
Many people consider it to be a bonus if their website worked well on a smartphone, and wouldn't be too concerned if it didn't.
If you're amongst them, would your opinion change if you learned that more than 50% of visitors to your website use their phones?
So whilst a website audit would naturally include the desktop experience, we will always ensure that the mobile experience is included in your website audit too.