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 low priority and you'll get to them as and when it suits you, whilst at the other end of the scale there could be severe problems which stop part or all of the website from working, whether that be on desktop, tablet, mobile or all platforms.
You don't know what you don't know!
Worryingly, there could be potential customers out there right now who are finding problems with your website which you don't even know exist. All you know is that your numbers are low, but you may not be thinking that your website is actually the problem!
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)?
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.
This kind of check is a quality evaluation of your website which aims to identify, report and in some cases 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 things 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 having my website analysed?
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.
A video walkthrough of your website
What people find really helpful is to have a walkthrough on video when areas of concern can be shown and described verbally. So for each free website audit a short video will be produced and you’ll be given secure access to it for 7 days after you receive the audit report and video link.
Videos made during the paid-for more comprehensive website audits will remain available to view for 24 months.
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 any remedial work, because there will certainly be some things which are quicker and cheaper to resolve than others, and some things which will have a greater impact on your website's performance.
Would you like your own downloadable website audit checklist?
Full website technical audit
Our comprehensive paid-for website technical audit goes deep into your website, with far more thorough checks than can be carried out in our free website analysis service. It covers your entire website, or specific sections which you choose to be audited.
In fact our current test scripts cover more than 380 website checks, ranging from basic visual checks to very detailed functional checks, some of which are listed below.
Website audits covering more than 380 checks!
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.
Website Audit Videos
Having a descriptive walkthrough on video to show areas of concern can be really useful, and so for each website audit a video will be produced which you’ll have secure access to. Videos can vary in length depending on the size of the website, the depth of the audit, and the number of things found.
What will an audit of my website find?
Things that our website audits can reveal include errors and issues in many areas, including:
- Broken links
- Buttons which don't work
- Missing pages, missing images and missing
alt tagsfor images
- Oversized images which are slowing your website down
- Excessive code bloat
- Keyword and meta tag analysis
- Cookie consent
- Schema markup
- Open Graph tags
- Problems with form validation and associated error messages.
- e-commerce, including:
- Product search
- Product display
- Search filters
- Shopping basket calculations
- Delivery options
- Promotional codes
- Loyalty schemes member benefits
- and many other things.
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.
Error checking, page speed & display testing
Website analysis can reveal things such as broken links, missing images, page speed issues, and display problems on different screen sizes and devices.
Website analysis, error checking, page speed & display testing
Can auditing my website improve my site's performance?
On it's own, a website health check won't improve a website's performance any more than an annual road safety check on a car will improve that car's performance.
The objective of a website audit is to identify problems and areas of improvement. Once those 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.
Let's say that a page on your website appears in a search and the searcher clicks on the link to that page. If they stay on the page for a few minutes or more it will be considered to be successful match for what the visitor was searching for. But if that visitor left after a few seconds, Google can 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...
You take their advice but then you walk into the shop and immediately decide that it's not for you. You might get a bad first impression, or conclude very quickly that they don't sell what you're looking for, or it's too cluttered and difficult to find either the product or anyone to help you. So you could walk out of that store within seconds and wonder why you were advised to go there in the first place!
Well from the perspective of a search engine, it wants to be sure that the advice it gives is good, and so it uses a number of factors including length of visit to determine whether the links it ranks high in search results are worthy of their positions.
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 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 schema markup during an 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?
When things just don't add up!
Sometimes things just don't add up!
Find and fix your pricing and cost calculation errors before they earn you negative publicity on social media!
Sometimes things just don't add up!
Price calculation errors
Sometimes there can be errors in price calculations. These might be difficult to spot, but you need to find them before your customers do, because quite often miscalculations or discrepancies in costs and price breakdowns can earn you negative publicity on social media!
Testing for possible price calculation errors requires a list and record of scenarios, a spreadsheet, a lot of patience and a keen eye for detail.
There can be times when the final calculation is correct, but the display of cost breakdowns (on desktop, mobile or both) might be inaccurate or misleading. Sometimes currency conversion can be the cause, but very often pricing discrepancies can occur due to tax amounts, percentage based or multi-buy discounts, delivery charges and other things.
Clarity of pricing is essential, and errors can creep in during updates to the front end (ie website) or backend systems, so if you need assistance with any detailed analysis to be carried out on a range of scenarios and devices, get in touch.
What about your website content?
Whilst a website audit might not be able to validate the accuracy of your website’s content, an audit might 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. Most visitors to your website are unlikely to notice how long it has been since content was updated, but old datestamps displaying the date when a page was published or last updated can have a negative impact.
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 content still relevant and is the company still in 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? Do you even know what your website looks like on a mobile phone?
You might be amongst the many people who consider it a bonus if their website works well on a smartphone, and wouldn't be too concerned if it didn't. But 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.
Make sense to get it checked out?
Over 380 checkpoints!
You could say that when we conduct a website audit, it's thorough!
Over 380 checkpoints... When we conduct a website audit, it's thorough!
This is not just a box checking exercise...
Using checksheets with more than 380 checkpoints serves as a reminder of what to test, and which platforms to test on. But this is more than just a checkbox exercise...
Our website audits follow a rigid structure, and are driven by curiosity to explore, backed up by many years of experience in:
- Development, management and testing of multi-billion dollar e-commerce platforms.
- Testing and fault diagnosis on websites for small and medium size businesses.
- Search Engine Optimisation best practices.
- UX best practices.
You have nothing to lose!
Contacting Targa for an informal chat will cost you nothing. Without placing you under any obligation, we can discuss your goals, your pain points, and determine how a website audit could help you.