Website Auditing Service
A website audit aims to identify areas of improvement to help your website to work better, improve customer experience, and can also help to improve search engine results.
Website audits aim to identify areas of improvement to help your website to work better and improve customer experience.
Who is a website audit for?
No matter who built your website, whether it was a dedicated in-house development team behind a global e-commerce site, an agency producing bespoke websites, or freelancers using Wix or WordPress, most websites have room for improvement.
But beyond that, many websites actually have errors which may be causing visitors problems.
You don't know what you don't know!
The problem is that some issues might be causing potential customers a lot of frustration, but you might not even realise those problems exist unless you test for them, or your frustrated customers are good enough to let you know!
Let's explore the benefits and the pitfalls
Let's answer a few questions...
What is a website audit?
An audit of your website (also known as a website technical audit, or website health check) aims to identify areas of improvement to help your website work better, improve customer experience, and potentially also help to improve search engine results.
Backed up by years of experience, a range of website auditing tools are used which will highlight problems or areas of concern with your website, both behind the scenes as well as things which are visible to you and visitors when viewing your web pages.
This quality evaluation of your website aims to identify, report and in some cases troubleshoot problems with your website. It is an analysis of a website's effectiveness by looking at things such as:
- the website's structure and individual web pages for optimised use of semantic HTML and meta tags.
- correct use of schema markup and Open Graph tags.
- broken links.
- missing images.
- how pages display and behave on different screen sizes and devices.
- an assessment of page load times and reasons why your website may be slow... especially on mobiles.
How can a website technical audit help?
Some website problems may have low impact and therefore you might consider them to be low priority and you'll get to them when it suits you. However at the other end of the scale there could more significant problems which stop part or all of the website from working, and those could be severe enough to justify immediate action to resolve.
You can't solve problems you don't know exist!
You can't solve problems you don't know about. A website assessment in the shape of a technical audit aims to find those problems... whatever and wherever they are.
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:
For eCommerce audits you would also expect checks to include things like:
- Product search
- Product display
- Search filters
- Shopping basket calculations
- Delivery options
- Promotional codes
- Multi-buy offers
- Loyalty schemes member benefits
- ... and many other things.
Confusing layouts, broken links, missing images, page speed issues and display problems on different screen sizes and devices...
... these can all be reasons for potential customers leaving your website early without engaging, contacting or buying.
Can an audit improve my website's performance?
On its 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
Want to do your own website audit?
If you would prefer to carry out your own website audit, download our free website audit checklist?
This will introduce you to more than 135 checkpoints which you can work through yourself, or Targa can provide a more comprehensive auditing service which covers more than 380 checks, plus a website audit report which you can use to see what was found.
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!
More common problem areas...
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!
Genuine errors can also be interpreted as being devious and sneaking in hidden costs... although that does happen too, and it can lead to suspicion and a loss of trust.
Testing for possible price calculation errors requires:
- a list of scenarios to cover,
- a spreadsheet,
- a way of recording and tracking any issues so they can be re-tested,
- 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 date-stamps 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
Mobile audits your site
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 an audit would naturally include the desktop experience, we will always ensure that the mobile experience is included in your website audit too.
This is not just a box checking exercise...
Using checklists 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...
You could say that when we conduct a website audit, it's thorough!
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.