Quick Tips and Checklist for Website Audit
Before starting an internet marketing campaign it is important to make sure your website meets certain requirements. Otherwise, regardless of your effort and money invested, you won’t be able to succeed. Thus, in order to avoid spending money and time in vain, make sure your website is ready to be promoted.Here is a checklist to consider when carrying out an website audit.
1.Metadata-Web crawlers pay special attention to metadata when browsing your website. Meta data represent special text blocks, usually unseen by an ordinary user, that are commonly used to describe the content of a web page. Title, description and keywords are the basic metadata.
Metadata play an important role, especially when it comes to the home page. Based on title and descriptions, most search engines generate snippets that appear in search results. The title must contain the best keyword for the home page. The description should contain a keyword as well. It is necessary to add up to 10 keywords in the meta tag, associated with that particular page.
2.Content-Important pages (home page first of all) must have h1 heading that would include keywords. Also, the home page should have some text (at least one paragraph), containing 3-7% of keywords. But here it is better to rely on human perception, I.e. if the text can be read naturally, it is probably exactly what you need.
There is no need to highlight that content should be unique and shouldn’t be repeated neither on other websites nor on the pages of the same website.
3.Duplicate URLs-Each page on your website should have a single URL. If there are several URLs for one and the same page, for example /article/ and /blog/article, than the crawler can treat it as a duplicate and lower the position of both pages.There are several approaches to the problem. The first one would be to avoid indexing one of those pages. This can be done with the help of robots.txt or using a nofollow tag in the header.Another way to solve the problem is to use rel=”canonical” with a link to the page you need. In such a way search engines will know which page is the primary resource and will index it.
3.Site Speed-The speed of your website is a very important factor. Google and other search engines care about user convenience and thus, lower the position of slow websites. Moreover, users won’t wait for too long.
It has been estimated that if it takes more than 5 seconds for a page to load, most users will close it before its content will show up.
There are several aspects as to the website speed, including the amount of graphic elements and their optimization, hosting overload, and the speed of site code. In addition, cache and compression setting also affect site speed. There is a great Google service with the help of which you can check the site speed, notably Page Speed Insights.
5.Usability Audit-Regardless of how convenient a website for crawlers is, you won’t achieve success unless it is convenient for humans as well. When a user comes to your website, he/she should figure out what and where to look for a certain product instantly. Users must understand where the necessary information is placed. If speaking about landing page, which aims to sell a service or a product, the button “buy” or “order” should be found in the most convenient area.
6Website formatting- A consistent template should be used for navigation, text, headers, links and typography during the process of web development itself.
7Highlighted Layout- The layout of the website should be such that it highlights the more important content, places it upon the fold and less important content followed by it.
8Organized Content- A clear and consistent content structure and flow should be given to the visitors without overwhelming them.
10.Whitespace- White space should be provided sufficiently, to decrease the cognitive load of the visitors and to make them digest the provided information easily.
11Bling- The bling should be under control and the user’s experience should not be distracted.
Next we come to ‘Branding’. Check how we can enhance the brand value even during our website development process by keeping few points in mind.
12Color- Ensure that the entire color scheme of the website matches with the company’s logo. The colors should be chosen keeping in mind the nature of the business and the type of visitors you are expecting.
13 mages and videos- The images should be very specific and should be able to effectively represent your brand, product and services.
14 Typography- The typography should be unique and different from the competitors, matching with your brand’s standard.
15 About Us Page- The About page can include details about the business, who you are, success stories, clients’ testimonials etc.
16 Favicons- Small sized image, measuring as tiny as 16×16 pixel can have a huge impact on the visitors. It simplifies reviewing of bookmarks for the visitors
Because your website is for the visitors, just evaluate how much helpful is it for them with the ‘Usability’ Checklist.
18 Proper Navigation- The visitors should be able to navigate the website smoothly and freely. It should include all the important links in the header and should not be more than 3 pages deep.
19 Error free Content- It should be written in the native language and should be free of grammatical and spelling mistakes. The larger blocks of the content should be broken into small snippets separated by subheads or bullets.
20 Appropriate Readability Level- Reading the content and understanding it should be as easy as ABC. If the readers can’t understand what you’ve written, they won’t stay for very long on your website.
While you are doing the process above, you need to keep in mind that internet is a powerful platform and a good website can increase the revenue of your business more quickly than you’ve ever thought. You need to be patient as popularizing a website takes time. If during the entire process, anything goes wrong, you need to think ‘how will it be fixed’ instead of ‘Oh…. How did it happen?’ The most critical and important step is to develop an action plan which you will be following in the entire process. Go ahead and increase your website’s weight