Do you know how your website is performing and which sections of your website are driving traffic? Are you aware of the contribution that your website is making to the fulfilment of your business goals? To know the answer to these questions, you will have to understand the performance of your website.
The content that you put up on your website should be able to do justice to your business objectives. To know how your website is performing and is being perceived by the internet, you will have to conduct a website quality audit. For people who are unaware of what a website quality audit is, it is checking the health of the website.
You make continuous changes to your website through content change and updates to adhere to the requirement of the audience. Maintaining the quality of your website with each of these changes is extremely important. You also need to see that the SEO strategies you are using are working and driving traffic.
For a better understanding of website quality audit and why you need it, you will first have to understand what website quality is. In this module, you will learn about the importance of website quality audit and what it does for your website. You will also get a clear understanding of the process that you need to follow for a successful website quality audit.
What is Website Quality?
Website quality is the health of your website and where it is placed in the search engine rankings. When people try to find your website or search for keywords related to your website, it is displayed in the search results. If your website delivers high-quality content, only then will the rankings of your results be high.
If your website is ranked well, then it will be displayed in the top search results. This, in turn, brings traffic into your website. Your website will only be considered to be of high quality if it follows the guidelines of the webmaster.
The content that is uploaded has to be relevant according to the requirement of the audience. Once you upload your content on to your website, it is checked based on certain parameters, whether it meets the quality that is required. If not, then you may not find your website on the top results.
How do you find out whether the quality of your website is high or not? You will have to ensure that you do a proper quality check and upload only those contents which are good. Without that, your website will not receive the traction that you wish for.
To maintain the quality of your website, you will have to follow a proper structure and also conduct a thorough analysis. This analysis will let you know the changes that your website requires to fulfill the quality maintenance criteria.
How Can Your Organic Performance Be Affected By Website Quality?
Despite having a strong marketing strategy, your brand may be unknown to many people if it is not present among the top search engine rankings. The audience will not know about the existence of your brand, and this will not generate traffic to your website.
In the current digital marketing era, people must be able to find your website online. For this, you have to ensure that the search engine ranking is quite high. The possibility of this arises only if you have a high-quality website. Based on the service or product that you are delivering, you will have to upload content that aligns with the audience’s needs.
The content should be keyword based so that people can find your website when they search for that particular keyword. Along with the content, the structure of the page should also be up to the mark. If you are unable to follow the proper guidelines of a good quality website, then Google will lower your search engine ranking.
The success of your website and subsequently, the business depends mostly on organic traffic. If you have low performing content, then people will not stay on your website even if they find it. But the major chances are your website will not be discovered by your target audience in case of non-performing data inputs.
Factors That Affect Website Quality
A high-quality website is necessary to ensure traffic, increase ranking, and create brand value. There are certain factors that you have to keep in mind when you are developing your brand website. These factors affect the quality of your website.
When people visit your website, they should not have to spend a long duration to reach their desired information. The website should be easily accessible to the audience. This ensures return visits and also increases the value of your website.
The content that you upload on your website should be factually accurate. Any error in the information will break the trust of the audience and also diminish your quality. Moreover, factually incorrect data will lower your search engine rankings as well.
When you develop a website, you need to give it the utmost importance. The content of the website should be uploaded on time. Your website needs to be active so that quality and performance increases.
Putting up relevant content is a must for you to create high-quality web pages. The content that you include in your website should be aligned with the kind of service or product that you wish to deliver to your audience. Moreover, it should also meet the needs of the target audience.
What Is Website Quality Audit?
To establish a strong online presence, you need to develop a high-quality website. We have covered what website quality is and the factors that affect the quality of your website. Now we will learn about website quality audits. The word audit means an inspection. Hence, website quality audit means analysis or inspection of the quality of your website.
If you are worried about your site not generating enough organic traffic, then you may have to conduct a website audit. This audit will determine the drawbacks and problems of your website. Whether it is your structure, content, or even functionality, you will be able to find out the pain points through an audit.
Not only that, but you will also be able to determine the areas that have the potential to provide you with better opportunities. The kind of results that you will derive from the website quality audit will depend on the size of your organization.
If you have just established a new website, then your website audit will determine the problem areas. Through this, you can make the necessary changes that will help you to gain more leads through organic marketing.
On the other hand, if you are a well-developed enterprise, then you will be able to derive both the positive and negative aspects of your websites. This will help you to find out the threats and opportunities that you can face through certain changes.
Why Do You Need Website Quality Audit?
Through a website audit, you can find out the shortcomings of your website. When you develop the content for your website, there may be certain errors which are becoming a barrier for you to increase your rankings. These errors will be found out when the audit is conducted.
The audit will also find out if there are any broken links or duplication of content. These issues need to be addressed so that the website quality is enhanced. The loading time and speed of the website is also checked in this audit.
The blogs or articles that you add to your website will play a big role in the traffic generation for your site. You will have to ensure that the content is correct and relevant to the audience. The audit will check for any factual misinterpretation or irrelevancy based on the keywords that are mostly used by the audience.
Through the website quality audit, you can change the face of your site and generate more traction. If you have a healthy website, then the search engine ranking will also increase. This means that when people search for products, services, or keywords related to you, they will be able to view your website in the top results.
Hence, website quality audit contributes to the growth and betterment of your website and your brand.
What Does Website Quality Audit Do?
When you initiate the website quality audit, you will have to first crawl the pages of your website. You can use different applications such as DeepCrawl, Screaming Frog, or SiteBulb for this step. After this, the SEO data will be crosswalked for each of the web pages.
(Source : https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/)
The content of your webpage will be analyzed for any duplicity, and the ranking of the keywords will be checked. The performance level of each of your web pages will be determined through the audit process. Once this is done, you will be able to understand how valuable each of your web pages is.
When you are finished with the website audit, you can decide what steps to take for each of the problems detected. You can get rid of the pages that are of no value to your website. These pages are the ones that are responsible for the low search engine rank of your website.
You can add different SEO directives to your website and also carry out many other SEO actions. The website audit will present you with a report of the areas that you need to rectify to change your online presence.
Once you are done with your website quality audit, you will have a fast performing website that will consist of content that can meet the needs of the audience.
What Inputs Do You Need To Conduct Website Quality Audit?
All the URLs that are present on your website will have to be reviewed as well as analyzed with the use of any of the above-mentioned applications. Through an XML Sitemap, you will be able to determine the URLs that are present for crawling. There may be multiple sitemaps, and this would depend on the structure of your website.
(Source : Google Images)
The backlinks data needs to be checked with the help of Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a tool that will help you determine the number of people who are visiting or linking your website. This is necessary to understand since links play a major role in the ranking of your website.
(Source : https://ahrefs.com/rank-tracker)
Next, you will have to use SEMRush to determine the rankings of the keywords that are present on your website. This will tell you which keyword is most popular in your content. You will also be able to determine the ranking of that particular keyword and how many times it has been searched by the audience.
(Source : semrush.com)
One of the essential inputs of the website quality audit is the Google Analytics data. This helps determine the organic traffic that you have generated over a particular period. This traffic will be calculated in terms of visits, sales, conversions, and traffic lost.
Lastly, through a Google search audit, you will receive data about the SERP that has occurred in a given time frame along with Google clicks you have received.
What Will You Derive From Website Quality Audit?
Website quality audit provides a consolidated report of all the blank spaces present on your website. This means that you will not have to go through different reports to find out the necessary information. Through the use of different tools, you will be produced with certain valuable insights that will help you in making important changes to your website.
The report will have different classifications, which will help you understand the kind of issue that each web page or content is facing. Once you classify the web pages into different types, it will be easier for you to take the necessary actions.
This report can be used for many different purposes. Making changes on the website is not the only reason that you need to conduct the audit. It is beneficial to go through the website quality audit every few years to determine the current position of your website.
You can use the report to build a successful SEO strategy for your website. The results delivered will be classified according to the market and SEO requirements. This means that any changes you make to the website will bring you one step closer to a better search engine ranking.
The output that you receive from this audit needs to be analyzed correctly to get the desired changes according to the digital market demands.
How Do You Build A Website Quality Audit Report?
Six main SEO sources are used through which you can build the audit report. Creating a proper audit report is the first step to a successful website quality audit. To start, you need to find the sitemap of your website. If there are no sitemaps, then you need to create it. In case there are multiple sitemaps, all of them need to be included in the report.
Next, you will have to import the data of your site using any SEO tool such as Screaming Frog. Here you will be able to get information about the URLs that are present on your website. Along with this, you will import the metas, files uploaded, the word count of each web page, and canonical tags.
After the site data is imported, you will need to use Ahrefs to get data about the backlinks of your website. These backlinks will only be on the followed pages. Here you will be able to know the links that are related to your website and the particular web pages it points to.
The next part of the report will consist of using the SEMRush tool, which will find out the rankings of the keywords present in your website. The report will also mention the web pages on which these keywords are present.
(Source : Google Images)
Google Analytics is used to derive data related to traffic, sales, and conversions aligned with your website. This data is based only on the organic performance of your website. Lastly, you will have to pull data through the Google Search Console. Here your report will include the SERP impressions derived from Google clicks.
How Do You Clean The Website Quality Audit Report?
Once you have used all the necessary tools, you will be presented with a complete report comprising different fields. Some of these are unnecessary and would not be required to continue your analysis. Whether you are the one doing the analysis or you are taking the help of professionals, you need to get rid of the unnecessary data.
Cleaning the report would consist of deleting the formulas that are present in the data. When you do so, you will be left with only important information related to your website. To do this, you can copy the complete report and paste special on a new tab of the excel sheet and click on values only.
After this, you can delete the other tabs manually, as you will not require those anymore. For a better-looking report, you can format the rows and columns with different colours to emphasize the different categories.
Different Category Types Present In the Report
After you have cleared your audit report, you can segment it using different kinds of category tags. These category tags will lead you to analyze the information in a disciplined manner. You can follow each tag and then analyze it and move on to the next.
This way, neither will you leave any page by mistake, but you will also be able to address the problems of the pages properly depending on their type. Moreover, you can compare two different web pages with the same tag. The same pages will have the same objectives, and this will give you accurate results.
Here eight kinds of category types have been mentioned. You can use many more category tags depending on the results that you have derived from the audit.
- Product Page – Just like the name suggests, this type is only applicable for sites which are selling products to their audience. It just means that if you are an e-commerce website, then you will require this tag.
- Product Category – Just like the ‘Product’ tag, this is also used only for e-commerce websites. This section will consist of the different types or categories of products you sell on your website.
- Local Lander – This category is for the local landing pages of the website. If your organization is based in different locations, then you will have multiple landing pages for each of these locations. If the organization operates only in one location, then the local lander category would be applied to the home page.
- Lead Generation – The web pages that would fall under this category are aimed towards generating leads. They are mostly similar to the landing pages or the Local Lander category. The only difference is that the lead generation category is given to the pages that focus on national audiences rather than local.
- Blog Post – Assigning this category is very simple as you will only have to focus on the web pages or sites that have blog content, articles, or news-related items. These can be a series of web pages present on your website.
- Blog Category – This tag mostly applies to websites with different blog sections. If you have a huge number of content that is categorized into different sections or themes, then you can use this tag for those blog types.
- Guide or Resource – These are web pages that provide in-depth content related to any topic. They are mostly stand-alone pages and are not connected to any other web page or section.
- Site Info – This tag can be applied to many different kinds of web pages such as shipping, terms, and conditions, cart, about page, FAQs, etc. These pages are a must-have to complete any website and may or may not contain SEO material.
To assign these tags, you will have to create another column with the title of Category Type. This process may be time-consuming but is essential for a well-structured audit report. You will have to check each URL that is present in the report and assign them the necessary category tags.
Different Types of URL Actions in the Website Quality Audit Report
After you have decided on the different categories that these URLs fall under, you will have to decide upon the course of action. These actions will be based on the type of category and the problem it is facing. Remember that these actions will be taken to add SEO value to your website.
Nine URL action types and their meaning have been mentioned here. These are given to provide an idea about the kind of actions that you can add to your spreadsheet. You can add your URL actions depending on the kind of problems that have been mentioned in your spreadsheet.
- Leave As Is – You will be assigning this tag to the web page where you do not wish to make any changes. It can either be a web page that fulfills the necessary standards or does not provide any SEO value to your websites such as the ‘Terms and Conditions’ page.
- Update On Page – This action will be designated to those web pages where you wish to update any information. They can be given to resource guides or even blog pages where you have to change the information based on recent findings.
- Target with Links – These are for pages that are of SEO value but have no rankings.
- 301 – These are the pages that have no importance to the website. You need to redirect them to a more relevant web page of the website to create value.
- Canonicalize – There may be certain pages that have the same type of information, but both of these pages are important for your website. In such cases, you need to determine one page which will be ranked. You will have to add this tag to that particular page.
- Block Crawl – Some web pages are important for the audience but serve no value when it comes to search engine rankings. You will have to block these pages from crawling so that it is not taken into consideration while ranking.
- No Index – Similar to Block Crawl, but specifically used for stand-alone web pages, the No Index action is used for pages that are of low quality. This is done so that you can restrict the indexing of these pages by Google.
- 404 – This action means to delete a particular page which is of no use to the website.
(Source : Google Images)
- Update – This is an SEO based action where you need to update or increase the number of keywords in the content of your website.
These URL actions will be assigned to the web pages manually. You will have to check out the category tags and analyze the web pages individually to check which action would be suitable for it. You can assign more than one URL action to each web page.
Building Action Items For The Website Quality Audit Report
Now that you have set up the URL actions for each of your web pages based on their category type, your audit report is complete. But how do you make sure that the actions are carried out properly? The audit report may be confusing to read and analyze for some people.
If you have other people on your team, then the best thing to do is to assign these actions to your team members. To do this, you will have to create another spreadsheet where you will mention the URL actions, web pages, and the actual actions that need to be taken for each of these pages.
Here you can create two columns that mention the priority of the action and the person this is assigned to. In the action tab, you can write in detail the steps that need to be taken for each of the web pages. This will create a more structured data and will be easy to work on.
You can add the links of the report spreadsheet to different action tabs if needed. Once done, you can share this spreadsheet with your team members. Set up a deadline for each action so that it is followed in a timely manner.
One important thing to remember in the final action spreadsheet is that you have to take into consideration the primary URL action. If you have more than one URL actions designated to a certain web page, then consider the first action as the final one.
Creating A Presentation Deck Of The Website Quality Audit Report
If you are an agency that is conducting the website audit for a client, then you would require to create a presentation deck. A presentation deck is basically a PowerPoint presentation, wherein, you provide a summarized version of the audit report.
Most clients are not interested in the different sections of the audit report. What matters to them is the findings and the actions that you will take to make the necessary changes. That is what will be included in your presentation.
You will have to start your presentation with a brief introduction to what website quality is along with the importance of conducting a website quality audit. Next, you will have to mention the different inputs that go into the report and the ways to analyze them.
The outputs of the report will also include the explanation of the different category tags, and the URL actions will be mentioned. This will help the client to understand the findings that you will summarize in the presentation.
Mention only those actions which need immediate attention of the client. If you have any additional insights that you wish to share with the client, you can add those as well. Do not pile up the presentation with unnecessary data. Include those which are of the utmost importance.
Finish the presentation with an action tracker that will contain information about the necessary actions that you will take. Also, include the next plan that you have set up to successfully move ahead with the campaign.