What Is A Website Audit?
A website audit is a full analysis of everything related to your website’s level of search visibility. A complete and detailed one will give you a deeper understanding as to why your site is not generating the traffic you think it should or why your sales and conversions are not improving.
A comprehensive audit service will provide you feedback on everything from your technical issues to your content. This type of website checker will help ensure that you are giving your visitors the best user experience and the search engines the best crawling experience possible.
Can You Just Use An Automated Audit?
There are many “automated” SEO analysis tools where you can do it yourself, but these are not mean to be a full scope audit and will give you limited help in what really matters to rank well. Typically these type of checker website tools will give you a generic outline of pre-determined SEO “norms” like how many H1 tags you have, how long is your meta description and those types of things, while they make a great guide – they are not a true in-depth analysis.
You may visit other sites and see a cool tool that says “What Is Your SEO Score” or “Get Your Free Analysis” – and then you put in your URL and voila’ in a few minutes you have this really pretty report with some great information!
But now all you really did is trade in your email for a basic level report that gives you no real value.
While this can be a useful low level overview of your web health, these reports are really meant to be “lead generation” tools and not meant to be a replace a full in depth review of your website. Often when you use these tools you will have to enter your email – or the report will come back showing issues and they encourage you to contact them for help.
These tools are in no way a true representation of the health of your site and do not provide real value in terms of what needs to be fixed to improve traffic and conversions.
Examples Of Free Automated Audit Services.
Although as noted above we do not recommend these free tools as a replacement for a real in-depth review process– we wanted to share a few options if you want to run a quick check to see how you are doing.
A really popular one that a lot of people use is Woorank, and at a glance it is an OK tool to give you a general overview of the health of your site. But important to note is that it only pulls data for the URL you input. So if you use your home page URL, you only get the results of that page.
You are missing out on the other hundreds of pages or so that are on your website.
And also note that on the page when your report appears, you will see a button that says “Start Your Free Trial” – this is lead generation to sell you their services.
Here are a few more audit tools you can try:
Remember – these are all low level reviews that only tell a small part of the story of your website. You may try running several of these audits and find that they also return different results – which can make it all the more confusing for you to address any issues they return in your reports.
Unfortunately, there is no free tool that will give you a full comprehensive look at how to improve your website.
Why Do You Need An Audit?
You need an audit because things change in the search engines and it is important to make sure your code, content and speed are up to par throughout these changes and updates!
We have been involved in the SEO world for over 12 years and we have seen incredible changes from the search engines in how they compute the search rankings. It used to be that you could just add keywords to your title tags and content and header tags – get a few back links and there you go – you are ranking in the search engines!
It is NOT AT ALL like that anymore and if you want to see great search engine rankings – you need great content, site structure, technical SEO and backlinks to make it all happen! All of these items matter as well as taking a white hat approach to keep the search engines happy and users happier!
Some of the more recent additions to these factors include:
How many of these questions can you actually answer?
- How many back links do you have?
- Are any of your back links low quality?
- Do you have any broken links?
- Do you have Schema implemented?
- Does your site have load time issues?
- Is your URL structure helping or hurting you?
- Do you have any Meta issues?
- Does your mobile version pass validation?
- Is your Robots Txt file correct?
- Are your users leaving your pages too quickly?
These are just a FEW of the many things needed for proper SEO optimization and to give users the best online experience to keep them onsite longer!
If you do not know the answer to these questions – you need to take those first steps and get some help and direction to get you going in the right direction to help your users have the best experience and get the search engines to love crawling your site!
What A Good SEO Audit Includes
An in-depth SEO audit is not a quick process. Properly done it can take several days to several weeks depending on the size of your site. When we check a website at 2 Dogs Media we usually note that it will typically take 2-3 weeks to deliver a final document.
Why so long you ask?
Because we care about finding all of the issues and providing simple and easy to use direction on how to improve your web presence. We take an in depth manual look at your site as well as run several reports to retrieve a variety of data that we then analyze and input into a well organized spreadsheet!
Our hands on approach and immersion into data from various sources gives you the best chance of improving your online business using only white hat techniques!
SEO audits may include the follow depending on your goals:
- 1) Technical – making sure your site is well coded and runs fast, uses robots txt & .htaccess properly
- 2) On-site – full analysis of all pages for proper keyword use in all pertinent areas (H1-H6, title tags, content etc.)
- 3) Off-site – analysis of back links and anchor text and authority and trust
- 4) Social – find current mentions and visibility
- 5) Local SEO – if you are a local business, we make sure your website is optimized for local and that you have citations and other elements needed to capture local listings
An average final report can be upwards of 20-30 tabs in a spreadsheet!
Can You Audit Your Own Website?
We understand the cost for an in-depth audit prepared by a professional can be prohibitive for some. There are a few options available for running your own audit that can make some impact on your business – we have noted a few programs above that provide free trials – then there are additional options with monthly pricing for more features.
Below are 3 of the more common auditing tools we use here at 2 Dogs Media – we highly recommend any of them for your auditing needs – we do receive compensation from the links if you make a purchase.
With the Ahrefs site audit tool, you can do a full check of your website for 110+ common technical and on-page issues that can affect your position in the search engines. With such a wide scope, you won’t miss a thing that could downgrade you in SERP – empty tags, duplicate content, broken links, problems with a server, nofollow internal links, too large or broken files, etc. You don’t necessarily have to know what all those 110+ issues mean. The dashboard gives a commentary on each of them and ways to get things in order.
Just like other tools in Ahrefs’ toolkit, it is a cloud-based tool – so, you won’t need to bother with any installation. Just enter your domain or URL, configure a few parameters, and crawling will start.
We use SEMRush for a bulk of our SEO services – and it does offer a decent audit tool that will help you get a good overview of issues that may be going on with your website.
The tool below will help you see what you can expect to see with an SEMrush account. Once you enter your domain you will be taken to a page on SEMrush where you can see a lot of great information about your website.
SEMrush is a monthly fee based service, and it is pricey if you are a smaller website or blogger — it is really more used by SEO agencies and big brands. But even using it for 1 month is a great investment and will allow you to get some great data that can help you improve your website.
TIP: enter your domain as mywebsite.com (no www or http – this will give you the best results)
Website Auditor by SEO Powersuite is another fantastic option and the one I recommend highly for beginner users who may need something a little more affordable. Website Auditor is a website auditing software that you install on your own computer and is a powerhouse when it comes to auditing functionality.
Below is a screenshot from the software – this is just a small portion of what this technical seo and content audit software can offer. Not only does it give you the issues your website has like broken links, crawl errors, schema issues and more – it also offers suggestions on how you can improve those issues.
Website Auditor is a one-time purchase for the software – then there is small fee to keep the software updated with the latest algorithms. It is probably one of the most cost effective options on the market for running your own audits.
Why Should I Use A Professional For My Audit?
Simple – websites are complex! You are an expert in YOUR field – why not leave it up to the experts to do what THEY do best, which is make your website SEO friendly.
No matter how many different do it yourself options you try, you are going to find issues that you do not know how to address.
- Canonical issues
- Duplicate content
- Robots txt files and tags
- Internal link structure
- …and so much more!
This is why SEO agencies do what they do – they live and breathe websites and SEO and know how to not only provide an exceptional experience but can address those issues to bring you the fastest improvements.
Many agencies do website audits – and then will consult with you and your team to help you implement the appropriate changes. This allows your team to learn more about how to handle the website and can help keep costs down.
Other agencies do everything – from the website check to the on-site improvements. This we do believe is the best option if you are serious about improving your website. It is an investment – but one where you should see a ROI if done well.
What A Successful Web Audit Can Do For You
A well done website SEO audit will give a business owner a great starting to point to improve their online presence. It will include all of the current issues the website is facing that is preventing it from doing as well as it could and also a complete assessment of what the business owner can do to improve the areas that are lacking!
Once a client implements the suggestions – they should begin to see a positive impact to their online business, it can take several months to see the full impact these changes will have!
The ultimate goal of any good audit will be the following:
- Increase in targeted organic traffic
- Improvement in conversions
- Growth in revenue
Website Audit Services From 2 Dogs Media
One of our favorite and most popular services is our website audits – so if you are looking for a partner, then we can definitely help! Below is an image that shows a sample of a Google Sheet that we provide to our clients so you can see what you will receive at then end of the auditing process!
Every analysis we complete is a combination of software reports and a manual review and then we compile and analyze all of the data into a spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet will be a fully detailed outline of all the items on your website that need improving as well as those that you are already doing well with. A few of the things you will find on the spreadsheet include:
- Suggested Web SEO Strategies – this will give you an overview of the core issues we found and how to fix them using only white hat techniques.
- Overview – lists all important components of your website with a rating as it applies to your website and the important of that item for SEO purposes so you know where to start with your improvements. We break it down into easy steps ranked by important so you can improve your ranking quickly.
- Backlinks – a list websites linking to you and if your profile is good or bad.
- External Links – websites you are linking out along with status (not found, broken, etc.).
- Internal Links – all links within your website where you link from page to page or post to post etc.
- H1-H6 – list of all header tags on your website and how well they are optimized.
….and so many more tabs with great information to help you improve your website.
How Much Is A Website Audit?
A typical audit ranges based on website size, types of audits you would like completed as well as the goals for the project. We have seen prices range from several hundred to upwards of $6+ by those with exceptional experiences.
At 2 Dogs Media you can expect a price range from $500 (small blogs) to $2,000 (mid-sized B-toB websites). Typically delivery time for your results is 2-3 weeks.
Ready To Improve Your Rank?
Contact us today to get a quote for a complete and comprehensive audit that will help you find issues that are keeping you from success in the search engines!