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Why your site should have an annual audit

A decent website is like a car. You can’t just build up the engine and leave it parked in the garage. You need to put petrol in it, change the oil every so often, pass a Warrant of Fitness, and ensure the fluids are topped off. Otherwise, it simply won’t run smoothly and efficiently.

Website owners often notice their traffic and conversions gradually decrease over time. Just like the car we mentioned, a website needs a review every so often to make sure everything is still on track. Plugins can become outdated, errors and redirects can harm site speed and SEO efforts can become outdated as Google updates its algorithms. Ideally, you should let a professional developer or online marketer review your site once a year so that the site continues to hum along.


Elements of a Website Audit

Some companies and tools generate automated reports to aid in determining what components need updating however there is no comparison between this and having a seasoned pro actually audit your site. Here are some of the things that we look at:

Content

Google regards good content highly. We look at which pages are performing more strongly than others and refresh that content. We also roll out internal linking which capitalises on the extra traffic.

Technical SEO

We use tools that look into the nuts and bolts of your site. Is your internal and external link profile being used properly? Have you set alt tags for all of your images? Have you added meta descriptions to your pages for indexing purposes? Have you implemented schema? Which of your keywords currently have the best conversion rates?

Responsiveness

If your site is not presentable on devices, you will be losing conversions. Google factors responsiveness into it’s ranking signals. We review your Analytics to see how much of your traffic is coming in from a device. If more than 40% of your traffic is mobile, we can highlight where you are losing conversions.

Google Analytics

If you don’t have Analytics installed in your site, you are quite possibly missing opportunities of increased traffic and conversions. Are users journeying through your site and finding their way to your final call-to-action or are they bouncing away? Are visitors just traversing around your blog and then exiting without converting? If you have a high-traffic blog, are you making use of “additional content” plugins to capture the user’s momentum? Analytics is full of insightful data that help identify the trouble spots and performing aspects of your site.

Optimised Social Channels

If your social profiles aren’t directly a part of your site, then they are a component of your overall digital properties. Audits can ensure that these channels are pulling their weight in terms of generating traffic into your site and it can also discover weaknesses in your social media strategy.

Outdated Plugins

Depreciated, older plugins can grind down the gears of your site. An annual audit can clear the dust off things and get the website functioning with sparkling new plugin updates.

Webmaster Tools

Website errors and unnecessary redirects can hinder your traffic. If you have updated your web pages, changed your website navigation structure, or deleted redundant pages, you may need to implement some redirects. Traffic may be going to a page that simply no longer exists.

Backlink Profile

A significant factor in your search ranking is your backlink profile. How many authority and industry sites are linking to yours? Through an audit, we can determine how your site compares to that of your competition and perhaps give you some pointers as to where competitors have built links where you might be able to as well.

We can complete a basic free audit just to overview how a site is functioning. However a more robust audit is always a better option. The Wired gurus have all types of insights and tools which can help keep your site up to date. If you think it might be time for a Wired guru to have a look around your site, contact us.

Published on Thursday, 13 June 2019 under Web Development.