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Website Auditing: 6 Ways to Check if Your Site’s Performance is Optimal.

A website audit gives you a holistic view of your site’s performance, from technical to search visibility and user experience.…

Website Auditing: 6 Ways to Check if Your Site’s Performance is Optimal

26th February 2024

Website Auditing

A website audit gives you a holistic view of your site’s performance, from technical to search visibility and user experience. Auditing your website helps you determine whether your site is optimized to help you achieve your traffic and conversion goals. It also gives you recommendations to improve it and reach those goals. 

Generally, it is advisable to perform a site audit two or three times a year, preferably at the end of each quarter. 

However, if you are churning out more content than usual, you may need to audit more often. This ensures you’re always on top of your website’s health and performance. 

If you’re wondering how to perform a website audit, you are in the right place. We will share a few tips on doing a DIY website audit to improve your rankings on Google SERP and website traffic.

Now, to the meat of this article. 

6 ways to evaluate your website’s performance

There are several components to a website audit, but these are the most essential.

1. Traffic analysis and user engagement

Most website audits start here. A web traffic and user engagement assessment enables you to understand the behavior of your target audience. Analyzing metrics like traffic sources, time on site, and bounce rate shows how users interact with your website and pinpoint areas for improvement. 

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the most popular source for this data. Once installed, you can check your organic search traffic on the GA4 dashboard. Simply navigate to Reports > Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition section and set a date range. 

Next, select the Organic Traffic label below the traffic line chart to highlight the traffic from organic search. You can also check other data, such as the number of users, session statistics, and browser and device information.

In addition, you can integrate GA4 with third-party tools like customer relationship management (CRM) or call center lead management software to unlock a broader range of possibilities to optimize your website. 

You can also promote your blog posts on social media which can enhance your website’s performance, increase traffic, and improve the ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

2. Page load time testing

How fast or slow your website loads can impact your goals. Slow load times discourage site visitors, resulting in high bounce rates and lost income. Website speed is also an essential ranking factor for search engines like Google. Hence, checking your website’s page speed and performance should be high on your list. 

Fortunately, several free tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix can help you evaluate this metric. These tools also enable you to test your website’s loading speed across different locations, browsers, and network connections. That means you can check how fast your site loads in Canada, on a remote desktop for Windows, or via a 4G network.  

To perform a speed test on your website, visit Google PageSpeed Insights > input your webpage URL > click Analyze. Give it a few seconds to run the analysis, and you’ll see a report that reveals the overall performance score with a breakdown of different categories. 

One thing to remember when performing a website audit is that the page speed score of your site’s desktop version will differ from the mobile version.

This is because mobile devices typically have slower processors, which takes us to the next tip. 

3. Mobile-friendliness assessment

We have already established that the desktop and mobile versions of your website will look different. So, you need to plan for differences like vertical menu options, reduced user icons, and resolution changes.

However, before running a mobile responsiveness test, determine which aspect of your website is adaptable to mobile screen requirements. 

Google recommends the Lighthouse site auditing tool built into Chrome to assess your website’s mobile-friendliness. To use Lighthouse, open an incognito browsing window and enter the URL you want to test. 

Next, open the Chrome Developer Tools panel (View > Developer > Developer Tools). 

In the DevTools panel, click the Lighthouse panel, and ensure Mobile is selected under the Desktop settings. 

Now, select the Analyze Page Load button. The audit will run based on the mobile device page experience. If there are any mobile performance issues, you’ll see details and recommendations in the report. 

4. On-page SEO evaluation

Search engine optimization is an essential aspect of improving your website performance. After all, potential customers can’t find you if your website doesn’t appear on Google SERP. 

An on-page SEO analysis lets you check which keywords, links, or meta descriptions will help you improve your site’s performance and achieve your goals. 

You can quickly run an SEO audit with tools like Deepcrawl and Screaming Frog. For instance, to use Screaming Frog, visit the website. Navigate to the gray box at the top of the page, enter your website URL, and click the green Start button. 

5. Content relevance and quality assessment

Another way to check if your site’s performance is optimal is with a content analysis. Visitors can land on your site from anywhere, but what keeps them is the quality of your content. 

Quality content is relevant to searchers because it answers their questions. That means they will stay longer on your page, prompting search engines to reward your site with a high SERP ranking. 

One way to make this happen is with a content gap analysis. A content gap analysis reveals holes in your existing content. This process identifies missing content pieces that should (or could) align with the various stages of your target audience’s journey.

Say you have a page on your tech startup site about Bayesian Neural Networks. Covering subtopics like what is bayesian neural network and its advantages is a good place to start. 

However, a content gap analysis may give you ideas about more subtopics, like fundamental principles of Bayesian statistics and comparison with traditional neural networks that can benefit searchers. 

We recommend plugging your website into a tool like Ahrefs to help you identify potential content gaps. This platform will show you how your content ranks against your competitors for specific keywords. Then, you can determine how to bridge the gap. 

Before diving into the design and user experience assessment, it’s essential to start with a comprehensive website design proposal that outlines your goals and expectations for your site’s aesthetics and functionality.

When deciding on content it may be worth considering that many people are exploring ways to subsidize their income through side hustles. It’s a good idea to tap into this by creating content that will resonate with this target group, which can give your engagement and conversion levels a boost. Offering tips to help people make money from their passion projects is a hot topic right now and can widen your reach and help optimize your website’s performance.

6. Design and user experience (UX)

The world is hyper-digitized, and your website is your chance to make a good first impression. However, a good website design isn’t just about making things pretty or keeping up with current trends. If users struggle to navigate your site due to slow load times and other usability issues, you have a problem. 

A bad user experience results in decreased engagement, a high bounce rate, and lost conversions. Your website will also rank low on Google SERP.

Some common elements that can contribute to poor website design include intrusive popups, auto-playing videos, and clunky overlays. Illegible texts and an unclear call to action are other issues that harm the user experience of your visitors. 

When assessing your website’s design and user experience, don’t forget to pay attention to the popup design as well. Popups can be useful for various purposes, such as collecting email sign-ups or providing important information. However, poorly designed or overly intrusive popups can irritate visitors and negatively impact their overall experience. Make sure your popup design aligns with your site’s aesthetics and functionality to enhance the user journey.

You can gather feedback on your website design and UX with interviews, surveys, usability testing, and even by collecting information through your phone dialing software. Afterward, use that information to improve your website design and give visitors a better experience. 

Maintaining optimal site performance benefits your business

There are many reasons to ensure your website is always in peak condition. First, it significantly impacts your customer experience and their journey. Second, a high-performing website reduces your bounce rate and enhances visitor retention. All these contribute to more conversions and a higher ROI. Ready to conduct your website audit? Use the tips above as a starting point. 

Categories: Articles, Tech

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