The '90s were a great time for those brands who were not that fond of the idea of investing in their digital presence. Putting up a simple website, no matter its condition, always caught the customer's eye. After all, the Internet was new and fascinating. However, if you haven't taken the bold step of cryogenically freezing yourself like Walt Disney, you'd probably have noticed that the '90s were 30 years ago, and today almost every aspect of our lives is driven thanks to the Internet.
Thus just having a website will no longer suffice any brand needs. What you should be looking for is Website Quality. To achieve that, you first need a comprehensible, well-researched Website Quality Audit (WQA) to help you determine where you can do better.
But let's start from the top.
What Is Website Quality, And How To Measure It?
Website audits are an essential measure to improve the efficiency and visibility of a website. Audits improve Google search ranking while increasing site traffic and performance. A website audit presents a business with an exceptional opportunity for growth online. Several factors determine the quality of your website. It's a function of the user experience, the search engine friendliness, and the overall appeal of your website. For your website to be considered high-quality, it should have excellent load speed, outstanding and relevant content, an easily navigable interface, and, of course, security certificates. The easiest way to measure your website's quality is through Google Rankings. Why Google? Well, according to Statista, 86.64% of all internet searches go through Google. This gives the right of the tech giant to judge whether your website is worthy or not. And if it's not, be sure you will pay the penalty.
One of the easiest ways to boost your web quality is through the content on your web pages. Your website can quickly become one of Google's favorites with the right SEO optimization.
However, outstanding website quality needs more than just captivating high-quality content. With a professional Website Quality Audit, you can pinpoint exactly what you should improve, where to invest your time and efforts, and which aspects of your website should be fixed. Learning all of this will inevitably lead you to harness the benefits of high website quality.
Why Is Website Quality Important?
Having a low-quality website is simply a waste of money. It's like making a sandwich with two slices of bread and nothing in between. But, on the other hand, if you have a top-of-the-top website, you will enjoy popularity, trust, and loyal customers. In addition, having a high-quality website will do wonders for your free organic traffic. It will scale your visits immensely, and thus your CTR and ROI will skyrocket. It might be shocking, but people tend to prefer spending money at well-maintained, secure-appearing, well-known, and user-friendly websites rather than spending their credit card information on a website that looks as if it was built by a third-grader during lunch break.
Having a high-quality website guarantees you pole positions in every search engine. Surprisingly to no one, search engines have only one objective, whether they are Google, Bing, Yahoo, or anything else - to satisfy their customers. This means that they will always put the best of the best in their number 1 spot. For example, If you get to Google's first place (since who cares about Bing or Yahoo anyway), you will get 36.4% of all Google traffic. Keep in mind that there are over 70 000 Google searches every second. Not all of them will search for your keyword (or better keyphrase), but whoever does, 1/3 of them will end up on your website.
Furthermore, having a well-designed, well-maintained, fast-loading, and filled with a quality content website will enhance your brand image and, more importantly, will establish you as an authority in your market. That's a huge opportunity to dictate the trends and obtain a cult following.
With all of these benefits in mind, a quick and affordable quality audit by professionals is not spending but more of an investment in your future success. However, you should know what affects your website quality before hiring anyone.
What Affects Your Website Quality?
Furthermore, your website should be outstandingly designed, user-friendly, and very intuitive. People don't like to think, so whenever you say to yourself, "People will get it," they won't. So your interface must be extraordinarily straightforward but exciting and captivating as well. Now that's a challenge for you.
However, all of this will be for nothing if you don't produce great content. Four main factors are determining whether your content is high-quality or not. Firstly there is Accessibility. The more effortless it is for people to reach your content, the better its quality will be. That means that any redirections are highly discouraged. This includes pop-up ads but not pop-up subscription forms for some weird reason.
Relevancy is the next significant cornerstone. The content should be relevant to your website. For example, if you sell tires, an article about the effects of babassu butter on your skin won't help at all, even if it is done up to standards. On the other hand, you should know your audience's interests and answer their questions. All of this should be mentioned to the search engine crawlers through metadata, keywords, and tags. It goes without saying that if your headline and keywords are about tires and despite that you write about babassu, which, to be honest, is very healthy for your skin, you will still be deemed as low quality.
The same goes if your article is not accurate. Fact-checking should be a matter of brand honor, and you should do it, even if your website quality weren't dependent on it.
Lastly, the article should be timely uploaded. For example, writing about the best tires for 1998 might be interesting for some memorabilia, but this information is highly irrelevant and so out of time that the History Channel might be more interested in it.
Determining all of these factors on your own is quite the endeavor, especially if that's not in your line of business. That's why it's best to leave it to professional Website Quality Auditors.
What Is A Website Audit?
Even if your website feels great initially, it deteriorates over time, just like anything else in life. It may get clogged, outdated, or simply neglected, which inevitably will ruin its quality. That's why, much like with your car, your website also needs proper maintenance and professional audit so that it can run without problems. Unlike your car, which is perfectly fine with an annual check, your web portal needs at least bi-annual, or if you want to be sure your digital home is always up to the highest standards, you may consider an audit every quarter.
The point of the audit is to give you and your IT team a detailed analysis of the website's health, performance, speed, and security. Based on that information, you can divert the needed resources to the places that need improvement and not waste time and effort on what is working perfectly fine. This level of optimization will, without a doubt, save you not just time but also a lot of money.
What Types Of Website Audits Are There?
Each audit, much like everything in Christianity, has three main components - Technical, SEO, and Content checks. Each one is pointless without the others since these three components are basically all of your website.
The second scan is on the content. Checking all your content, the proper use of keywords and their ranking, the presence of inbound links, the text relevance, and readability are just a fraction of the audit process. With the content examination, you will know what drives the customers and what is a waste of time so you can optimize your time and efforts in the right direction.
The SEO audit will help immensely. Checking how you rank on search engines, how many impressions you receive from them, and your CTR will allow you to reduce your costs by giving the audience what they want, and in return, you receive free traffic. On the other hand, understanding where backlinks to your website lead will let you know which topics make you an authority in your field.
So why can't you do all of this on your own? Well, you can. But it's way too time inefficient, and you won't do it correctly if you are not an expert. After all, can you honestly say you know what Auditors do?
What Do The Auditors Do?
The first task any auditor has is determining which elements of your website are not working correctly. This is done by a complete website crawl. During this process, the auditor will check various crucial aspects of your website like URL structure, page structure, response status, internal URLs, title tags and descriptions, and others. This will flush out all broken links, unnecessary and, more often than not, unwanted redirects and everything that might undermine your SEO efforts. This process is typically not that hard for small one-page websites, but for big websites, this may take a long while until completed.
All of the gathered information is then cross-referenced to crucial SEO data in a process called Page Crosswalking. The auditor will check for relevant keywords you might have missed, what traffic they bring, what conversions and revenue they generate.
The auditor will go through every page on your website and make detailed quality analyses. This way, you can understand which pages should be your flagmen and which should be refurbished or purged.
But probably the most essential task of the auditor is to help you make a decision regarding the fate of every page on your site. For example, a good audit will allow you to see clearly and with proof what keywords you should go after, which content is profitable, and, most importantly, which pages make you look good and authoritative.
What Tools Are Used?
Auditors don't check your website by manually going through every page and reading every word. This will be highly ineffective and time-consuming. That's why the best audit providers use several tools that help them flush out problem pages, errors, and even hidden mistakes that otherwise, no one can see.
Google Analytics is the go-to tool for analyzing organic traffic, keywords quality, sales, and performance. This tool will show where your customers come from, how they find you, how long they stayed, how far down the "rabbit hole" they went, and where they quit. With this information, you can determine whether a specific landing page is outperforming others or if another is driving them away. Also, you will see where your customers leave, so you can make it a bit more lucrative for them to stay. The Google Analytics analysis is invaluable for any e-commerce website or anyone who tries to use their digital home to sell something.
Next on the list is the Google Search Console, where all the information about your SERP impressions, clicks, and CTR is taken. Furthermore, the GSC will provide the means to handle the sitemap of your website.
Auditors will also use SuperMetrics to collect data from all your social accounts. Furthermore, this tool will reveal how your ads on various platforms perform and help you decide which ones to stop and which ones to scale.
SEMRush will evaluate all the backlinks pointing to your website, their quality, and which keywords lead people to the websites that quote you. This information will help with your keywords research immensely and once again will point out which pages should be the frontmen of your website.
Last but definitely not least is Screaming Frog. The disgusting name of the tool should not affect your judgment on its utility. Screaming Frog is actually the agent that does the website crawl. It pulls all the data about your web pages and every single URL on your server. This way, you can discover some pages you never even knew existed. It's a bit like an IT horror movie.
SF will list all the URLs with their Title, Meta Description, Headline (the text tagged with an H1 tag), the word count, and other relevant data that will show each page's quality and where it can be improved.
Having all this information will allow you to transform your website from a basement pub to a high-class restaurant that serves dishes no one can pronounce correctly.
By now, if you are interested in having a website that can sell, attract customers, and bring your brand fame, authority, and respect, then you must be convinced that making a Website Quality Audit is an excellent investment.
Nonetheless, let's summarise all the perks you will miss out on if you decide you can go without an audit.
What Are The Benefits Of A Website Quality Audit?
The benefits of a properly done WQA are definitely worth the invested resources, money, and time. In return, you will get higher visibility in search engines, which will lead to boosted traffic, better CTR, more sales, and higher profits. At the same time, you will have a glimpse of your competitors' tactics, keywords, and other advantages over your website. This competitor analysis will pinpoint where you are excelling and where you are left behind.
The WQA will allow you to discover new opportunities for business partnerships. For example, if a website often backlinks to you, they are a great place where you can sell your products or even make them an affiliate. The same goes with potential influencers, content creators, and other content-driven websites that share your interest in the same keywords.
Another benefit of the proper audit is the flushing of all traffic problems. You may think that everything is OK with your website if you have decent traffic. Still, at the same time, you can miss out on doubling your audience. Identifying and eliminating traffic problems will skyrocket all your relevant statistics. With these insides, you can also capitalize on trends regarding your audience and beat your competitors by creating the initial content that addresses the new trend.
Finally, the WQA will improve the user experience on your website. It has the power of transforming it into a social hub, where people come to read, browse and eventually buy something.
If you want to be noticed today, you need to have a high-quality website with an outstanding front and back end, impeccable, timely, and well-researched content, and flawless on and off-page SEO. Having all of this will ensure you will have the lion's share of Google's traffic. As a result, you will increase your brand's value, and more importantly, your brand will become an authority figure on the market.
The only way to maintain the quality of your website and keep it on top is by performing regular Website Quality Audits. During this check, the examiners will take a look into your website's fundamentals, structure, and architecture. They will review your content and investigate the keywords, organic traffic, and inbound links. They will use specific tools like Google Analytics, Scream Frog SuperMetrics, and others to do a complete website crawl, showing every URL on your server and its stats. Furthermore, the auditor will cross-reference all your pages with vital SEO data and analyze the quality of your web page, allowing you to make some highly-informed decisions.
To put it in simple words: If you want better visibility of your website, higher traffic, better results, more sales, and higher profits, a Website Quality Audit is a must. However, not just anyone can make an adequate WQA. To be effective, you need a professional, trustworthy team that knows what they are doing.
Locus Digital is has helped hundreds of happy customers and is one of the best on the market when it comes to Website Quality Auditing. Find out how we can help your website gain a better quality.