Website Quality Audit

  • 16 min read
Website Quality Audit

Table of Contents

Intro

Knowing which parts of your site are contributing to its success is essential. Do you know which parts of your site are helping drive traffic and which ones are doing their part to get your business closer to its goals. If you’re looking for an answer, you’ll need to be able to determine how your site is performing in the first place.

Your site’s content should represent the heights that your business is trying to achieve. However, if you want to learn more about how your site performs, you’ll have to perform a quality audit on the site. If you don’t know what this consists of, it’s essentially a doctor’s checkup on your site.

Over the course of your site’s lifetime, it will see plenty of updates and changes. This will sometimes upset a website’s quality, and you’ll need to perform routine audits to make sure that the quality is maintained throughout each update. This will also help you make sure that your strategies are accomplishing what you want them to.

To better understand what website quality audits are and why they’re necessary, you’ll need to understand what constitutes website quality. This article will cover what you need to know about website quality as well as how it may impact your quality. By the end of the guide, you’ll know more about the process that you need to go through to ensure that your audit works well.

To conduct a simple website audit with a minimum amount of effort, check out our Web Audit tool, which automates many of these processes.

What You Need to Know About Website Quality

Your website’s quality is essentially made up of your site’s health and how it ranks when someone searches for it. The basics of SEO are dependent on how well-assembled a website is, and this will determine how easy it is for searchers to find it when they enter a search query on a site like Google. If your site has quality content, it will rank higher in the search results.

When your site ranks properly, you’ll find it at the top of the search results page, and this will ensure that your site is seeing more traffic regularly. However, your site will also need to follow the webmaster’s guidelines so that it can be considered high-quality.

When content is uploaded to the site, it will need to pertain to what the audience expects to see. Your content is checked against parameters that are established in advance when you upload content to it. What’s examined is whether or not the content meets the level of expected quality and if this isn’t the case, your site may not be at the top of the search results.

If you want to ensure that your website retains its quality, you’ll need to analyze it and ensure that it follows a certain structure. When you analyze the site, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your site needs specific changes to match the criteria to maintain its quality.

How Does Your Website Quality Impact Your Organic Performance?

You can put all the effort into marketing your site that you want, though if you don’t rank highly when people search for you, your site may end up suffering. This means that your target audience will have difficulty finding your site and your site will receive less traffic.

It’s essential that people be able to find your site organically because that’s expected of businesses in the present day. To make sure of this, your site needs to rank as highly as it can. However, this will only be possible if your website is of higher quality. You will need to upload content that is pertinent to the kind of service or product that you’re selling.

As with any SEO-based content, it will need to be rooted in keywords since that will make it easier for people to find you through search engines. Using tools like our Keyword Finder will allow you to figure out which ones will work best for you. However, your content isn’t the only thing that’s important since you’ll also need to account for how your site is structured. Google will drop your search ranking when you don’t follow qualitative guidelines.

Your site and business’s success depend on getting enough organic traffic, and if your content doesn’t perform the way you want it to, people likely won’t even make it to your site. In the case of data inputs that don’t perform the way you want them to, your site likely won’t end up getting found by the people you’re trying to target.

What Affects Website Quality?

There are many different factors that will impact your site’s ability to be found higher on search engines so that you can enhance your brand value. These factors are essentially the building blocks of your website’s quality, so let’s explore them.

Accessibility

People shouldn’t have to browse through countless pages so that they can get to where they want to be when they reach your website. This makes your site easier for your audience to access it. This will allow you to make sure that people come back and it also bumps up your site’s value.

Accuracy

You also need to make sure that the content you upload to your site is accurate and sticks to the facts. If there are errors in the info that you present on your website, your website may end up not trusting you, and it will also lower the quality of your site. If your data isn’t correct, you’ll even find your search rankings plummeting.

Relevancy

You also always need to make sure that the content on your site is as relevant as possible. If your content doesn’t apply to your topic, then you may end up diminishing your site’s quality in the eyes of search engines. Make sure that your content is relevant enough to meet the needs of your audience.

Make Sure That Your Content is Uploaded on Time

Finally, you want to be sure that your content is being uploaded to your site on time. If it isn’t, your site may not be considered active enough by a search engine. This can result in its quality being diminished and this would reduce your search engine results and performance.

What Are Website Quality Audits?

We’ve already mentioned that you need to have a quality website to ensure that you have a strong presence on the internet. We’ve already discussed what goes into determining the quality of a site, but we’re now going to go over how you can audit your site. However, before we explore that, we’re going to discuss what an audit is in the first place. In the simplest term, a quality audit is an examination of your site’s quality.

You’ll need to conduct a website audit if you don’t think that your site will generate sufficient traffic organically. By auditing your site, you’ll be able to determine what the issues are so that you have a path you can follow to fix things. Common issues include content, structure, and even the functionality of the site itself.

Along with that, you’ll be able to figure out which parts of your site can possibly create opportunities to improve your organic search value. The size of your business will influence the extent of the results that you’ll be able to glean from a website audit.

For a new website, it’s important to conduct a quality audit as soon as possible so that you can determine where you have issues. This will allow you to change up your site and ensure that you can gather leads organically, which is a crucial part of ensuring your success.

If you’re already established, quality audits can still be a crucial part of making sure that your business thrives since you’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t. By doing this, you’ll be able to determine what opportunities you have as well as what’s possibly endangering your organic traffic.

Why Are Quality Audits so Important?

When you perform a website quality audit, you’ll be able to determine what isn’t working so well on your site. While creating content allows you to improve organic traffic, you’ll also need to weed out any issues to ensure that your rankings can be boosted. Audits will allow you to discover these issues with ease.

Some of the issues that an audit will help you figure out include duplicate content or links that aren’t working properly. By fixing these issues, you will ensure that your website quality increases. The audit will even go over the speed with which your site loads, which is another factor that impacts site quality.

When you post an article to your site, it will dramatically affect the site’s quality as well as the amount of traffic that it generates. Make sure that this content always caters to your audience and that it’s relevant. Audits will go over your content and see if any of your keywords are irrelevant or if they can be misinterpreted by your audience.

By performing one of these audits, you can radically transform your site and start getting more traffic flowing through it. A quality website will boost your search engine rankings and it will also ensure that your site will show up higher in the search results when people enter a search query related to what your business provides.

To sum things up, a quality audit essentially allows you to grow your website and your brand, though it will need to be conducted properly.

What Do Quality Audits Do?

At the beginning of a website quality audit, you’ll need to crawl the site itself. To crawl the site, you’ll need to use our Ranktracker Website Audit Tool. This will allow you to easily gather all of the relevant info about every web page.

Some of the main things that will be checked include duplicate content as well as how well your keywords are ranking. If you want to make sure that your keywords rank, we’d recommend using Ranktracker’s keyword finder tool. The audit will also figure out how well each of your web pages is performing. When the audit has been completed, you’ll be able to understand what pages are pushing you forward as well as which ones are holding you back.

By the time you’ve finished your website audit, you’ll have a lot of actionable information available. This info will allow you to figure out the following steps. Sometimes, you may have to remove web pages that aren’t adding any value to your site. Don’t get emotionally attached to them because they will lower your site’s rankings.

You can also change the direction you’re going in with your site’s SEO to better optimize it. To do so, your site audit report will present what you need to change so that you can have a higher quality presence online.

If the audit was conducted successfully, you’ll be able to boast of a site that performs quickly and that contains content that can ensure that your audience is satisfied with what you have to present.

What Inputs Are Necessary for Website Quality Audits?

Using the applications that we mentioned in the previous section, you’ll need to review and analyze each and every URL that is present on your domain. It will be a lot easier to do this if you go over the XML sitemap since this is what guides crawlers through your site. Keep in mind that you may have to go over several sitemaps depending on the size of your site.

Using SEOSpyGlass, you’ll also want to confirm your site’s backlinks. This tool essentially shows you the number of people who link to your site and who visit it. Links are a fundamental building block of any site, so you’ll need to understand what’s going on with them.

To figure out keyword rankings, you’ll need to resort to yet another tool: the Ranktracker Keyword Finder. This will allow you to figure out how well your keywords are ranking. Knowing this, you’ll be able to determine which keywords are working best. It will also tell you exactly how that keyword ranks as well as the number of times people search for it.

Don’t forget Google Analytics when you’re performing a website quality audit. This will make it easier to see how much organic traffic you’ve had over a certain amount of time. There are several ways the info can be displayed, including through conversions, visits, traffic lost, and sales.

Using a Google search audit, you’ll be able to learn more about the search results page and the number of Google clicks you’ve had over a particular period of time.

If this all sounds like too much software, you can always use Ranktracker’s Web Audit tool that combines all of these functions into one and presents them to you neatly and cleanly.

What Do You Get Out of a Website Quality Audit?

It’s understandable to be interested in the results that you can gain from a website quality audit. What these audits do is essentially give you a single report that you can refer to so that you can find what’s missing in your site. The various tools that you’ll use to compile the report will tell you exactly what you need to know so that you can make the proper changes to your site.

There are various categories in each report that can be used to further understand what kinds of problems your content or site is plagued with. By splitting up your web pages into categories, it will be a lot simpler to figure out what needs to be done to rectify these problems.

Keep in mind that audits aren’t only useful if you’re trying to make changes to your site. You may wish to simply analyze the quality of your site every year to ensure that it’s remaining consistent and that internal factors aren’t pushing you the wrong way.

You can also use audits like these to create a better SEO strategy that you’ll stick to for the foreseeable future. SEO and market requirements will typically be used to categorize your results. What this means is that your changes will allow you to boost your search rankings.

To meet the demands of searchers and the market itself, you’ll have to carefully and correctly go over the results of your audit.

Building a Website Quality Audit Report

There are six primary sources that you can use to create a website quality audit report. You’ll need to compile a good audit report if you want to be sure that your audit goes smoothly in the first place. The first thing you’ll need to do is find your site’s sitemap. A site with no sitemaps will need to have them created. If there are several sitemaps, you’ll have to include all of them.

After that, you’ll want to use an SEO tool to import that data. This will allow you to figure out more about your site’s URLs. You will also need to import things like files that are uploaded to the site, meta descriptions, canonical tags, and even the number of words on every page.

When you import the site’s data, you can then use SEOSpyGlass to figure out more about your site’s backlinks. In the future, you’ll also be able to use our backlink tools for this part of your audit. This will let you know more about the links that are present on your site as well as the web pages that those links lead to.

After you’re done with that, you can use a tool like our Keyword Finder to figure out more about how your keywords are ranking. The Keyword Finder report will even tell you which of your site’s web pages your keywords can be found on.

Finally, you can use Google Analytics to figure out more info about your site’s conversions, sales, and traffic. Keep in mind that this data will only refer to your site’s organic performance. Using the Google Search Console, you’ll be able to pull that data and then add it to your report. This data will include Google clicks that lead to SERP impressions. To learn more about your SERP performance, use Ranktracker’s SERP Checker tool.

Cleaning Up a Website Quality Audit Report

While most of the data in a website quality audit report will be useful in some way or another, there’s also a lot of useless info that you’ll want to get rid of. This is known as cleaning up your audit report. Both SEO professionals and business members auditing their own site will need to make sure that a report is free of this extraneous info.

To get started cleaning your audit report, you’ll want to delete any formulas that don’t tell you the info you need. This will ensure that the only info there is useful to you. The easiest way to do this is to copy and paste the report into a new Excel sheet tab while retaining only the sheet’s values.

You can then go on to delete the other Excel sheet tabs since they will no longer be of use to you. To ensure that your report is easier to read through, you may even wish to color-code each of the tabs.

What Categories Will You Find in a Website Quality Audit?

Once you have your audit report ready, you can then go on to split it up into different categories. This will make it a lot easier to go through your quality report and analyze the info on it properly. This is possible because you can go to each tag, perform an analysis, and move on to the next one.

By doing this, you’ll be able to go over pages and fix their problems based on the exact kind of issue you’re working with. This will also ensure that no pages get left behind by accident. You can even use the same tag to compare two different pages. Similar pages will have similar objectives, leading to better and more precise results.

Let’s go over eight of the different kinds of categories that you’ll have to account for in your audit report. Keep in mind that some audit reports may have more than these:

Product Page

These pages contain any products that you may be selling and they’re particularly popular for ecommerce websites.

Product Category

These pages contain various categories of products that your business may be selling so that customers can find them with greater ease. Once again, these pages are typically only for ecommerce sites.

Local Lander

Local landing pages are split up according to various places that your website or business may be operating in. However, if your business only operates in a single area, then your homepage will count as your only local lander.

Lead Generation

These sites are designed to draw leads to your site, and they are often set up similarly to local lander pages. However, these pages don’t only focus on local audiences. Rather, these pages allow you to focus on audiences from entire countries rather than more specific areas.

Blog Post

Blog post pages contain written content that your visitors will read so that you can build rapport with them and improve your SEO.

Blog Category

Blog category pages are present on sites that have various types of blog posts, so they may or may not be present on your site.

Resource or Guide

Resources and guides are similar to blog post pages in that they have the same goal, but they tend to execute it a little bit differently. This kind of content is longer and more in-depth.

Site Info

Site info pages let visitors know about terms and conditions, shipping info, and these pages tend to be standalone. About pages and the shopping cart are included in this category.

FAQs

FAQ pages address frequently asked questions that your customers may have about your site or your business.

If you wish to make use of these tags, you’ll need to create another column that includes the kind of category that the content you’re looking at is a part of. While this may take a long time, it will save you time later on because it will be easier for you to structure and go through your report. You will have to do this for every URL in the report.

Quality Audit Report URL Actions

When you’ve assigned categories to each of the URLs in your report, you will also have to figure out which action you’ll take for each of them. The right action for a URL will depend on the problems that you’re having with it as well as the category that it’s in. These actions will allow you to boost your site’s SEO rankings.

We’re going to explore nine different types of actions that you can take to clean up your site. Keep in mind that you should select the action that you take based on the issue that’s present on your spreadsheet.

Leave As Is

Assign this tag to web pages that don’t have any issues and that are performing according to your expectations. It can also be applied to pages that don’t have any value in SEO terms.

Update on Page

This means that you’ll have to update the info present on a page like a resource or a blog post. This is usually due to the info on the particular page being out of date.

Assign this to pages that should have SEO value but currently aren’t ranking.

301

These pages are currently providing no value, so you will want to redirect them to pages of your site that have higher relevancy.

Canonicalize

If two pages on your site contain similar info but both are currently crucial, you’ll want to assign this tag to the page that you want to focus your SEO value on.

Block Crawl

These pages may be crucial for your audience but may not help you rank in SEO terms. This means that these pages won’t be crawled so that they don’t negatively affect your rankings.

No Index

This tag is used to prevent pages from being indexed by Google. You’d usually do this for a page that is standalone and of low quality.

404

This tag means that a page should be deleted because it doesn’t do anything for your site.

Update

This means that you’ll need to boost the number of keywords that are present on a page or in a certain block of content.

You will have to manually assign each of these actions to various URLs across your site. To do this, you will need to look at the pages themselves as well as the category tags that they have assigned to them. Keep in mind that you aren’t limited to only a single action per URL.

How to Build Action Items When Compiling a Website Quality Audit Report

Once your report has been compiled, you’ll need to find a way to ensure that the report is easy to understand. This will make sure that the actions on the report are completed properly.

We’d recommend creating a separate spreadsheet in which you can assign specific actions to the team members that are qualified to perform them. These spreadsheets should contain the name of the team member, the page in question, and the action to be performed.

You may also wish to create a column that notes the priority of a specific task. You can even outline the steps that are involved in the action that you have specified in a separate tab.

Finally, if there are multiple URL actions for a particular page, outline which of them is the highest priority through proper organization and ordering.

How to Create a Presentation Deck of a Website Quality Audit Report

A presentation deck will allow you to explain your actions to more casual observers such as your clients, and these presentations are usually a simple PowerPoint. Include what you have discovered as well as the actions you intend to take to rectify any issues.

Start off by explaining website quality and what an audit is in basic terms. You can then go on to mention how you gathered the info that’s present in your report.

After that, you’ll want to explain what the category tags and the URL actions mean for those who may not understand them. This will make it easier for clients to explore and understand what you’ve discovered.

Make sure that you avoid clogging up your presentation with superfluous info. Only include things like actions that your client currently needs to know about as well as any insights you’d like to get across to them.

Finally, cap off your presentation with an action tracker so that your client knows what actions you will be taking. You may also wish to briefly mention your follow-up plans.

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