When it comes to the internet, your website is either your digital home or your digital business. This means that you should treat it with tender loving care. While most website owners think they are, there are so many markers of what makes their website tick that they are not paying attention to. The beautiful thing about having a business online is that there is data for anything that you wish to see data on. This data not only provides insight but can help you improve your website but unimaginable lengths. If you told businesses pre-internet that one day they’d have this much data, they’d call it cheating. There are many tools you can use to audit your website and see where you stand from many different angles. Let’s talk about what they are, but first, why you need them and what they are.
What Audit Tools Measure
Website audit tools measure certain aspects of your website that you want to have monitored. Different tools do different things, but there are some major tools you want to measure and keep track of.
If you have a website then there is a 99% chance that you would want to rank on Google for your given keywords. When it comes to SEO the last thing you want to do is to fly blind. It’s super important to monitor all your efforts and website audit tools can help you accomplish that.
Another very important factor, for both search engines and visitors, is your page speed. Because you go on your website so often and have a cache in your browser, you may not realize your website may be slowing down. This is super important to audit every time you make big changes.
There are things in your code that may be causing crawl or load issues on your site. It’s important to make sure your website is up and running at all times, otherwise, you may be losing a ton of revenue potential.
Even if your website is secure it can be prone to hacks. When your website is hacked, your visitors and your website are in danger. A security audit is a must and best done 24/7.
The Benefits of Using them
Outside of the what they audit, here is the why audit. A few reasons for you to audit your site before we jump into the tools themselves.
This is probably the biggest reason you want to audit your website. It can help you avoid the disaster that can come with either your site shutting down, losing all your SEO progress (or not getting any) and any potential hacks that may happen. Audit tools can help you see a problem early and help you address it before it becomes something that is hard to manage or takes long to recover from.
Improve Your Site
Data is everything, especially when trying to make changes. If you want to improve your website in any way, you will need the data that you can get from auditing your website. Whether its the speed, the SEO, the conversion, or anything else, auditing your website will make it obvious what your weaknesses are.
Improve Your SEO
SEO has many different factors that come with it. Whether its the content, the code, or the links, it is something that needs to be monitored and monitored often, if you hope to get organic traffic, run SEO audits often and automate the process. Sometimes you can have an influx of bad links that its best to disavow them before they get indexed and valued towards your site. Other times you can have crawl errors which can cause you to lose rankings altogether and disappear from the SERP’s. All these things can be avoided with a proper audit. An audit can also help you track your efforts to help you determine if you’re on the right track or not.
Convert Your Visitors
Getting traffic is great, but at the end of the day we only want that traffic for one purpose, and that is to build a business and generate revenue. If the traffic isn’t doing that, then all the resources we pour into getting it is not worth it. Running different audits like speed tests and usability tests can help you determine leaks in your funnel.
Improve User Experience
The way to do good business online is to make users happy, and that can’t happen if you have terrible UX on your website. A good audit will help guide you in the right direction.
The Tools That Make it Happen
Enough about why and what, let’s dive into all the tools that can help make this happen.
Search Console, aka, Google Webmaster Tools, is one of the best audit tools out there. There are a few great insights that you will receive from this tool. First, it’s one of the best tools for SEO. It gives you information about your traffic, the pages that are getting that traffic, and the keywords that are bringing that traffic. It also tells you the links that are pointing to your website and which pages are getting those links. This is really useful information if you’re running any campaigns. It also tells you any crawl errors or usability issues that your website may have. This can be really useful to know to see if your website is down or hacked. It also tells you which pages are “no-follow” which means search engines won’t be able to index them.
Page Speed Insights
This is a simple tool made by Google to helo you measure your website’s speed across different devices. This tool will give you a grade and tell you what you need to do to improve that speed. Speed is a huge factor for both SEO and the conversion of the visitors that may come from it. Most people will not wait for a page to load and will leave your site before giving it a chance.
This tool does exactly what it sounds like, it monitors all your incoming backlinks. Initially, it was a tool that was built to help protect against negative SEO, but eventually, it became a tool that helps you monitor all your efforts with SEO in one dashboard. It shows you all the links coming into your website and the data about those links. They’ll tell you which links are do-follow or no-follow, they will also tell you the Moz ranks and many other data points of measurement. This can help you get rid of toxic links before they come in.
They also have a very simple dashboard that shows your keyword rankings, links built, in traffic in one easy to use screen. This helps provide feedback on your efforts. They even did a case study on how Frootful Marketing, a growing agency, uses the tool for their benefit.
SEMRush is one of the most popular tools out there for search engine marketing and with good reason. They provide a truly all in one tool, and one of their best tools is their SEO audit tool. It will comb through every single SEO factor and tell you exactly what needs to be fixed and what page it needs to be fixed on.
They even have a content grader to help you measure the competitiveness in the ranking of your content as well as its SEO quality. This is on top of all the typical SEO tools like keyword and link tracking. Some of their newer features include tracking your social efforts and comparing them to your competitors. This includes things like posts published, engagement received and followers earned. Lastly, they also let you audit the effectiveness of your paid campaign.
When it comes to technical SEO, there is no better tool than Screaming Frog. It’s a free tool up to a certain amount of pages. IT can help you spot duplicate content and any crawl errors that may be on your site. It reviews all your tags and all your content, as well as URLs and provides valuable data on whether or not you’re on the right track or have issues you need to fix.
When it comes to security, it is often the most overlooked aspect of website auditing. Most people don’t realize how easy it is to get hacked. You don’t have to have someone target you personally. Most bots crawl the web and look for weaknesses in sites and automatically take advantage of them and hack in. This can redirect your users to a site with a virus and in most cases, get you banned from all of the search engines.
Services like site lock monitor your website 24/7 and capture anyone trying to hack it and clean up the malicious files immediately. There are many websites who lose rankings every day due to a hack and don’t realize until weeks have already passed. Site Lock can help you avoid that scenario.
Cover Yourself on All Fronts
Don’t cut yourself short by not using audit tools. You need to monitor every aspect of your website to provide yourself the best chance of winning online and provide your users with an experience that makes them want to comes back.