The Importance of A Website Audit and How It Effects Site Ranking and Conversion
The ultimate aim of a business is to increase conversions, be it brick and mortar or an online business. In order to get those results, your website will have to rank on Google in order for visitors to land on your website. Only then could you try and convert them.
So, it ultimately comes down to improving your SEO to rank your site on Google and provide your visitors with a better user experience in order for you to benefit in the long term.
An efficient way to go about it is, to run an SEO Audit in order to find out factors that are hindering your web site from ranking. You can then take steps to mitigate them in order to increase conversions.
There are a number of tools that can help you run an SEO audit on your website to help you identify aspects of the website that can improve the user experience. These enhancements will improve aspects that you wouldn’t have focused on or thought about before and help rank your website higher on SERP’s.
Page Loading Speeds:
This is one of the top factors that can make or break superior user experience. If it takes too long for your main pages or your popular pages to load, people aren’t going to stick around. Most studies have found the optimal time taken for your pages to load should not be more than 3 seconds.
The internet is like a network of roads that lead from one website or URL to another. And the higher number of roads that lead back to your website the more trust and popular you’ll be on Google and similar search engines.
Outbound and internal links are factors for your website ranking as well as the time spent by visitor on your website. As things are constantly changing on the internet, a website that you linked to a couple of years ago may not exist today.
If a user clicks on such a link and doesn’t get to the destination or ends up at a place where the information doesn’t exist it would result in a bad user experience. Google bots also take a notice of this when they crawl your website.
An SEO audit can help identify broken links on your website, so that you can fix them immediately.
Another kind of issue that is common with links is 404 errors. You can fix your internal links because they are in your control. What about sites that link to your website?
There could be occasions when someone misspells a character in the link that points to a page on your website. In such cases, the user would land up on your site but wouldn’t find the resource but an error page (404). If there’s no redirection offered here the visitor will simply exit the page.
Adding a custom message with an appropriate redirection or prompting the user to search for your site will make them stay on your site. You can also add your branding efforts on your 404 pages.
Search engines will encounter a crawl error when they come across a broken link, but a custom 404 pages with appropriate links, they will have a path ahead of them rather than a dead end.
There’s no denying the fact that Google prefers a mobile ready site, and uses it as one of the factors to rank a website. With increased number of people using their mobile devices to browse, it’s obvious that a website should be easy to navigate on mobile devices, and that’s why search engines are giving this criterion all the importance.
There are various tools where you can check whether your website is mobile ready. An SEO mobile readiness audit can point out aspects that you can tweak to help improve mobile friendliness and ultimately boost your SEO and page rankings.
Taking things a step further with designs meant for mobile devices; a website design which is responsive, renders pages according to device width and is quickly becoming the new norm. Google came up with a framework called AMP in collaboration with Twitter to help web pages load lightning fast.
Google brand’s content publishers who structure their websites according to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) with an AMP logo on search results. In the days to come most websites will have to make their websites responsive if they haven’t already and adapt to the AMP guidelines to stay in the race to get ranked in searches.
Google is constantly improving its algorithm so that it can present users with relevant and useful information. And since the time it was launched people have been trying to find a way around it, and each time Google has come back stronger.
The sites that rank on Google have to gain the search engine’s trust and most sites that have tried to game the system have failed. Some have been slapped with a penalty that’s very hard to recover from.
Google also warns users of a suspected spammy or infected website. So make sure your website doesn’t have any malware or spyware.
If you own a website that handles customer credit card information you need to make sure that the information is secure. Having SSL certificates lets your customers know that you’re serious about security practices and the connections between the customers browser and your web servers are secure.
There are multiple factors that influence the ranking of a website. AN SEO Audit can help you pinpoint issues that can be fixed and will help bring in more traffic to your website. We have touched upon the most important ones in the article above.
The more user-friendly your site is the more opportunities you’ll have to convert the incoming traffic on your website into customers. No matter what stage your business is in if you want to increase traffic and conversion a thorough SEO audit can help you get there.
Edward Kundahl, Ph.D., M.B.A.