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How to Audit a Website

How to Audit a Website

Learn how to audit your website comprehensively with a structured approach, whether you're new to website management or looking to refine your existing platform.

In today’s digital landscape, the importance of a robust and optimised website cannot be overstated. A website is the cornerstone of your online presence, acting as the front door to your business and a 24/7 representative of your brand, products, or services.

But how can you be sure your website is performing at its best? Knowing how to audit a website is the answer. Whether you’re new to website management or looking to refine your existing platform, this article provides a structured approach to evaluating your website comprehensively.

Table of Contents

How to Prioritise a Website Analysis

Determining which areas of your website to assess first can be a challenging but crucial step. Your focus should be aligned with your primary business objectives and the most immediate areas for improvement. Here’s a guide to help you prioritise:

Business Objectives

Identify your key business goals. Are you looking to increase sales, improve brand visibility, or enhance user engagement? Your objectives will direct your focus and your focus will help you define your key metrics. For example, if sales are a priority, conversion rate optimisation should be on your list.

Current Pain Points

Examine existing analytics and feedback to uncover areas where your website is underperforming. These areas should take precedence if your website suffers from high bounce rates or security issues.

Resource Availability

Consider your available resources, both in terms of human expertise and technical tools. For instance, if you have an in-house SEO expert, starting with an in-depth content marketing assessment might be worthwhile.


Establish a realistic timeline for your assessments. More immediate concerns, like security vulnerabilities, should be addressed first, while long-term projects like user experience design may be scheduled for later phases.

Competitive Landscape

Understand your competition and industry benchmarks. If you’re lagging in your performance on key metrics compared to your competitors, those areas should be prioritised for assessment and improvement.

Regulatory Compliance

Don’t underestimate the importance of legal considerations, mainly if you operate in regulated industries like healthcare or finance. Compliance assessments should never be left on the back burner.

Holistic Approach

Finally, consider how various elements are interconnected. Improvements in one area can have a cascading effect on others, so a balanced, holistic approach is often most effective.

By systematically evaluating these factors, you can prioritise your assessment areas intelligently and strategically, ensuring your efforts yield the most impactful results.

Comprehensive Website Assessment

Critical Areas for a Comprehensive Website Assessment

User Experience (UX)

      • Key Metrics: User Engagement Rate, Bounce Rate, Page Views Per Visit, Average Session Duration

      • Cost: Free and Premium options available

      • Research Type: Both Qualitative and Quantitative

      • Human Assessment: Analysis, User Interviews, A/B Testing Interpretation, creative design

    User experience isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about how well a user can interact with a website. Important factors include the ease of navigation, with menus and links that are intuitive to use. Usability is another crucial component, focusing on how easily users can complete specific tasks, from filling out forms to navigating to different sections. 

    A well-thought-out content layout adds to the experience, using organised headings, bullet points, and images to break up text and provide visual interest. Incorporating personalised content based on user behaviour or preferences can make a meaningful difference. Delivering personalised content on a website is best achieved with CRM Software that tracks user activity on your website – making it easier to build personal experiences based on your own data sets.

    Metrics include user engagement rates, bounce rates, and average session durations. Attention should also be paid to accessibility for users with disabilities and ensuring a seamless user experience across multiple platforms and browsers.

    Digital Content Audit

        • Digital Audit Tools: SEMrush, Ahrefs, HubSpot CRM and Google Analytics

        • Key Metrics: Search Visibility, Share of Voice, Time on Page, Journey Continuation, CTA Completions, Internal Links, External Links.

        • Cost: Premium

        • Research Type: Both Qualitative and Quantitative

        • Human Assessment: Content Analysis, Internal Linking Strategy, SEO Expert Review

      This area combines the power of content and search engine optimisation. The goal is to create content and structure it effectively for users and search engines. The implementation of cornerstone content structures helps to organise content in a hierarchical way, which is beneficial for SEO. Internal linking patterns contribute to both user experience and search visibility. 

      In our experience as an SEO Company, most businesses can dramatically increase their search engine visibility and organic traffic by building a good cornerstone content strategy.

      At the same time, technical SEO ensures that the website is easily crawlable and indexable by search engines. Metrics such as search visibility, share of voice in the industry, and spam link assessments help evaluate the site’s presence and reputation. 

      Additional considerations like the amount of time spent on a page, continuation of the user journey, and CTA completions provide insight into content engagement and effectiveness.

      Performance and Speed

          • Digital Audit Tools: GTmetrix, WebPageTest

          • Key Metrics: Page Load Time, Total Page Size, Number of Requests

          • Cost: Free and Premium options available

          • Research Type: Quantitative

          • Human Assessment: Performance Tuning, Load Testing, Analytical Assessment

        Website and server performance directly affects user experience and search engine rankings. Page load times are critical; a delay of just a few seconds can dramatically increase bounce rates. 

        Site optimisation techniques like image compression, lazy loading, and browser caching can help improve loading times. Responsiveness ensures the website adjusts to different screen sizes, adding to the overall user experience. Monitoring site speed metrics can help catch issues before they escalate and impact the user experience or SEO.

        Our partnership between WP Rocket and Amazon and our systems have opened the door to creating and hosting WordPress websites that quickly load for the user and meet search engines’ needs to drive organic traffic. Chat with us about how we have streamlined the WordPress hosting and development process to improve your site speed.

        Security and Data Protection

            • Digital Audit Tools: Mozilla Observatory, Qualys SSL Labs

            • Key Metrics: SSL Certification Status, Vulnerability Scans

            • Cost: Free and Premium options available

            • Research Type: Quantitative

            • Human Assessment: Security Audit Analyses, Data Protection Compliance Reviews

          Security and data protection have never been more crucial in the digital age. This section involves technical aspects like SSL certifications and data protection measures like encryption. 

          There should also be regular vulnerability assessments to identify and address security flaws. Beyond the technical elements, it’s vital to assess privacy policies and how data capture tools and storage methods comply with data protection regulations. A security lapse can lead to loss of customer trust and legal repercussions, making this an area that should never be overlooked.

          Suppose you are looking for a secure WordPress hosting environment. In that case, we have developed a solution that meets the Mozilla Observatory criteria for server and website hosting, keeping your website safe from potential threats.

          Conversion Rates

              • Digital Audit Tools: Unbounce, Optimizely, Yieldify

              • Key Metrics: Conversion Rate, Click-Through Rate, Cost Per Conversion

              • Cost: Premium

              • Research Type: Both Qualitative and Quantitative

              • Human Assessment: Conversion Funnel Analysis, A/B Test Planning and Interpretation

            Evaluating conversion rates involves more than just looking at the end numbers; it’s about understanding the entire conversion funnel. Effective landing pages are critical for attracting and encouraging users to act. This action could be anything from signing up for a newsletter to purchasing. Call-to-action elements need to be compelling and visible to be effective. Conversion rate optimisation techniques, like A/B testing, can provide insights into what works best for converting visitors into customers.

            To further refine the conversion process, various tools offer specialised features. For instance, Optimizely and VWO allow for A/B and multivariate testing, helping businesses test multiple variables simultaneously to identify the most effective strategies. Adobe Target, Dynamic Yield, and HubSpot CRM Software offer personalised content and audience segmentation, enabling a more tailored user experience. Convert focuses on GDPR-compliant data collection, ensuring customer data is handled securely while providing valuable insights. Unbounce specialises in landing page optimisation, allowing businesses to quickly create and test different landing page designs without the need for coding. Yieldify takes it further by optimising the customer journey through targeted messages and dynamic content.

            By leveraging these tools and their unique features, businesses can comprehensively understand their conversion funnel, from initial attraction to final conversion, and make data-driven decisions to optimise their strategies.

            Mobile Readiness

                • Key Metrics: Mobile Page Load Time, Mobile Usability Score

                • Cost: Free and Premium options available

                • Research Type: Quantitative

                • Human Assessment: Usability Testing on Various Devices, Mobile SEO Analysis

              With the growing number of mobile users, having a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional. This involves a design responsive to different screen sizes and optimising site speed for mobile users. Mobile readiness also includes considerations like touch-friendly design elements and easy-to-read text sizes. Search engines like Google emphasise mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, making it critical for SEO.

              Overall Health and Grading

                  • Digital Audit Tools: HubSpot’s Website Grader, Woorank

                  • Key Metrics: Overall Score, Individual Section Scores

                  • Cost: Free and Premium options available

                  • Research Type: Quantitative

                  • Human Assessment: Comprehensive Website Audit, Prioritization and Planning

                The overall health of a website is an aggregate measure of performance across various areas, from user experience and content marketing to performance, security, and more. Comprehensive tools can provide a snapshot grade or score. Still, diving deep into individual sections for actionable insights is essential. This grading can serve as a roadmap for prioritising improvements and allocating resources effectively.

                Turning Insights into Action

                Turning Website Audit Insights into Action

                After completing a thorough website assessment, the question is: “What now?” Taking informed action is crucial for capitalising on your newfound insights. Here are some next steps to consider:

                1. Develop an Action Plan

                Consolidate your findings into a clear and concise action plan—Prioritise tasks based on their impact and the resources required to implement them.

                2. Assign Responsibilities

                Clearly define who is responsible for each action item. Clear ownership is crucial, whether it’s the marketing team handling content improvements or the IT department tackling performance issues.

                3. Set Deadlines

                 Time-sensitive goals create a sense of urgency and make progress measurable. Set achievable deadlines for each task to keep the team accountable.

                4. Budget Allocation

                Based on your priorities, allocate resources effectively. This could mean investing in premium tools or hiring external experts for specialised tasks like security auditing.

                5. Monitor progress

                Continuously track key metrics to measure the effectiveness of the implemented changes. Use this data to refine your strategies further.

                Building a continuous monitoring approach that tracks vital business metrics will set your business up for technical and strategic success.

                6. Re-Assess

                Once you’ve made the necessary changes, conduct another round of assessments to measure improvement and identify new areas for focus.

                Run these assessments on a routine basis so that you keep your online assets in good condition. Remember that reassessment doesn’t have to happen in one extensive audit. For example, you can run an SEO audit once a month, and security audits can be run once a quarter if they are tracked weekly for business-critical errors. 

                7. Continuous Improvement

                Website management is an ongoing process. Make periodic assessments part of your operational routine to meet evolving business needs and technological changes.

                Why Running Website Audits Matters

                Why Running Website Audits Matters

                Running Audits keeps your online asset secure and your online reputation in good shape. 

                Conducting a comprehensive website assessment is not just a one-time activity but an ongoing process integral to your digital strategy. You can uncover valuable insights that drive continuous improvement by focusing on user experience, content marketing, performance, security, and more. 

                Leveraging both automated tools and human expertise, this holistic approach ensures you gather data and interpret it in ways that lead to meaningful action. If you’re looking for a tailored assessment beyond general metrics to provide actionable strategies, we invite you to get an audit from us. Our team of experts is ready to help you optimise your website for success.

                Frequently Asked Questions

                A website assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of various aspects of your website, such as user experience, content, performance, and security. It provides actionable insights to improve your website’s functionality, performance, and user engagement, ultimately helping you meet your business objectives.

                The frequency can vary depending on your website’s size, complexity, and objectives. However, conducting an initial assessment is advisable and then having periodic check-ups every quarter or semi-annually.

                While automated tools provide valuable data, human expertise is essential for interpreting the results and understanding the qualitative aspects. A balanced approach that utilises both is ideal.

                While some basic assessments can be carried out independently, a more comprehensive review is best conducted by a team of experts in areas such as UX design, SEO, and cybersecurity.

                Costs can vary significantly based on the scope and depth of the assessment. Free tools can provide essential insights, but premium tools and expert consultation may be necessary for an in-depth evaluation.

                Key metrics are specific data points used to measure the effectiveness and performance of different areas of your website. These metrics offer quantitative evidence to gauge your website’s success or areas for improvement.

                Prioritisation should be aligned with your business objectives. If sales are your primary focus, start with conversion rates and user experience. If brand visibility is a priority, begin with content marketing and SEO assessments.

                Website speed directly impacts user experience and search engine rankings. A slow website can lead to high bounce rates and low engagement


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