You are here

Web Design, Contributed

Essential Tools for Auditing Your Website

April 05, 2019

Auditing your website can reveal strengths, weaknesses, and obstacles to SEO success. Discover 5 tools that will help you clean up your website.

Every website — big or small — should do an occasional health check.
 
You’ve put so much time and effort into getting your website up and running that it’s worth investing your energy into maintaining your hard work.
 
Websites have a lot of moving parts, so running a comprehensive website audit will help you determine exactly what needs improvement. Audits can also help you stay abreast of changing norms before they affect your site’s performance.
 
A complete website audit thoroughly examines every corner of your website, providing insight into why your website isn’t performing as you anticipated. This information can help you make strategic improvements.
 
Use this article to learn which tools you can invest in to solve 5 common website issues. These tips can help website owners make educated decisions about how to prioritize website fixes and achieve greater success.

What Common Problems Do Websites Face?

Although it might be intimidating to begin a website audit, many websites encounter similar issues.
 
Common website problems include:

  1. Struggling to meet key performance indicators (KPIs)
  2. Frequently changing web pages
  3. Falling in search rankings
  4. Miscommunication with agencies or employees
  5. Disorganized website content 

1. Your Website Is Not Meeting KPIs

For many companies, missed KPIs are the first sign a website audit is needed.
 
For example, imagine that a checkout page stops delivering the expected results for no apparent reason. You can see that traffic is coming to the page, but no one is converting – even though the page did see conversions just yesterday.
 
A website audit can help you determine and fix the source of the problem. Maybe one of the links broke, an opt-in form stopped working, or perhaps the entire page is redirecting to a 404 error page.
 
You could manually examine the page to find the problem, but that could take hours or even days to resolve. That delay could prevent potential customers from converting on the page, risking lost revenue.
 
Instead of spending excessive time locating and fixing website errors, you can run an on-page SEO audit of a specific page to discover exactly what’s wrong with it in a matter of minutes.
 
There are plenty of free and paid tools such as SEOptimizer, MySiteAuditor, and SE Ranking that can scan a single webpage and provide a detailed report.

SE Ranking Tool
 To use these tools, enter the problematic webpage you want to dissect and analyze the tool’s results.
 
 In the example above, you can see a detailed breakdown of a specific webpage. The report provides data such as the page’s:

  • Domain characteristics
  • Title
  • Meta description
  • URL structure
  • Index status
  • Load speed
  • Usability

Most tools can also provide feedback on images, content, and links. You can also check how well a specific page is optimized for a specific search query. Each section of the audit provides more specific data, providing a road map for how to resolve issues.
 
Finally, if you have a page that changes frequently, such as a New Arrivals page on an e-commerce website or a page managed by a new employee, some tools allow you to receive updates whenever a change takes place on a specific page.

2. Your Webpages Change Frequently

Webpages that change frequently present unique challenges.
 
When you add a new webpage, implement new functionality, or update existing content, you’ll need to monitor the effects of these changes without digging through layers of analytics.
 
Tools such as Trackly, ChangeTower, VisualPing, and SE Ranking offer features that monitor page changes, allowing you to keep track of every monitored page.
 
You can set up a detailed report on the daily changes made to a specific webpage:

If you’re updating multiple pages on your website, you can add more than one page for monitoring.
 
If you want to know how users react to changes such as a new button or a popup, you can use real-time user behavior recording tools such as Lucky Orange and Feng-GUI.

These tools allow you to see exactly where users click when they navigate your site, revealing what’s stopping them from reaching your intended conversion goal.
 
Keep in mind that you aren’t limited to monitoring your own website. In fact, you can use these tools to monitor changes on any website – even your competitors’.

3. Your Website Ranking Positions Dropped

If your webpages have slipped from the top spots on Google, you should audit your website to determine why.
 
Common reasons for changes in webpage rankings include the presence of a duplicate page, lost backlinks, server issues, or the addition of a new coding language. Instead of checking for each of these possibilities, however, it’s more efficient to use tools to diagnose the problem.
 
Start by going to Google Search Console to check if your website has any warnings or errors that devalued the site in the SERPs. Next, check to make sure you didn’t miss the release of a new algorithm update that impacted the rankings of many websites.
 
If these first steps don’t reveal answers, it’s time to audit your website.
 
Broken links are one common culprit for lower rankings. You can check your links using tools including Ahrefs, SE Ranking, and Link Research Tools. You can also run tools like Screaming Frog on your entire website to find internal links that lead to the affected pages.

Ahrefs Tool

Source

As well, double-check the internal link structure to make sure all website pages are interlinked with one other. Perhaps one of your highly-ranked pages that transferred a lot of “link juice” to other webpages is now broken, decreasing the overall search engine value of other pages.
 
Lost backlinks can also cause your site rankings to drop. Tools like Ahrefs and Majestic reveal whether your site has lost any links in the past three months. Plus, a free backlink checker is available via CognitiveSEO that can show real-time data of your link profile.
 
Once you’ve audited the link health of your webpages, you should audit your inbound backlinks using one of the aforementioned tools. If other sites have changed their own webpages, their backlinks may impact your website’s ranking.
 
Finally, your ranking could have dropped because your competition simply outranked you. If you noticed that your competitor took your previous spot in the SERPs, you can use tools such as Similarweb, SE Ranking, and Siteliner to discover what your competitors are doing – and apply it to your website!

4. Your New Employees or Agency Aren’t Receiving Feedback

If you’re a business owner who does not work directly on your website, you should still remain involved in auditing and maintaining your website. You should know exactly what your employees or hired agency are changing or testing on your website.
 
Some website audit tools, such as MySiteAuditor or SEMRush, allow you to add more than one user account with varying levels of access.  
 
When choosing a tool, make sure it can generate customizable reports that will highlight only the aspects of the website that matter to you. 

5. Your Website Content Is Disorganized 

If your website has undergone too many changes too quickly, it may become disorganized, impeding its functionality.
 
To prevent this, businesses must regularly conduct comprehensive website audits to make sure that all website content is consistent.
 
Website auditing tools, such as SE Ranking, SEOptimizer, and MySiteAuditor all give you the possibility to set up automated, customizable reports at regular intervals. This helps you keep track of all metrics that matter to search engines and, ultimately, your website rankings.
 
These tools point out website issues in automatic reports, allowing you to forget about digging through your site in search of issues. You can get an overview of what is and isn’t working on your website, or separately analyze your website in terms of pages, metadata, content, links, mobile optimization, and more.

Tools Make it Easy to Audit Your Website 

If your website sells products or services online, the importance of getting traffic from organic search cannot be overestimated.
 
Any technical issues or errors on your website can negatively impact your online visibility and search engine rankings, reducing your chances of engaging with your target audience.
 
This is where website auditing tools come into play. Running a comprehensive audit can boost your website’s chances of getting discovered online. Website audits help you improve SEO, boost user experience, fix errors, and ensure security and privacy. Consult with an experienced web developer if you are unsure how to proceed. 
 
By conducting a website audit, you can improve your website’s SERP position without having to completely redesign your website.

About the Author

Diana Ford HeadshotDiana Ford is a digital marketing specialist. She has been blogging for several years. Her writing expertise spans across online marketing, SEO, social media, and blogging. She also does outreach marketing, product reviews, and online marketing guides.