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What is Website Auditing in SEO?
The word 'audit' normally has a negative connotation that sends shivers down the spine. But a website audit is very dissimilar. The use of performing one is to help companies find out how well their site is working and what improvements may be considered necessary.
For example, it can detect a broken link; that is, a link that, when accessed, rather than connecting a user to a site, instead relays an error message to a user. Website audits can show how well links are working, also point out those which may need repairing.
Broken links revealed through these audits could often come as a surprise to a company. Upon discovering broken links, companies might be able to trace lost business directly to this problem. It may be too late to restore business relations with a company that went somewhere else simply because that site worked, but it can be prevented from happening once more.
The fundamentals Of A Website Audit
Auditing can also look for other things besides broken links. These can comprise the ease of searching for a site, the information presently being displayed, and navigability. Website audits pinpoint these and other factors, and can result in web designers and others seeing wherever changes and/or improvements may need to be made. Website auditing also provides information on whether or not a site is utilizing each part of the Internet. It is very simple to just forget or not take benefit of the different areas of the Internet; especially those that have only recently begin to see an increase in popularity, like social networking sites.
A good audit will provide lots of information including:
1. How visitors are arriving at a website, whether it is from online paid advertising, blogs, search engines, backlinks from press releases or articles regarding the company.
2. What kind of information most visitors to the website are looking for.
3. How easy that information is to find on the website.
4. How effectual the site's section labels are.
5. What keywords are getting the top rankings in search engines?
In companies where security might be a very essential factor, auditing may be able to target weak points in firewalls and other security features. A few of the security weaknesses might have been so slight as to be virtually undetectable and could have never been noticed.
When to carry out a Website Audit
Website audits are effectual tools for evaluating existing sites and for planning website redesign. Periodic audits can prove almost invaluable to a company. Things that may otherwise have gone unnoticed or implementations that had been available for some time but in no way considered or adopted, can be found through a website audit.
Those responsible for designing as well as maintaining company sites may initially resent even the suggestion of website auditing. They could see audits as attempts to undermine their abilities or their dedication to their work, when this is probably not the case at all. To a certain extent it allows for somebody else to approach the website with a fresh pair of eyes. For this reason, those who decide that website auditing is necessary must be forthcoming about the procedure, and, unless there is reason to suspect otherwise, assure those liable for website design and maintenance that it is in the best interest of everybody in the company.