Published on March 9th, 2018
In today’s modern marketing environment, we have an immense amount of data with just a few clicks. Because of this, we have more power than ever to make the extremely educated and data backed decisions.
However, this can also be very overwhelming. So overwhelming, I often hear “Where the heck do I start?!” from clients or industry peers.
But don’t worry! In this blog, I will be breaking down what I feel are the first four site audits your marketing team should be running quarterly.
These four audits will not only give you the foundation for making the best decisions regarding your marketing, UI, and UX but will essentially help you SWOT the major aspects of your website.
4 Site Audits Your Marketing Team Should Be Running
The most important aspect of these audits is not only the insight and data that you will get, but the system to routinely audit the state of your website. I suggest planning on running these audits quarterly so that your marketing team is aware of its current state and whether the effort you are putting in is truly paying off.
1. Site Crawl Audit
The most essential audit I run to understand the health of a client’s website is the “Site Crawl Audit.” The goal of this audit is to capture where your site stands in real-time in terms of the most core SEO elements on your indexed pages. Having this will give your team the ability to understand and recognize any missing core SEO items such as your page titles, meta descriptions, and headers.
Using the incredibly valuable tool, Screaming Frog, you are able to get a full glance at the current status of your site, including this simple, but essential site crawl.
Screaming Frog’s Site Crawl Audit allows marketers to review every page and analyze:
- Page Title and Title Length
- Meta Descriptions and Meta Description Length
- Number of Inbound links
- Number of Outbound links
- Page Status ( 404s and 301s)
- Images Without Alt Text
At a glance, using this report we can quickly identify any missing SEO elements that we can use to further improve our site’s search rank and ultimately, traffic.
The best part is you have no excuse not to run this because it’s FREE! There some limitations with the free version, but it is a great place to start.
2. Organic Traffic Audit
Now that you have your site crawled and a good overview of your current site, it’s time to dig a little deeper.
An Organic Traffic audit is the perfect way to do so. Now, I know this may sound similar to the Site Crawl, but it’s actually a bit more detailed than that. Rather than just looking at the presence of the SEO elements mentioned above, the goal of this audit is to obtain actual insights.
Running an Organic Traffic Audit will get you an understanding of what your current site is ranking for and which keywords are driving the most traffic.
One tool I like to use for this is SEMRush. This will amazingly pull every keyword you rank for!
This helps us get a better understanding of again:
- the current state of your website
- which pages are driving quality keywords
- which keywords are driving the most traffic,
- what URLs s are ranking for these keywords.
This also helps us discover which keywords are a big opportunity for us to rank for.
Is there a keyword that is on the verge of the first page and has a low difficulty score? Assess your URL that is about to hit the first page and look for quick wins to get that extra boost!
Maybe some of these keywords will take some extra effort to make its way to the first page, but that shouldn’t stop you.
Use this report to identify your top 25 keywords to target in Q1, then apply it to your upcoming blog editorial calendar and start thinking about ways you can start beating out your competitors.
It shouldn’t stop there, though.
If you are currently using HubSpot, take advantage of they keyword tool to keep track of these keywords on a weekly and monthly basis. This will help you easy track of whether your efforts are paying off against your competitors!
Speaking of your competitors….
Another tool I apply to my Organic Search Audit using SEMRush is competitor gap analysis. Using this feature, we can actually get clear insight into any keyword overlap of our top 5 competitors. This gives us a clear vision into which keywords we have in common with the competition and what work needs to be done to surpass them.
Applying these two tools alone gives us serious insight and direction for our future SEO initiatives.
SEMRush is a great tool that is worth the investment in my eyes even if simply just for these two features, but there are also several others which I will have to save for my next blog.
3. Site Speed Audit
Technical SEO can be, well, pretty technical.
It’s more difficult than simply taking a look at your code.
One aspect of a website I always test right from the start is the site speed. The goal of running a site speed audit is to understand how long it takes your website to load (or perform certain actions) and how to you can make improvements.
This is very important because Google is going full-steam ahead in factoring site speed into rankings, especially for mobile.This article about a recent update confirms Google’s algorithm will officially be factoring your mobile page speed into search results, so if your site isn’t up to speed (literally), you need to take action.
Did I scare you enough? Good! Now, it’s time to start testing.
There are a few different ways to test your site speed:
These three resources will not only relay accurate data into your site performance but will actually give you advice on how to make your site faster.
As you’ll see, one of the most common reasons your site could be is slow is the size of your imagery. Work on compressing your images and that is one step closer to a faster site!
If your site is on HubSpot’s Website Platform, check out this article for more tips.
4. Google Analytics Audit
This is probably the easiest report to run but will give you basic insight into your top-performing pages. This audit identifies the pages you should focus on improving first and give you data on their performance such as:
- Average Time on Page
- Bounce Rate
To capture this data, you simply navigate “behavior,” “site content,” and then “all page” within your Google Analytics Portal. From there, you just have to pick your data
Use this report to assess your top pages and review these key metrics in order to identify the pages you should be updating first!
Having these reports will help lay the foundation for your quarterly objectives, along with making better decisions in the future. It’s important that your team runs these reports not once, but quarterly to truly understand the state of your website, what are some opportunities for improvement, and any issues that should be resolved.