Most often at Digital Storyteller, we begin our client engagements with either updating or building a new website (after a Brand Storytelling Session, of course!)
After this, we typically begin ongoing content marketing for clients.
What we have found, however, is that when we go straight into ongoing content marketing—without a website refresh or build—we need to complete a website audit.
But why? What is a website audit, and why is this process so important? Let’s discuss.
What is a Website Audit?
We’re not going to lie to you… A website audit is no easy feat. It takes TIME.
A website audit, or a site audit, is a total analysis of all the factors that affect a site’s visibility in search engines (AKA, does it show up in Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc… What keywords does your site rank for? How does it appear?)
A website audit gives insight into how your site is showing up in organic search and how it’s performing.
Below is a shorthand list of everything WE do when we audit a site at Digital Storyteller.
What is Included in a Website Audit?
At Digital Storyteller, our SEO team checks the following:
- Is Yoast SEO installed?
- Are existing plugins up to date?
- Are auto-updates enabled?
- Review Google Analytics
- Is the UA code enabled?
- Has a GA4 property been created?
- Review Google Search Console for coverage errors, manual actions, etc.
- Is the Google Search Console property verified?
- Has Google My Business been set up?
- Has Google My Business been verified?
Are the following intact?
- Meta description
- Headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
- SEO title
- Have all photos been titled properly?
- Does each photo have alt text?
- Are there captions or descriptions on photos that shouldn’t be?
- Are the correct categories selected?
- Have we included internal links? External links?
- Is there an excerpt present?
How Long Does a Website Audit Take?
The length of a web audit depends on how many people are conducting the audit, how quickly they work, as well as the size of your website.
A true website audit typically takes anywhere from two to six weeks to complete.
Remember, you want your audit to be thorough and worthwhile, which is why it may take so long.
Why Are Website Audits Important?
So, why are website audits important?
According to Devin Aubert, our amazing SEO Manager, website audits are crucial to ensuring your site’s health is maintained.
“Routine website audits support your site’s authority score and overall search performance,” says Aubert. “By maintaining a high level of site health, you can be sure that your site is accessible to users and functioning correctly.”
After all, who wants to use a slow, janky website?
When it comes to websites, first impressions really DO matter.
Did you know that it takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds!) for users to form an opinion about your website?
This opinion ultimately determines whether they’ll stay or leave… This considered, the functionality of your website is EXTREMELY important. You don’t want to lose out on prospects because your website isn’t working correctly or is difficult to navigate.
A Final Word of Advice
Finally, a word of advice from Andrew Marr, Owner, and CEO of Digital Storyteller:
“Website audits are crucial. Make sure that your website is optimized for traffic before you go down the road of producing fantastic content… It will save you time and money.”
Interested in learning more about what a website audit or rebuild might look like for you? Take a look at our pricing and then get in touch with our team.
Or, for those interested in reading on, check out the following website-related articles: