Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to expand the scope and influence of your brand, and make it easier for potential customers to discover your business. Achieving this seemingly simple goal has become trickier in recent years, as the online landscape has grown increasingly competitive. Fortunately, business owners can greatly improve visibility through the use of website audits.
Your business website is the core of your digital marketing assets, which is why website audits are so important. These tools provide vital feedback about the effectiveness of your online presence, exposing any flaws and allowing you to make the right kind of changes for success. This article takes a look at four types of audits to run on your website today.
Meta Tag Audit
From an SEO perspective, one of the most important parts of a website are its meta tags. There are two important types of meta tags: meta titles and meta descriptions, both of which appear on search engine results pages and provide vital information about your company and its products and/or services. Every page on your website should have its own set of unique meta tags.
Well-crafted meta tags entice more customers to visit your site, in turn influencing how well you rank in relevant Google searches. But it isn’t always easy to know whether the meta tags you have assigned are really helping to draw more traffic to your website. That’s where a meta tag audit comes in.
A meta tag audit works by analyzing click-through rate — in other words, the relationship between impressions and clicks for the various pages of your website. Impressions tell you how many times a page has been viewed on a search engine. A click, meanwhile, tells you how many times a searcher followed a link to your website.
If the click-through rate falls below an acceptable level, poor meta tags are often the culprit. Fixing the problem usually involves performing research about effective meta tags within your vertical, then rewriting your tags accordingly, and running another audit after several more weeks or months.
Mobile Parity Audit
Once upon a time, a website only had to be built to look good on a computer screen. Today, however, consumers are just as likely to view websites using tablets or mobile devices. In fact, mobile phones accounted for a whopping 52.2 percent of all web traffic worldwide in 2018 — up from a mere 16.2 percent in 2013.
What that means for businesses is that websites must be designed to perform equally well across a variety of platforms. Many websites built before the rise of mobile technology are unwieldy, if not impossible, to view on devices other than computers. The solution in most cases is to build two versions of your website, one optimized for desktop and one for mobile use.
Unfortunately, this approach can often lead to unintended problems if the desktop and mobile versions of a website don’t accurately reflect one another. Any disparities can negatively affect your Google ranking. They can also hurt your brand image in the eyes of consumers who notice inconsistencies between your mobile and desktop sites.
The solution to this problem comes in the form of a mobile parity audit. A mobile parity audit will verify whether bother versions of your website contain all of the appropriate header response codes, meta tags, and important text-based content. For best results, both versions must be identical with regards to all such information.
The good news is that it isn’t too difficult to perform a mobile parity audit. First, you use software to crawl your website as a desktop used. Then you repeat the process as a mobile user. The outputs of the two crawls are the combined and visually scanned for any errors or differences.
GDPR Compliance Audit
In May 2018, the SEO world was rocked by a new regulation passed by the European Union. The General Data Protection Regulation — GDPR, for short — places tight restrictions on how consumer behavior may be tracked. Specifically, GDPR only allows data tracking if consumers explicitly allow it.
The passage of this regulation placed a number of new obligations on any business that process the personal data of EU residents. This applies equally to US businesses that serve European customers, email EU residents, or even have European website visitors. A GDPR compliance audit assesses your company in terms of its:
- Data protection policies
- Data breach notification procedures
- Subject access request forms and procedures
- Information security management systems
Businesses that fail to implement the right kinds of GDPR protections place themselves at risk of fines, especially in the event of a data breach. Such organizations may face fines as great as
20 million Euros or 4 percent of their global annual turnover, whichever is higher. Non-compliance may also lead to fees even if you do not suffer a data breach.
Businesses should take comfort in the fact that there is one silver lining to GDPR — it only pertains to paid marketing channels. When it comes to SEO, by contrast, many marketing experts agree that GDPR will actually prove highly beneficial.
The art of optimizing search engine results has grown increasingly sophisticated over time. In the early days, web rankings were based to a large extent on one factor: the presence of onsite keywords. As Google’s search algorithms have grown more sophisticated, more factors entered the picture.
Today, link building is one of the most important ways to ensure that your webpage lands as high as possible in relevant searches. There are three main types of links: internal, inbound, and outbound. Inbound links — links pointing to your webpage from other websites and domain names — are especially important.
Inbound links are essentially votes of confidence in your website — the more the better. Collectively, inbound links form what SEO professional refer to as your backline profile. Of course, not all inbound links are as valuable. The best are those that come from large, well-known websites. Too many low quality links can actually hurt your ranking.
A link audit gathers together all of your link data. This information can then be analyzed with several goals in mind. First, any broken links can be fixed, thus improving your link juice. Second, any toxic links — those that are hurting your ranking — can be disavowed. Finally, the links’ anchor text can be evaluated and, if necessary, altered to improve link quality.
Website audits are a necessary survival strategy for businesses in the 21stcentury. To learn more about how to increase your company’s competitive edge, contact the industry experts at Peak Performance Digital for a complimentary website audit.