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10 actionable steps for performing site audits

If your site has been ticking away for a while, but isn’t really growing an audience then you need to consider running a site audit so that you can have a look at where exactly you could optimise your site for a few quick wins. To help you do this, here are 20 quick  actions that you can use to perform an audit and make some new improvements to your site.

1. Start with your end goal in mind

Before you start out on the audit to improve your site, think about what you want this to exercise to achieve. Your goals are important and you can use them to navigate what’s working and what’s not. Use traffic, links and conversions as the basis of your campaign, prioritising the ones that are most relevant and important to you. 

2. Analyse keywords to find value pockets

Look for new keywords that may be increasing in volume then think about  what you want them to do and who you expect them to bring to your site. Then, over time you want to understand which organic searches are leading to conversions. You might think you know your customer, but you can always get more information by digging deep into the terms and phrases that your users may be using to search for your site. 

3. Look at your competitors

Competitor analysis is a viable starting point for your strategy, though you should also be building on what they’re doing. Never do copy cat impressions always use your own style and tone of voice. Use tools like SpyFu to work out where your competitors may have links, the keywords they are targeting and take a look at historical rankings. Google won’t tell you exactly what to do, but this will give you a hint on where to get started.

4. Check the Robots.txt

If your site doesn’t allow Google to crawl it, then you won’t get very far at all. It’s an easy mistake to accidentally block the spiders by using the wrong Robots.txt. This is a quick thing to check and fix, and it would give you a lot of information you can use to optimise your site.

5. Submit your sitemap

Make sure you have an accurate XML sitemap to ensure that your site is indexed properly. You can use WordPress to do this automatically with the Yoast plugin. Otherwise you can do so manually or use the XML Site Plugin. 

6. Eradicate any inadvertent duplicate content

Duplicate content is a problem, if you used a copied version of your site terms or welcome message, then you need to get that changed. Even if you wrote the content from scratch, you may have inadvertently copied something you read, run your content through Copyscape to check this. Don’t forget about your meta data as well!

7. Optimise your images

Page speed is vitally important to search rankings as you would have read in our previous article. It will also help you to optimise your bounce rates especially if you also optimise your banner images alongside on the page layout and design. Optimising an image takes almost no time and there’s no visible difference to quality. An optimised image will allow you to save space and time for your user, so make sure you’re running these through compression software before you upload. 

8. Get a fresh perspective

When you look at your site, you have all the information on the motivation behind what you’ve done. But get someone else to look at it too for a fresh perspective on the layout, usability content (technicality) and design as it will help you to better understand what a new user really thinks about your site, how they search and navigate through it can give you a lot of insight about what to change or how to optimise it. 

9. Think mobile 

With the mobile first index, you have to place much more of an emphasis on these users. It’s not enough to check it on your own device, really look into how your site looks across a range of different devices. There are several tools out there that let you do this virtually and for free. You can’t afford to ignore this traffic and you need to make sure your site is optimised and easily accessible for use on the go. 

10. Read your titles and descriptions

This may seem like a bit of a chore – but you need to know that you don’t have meta titles and descriptions just for the sake of SEO. They are also a tool to use for upsetting your site and services to your potential customer. Make them unique, interesting and truly reflective of what you do. The character count on these has recently also changed, allowing for longer meta descriptions for each page, so make the most of this extra space and be creative with your wording – always think about stopping the scroll.

So now that you have this basic checklist as a guide, it’s time to go and put them into action. Hopefully they can help you Improve your site and you will get more visitors converting into additional earnings in commission.

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