How to Do a Website Audit (A Comprehensive Guide)

How to Do a Website Audit

Every website needs a regular audit to ensure that it is functioning at its best and meeting the webmaster’s goals.

A good and comprehensive website audit involves a thorough examination of various aspects such as design, content, SEO, user experience, and performance.

It allows you to identify any issues or areas that need improvement and take necessary steps to enhance the overall performance of your website.

In this guide, I am going to walk you through the process of how to do a website audit effectively.

So that you can perform a website audit for your project or your client’s website with confidence and expertise. Let’s get started!

What is a Website Audit?

A website audit evaluates your website’s performance, functionality, and user experience.

It involves analyzing different aspects of your website to identify areas for improvement and optimization.

Why is Website Audit Important?

Website audits are crucial for the success of any online business.

They help you understand how well your website is performing and what changes need to be made to improve its overall performance. 

By conducting a website audit, you can identify and fix issues that may be hindering your website’s ability to rank well on search engines, provide a positive user experience, and convert visitors into customers.

Benefits of Website Auditing?

Here are some of the key benefits of conducting a website audit:

Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

A comprehensive website audit can help you identify technical issues that may be affecting your website’s search engine rankings.

By fixing these issues, you can improve your website’s visibility on search engines and attract more organic traffic.

Enhanced User Experience:

A website audit involves analyzing the usability and functionality of your website.

By identifying and fixing any issues with navigation, page load speed, or user interface, you can improve the overall user experience on your website.

This can lead to higher engagement, lower bounce rates, and more conversions.

Spotting Gaps & Errors:

A website audit can help you identify any gaps or errors in your website’s content and design. This could include missing pages, broken links, outdated information, or inconsistent branding.

By addressing these issues, you can ensure that your website is up to date and presenting a professional image to visitors.

Boost Your Conversions:

Improve your website’s SEO and user experience with a website audit to boost your conversion rates.

By fixing technical issues, enhancing usability, and providing a seamless user experience, you’ll encourage visitors to take action on your site.

It also helps you find opportunities to optimize your conversion funnel and make it more effective.

Reduce Usability Issues:

A thorough website audit can help you identify any usability issues hindering your website’s performance.

By improving navigation, page load speed, and other elements of your site, you can provide a seamless user experience for your visitors. This can lead to higher engagement and lower bounce rates.

Improve Website Security:

A website audit can also help you identify any security vulnerabilities on your website.

Security issues like malware, outdated themes, or plugins can make your website vulnerable to hackers and compromise your visitors’ data.

By addressing these issues, you can ensure that your website is secure and protected both yourself and your customers.

How to Do a Website Audit?

When doing a website audit, it should cover various aspects such as technical SEO, on-page SEO, website design, and user experience.

Here are some key areas you should focus on during a website audit:

  1. Conversions & Competitor Analysis
  2. Technical SEO Audit
  3. On-Page SEO
  4. Website design Audit
  5. User Experience Analysis
  6. Website Security Audit

Conversions & Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis

Start by researching your competitors to understand their strategies and see what they’re doing differently. This can help you identify areas where you can improve and stand out from the competition.

Conversion Ratio Analysis

Analyze your conversion rates and compare them to industry standards. This will give you a benchmark to work towards and help you identify any areas where your website may be underperforming.

Check click-through rates

Analyze your website’s click-through rates to see which pages are attracting the most traffic. This will give you an idea of what content is resonating with your audience and which one may need improvement.

Check Landing pages

Analyze your landing pages to see if they are optimized for conversions. Make sure the call-to-action is clear and that no distractions or barriers prevent visitors from taking action.

Check Form Submissions

Check your website’s contact forms, newsletter sign-ups, or any other form submissions to ensure they’re working properly and capturing leads effectively. If there’s an issue with the forms, it might be hurting your conversions.

Technical SEO Audit

Analyze and Fix Crawlability and Indexability Issues

Use Google search console to identify any technical issues that may be affecting your website’s crawlability and indexability. This could include broken links, duplicate content, or other errors that may prevent search engines from properly indexing your site.

Check for Robots.txt Issues

The robots.txt file is an essential part of your website that communicates with web crawlers and bots.

This simple text file lives in your site’s root directory and instructs web crawlers which pages or sections of your site they are permitted or not permitted to visit.

If your robots.txt file has disallowed rules for important pages, it could discourage search engines from indexing your site.

Make sure your website’s robots.txt file is properly configured to allow search engines to crawl and index your site.

Spot  XML Sitemap Issues

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the important pages of your website, providing search engines with a guide of what content is available and how to reach it.

This roadmap of your site empowers search engines to crawl and index your website more efficiently.

Check that your XML sitemap is current and list all the important pages of your website that you want to rank. Also, it’s important to check for pages included by sitemap that aren’t necessary, such as duplicate or irrelevant pages.

If your site doesn’t have an XML sitemap, make sure to create one and submit it to Google search console.

Fix broken Links

Broken links are those types of links that no longer work because a website is experiencing one of the following issues:

  • The page no longer exists
  • The page has been moved without appropriate redirects
  • The linked content has been deleted or removed

Broken links can negatively impact your SEO and user experience. They can also cause frustration for visitors and lead to higher bounce rates. Use tools like Google Search Console or Semrush to identify and fix any broken links on your website.

Analyze Your Backlinks

The backlink profile of your website is an essential factor in determining your search engine rankings. Poor backlinks can negatively impact your website’s authority and credibility.

Doing a backlink audit can help you identify any toxic or spammy links that may be harming your website’s SEO. It can also help you find opportunities to improve your link-building strategy and earn more high-quality backlinks.

Use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to analyze your backlinks and identify low-quality or toxic links that may hurt your website’s SEO.

Disavow these links to prevent them from negatively impacting your site’s ranking.

Check Site Speed for Improvement Opportunities

Site speed is a crucial factor for both SEO and user experience. A slow website can lead to higher bounce rates, hurting your search engine rankings. Moreover, it can also negatively impact your user experience and conversions.

Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to analyze your site’s speed and identify any issues slowing it down. These tools also provide recommendations and tips on how to improve your site’s speed.

These recommendations can significantly improve your website’s loading time and overall performance.

Spot and Fix Duplicate Content Issues

Duplicate content refers to the same or similar content on multiple URLs. This can happen due to various reasons, such as printer-friendly versions of pages, session IDs, or different URL structures for the same content.

Search engines prefer unique and original content, so having duplicate content on your site can harm your SEO efforts. Use tools like Siteliner or Copyscape to identify and fix any duplicate content issues on your website.

Make sure to use 301 redirects or rel=”canonical” tags to indicate the preferred version of the page and avoid any potential penalties from search engines.

Discover Mobile-Friendliness Issues

With the majority of internet users accessing websites via mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for SEO and user experience.

Mobile-friendliness has also become a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.

According to Google,  a website is considered mobile-friendly if it meets the following criteria:

  • Avoids software that isn’t common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses readable text without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.

Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or PageSpeed Insights to check if your website is mobile-friendly and make necessary improvements if needed.

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, consider implementing a responsive design or creating a separate mobile version of your site.

Remember to test and optimize for desktop and mobile devices to provide visitors the best possible user experience.

Spot and Fix Code Issues

Code issues can significantly affect your website’s performance and search engine rankings. These include meta tag, canonical tag, hreflang attribute, or javascript issues.

Here are a few examples to look out for:

  • Meta Tag Issues:  Meta tags provide information about a web page to search engines and website visitors. Missing or duplicate meta tags can harm your website’s SEO.
  • Canonical Tag Issues: Canonical tags specify the preferred version of a web page to help search engines avoid indexing duplicate content. Not having canonical tags or having incorrect ones can lead to indexing issues and hurt your SEO efforts.
  • Hreflang Attribute Issues: Hreflang tags specify a web page’s language and geographic targeting to help search engines serve the correct version of your content to users. Having incorrect or missing hreflang attributes can lead to indexing issues and impact your website’s visibility in different regions.
  • JavaScript Issues: JavaScript is often used for dynamic content and advanced website functionality, but it can also cause crawling and indexing issues for search engines. Use the noscript tag to provide search engines with an alternative version of your content in case they can’t access the JavaScript.
  • Structured Data Issues: Structured data helps search engines better understand the content on your website and display rich snippets in search results. However, incorrect or missing structured data markup can lead to indexing issues and prevent your site from showing up in rich results.

To identify and fix these and other code issues, use tools like Google Search Console or Screaming Frog. Make the necessary fixes to improve your website’s SEO and user experience.

Check and Fix HTTPS Issues

HTTPs is a secure version of the HTTP protocol that encrypts data sent between a user’s browser and a website. It is now considered a ranking factor by Google and can also improve your website’s trust and credibility.

HTTPs tell that your site is secure and has a valid SSL certificate. That means your site is legitimate, and visitors can trust it with their sensitive information.

If your site uses HTTP, consider switching to HTTPS by purchasing and installing an SSL certificate.

Then, set up 301 redirects from your old URLs to the new ones, starting with HTTPS.

This ensures that any existing backlinks and bookmarks will still lead users to the correct pages on your site. 

Remember to update all internal links and sitemaps to use the HTTPs versions.

Find and Fix Problematic Status Codes

HTTP status code indicates the status of a web page request. If your site returns any error codes, it can harm your SEO and user experience.

Some common problematic status codes include:

  • 3XX Status Codes: These indicate a page has been moved or redirected to another URL. Set up proper redirects to ensure visitors and search engines are directed to the correct pages.
  • 4XX Status Codes: These indicate a client-side error, such as a broken link or missing page. Regularly check and fix these errors to avoid hurting your website’s user experience and SEO.
  • 5XX Status Codes: These indicate a server-side error,  such as a server being temporarily down. Monitor and address these errors to ensure your website is always accessible to users. If your website has a high number of 5XX errors, it can negatively impact your search engine rankings.

Use tools like Google Search Console or Semrush to identify and fix any problematic status codes on your website.

Regularly monitoring and addressing these issues can greatly improve your site’s performance and search engine visibility.

On-Page SEO Audit

Check the Content Quality

Content is a crucial aspect of SEO, and its quality can greatly impact your website’s visibility in search engine results.

Make sure to regularly review and improve the content on your website, ensuring that it is well-written, informative, relevant, and optimized for target keywords.

Avoid keyword stuffing or duplicating content on multiple pages, as it can harm your site’s SEO.

Include multimedia elements like images and videos to make your content more engaging and visually appealing to users.

Additionally, watch for any outdated or irrelevant content that may need to be removed or updated.

Optimize Your Title Tags

Title tags are HTML elements that specify the title of a web page. They are displayed as clickable headline in search engine results and also appear in browser tabs.

Make sure your title tags are descriptive, compelling and include relevant keywords to help both users and search engines understand what your page is about.

Avoid using duplicate or overly long titles, as they can increase bounce rate and negatively impact your website’s SEO.

Check Your Headings

Headings are important for organizing and structuring your content. They also give search engines a better understanding of the main topics on your page.

Use relevant keywords in your headings and follow a logical hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to make it easier for users to scan and navigate your content.

Avoid using multiple H1 headings on one page as it can confuse search engines and hurt your SEO.

Meta Titles & Descriptions

Meta titles and descriptions provide information about the content of a web page. They appear in search engine results below the title tag and can greatly impact click-through rates.

Make sure to use relevant keywords in your meta titles and descriptions, keeping them concise (under 60 characters for titles and under 160 characters for descriptions).

Avoid using duplicate or overly long meta titles and descriptions to improve your website’s click-through rate.

Check Keyword’s Relevancy

Relevancy is a crucial aspect of SEO, and it’s important to regularly review your keywords to ensure they are still relevant and aligned with your target audience’s search intent.

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to research popular keywords related to your industry and incorporate them into your website’s content.

Avoid using irrelevant or outdated keywords as it won’t help your website rank for relevant search queries.

Internal Linking  Issues

Internal linking is the practice of linking to other pages within your own website.

It helps with navigation and user experience and allows search engines to better crawl and understand your site’s structure and content.

Make sure to regularly review and fix any broken or irrelevant internal links on your website.

Additionally, include relevant anchor text in your internal links to provide context for both users and search engines.

Website Design Audit

Check for Visual Consistency

A visually consistent website is crucial for maintaining a professional and trustworthy online presence.

You want to review your website’s design elements, such as fonts, colors, and images, to ensure they are consistent across all pages.

Check if too many fonts or color schemes have been used, as it can make your site appear cluttered and unprofessional.

Check for Text’s Readability

Readability is an important aspect of website design, as it directly impacts user experience.

Make sure to use a font size and style that is easy to read for all visitors, including those with visual impairments.

Additionally, break up large blocks of text with headings, paragraphs, and bullet points to make your content more scannable and user-friendly.

Check for Mobile Responsiveness

With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile viewing.

Regularly test and optimize your website for different screen sizes and resolutions to provide a seamless experience for all users.

Avoid using large images or complex design elements that can slow down your site’s loading speed on mobile devices.

Also, make sure all buttons and links are easily clickable on mobile devices.

User Experience Audit

Analyze Site Architecture

The overall structure and organization of your website play a crucial role in user experience.

Make sure to regularly review and improve your site’s navigation, hierarchy, URL structure making it easy for users to find the information they’re looking for.

  • Site Hierarchy: Organize your website’s content in a logical way that makes it easy for users to navigate through different levels of information.
  • URL Structure: Use descriptive and short URLs that accurately reflect the content on each page. Avoid using long, complex URLs with numbers or special characters as they can be difficult for users to remember and share.
  • Navigation: Ensure your website’s navigation menu is clear, intuitive, and easily accessible from any page. Consider adding a search bar to help users find specific content quickly. 
  • CTAs: Use clear and concise calls-to-action (CTAs) in strategic places on your website to encourage user engagement and conversion.

Optimize Your Images

Images are a powerful tool for enhancing user experience and engaging visitors.

Make sure to optimize your images for web by compressing their size without sacrificing quality. This will help improve your site’s loading speed, especially on mobile devices.

Additionally, use descriptive file names and alt tags to provide context for search engines and visually impaired users.

Avoid using too many large images or image carousels, as they can slow down your site’s loading speed and negatively impact user experience.

Optimize For UX Signals

To make your site more user-friendly and improve search engine rankings, it’s essential to optimize for key UX signals. Some examples of them are:

  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. Improve your content and website design to keep users engaged and decrease bounce rates.
  • Time on page: The amount of time a user spends on a single page. Engaging and informative content and a visually appealing design can help increase time spent on each page.
  • Exit rate: The percentage of visitors who leave your site from a specific page. Identify and improve the pages with high exit rates to keep users on your site longer.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of users who click on a link or button compared to the total number of impressions. Make sure to use clear and compelling CTAs to improve CTRs.

Website Security Audit

Security plugins

Implementing security plugins can help protect your website from malware, spam, and other cyber threats.

Make sure to regularly update and monitor these plugins to ensure they are functioning properly.

Additionally, consider implementing a firewall and regularly backing up your website’s data to protect against potential attacks.

Unknown users

Regularly review and remove any unknown or inactive users on your website’s backend.

If multiple users have access to your site, make sure to regularly change passwords and limit access only to those who need it.

Use a secure login system, such as two-factor authentication, to prevent unauthorized access.

SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate installed on your website is crucial for securing sensitive information and building user trust.

Install and regularly renew a trusted SSL certificate to protect your website and its users’ data. 

If you have a large website,  consider implementing a website security solution that can continuously scan and protect your site from potential threats.


It’s crucial to regularly backup your website’s files and database in case of any unexpected crashes or hacking attempts.

Consider automating this process by using a trusted backup plugin or service to ensure that your website’s data is always safe and recoverable. 

Also, store backups on a secure and separate server or cloud storage to prevent data loss in case of any physical damage to your website’s primary server.

To Summarize

A detailed website audit can significantly impact your website’s user experience, search engine rankings, and overall security.

Make a checklist with the points mentioned above, and regularly perform an audit to identify and fix any issues that may arise.

By analyzing all the factors that contribute to your website’s success, you can continuously improve and provide the best experience for your visitors.

If you are new or struggling to perform a website audit, then you can take my website audit service for a detailed website audit report.

You can reach me via the contact form on my website to get started.

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