Not All Audits Suck

Audits don’t inspire feelings of happiness. They don’t. I’ve been audited in a number of ways from job performance to corporate taxes. It’s about as much fun as a sharp stick to the eye…

I used to work at a pair of Fortune 500 insurance corporations. The one thing I hated the most was SOX auditing, rather, Sarbanes-Oxley. It was a system of holding publicly traded institutions accountable via a number of amazing report gathering mechanisms. This meant quarterly I’d have 2 or 3 full binders with reports of statuses of jobs I managed. Some failed, most successful, but I’d have to report the reason for the failure, go through several more audits, have people shadow me… And I had to do this once or so every quarter. It sucked!

I bring this up because audits are something we do here, at DigiSavvy. Specifically Website Audits. This is something we’ve recently started doing because, well, other folks are doing it. But, more importantly, I talk to our clients about much of what we cover in Website Audits anyway. And it always comes down to “best practices” and ensuring that there aren’t any severe errors that could be hampering them.

What is the Importance of a Website Audit?

We like to say a Website Audit will help you determine if you’ve got $500 dollars worth of work to do, or $5,000 or more. What we mean there is simply that a lot of folks pay for month-to-month SEO campaigns and do little to help their business. That’s because people don’t have a full understanding of what they need, or even what they want their site to do. We no longer do Month-to-Month campaigns if it doesn’t first include a Website Audit.

Just the other day, we were looking over an audit provided by another firm about a client’s website. There was an extensive list of suggestions. And you know what? I agreed with the assessments made, in general. The thing that was lacking were factual figures/numbers or anything resembling raw data. How can someone make a suggestion based and provide no details or stats to back those suggestions up? Lame!

Who is a Website Audit for?

I would say that not everyone needs a Website Audit. That said, chances are you probably do. An Audit can help you discover if your site is helping meet your goals. Maybe your goal is to increase foot traffic by 20% this year. Maybe you have a sales goal in mind. Whatever the case, you should have some idea of what business success looks like.

If you do know what success looks like, that’s when we can start taking a look at what your website is actually doing and how it could help your business goals.

The types of site audits we do are for businesses that are actively pushing their business forward and need clarification on what they’re doing online, see what’s broken, fix what might be broken AND highlight what they’re doing right.

It sounds like some mystical Voodoo, though, doesn’t it?

That ain’t cool. So let’s dig-in deeper. Aight?

The Website Audit De-Mystified

What is a Website Audit? For us, it’s our way of determining the health of your website, ensure that the site makes use of SEO “best practices.” That is, we make sure you’re structuring your content properly. No “funny stuff,” just the facts. We’ll also run a comparison against your competitors to see how they’re getting their “online mojo” flowing.

Specifically, we check for:

On-Page SEO Stuff –

  • We’ll check to make sure you’re using SEO tags in your content. Specifically Meta Titles and Descriptions
  • Check for duplicate content
  • Check for broken links
  • Check for server errors
  • Audit your content for consistency. We make sure that your content is focused on a single given topic. Lots of folks go on and on about several topics on one page. We help you focus your content properly.
  • We’ll analyze how traffic gets to your site
  • Site performance and speed tests and analysis

Off-Page SEO Stuff –

  • We’ll analyze links coming into your site for quality.
  • We’ll identify some opportunities to potentially get more links coming into you.

Competitor Analysis Stuff –

  • We’ll look at your competitors to see how they’re doing things. That helps us find additional opportunities for us to help you up your game, too.

How We do it all –
There’s no magic sauce here. There are a lot of amazing tools out there that can help you determine all this stuff yourself. Moz, Google Webmaster Tools, Hittail, etc.

We take the data we get from our tools and make sense of it for you by providing an itemized and prioritized action plan of what you should do to improve your website so that it gets more Search Engine love and helps people find you and helps you attain your business goals. That’s it.

How does it all work?

When you purchase the Audit, we contact you, ask you some questions; get the information we need and get to work. Typically we don’t need login stuff to do what we need to do. We’ll take some time to gather up the information we need. This can take a couple of weeks or so for us to compile what we need.

Once we have the data, we’ll go in and fix what we can. Provide reports on our findings detailing what’s broken, what needs fixing, where linking opportunities exist and more. Then we’ll provide you an action plan of what you need to do to up your website’s game. You can optionally fix it yourself, or you can have us do it (which is an additional fee, of course).

At the end of the day that audit will help you up your game and do better. Have questions? Let’s talk!

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