What Is a Total Digital Audit and Why You Need One
Discover Problems with Your Website and How to Solve Them
A digital audit is a thorough check-up of your website to determine what’s working, what’s not working and more importantly, what improvements can be made to get your site found by search engines and prospective customers. It gives you detailed insights into the current status of your website and your overall on-line presence.
If you’re not sure why you might be having trouble attracting your ideal customers and your site isn’t ranking in the search engines, a website audit can identify where the problem(s) may be and provide answers concerning why you are experiencing decreased sales, low conversions, and high bounce rates. Without a technical audit, it is almost impossible to uncover whatever it is that could be affecting your site.
As important as the digital audit is to identifying technical issues, so too is a conversion strategy that will identify issues as to why people do or don’t buy.
A conversion is impacted by:
- calls-to-action (CTA’s)
No one conversion strategy applies to all businesses; each is different for different businesses. Some businesses have short conversion cycles (hours or days), while others have conversion cycles that are months or years. A dog owner who is planning a vacation and needs boarding for his pet has a different buying cycle than someone who is planning to remodel their kitchen. Or a business that is sourcing a new IT vendor.
Human nature is, of course, the same in all three scenarios. However, to be successful in selling, you must be able to answer the questions that are relevant to where your prospect is in the buying process and give them a chance to learn more about the solutions your product or service provides. Regardless of whether the buying cycle is 30 minutes or 6 months.
Like all things in business, no magic wand exists that will produce immediate improvements. The internet is always changing, website technology evolves, links break and search engines update their algorithms with different ranking factors. Using the digital audit as a tool, we can determine if you’re keeping pace with the latest SEO tactics that will attract visitors to your site. Things change very quickly in the SEO industry and what is working today may not work six months from now. Google reportedly makes thousands of updates to their ranking algorithm per year, and an SEO website audit will help you stay current.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Other Ranking Signals
Over the past five years or so there have been huge changes to how search engines compute search results. It used to be that you could simply add keywords to your titles and content, get a few back links and – voila -- you were at the top of Google SERP. Not anymore.
Today, search engines rank websites based on many different factors, including
- Site speed
- User experience / User engagement
- Mobile friendliness
No one digital marketing method alone will move your website to the top of Google and keep it there, and that includes SEO. SEO can and will improve your search engine rankings, thus increasing your website traffic and helping you attract new prospects, increase the number of conversions and earn more in sales.
But SEO is only one of the ranking factors a search engine uses to determine where your site should appear for a search query.
User Experience / User Engagement
User engagement is a big determining factor for Google. A digital SEO audit will help determine if your website provides a positive user experience for your site visitors. You want them interacting with your site in a way that convinces them your company is trustworthy, a company they can invest their precious time and money in. Inferior content, mediocre web design, broken links and outdated statistics won't give them that confidence.
The longer your visitors stay on your site, and the more often they navigate to more than one page, the more likely you are to rank against your competitors on search engines.
If poor SEO prevents Google from indexing your website and content, causing your site to not show up when prospects search for the products and services your business provides, that’s money lost.
Identifying Conversion Issues
Addressing a conversion issue is trickier than identifying a technical SEO issue because there could be more than one issue at play. For example, you have achieved page 1 search results for a key search term. If someone leaves that page quickly, without looking at the content, you have a bounce rate issue. Bounce rate means they left your site after realizing the content wasn’t really what they wanted.
Possible factors for the bounce:
- The search result wasn’t correlated to the page information they wanted. Essentially, you tricked them onto the page.
- The content was too lightweight or incomplete with not enough depth to the information.
- No C-T-A, meaning your visitors didn’t know what to do next and so they left.
- You have no compelling market dominating position. In other words, your business looks just like all the rest, and your visitor moved on to find something more interesting
- Your visitor never was interested in buying or taking a next step; they were just gathering information
My point is, you always want to dig a little deeper and find why someone bounced. We can only do this with your help. You may decide that your business strategy needs to change if you want to compete.
You can count on us to poke holes in your assumptions and challenge you to reconsider what you do. Sometimes a business has great inner reality, but doesn’t communicate it well. I have talked more about this here . Identifying conversion issues will guarantee that your efforts in technical aren’t wasted.
Know Your Website
How many of these questions can you answer about your website
- Does your site load quickly?
- Are your Meta descriptions the correct length?
- How many back links do you have?
- Does your website display properly on mobile devices?
- Are any of your back links low quality?
- Are there broken links on your website?
- How long are visitors staying on your site?
- Are your keywords overly competitive?
These are just a few of the many areas that need to work well for proper website optimization. If you don’t know the answer to these questions – you need an overall SEO website audit.
The DigitalMX website audit will look at crucial points, such as bounce rates, page views, time on site and other in-depth insights, to ensure these key areas are optimized to guarantee better search engine indexing and ranking.
What’s Included in a DigitalMX Audit
A total digital audit is a complete and comprehensive analysis of your site. Each of the factors listed below provides some type of impact in attracting both search engine crawlers and customers to your site.
Our digital audit will provide opportunities to:
- Optimize Your Site
- Learn About Your Competition’s Digital Presence
- Move Up in Search Results
- Boost Your Ranking via Social Media “shares and likes”
- Increase Conversions
- Assess the Performance of On-Page and Off-Page SEO
- Speed Up Your Page Load Times
- Improve Your Site’s Overall Design
- Identify Any Site Architecture Problems
- Analyze Your Local Presence
- Determine Your Site’s Mobile-Friendliness
- Examine Your Keyword Use
- Evaluate Your Content
Let’s take a closer look at each of the areas your SEO audit will cover.
Optimize Your Site. Keywords must be used in your headlines, meta descriptions, title tags and Alt tags. The meta description on each page of your website has to be unique.
Meta descriptions can be any length, but Google cuts them off between 155–160 characters. Moz.com recommends keeping descriptions between 50 and 160 characters. If yours are too long or too short, they need corrected. Searchers should be able to tell from your title tags what the page is about and the meta description defines what the page has to offer.
Page headings and text need formatted for optimization. The pages of your website should not be plain text only. Text should be formatted using H1 (for the main title) and H2 (for the main headings), bold and italics for emphasis of important parts, bulleted and numbered lists, short paragraphs and plenty of videos, photos and infographics to break up blocks of text.
Learn from Your Competition. A digital audit will find out what keywords your competitors are using. If they are ranking high for certain keywords, the team at DigitalMX will help determine keywords your competitors aren’t targeting, and we’ll create opportunities for you to rank for them. We’ll look at their backlinks to find out who is linking to them. We’ll pursue these sites to see if you can also get a backlink. If they have a lot of “likes” and “shares on their social media accounts, we’ll investigate their approach and see what they are doing that you are not.
Move Up in Search Results to get more targeted leads and fewer “bounces”. If the SEO audit of your website reveals that your bounce rate is high and people aren’t engaging with your site past the first page, then we will optimize your landing pages for conversions.
Social Media. An active social media presence makes your business more visible online. Every page of your website should contain active social share icons. When visitors share your website’s content on social media, it shows Google your site is active and attracts visitors. Google crawls and indexes social media profiles/pages from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Increase Conversions by applying SEO fundamentals on every page of your website to attract visitors. The way your content and navigation are structured has a huge impact on visitors' experience, conversion rates, and your search engine rankings.
The goal of SEO is to attract new prospects to your site and convert them to paying customers, but searchers can’t become customers unless they find your site, and that will only happen if your SEO strategy is working well.
On-Page and Off-Page SEO refers to internal links and backlinks. Your pages should have an average of five internal per links per page, and they all must work. The pages you want to rank better in search should have the most internal links and are linked from your home page.
Google considers backlinks as ‘votes of trust’, and websites with good quality backlinks tend to rank higher in search results. Your website’s SEO audit will evaluate your incoming links because search engines determine the perceived value of your site to searchers based on the quality of the websites that link to it. If questionable websites are linking to you, it isn’t good for your site ranking.
Also, your SEO audit will verify that your links are coming from a variety of domains, rather than the same website – also a factor that impacts your SEO.
Page Load Times. Measuring your site’s Page speed is huge when it comes time to do an SEO audit, and your page load time matters. A fast site speed adds to a positive user experience, where a slow one will result in higher bounce rates. This is not at all what you want when going for conversions. From an SEO perspective, testing your site speed can determine what it is on your website that may be acting as an obstacle. Once you know the areas you need to improve, you’ll be able to optimize your site’s performance.
Website’s Overall Design. Your website is the online face of your business. You want visitors to stay on your site and explore more than your home page. How to accomplish that? By having a pleasing overall look, pleasant colors, lots of relevant photos, organized pages that are consistent throughout. Your audit will give recommendations for improvement, if necessary.
Site Architecture. Your site should be structured logically, with content grouped into relevant categories and pages. It must be easy to navigate to guide your visitors’ experience. All your main webpages should be listed in the top navigation menu. Your internal links should take visitors from one page of your website to another in one simple step.
The DigitalMX SEO website audit will make sure your site has a complete, accurate sitemap that has been submitted to your webmaster tool accounts.
The better your site architecture is, the better the user experience, for both website visitors and the bots that crawl your site to determine its search ranking.
Local Presence. The basis for optimizing your website for local search is your Google My Business account. The info on your GMB page should be complete and accurate. This includes your NAP (name, address and phone number). Your digital audit will check to make sure your phone number and address is the same across the entire internet.
Reviews on your GMB page are very helpful. If you don’t have enough (or any), DigitalMX will set up a review funnel to help you get more. Getting your business listed in local directories is also important for local search. Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, local newspapers and churches are all useful places for your business to be listed so you appear in local search.
Mobile-Friendly. A mobile-responsive website is not an option. Your website must be fully functional on all mobile devices – not only phones but tablets. Your audit will confirm your site’s mobile friendliness. The Google Mobile First Index states that websites not optimized for mobiles are ‘excluded’ from mobile searches.
Keyword Usage. Are your keywords getting your site noticed in search? Are your keywords too competitive or are there alternatives that might work to get you noticed? An SEO audit will help you figure out whether your keywords meet best use standards, that keywords are placed appropriately and are generating traffic.
Content. Content is a fundamental on-page SEO factor, so it has to be good. Your home page should identify your ideal customer’s biggest problem and your solution to that problem. Your blogs should engage visitors and build trust by being well-written, informative and fresh. There can be no duplicate content. You should use keywords in a consistent, natural manner.
Benefits of Total Digital Audit
Your total digital audit will include aspects of both a technical audit and an SEO audit. The results will provide benefits that will help to improve your business’s bottom line – more visitors to your site, more leads, more conversions. You will be presented with a detailed analysis of what improvements can be made on your site and to your overall digital presence to attract more visitors.
After a total digital audit, you will
- Understand the factors that affect your website’s search engine ranking
- See what your competitors are doing and how you can overtake them
- Find out if all your web pages can be crawled and indexed by search engines.
- Know the current technical health status of your website and issues that are hurting your business’s online visibility
- Get suggestions for local search optimization for Google My Business and others
- Have your keywords analyzed and receive recommendations for additional keywords that may be more effective
- Have your website optimized for search engines
- Implement changes that relate a better user experience for visitors to your site
- Identify areas for improvement that will increase your visibility in search, putting your business in front of the right prospects.
- Have a report on your site’s mobile responsiveness
- Receive recommendations about your site as a whole to improve engagement and increase prospect conversions
DigitalMX provides a comprehensive, personalized report that details any hidden problems that are keeping people from finding your business on line and that are creating a poor experience for visitors who do find you.
Our tests will point out ways to improve your website, user experience and SEO. We’ll give you recommendations for fixes for every problem we undercover so you can start boosting your overall search engine rankings, attracting your ideal customers and improving conversions.
The audit results can be used as a strong foundation for an improved, on-going digital marketing strategy for your business that will ensure you have inspiring and engaging content, a strong web presence and most importantly, a convincing reason for your ideal customers to land on your pages and buy what you’re selling.
Get Started Now
Want to get started right now? Request your total digital SEO and technical audit from DigitalMX.
We offer two levels of audit:
At the end of our audit call you will know:
- If our communication styles and approach to doing business are a good match
- I appreciate your insights, but I’m not ready to do anything else
- Whether you want to invest in our Total Digital Audit
A more comprehensive, full website & strategy audit that can provide:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase traffic.
- Content, structure, and conversion improvements to build trust and solve problems.Competitive analysis to see how you can beat your competitors.