How To Audit Your Website Without Needing An SEO Company
In Business and in sports, if you know the score, you know how hard you need to work in order to get the results you want. In todays post you will confidently be able to Audit your own website with the following 3 perspectives (and crucially know what you should do, once you have the results):
- Is my Website quick enough?
- Is my Website structured properly to encourage Google or Microsoft to send me visitors?
- Where does my website rank for key and relevant phrases? (If you are simply “googling” the answers you are not getting a realistic picture of how your site appears to your prospects.
Is my Website quick enough? Website Speed Checker
Google values 3 things, Honesty, Reliability (or regularity) & Speed.
Assuming your website and product solves the needs of your customers or prospects and you answer any phone calls and web form submissions, that just leaves us with the speed of your website.
You may feel that speed is subjective. So the last time you went to your site, it seemed pretty quick …hopefully! However all is not as it appears.
You visit your site many times more than your average prospect has ever done and therefore benefit from “Cookies & Caching”. This means the top half of your web page loads pretty quickly….for you thanks to your computer holding on to some images and text from your last visit. However Google measures the speed based on someone who has never visited the site before. And trust us…. they keep score
As Google sends an average of 70% of all visitors to websites, it’s important to measure what they measure. Thankfully they allow you to use their in-house tool free of charge so you can see how you are performing in their eyes.
Page Speed Insights
Google’s page speed insights will give you a specific score out of 100 (1 being awful, get 100% and you are the bee’s knee’s!)
Cruciually they also break this down by Mobile and Desktop.
Having reviewed over 1000 websites, here’s what we typically find.
- The average Mobile speed score is around 24/100
- The average speed for someone accessing your website on a desktop pc or laptop is around 56/100
Ideally you want both to be 80+.
It is worth checking exactly how your visitors are accessing your site. If you don’t have it installed on your site already, we highly recommend Google Analytics. It’s free and almost everyone in the web industry knows how to use it.
So you may be asking “How Do I check My Website Speed?”
Simple, just click here for free access to Google Page Speed Insights
It takes less than 60 seconds, and just remeber to check both the mobile and desktop scores. If you get lost along the way, feel free to contact us
Summary; You are hoping for a score of 80+ ideally for both desktop and Mobile.
What if your site is considered slow?
The great news is the Page Speed Insights gives you an idea of where the challenge lies and you can pass this to your web developer/designer or of course you can ask us to see if we can assist.
Is my Website structured properly to encourage Google or Microsoft to send me visitors?
Don’t worry, we are not expecting you to become a tech-whiz and a great programmer. You probably have better things to do with your time!
Understanding whether your website is set up correctly and getting some feedback allows you to intelligently work with your web designer to fix up some of the challenges that aren’t visible to the naked eye, but that Google takes in to account when deciding whether to send you free traffic & visitors!
At Digital Jumpsuit, we believe in keeping SEO pretty simple. There are too many smokes and mirror operations and the industry has a reputation for selling the Emperor’s New Clothes! So at least when you can see the list of work that is to be done AND then check it has been completed, you are not going to get taken advantage of.
How to Audit the technical structure of my Website
If your website is built in a kooky fashion behind the scenes then Microsoft and Google are just going to give you a wide berth. So here is a geat free tool to check the page speeds on your website:
We recommend GTMetrix as a good first place to start. It only checks one page at a time, but is great to get your initial starting score. You can check multiple pages and it is worth creating a free account as this then stores your historical searches.
This is ideal for monitoring whether things have improved or not once your web developer says he or she is finsihed making the changes. Often the scores are actually worse, so need keeping an eye on. It also has been known for someone to say they’ve done something when in fact it’s still on a rather large to-do list!
Your site will receive a score of A-F.
Just like in school A is “Top of the class” F is….well you get the picture.
Ideally you want an A or a B score.
Why not insist on Top marks in the audit?
Sometimes getting an A means removing functionality or plugins that are vital to your customer enjoying the journey. So stripping everything back might actually damage the results.
So don’t obsess. If you can get a B you are in pretty good shape
Create a free account for GTMetrix and this way you can compare before and afters. Aim for an A or B score.
Just remember to click the location before you test, pick the place closest to your ideal prospects location. So for most readers it will be LOndon (if UK based), Texas is for the US and Vancouver if Canada is where your customers are based.
Having challenges getting the scores up…or getting your head around it all? Don’t worry, feel free to contact us if you need a little support or guidance
Where does my website appear for relevant key phrases?
Search engines really are the 8th wonder of the world.
Think about it, they take vague, often mis-spelled phrases and have to figure out where to send each individual so that they can find the best solution (from millions of websites) within 10 seconds and within 2-3 clicks.
Now consider that someone may write “Golf Club” in to the search engine.
Do they mean:
- A place to go and play Golf?
- An actual Golf club to hit the ball with?
- Maybe Volkswagon Golf members club?
This is where the historical search data and algorithms kick in and why 2 people can get completely different results.
Why is my website ranking important?
It might not be!
If you want to buy advertising, also known as Google Adwords, you can force your way in to the top positions and only pay each time your advert is clicked. It is a type of auction so essentially the rice fluctuates depending on the quality of competition (ie is their site fast, structured properly and trustworthy…we’ll write another blog on trust and what that actually means)
Out of every 100 people who search, 30 will only click and Advert and not click any of the free listings below the ads
The other 70 people will skip over the ads and only click on the free (aka Organic) listings.
Here’s the biggie!
Approximately 55 of those 70 will not go past the top 3 relevant listings (They may discount stuff like wikipedia or government sites for example) and not go any further.
So th eother million+ sites are now fighting for the remianing 15, of which 12 will not usually go to page 2!
How do I know where my website appears in the search engine?
As we mentioned earlier, Google delivers a different experience to prospects, so if you google your own site every day, it starts to appear on page 1 where you can find it easily.
However a prospective client or customer who doesn’t know you exist is unlikely to search for you by name. Instead they’ll probably ask for you by the service you offer and possibly location.
A Plumber in North Leeds.
Solicitor for family disputes near me
Nice Italian restaurant in Halifax (We recommend Sapore by the way!)
One of the simplest ways to get an independent view of where you rank, you can use a free service like Serprobot.
Simply enter the ideal phrases that you want to appear for when people type their search in to the phone or computer. I think you can have up to 20 phrases on the free plan and it can check each day automatically so you can see if you are making progress or not.
The great news it will also give you an idea on how many searches there are for each phrase on an average month.
Using this data can help inform you as to whether its worth paying an agency for SEO or not. When you combine the volume with the KD (Keyword Difficulty) so know whether its worth the investment or not.
Use Serprobot to assess what the score is regarding where you appear on the search engines.
Chhose whether to focus It’s easier and faster to get from position 12 (which is 2nd on the second page) to Position 3, than it is from position 112.
You can also use the free Google Keyword Planner Tool to have them suggest phrases you may not have thought of.
When you are really flying, you can use more sophisticated tools like Spyfu & Ahrefs or of course talk to an agency like us who already have the account access and competitor intelligence tools.
Check out our other blogs and articles for more technical details, but hopefully this is a useful beginners guide to Website Speed, structure and rankings.
Digital Jumpsuit specialises in SEO and paid advertising for businesses that wish to grow their business in an ethical and effective fashion. Our SEO Company in Halifax, West Yorkshire currently serves clients in multiple sectors across Yorkshire, the UK and North America.