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What is a Digital Audit and Why You Need One

Submitted by DovetailMarketing on Wed, 10/28/2020 - 14:56

A digital audit is a 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 Google and prospective customers.

It gives you detailed insights into the current status of your website and your overall online presence.

If you're not sure why you might be having trouble attracting your ideal customers and your site isn't ranking in search, a website audit can identify where the problems are and provide solutions. Especially concerning why you are experiencing low conversions and high bounce rates.

Without a digital audit, it is almost impossible to uncover what it is that could be affecting your site.

Use the Digital Audit as a Tool

Like all things in business, no magic wand exists that will produce immediate improvements. The internet is always changing, website technology evolves, links break. 

Using the digital audit as a tool, it can determine if the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics that attract visitors to your site are up to date.

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 its ranking algorithms every year. A digital audit will help you stay current

SEO and Other Ranking Factors

Over the past five years or so, there have been huge changes to how search engines computer search results. It used to be that you could simply add keywords to your titles and content, get a couple backlinks and - bingo - you were at the top of Google search results. Not anymore. 

Today search engines rank websites based on different factors, including:

  • site speed
  • responsiveness
  • content
  • authority
  • user experience / user engagement
  • mobile friendliness

No one tactic 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 increase your website traffic and hopefully, attract new prospects, get you more conversions and improve your bottom line. 

But SEO is only one ranking factor a search engine uses to determine where your site appears for a search query. 

User Experience (UX) / User Engagement

User experience and user engagement are big determining factors used by Google when looking at your site. A digital audit will determine if your website provides a positive user experience for your visitors. You want them to interact with your site in a way that convinces them your company is:

  • trustworthy
  • a company they can invest their time and money in

Inferior content, mediocre web design, broken links and outdated statistics won't give them that confidence.

The longer visitors stay on your site and the more pages they visit, the better your chances become that you will rank against your competitors on search results.

Identifying Conversion Issues

Figuring out why you're not getting conversions is trickier than identifying a technical SEO problem because there's usually more than one issue involved. For example, if someone clicks through to your website but they leave quickly without looking at the content, then you have a bounce rate problem. Bounce rate means they left your site when they realized the content wasn't really what they wanted. 

There are many reasons why site visitors bounce. The search result wasn't what they wanted. Or the content didn't have enough depth. Without a Call-to-Action, visitors don't know what to do next, so they bounce. 

You don't have a compelling market dominating position, meaning your business looks like your competitors. Your visitor moved on to find something more interesting.

Know Your Website

Can you answer these questions about your website:

  1. Does your site load quickly?
  2. Are your Meta descriptions the correct length?
  3. How many backlinks do you have?
  4. Does your website display properly on mobile devices?
  5. Are there broken links on your website?
  6. How long are visitors staying on your site?
  7. Do your keywords have too much competition?

These are just a few of the many areas that need to work for proper website optimization. If you don't know the answers to these questions - you need a website audit. 

What to Expect in a Digital Audit

A 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.

As part of a digital audit, you will get suggestions for ways to: 

  1. Optimize your site
  2. Learn what your competitors are doing online 
  3. Move up in search results 
  4. Boost your ranking via social media "shares" and "likes" 
  5. Increase conversions

Let’s take a closer look at the areas your digital audit will cover.

Optimize Your Site.

It's important that keywords are 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 SEO experts and Google recommend between 155–160 characters.  If yours are too long or too short, they need corrected. Searchers should be able to tell from your title tags and meta description what the page is about. 

Learn from Your Competition. 

A digital audit will find out what keywords your competitors are using. If they are ranking high for certain keywords, your digital audit will be able to determine keywords your competitors aren’t targeting. The audit will also reveal if they have a lot of “likes” and “shares" on their social media accounts. That way, you can see what they are doing that you are not.

Move Up in Search Results.

If the audit of your website reveals that your bounce rate is high and people aren’t staying on your site past the first page, then your pages should be optimized to get more targeted leads and fewer bounces. 

Boost Ranking on Social Media. 

Being active on social media 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. 

You can increase conversions by applying SEO principles 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. 

Conclusion

The goal of SEO is to attract new prospects to your site and convert them to paying customers.  However, searchers can’t become customers if they can't find your site. And the only way they will find you is if your SEO strategy is working.

Let's Get Started

The marketing pros at Dovetail will conduct a comprehensive examination of your website to identify any problems that are keeping your website from getting found in search. It will detail any hidden problems keeping people from finding your business online. And further, they will find any problems that are creating a poor experience for the visitors who do find you.

Our test will point out ways to improve your website, user experience and SEO. We’ll give you recommendations for fixes for any problems we uncover. After implementing these recommendations, you can start boosting your search engine rankings, attracting your ideal customers and improving conversions.

The audit results can be used as the foundation for an improved, on-going digital marketing strategy for your business that will ensure you have a strong web presence and a convincing reason for your ideal customers to land on your pages and buy what you’re selling.

Contact us to learn more about our digital audit and how to get one.