What is a Website Audit?

Alison Faria

A Website audit typically is used to determine the overall content, security, and performance of a Website. Many Websites are constructed by various companies to enhance or compliment their productivity. Auditing a Website can determine whether or not the Website is achieving its primary purpose and if not, how that Website might be improved.

A website audit may involve looking at a site's coding to improve functionality and navigability.
A website audit may involve looking at a site's coding to improve functionality and navigability.

One of the first things that a Website audit usually addresses is in regard to who is the creator of the site. Sites might be created by the owner of the domain, a company employee, or a third-party independent Web designer. If it was a third party who made the site, the audit often will ask if a Web design agreement was made between the owner of the site and a third party and if so, what the current status of the agreement is.

A website audit might use search engine optimization (SEO) tools.
A website audit might use search engine optimization (SEO) tools.

Content assessment usually is very important to any Website audit. Web content that is created in its entirety by the Website owner without any third-party references typically does not need to be audited. Third-party content, however, usually will merit a Website audit to determine whether it has been licensed to the Website for use. For optimization purposes, the audit might suggest that the content consists of graphics, short paragraphs, and multiple links within those paragraphs.

Promotion is something that directly can affect the success of a Website. A Website might be audited to see if it is registered in major search engines, and if paid keywords are being used as part of a Web campaign. Another thing that might be looked at is whether the description, keyword, and title tags on the Website are edited to correspond with the main purpose of the Website.

Website audits generally look for optimal Website performance that, at the same time, complies with any applicable privacy laws. For example, site audits usually check to see whether or not a Website has a Terms of Service page. Such a page typically should allow the reader to accept any terms and disclaimers that the Website might have in regard to content or products offered. Privacy-wise, a Terms of Service page typically should address the security of information posted by visitors in interactive features of the Website, such as message boards or commenting modules.

Visitors can be a key part of any successful business Website. More visitors usually result in a greater possibility of sales. As part of determining the overall efficiency of a Website, a Website audit sometimes will check to see if the site is designed with a visitor profile in mind. The design and overall navigability of the Website should correspond with what a person would come to the site to seek out.

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Discussion Comments


@cfmom, it depends. Since its a check of the sites processes and security, I'd assume they're usually internal audits to keep things safe.


So, who performs website audits? Someone in the company? Someone outside?

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