At Pubcon 2014 in Las Vegas I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Alan Bleiweiss of Bleiweiss Consulting about the importance of website audits.
I start off by asking Alan what kinds of things site owners need to be paying attention to when conducting audits? What are some important things that shouldn’t be taken lightly?
Hear Alan’s response in the video below:
Here are some key takeaways from the video:
- A lot of people don’t realize how important audits are, regardless of the state of your website. All too often people will wait until the wheels come off before realizing they need an audit.
- You don’t want to wait until everything falls apart. Whether it’s an algorithmic hit, or a manual penalty, an audit is an invaluable tool to conduct right now to ensure your site won’t be a victim of these things.
- There’s a lot of information out there about individual signals for SEO, most site owners make a mistake where they don’t realize in any one main topic there could be dozens of signals which impact that specific topic, and they all relate to each other.
- As an example of the above point — Alan says he deals with a lot of site owners who have canonical tags pointing to pages that also have a ‘no index’ tag, so they cancel each other out.
- You really need to look at everything, Alan says, but that doesn’t mean spending hundreds of hours combing through your site. You need to have enough of an understanding to look for patterns in a sampling, but it needs to be a big enough sampling so you don’t miss things.
- What’s a big enough sampling? That all depends, Alan says. If you have a 500 page website, you could potentially look at every page. If you have a 10,000 page website, you could pick out 500-1000 pages and look for patterns rather than looking through every single page, especially if it’s a template-driven site.
- When Alan conducts audits of extremely large sites he uses the tool Screaming Frog to look through a sampling of pages. Take a proportional sampling to make sure you cover the broadest range of different ways content is presented or communicated on your site.
- For more information, Alan suggests checking out his website at AlanBleiweiss.com or looking through the many articles he has published here on SEJ, all of which he says are still relevant today.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about website audit and its various aspects, check out this SEJ Marketing Think Tank webinar recap, or watch the video below.
Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.