What is Site Health?
Site health is one of the most important parts of website auditing and optimisation. Highlighting pain points, it brings context to SEO and content marketing (CM) activity, so you can prioritise solutions that will restore your site to a clean bill of health.
Lots of issues can affect the health of your website, including broken links, duplicate content, and slow load speeds. A site health audit aims to identify these problems so that you can implement fixes to resolve them.
At Banc, site health is the first thing we look at when working with new clients. We evaluate the health of your site through the gaze of both SEO and CM, before creating a strategy to get things back on track.
To help your understanding of site health and what’s involved, read our need-to-know guide below.
What problems are associated with poor website health?
Websites can develop a range of issues that affect their performance over time. Often, these come as a result of mismanagement or ill-judged marketing activity, but can also be caused by long-term neglect.
When auditing site health, there are lots of tell-tale symptoms that highlight where improvements are needed. These problems typically fall into two camps, SEO and CM, which dictate the type of solutions needed to put things right.
Below, we’ve listed the SEO and CM issues that can affect the health of your website…
SEO-related problems comprise technical issues that affect site speed, performance, and rankings. These include:
- Broken links and 404s – broken 404 links affect how search engines crawl a website, so it’s important to fix them as and when they appear.
- Site speed/Core Web Vitals – site speed is an important Google Ranking Factor, so load times should be optimised to ensure peak performance.
- Duplicate pages – duplicate content interferes with search engine indexing and can impact the link equity and trust factor of specific pages.
- Excessive redirects – while 301 redirects are a necessary part of SEO, overuse can impact load speeds and user experience, which, in turn, harms search performance.
- Inadequate Google Analytics tracking – poor GA tracking can lead to inaccuracies and errors, affecting decision-making and impacting your digital strategy.
- Incomplete sitemaps – submitting incomplete sitemaps could mean you’re overlooking problems that are affecting your site’s performance, including canonicalization issues.
- Missing structured data – structured data (or schema markup) is used to communicate the context of your site to search engines. Missing fields can, therefore, cause problems and risk missing out on Rich Results opportunities.
- Poor mobile usability – mobile usability is an important Google Ranking Factor. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile, you risk being penalised.
- Site security issues – Google takes web security seriously and holds strong HTTPS encryption as a ranking signal. Therefore, you risk the safety of your customers and the performance of your site by maintaining poor security practices.
- Other things on a website that could affect performance, such as large media files
CM problems relate to page content, optimisation, and link structure, and can directly affect how well a site performs in search results. Issues to look for include:
- Index bloating – index bloating refers to a high number of indexed pages in Google. If there are too many, it’s important to noindex them or assess if they have value for ranking for keywords in search.
- Page enhancements – how well are your site’s pages enhanced for SEO and usability? Issues that tell us when improvements are needed include thin or outdated content or a lack of ranking keywords that could be targeted for SEO.
- Orphan pages – pages that don’t link to anything and aren’t linked to cause SEO issues as they can’t be crawled, so we’d look at how to integrate them as part of a site.
- Link structure – is there good internal linking between pages which makes sense contextually and in a natural way? You should also consider how easy a page is to navigate from a user perspective, with well-placed buttons to aid overall UX.
- Content structure – how well is content structured across your website? Are headers optimised and aligned for usability and search performance? And are the appropriate header tags in place to optimise page structure?
- Backlinks – the health of your site’s link database falls into both SEO and CM. You need to take action against spammy links and put a strategy in place to improve the quality of links pointing to your site (such as through a targeted digital PR campaign).
- Branded vs non-branded traffic – it’s important to ascertain the ratio of traffic that visits your site from both branded and non-branded keywords. That way, you can refine your CM approach and use content to better target users at different stages of the buying cycle.
- Missing pages and content gaps – are there issues relating to the overall content and structure of your site? Perhaps there are gaps which affect your site’s usability and overall context? Identifying these areas can help you plug gaps and enhance your site’s content.
How is site health monitored and maintained?
There’s no single-shot, permanent solution to improving site health. Continuous enhancements and maintenance are needed to ensure optimal site health, with a structured auditing strategy in place to keep your site in tip-top condition.
At Banc, we devise site health strategies based on data-backed recommendations and the very latest auditing tools and innovations. Working across both technical SEO and CM, we look to improve every aspect of your website to maximise performance – ensuring that even the most minute issues don’t stand in the way of visibility and success.
Our work begins with a full audit of your website to establish its overall health and areas for improvement. Utilising tools such as Screaming Frog and Sitebulb, we identify issues and pain points, assigning these to the appropriate section of your ongoing site health strategy (technical SEO or CM).
From there, issues are prioritised by their severity and short- or long-term impact. For example, simple technical fixes to broken links can be tackled in the short term, while broader enhancements to site content may be deprioritised as an ongoing project that will garner results in the longer term.
As touched on earlier, maintaining site health isn’t a one-fix proposition. Our experts continually monitor your site to spot problems and develop meaningful solutions, all while keeping abreast of changing best practices that could affect how well your site performs in search engines.
Ready to improve the health of your site? Banc’s technical SEO specialists and creative content marketing experts are here to get your website back on track. To find out more about our combined digital marketing services, visit the homepage or call the team today on 0345 459 0558.