Website Audit Case Study —

The Gettysburg Foundation and Gettysburg National Military Park are dedicated to increasing public understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg’s place within the context of the American Civil War. The Foundation anticipated heightened interest around the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery during the Summer of 2013, and wanted to be sure its website was well-positioned to accommodate and provide a good user experience to the expected spike in website visitors.

In 2010, periscopeUP was contracted to optimize and help re-launch the website. The timeline was tight, as the Foundation wanted the new site to go live in early 2011 to coincide with promotional efforts for the upcoming sesquicentennial. We began by conducting a detailed technical SEO audit and a Google Analytics audit to identify any issues associated with the technical health of the site and to confirm accuracy of tracking. The results of both audits informed our work during the remainder of the project.

As part of our efforts, we ensured that the site was verified in both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools, and that a complete and accurate sitemap was submitted to Google. We examined page indexing, crawl errors, server errors, internal linking, domain set-up, page speed and load time, the privacy policy, navigation, calls to action and the site’s 404 page. Next, we conducted a thorough keyword analysis and then implemented SEO-friendly URLs and optimized optimized metadata and on-page content for each page. We also performed a Google Analytics audit to check for proper set-up and accurate tracking of key metrics.

The positive results shown in the graph below illustrate how a technically sound and well optimized site that consistently provides a good user experience will enjoy a continued increases in organic sessions.

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