Audit Best Practices

Overview

In this guide, we attempt to educate users on some core principles of success with Audits. These best practices will help you be more effective with Audits and have confidence that you are going in the right direction with your implementation.

Be Strategic

Start with a basic audit of your top 100 most visited pages
  • Pull a list of your top 100 pages from your analytics reports
    • Choose from your top revenue generating pages or your top traffic pages. If you know your website is small, then skip this step and set the scan limit of your audit well above your estimated page count e.g. if you estimate your domain has 250 pages, set the scan limit to 300.
    • Create an audit and add the URLs to the starting URL field and adjust the scan limit to 100
      • Schedule it to run daily or weekly (based on your needs).
Sample more pages with a discovery Audit
  • Configure the Audit to start on your home page and set a scan limit of 100 pages
    • Once you get the results back, check if there are page types that you want to exclude e.g. career pages, blog pages, pages that are managed by other teams, etc
      • The exclude list in the Audit setup screen accepts RegEx, but if you type in "careers" or "blog" that is acceptable regex to match those pages and exclude them.
    • After fine tuning your configuration increase the scan limit to an appropriate sample of your site 5,000-100,000 pages depending on the size of your website.
Note: if you don't know how large your website is, try searching "site:example.com" on Google and see how many results are returned. These typically gets you a good estimate.

Don't forget Rules & Alerts!

Define a global tagging standard for page view events since (Audits primarily trigger this type of event)
  • Determine which tags you expect to fire on every page of your website and document them.
  • If you aren’t sure where to begin, use the results of your top 100 pages Audit. The tags that fire on 95-100% of pages probably belong there. You can export the list of tags from the tag inventory report.
    • If your Audit hasn’t run yet, open your home page with the tag debugger and reference that.
Create a rule for your core analytics tag(s)
  • Take your most critical analytics tag(s) and determine which variables are standard across all page view events.
    • You can expand to rules for different page types after getting the basic "All Pages" standard defined.
  • If you don’t have this documented, refer to the load rules/triggers in your Tag Management System.
Note: You can also refer to the variables collected by the page view tag on your home page.


Send the results where you can see them

Leverage integrations
  • Today most teams are either using Slack, Microsoft Teams, or some other solution for communication/project management. If that’s true at your organization, set up an integration.
    • It’s easy to add or remove team members. If you are struggling to hear the signal in the noise, refine your alerts.
  • Consider pulling data into a BI tool.
    • APIs can be used to create data set in tools like Google Sheets.
    • If this is too technical, start with a more manual export.
    • For users that have tools that can ingest export files from an email e.g. Domo, consider combing export and API capability to maximize BI  capability.


Get results when you need them

Pick the right frequency
  • Ask yourself, how long can a problem go undetected before it’s a much bigger problem?
    • Based on your needs, schedule Audits and Journeys to run on that frequency.
    • For important Audits (e.g. top 100 pages) and critical Journeys (e.g. purchase flow, lead generation forms) lean towards higher frequencies.
    • For lower priority content and paths on your site, consider a less regular cadence.
Note: Usage is largely a function of frequency, be aware of your contractual limits when increasing the frequency of your Audits.
Synchronize with your releases
  • Trigger Audits and Journeys manually after a release that you suspect will have an impact.
  • Leverage our REST API to trigger a batch of Audits and Journeys based on your specified logic (e.g. after publishing a significant change in your TMS, after each code release)
    • See our CI/CD Integration help doc or reach out to your Success Manager for more details

Know your Audience

Adjust browser width and height appropriately
  • If the vast majority of your users experience your website on a mobile phone. Prioritize testing that experience.
    • You can adjust the browser width to 400 pixels and height to 600 pixels (you can find more exact measurements online) and trigger your website's mobile experience when Auditing.
Note: This principle is even more critical for Journeys. Since you generally interact more with the page in Journeys.

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