Website Audit Checklist – 23 Steps To Optimize For Conversions

July 3, 2020 | Sean Foo

How effective is your website performing? 

Are you getting the business results you desire or are you losing out to the competition?

If you want your website to perform to its fullest, you’ll need to conduct a website audit and this checklist will guide you through the process step by step.

 

What Is A Website Audit 

A website audit is an inspection and analysis of your site’s performance in five key areas:

1) Site Architecture: Checks are done to ensure that your website pages are easily found and can be navigated to by both search engines and human visitors.

2) User Experience: An audit here is done to determine how well a visitor will interact with your site. If they have a good experience, they will stay longer and interact with your website more.

3) Content & On-page SEO: Checks here are done to ensure your content is well optimized to be found on search engines, to help maximize getting traffic to your website.

4) SEO Performance & Audit: An audit here is done to make sure you have all the measurement metrics set-up for long term SEO success.

5) Marketing Objectives & Lead Generation: Checks will be done here to help you maximize the effectiveness of your website to gather leads & close more sales.

A website audit helps you identify the key errors your site, allowing you to fix them effectively and stay on top of your business objectives and the competition.

 

Why You Need A Website Audit (Importance & Benefits) 

A good website isn’t static, it will continually grow and evolve.

This can be adding in new content on a blog or new ‘money’ pages to target certain keywords your ideal customers are searching for online.

Here are 3 essential reasons to get a website audit done!

– You’ll Enhance Your User Experience

At the end of the day, your website exists to help your visitors learn more about your brand and services.

And to accomplish that effectively, you’ll want them to have a great experience browsing throughout your website with little difficulty.

The longer someone stays on your website and consumes, the more of a relationship you can build with them and the more likely you will convince them to become a paying customer.

– You’ll Optimize Your Rankings On Google

And that will mean more targeted traffic to your website.

Getting ranked on Google means getting a variety of factors handled correctly – that means everything from a good site structure and fast-loading speed to utilizing keywords strategically.

An audit will help ensure your website is adhering to the best white-hat SEO practices to help you rank higher and longer for the search terms that matter.

– You’ll Reach Your Marketing Goals

Is your website generating sufficient leads and sales for your business?

Are your landing pages converting or blog readers subscribing?

You’ll need an audit to maximize the marketing effectiveness of your website, from the placements of your call-to-actions to the persuasiveness of your website copy.

A website audit also allows you to set-up the right metrics and goals to track, ensuring you stay updated with the business performance of your website.

An audit is the regular health-check every website needs

 

When To Conduct A Website Audit?

While you don’t need to conduct one every single month, you should go through an audit for these situations:

A Website Redesign

Refreshing the look of your website?

Take the opportunity to dive deep with an audit to start your new site on the right foot.

Every Year

Things change – new content gets uploaded, Google’s algorithm shifts and certain links and pages might get broken.

A yearly audit helps your website stay on-point and performing well.

Before Launching A Content Marketing Campaign

Content marketing isn’t cheap and you’ll want your website in tip-top condition before you upload a single post.

This allows you to track the results of your content campaign better.

Let’s dive deep into our website audit checklist!

 

The Website Audit Checklist: 23 Essential Checks To Conduct 

Site Architecture & Technical SEO Checks:

1. Create A Flatter Website Structure 

2. Ensure Your Site Is Index-Friendly

3. Check For Broken Links

4. Fix Your Broken & Missing Pages

5. Update Your Site Security

User Experience Checks:

6. Make Your Website Navigation More Intuitive

7. Speed Up Your Website

8. Ensure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly

9. Utilize Highly Readable Web Font

Content & On-Page SEO:

10. Check For The Essential Pages 

11. Duplicate Content Check

12. Improve or Consolidate Your Old Content

13. Check Your Content’s On-Page SEO Tags

14. Ensure Your Pages Are Targeting The Right Keywords

15. Make Your Images SEO-Friendly

SEO Tracking & Performance Checks:

16. Set Up Your Google Search Console

17. Set Up Your Google Analytics

18. Track Your Domain Authority & Backlinks

19. Track Your Keyword Rankings

20. Determine Your Top Pages & Posts

Marketing Objectives Checks:

21. Optimize Your Lead Generation Forms

22. Check Your Website Copy

23. Utilize Compelling Call-To-Actions

Bonus Check #1: Use An SEO Audit Tool

Bonus Check #2: Conduct A Competitor Analysis

Bonus Check #3: Set up Google AMP for your website

 

 

Site Architecture & Technical SEO Checks:

Every great website has a strong site architecture free from technical errors.

These technical SEO checks will allow your website to:

– Get its pages crawled easier by Google and get indexed faster

– Be browsed without any errors or missing information

– Be secure and safe for your users

Get your technical SEO handled and you’ll please both Google and your users which translates to higher SEO rankings and a better user experience.

 

1. Create A Flatter Website Structure 

How are the pages on your website organized?

Are they arranged neatly, allowing search engines to easily discover and index your pages…

Or are they in chaos and buried deep within somewhere out there?

A complex web structure like the one below not only makes it harder for search engines to find all of your pages.

Your visitors will probably have a tough time digging through all the layers to find the content or information they need.

However, if you have a flatter website architecture that is just 3 layers deep, you’ll help the Google bots swiftly crawl and index your pages.

You can see that each of the pages are just 2 clicks away from the homepage and are neatly slotted into meaningful category pages.

Ideally, you want the furthest page to be 3 clicks away from your homepage.

The further each page is away from your homepage, it starts to lose ‘power’ or ‘authority’ and will be harder to be found on search engines (and will probably rank lower).

Now if you have a few pages that are more than 3 clicks away, you can easily create another page that is closer to the homepage/root domain and do a 301 re-direct on your old page to the new one.

Worried if you will lose all the ‘link equity’ or authority from your old page?

Breathe easy, at least 90% of the ‘link equity’ will be transferred to your new page.

But if you have lots of pages buried and you don’t have the time to create new pages, you can just add internal links in key areas of your website.

Remember the end goal, your user has to be able to reach any page of your website in 3 clicks or less.

 

2. Ensure Your Site Is Index-friendly

Having an index-friendly site is means giving Google’s crawlers easy access to explore your website to index your pages.

Apart from flattening your website architecture, here are 3 things you have to do:

Check your Robots.txt file

Your robots.txt file gives direction to search engine crawlers on the pages to crawl and not to crawl.

Just type in ‘/robots.txt’ after your domain name to access the file.

For my own website, all the pages are crawlable and nothing is blocked (no pages indicated in the Disallow area)

However, for Hubspot, their robots.txt file indicates they do block certain pages.

What pages should you block Google from crawling?

Here are 3 common scenarios:

– Thank you pages (especially common for sign-ups or e-commerce businesses)

– Broken (404) pages you have yet to fix

– Duplicate content with a purpose (such as a printer-friendly text version of a blogpost)

Here’s a comprehensive guide on creating a Robots.txt file for your site if you don’t have one.

Submit Your XML Sitemap

Your XML sitemap is a list of pages that are neatly categorized for crawling, giving crawlers a better idea of how your webpages are interconnected.

Essentially, it is a roadmap of your website.

This is a sitemap of my own website which is generated by Yoast.

To access your sitemap, just type in a “/sitemap.xml” at the end of your root domain such as “contentking.com/sitemap.xml”

If nothing shows up, that means you don’t have a sitemap, and will need to generate one.

You can easily do so by downloading the Yoast-plugin to generate one if you are using WordPress. If not, you’ll have to ask your developer to help you create one.

Once you have your sitemap generated, simply go to Google Search Console under Index > Sitemaps, and submit your sitemap.

Ensure Only One Version Of Your Website Is Indexed

There can be multiple versions of your website:

– https://yourwebsite.com

– http://yourwebsite.com

– https://www.yourwebsite.com

– http://www.yourwebsite.com

Google considers each of these variations unique websites on their own – and that spells trouble if you are unaware!

Thankfully, you can do a quick 301 re-direct to solve this issue. 

It will re-direct all traffic heading to the versions you don’t want towards the correct website version that you desire.

Sweet and simple!

 

3. Check For Broken Links

Broken links are bad for both Google as well as for user experience.

Let’s fix that!

Broken links can arise from:

– You accidentally typing in the wrong URL to link to 

– That linked URL page is taken down (404 error) by the owner or its URL was renamed

– You accidentally deleted the linked page

To check for internal broken links, just head to your Google Search Console and click ‘Coverage’ under the Index tab.

You’ll immediately see if you have any indexing errors, of which, could be due to broken links.

If you have any errors, it will immediately show in the report below. You’ll want to check for 404 errors (which means the URL page is not found).

To fix internal broken links, all you need to do is to:

– Link to the correct URL (if you have mistyped)

– Fix the missing (404) page or 301 re-direct it to another page that you want

– Remove the link and let the missing (404) page fade away (but ensure it is not a critical page!)

For external links, meaning you are linking to other 3rd-party websites not in your control, this will get tricker.

You’ll need a tool like Ahrefs to do this quickly and painlessly.

You don’t have time to browse through every page and click on every link to verify!

By using the ‘Broken Links’ feature in their toolset, I can immediately view the external links that are broken.

Most of which are on my blog posts.

With this information, I can either:

– Find an alternative resource that is active and link to that instead

– Find if the current broken link’s page has moved to another URL and correct it

– Email the broken link’s website owner about it and hope it gets fixed (a big-time waster)

Want a free way to do it?

Head to either Broken Link Check or Dead Link Checker.

 

4. Fix Your Broken or Missing Pages

If you have gone through the previous step, you will have identified your broken or missing pages.

Let’s solve them!

If they are critical and have accidentally been deleted (resulting in a 404 error), then simply restoring it is the best way.

If the page is really meant for the graveyard, then you have two options to go about it

– Do a 301 redirect to the page where you want your traffic to go

– Set a 410 header to let Google remove that page from its index faster (you can easily do this with the Yoast plug-in for WordPress)

 

5. Update Your Site Security

Having on-point security on your website isn’t just for the safety of your business or your visitors, having enhanced security features such as an SSL certificate helps you rank better on Google.

Getting your SSL certificate:

The best way to get it is to purchase one.

Many website domains and hosting providers, from GoDaddy to HostGator all provide this service.

The cost might vary depending on your provider and could range between $50 to $300 a year.

However, if you have good coding skills, you can get one for free for your WordPress website, but it will take some time to get it done.

Once you get it, you will be able to use the https:// version of your site. Do remember to redirect your older version to this.

Get an SSL certificate, it is now a must.

Do A Malware Check:

Is your website safe and free from any hidden malware?

Conducting a regular malware check is good practice to ensure safe browsing for your visitors.

You can conduct a free malware check here.

Fixing the technical issues on your website helps to ensure a strong foundation for both SEO performance and user experience.

 

 

User Experience Checks:

Does your website make it easy and pain-free for users to find the information they are seeking?

While your website should be optimized for search engines, you are still selling to people – and that means giving them a positive experience.

That means your website will have to provide:

– A meaningful customer journey (or user flow) that is intuitive

– Respecting their time

– Ensuring the information shared can be easily understood

These four checks will ensure your website’s user experience is optimized for success.

 

6. Make Your Website Navigation More Intuitive

When your visitors can’t navigate to areas of your website they are looking for, they bounce off your website.

Good website navigation begins with a highly intuitive navigation bar that has:

– Clear descriptive phrases for the navigation labels 

– Group related pages and content in the same category together

– Provide a drop-down menu on the navigation labels for quicker browsing of sub-categories

– Links to the core pages that your user will want to explore (which will also drive you business results)

VendHQ has a well-designed navigation bar that allows users to quickly get to the pages they need to either take an action (such as contacting sales) or learning more about their product.

Having a good navigation bar is key to ensuring your user knows where to go no matter where they are at your website.

 

7. Speed Up Your Website

A slow website doesn’t just annoy your visitors who are waiting for your site to load, it will negatively affect your Google search rankings as well for both desktop and mobile searches.

Here are three things you can do to speed up your website.

Run A Speed Check & Fix Your Bottlenecks

How fast does your website load? 

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to find out how your fast your page is performing and the issues to fix in order to speed it up.

PageSpeed Insights will also let u discover the issues causing your website to load slower, allowing you to solve them.

Next, run a GTMetrix test to further pinpoint issues that are causing speed loading issues on your website.

When you are running speed tests for your website, you’ll have to go just beyond the homepage.

You’ll have to conduct a page speed test for all the key pages of your website that includes:

  • Homepage
  • About Us Page
  • Product & Services Page
  • Blogposts
  • Contact Us Page

Compress Your Images

One of the biggest causes of a slow-loading website is using images that are too big.

If you are using images that are anywhere above 200kb to 300kb, it’s time to compress them into smaller versions.

In fact, most images that you compress will still look good for your visitors.

A free way to do it is to use tinyjpg to get the job done.

Kraken is a paid version (but has a free handy web version) which is even more powerful.

Upgrade Your Web Hosting Plan

While this might be the costliest fix, sometimes you’ll need to pay to win the speed loading wars.

There are 3 main types of hosting your website is probably on:

Shared hosting: You’ll be sharing your hosting resources with a huge number of other websites.

VPS Hosting: You’ll still be sharing, but with lesser people. That means an increase in your website loading speed.

Dedicated Hosting: The entire server and hosting resources is yours. This is the best plan possible to optimize your loading speed.

If you are planning to grow your website or you’re currently running a site with lots of pages (such as a blog), you’ll want to shift more towards VPS or dedicated hosting to get your website loading faster.

But of course, it comes at a price.

Here’s an analysis of Bluehost’s hosting packages.

A dedicated hosting plan will shoot up your website loading speed, however, it will also possibly cost 20 times more!

 

8. Ensure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly

Having a mobile-friendly website is now compulsory.

Afterall:

– Over 60% of web searches are done on mobile & it’s growing!

– Mobile-first indexing has rolled out – that means websites that are mobile-friendly will rank higher on searches.

This means even if the desktop version of your website is optimized and the content is on-point, you will still lose out to the competition if they are mobile-friendly and your not.

Here’s how to check if your site is mobile-friendly.

Head to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test webpage and conduct a test.

If it isn’t mobile-friendly, here is a guide that will take you through the process.

Or just get your developer to do it!

 

9. Utilize Highly Readable Web Fonts

All the fancy design on your website won’t mean much if your visitors can’t read your content and copy easily.

In fact, they are arguably more important than the graphics on your website!

So which fonts are the best for readability?

Here’s our list of the top 8 fonts you can use to ensure your content is easily read and digested by your audience.

All of the above are of the same font size, so take your pick of which is best for your website.

 

 

Content & On-Page SEO Checks:

Content is king and is the deciding factor whether your website will get traffic as well as convert visitors into leads and sales.

Great content allows you to attract readers and get them engaged – increasing your SEO rankings even further.

These are the essential content checks you must make during your website audit.

 

10. Check For The Essential Pages

While every business is different and unique, visitors coming to them all seek the same core information.

They want to know what your business provides, who you are, how competent your brand is and how to contact you.

Here are 7 key pages your business needs (Ensure you have them!):

Homepage: It will serve as your online headquarters, allowing your visitors to easily navigate to the rest of your site.

About Us Page: Its purpose is to inform the reader about your brand and why you do what you do.

Products & Services Page: It showcases key information about your solutions.

Blog Page: It is your key traffic and inbound lead generation source. You’ll also need it to nurture readers into prospects.

FAQ Page: It will answer the most popular questions your visitors will have about your company and solutions.

Contact Us Page: This page will give your visitors all the necessary information on how to reach you.

 

11. Check For Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is content that is the same word for word as another source, as well as content that is slightly rewritten to look different.

And if you are unsure, it is bad for SEO and could result in less organic traffic and fewer indexed pages.

This problem might be less severe in smaller sites, but if you are running an e-commerce site or a blog, this is one issue you need to check on.

Check for duplicate content amongst your website

Go to Siteliner and input your domain URL to start the analysis.

It will analyze all of your site’s webpages and determine how much duplicate content there is.

In addition, you’ll also be able to view the exact pages that have duplicate content with each other.

Pro-tip: Sometimes if you have a blog that covers variations of a topic, it is inevitable some ideas and phrases will cross.

Just make sure that you don’t have a match percentage of over 50% for your duplicate content or you are in trouble.

Check for duplicate content out in the web (aka Is your content unique?)

Are you getting freelance writers or agencies to produce content for your blog and pages?

You’ll want to make sure your content is unique and not found elsewhere online!

Thankfully, you can just use Copyscape to check your pages with the rest of the internet and determine if your content is unique or not.

If the duplicate content is found elsewhere and uploaded earlier vs yours, that means you have plagiarized someone else’s content (whether you know it or not) and should remove yours.

If it was uploaded later, it means your content has been stolen

What if duplicate content already exists? What do you do?

If the duplicate content already exists on your site, here are 2 things you can do to solve it.

– Simply 301 re-direct the duplicate content to the canonical URL (original content)

– Add a canonical tag to the original content page and a canonical link element on the page with the duplicate content.

If someone else has plagiarized or stolen your content, you should pursue it and get it taken down. 

Here’s a full guide to help you with the take-down.

 

12. Improve Or Consolidate Your Old Content

Google loves fresh content (and ranks them higher) and that means you should revisit your old content.

Let’s face it, some of our content created months or years ago probably aren’t relevant today – you’ll need to update it.

Here are 3 ways to do it

A Content Refresh

This is best done if you have seasonal or yearly content such as a post on “10 top social media tools in 2020”.

You’ll need to update your post with new relevant content for the year and ensure your content is better than your competitors on the search engine (the top #1-3 spots)

A Content Rewrite

If your content doesn’t get traffic, this is a clear sign that the content isn’t helpful, relevant or is just thin content.

You’ll have to rewrite the content from scratch if the topic still makes sense to tackle.

Content Consolidation

Sometimes you might be covering a big topic over a smaller number of posts.

You can consolidate them into one masterful guide that will be longer and have more depth (especially if each of these individual posts is shallow).

Instead of creating individual pages of:

– “How to write a winning headline”

– “How to write an introduction for your blog post”

– “How to cite relevant sources in your article”

You could consolidate all of these posts into one big ultimate guide “How To Write A Winning Blog Post That Ranks Well On Google”

Just remember to do a 301 re-direct on all your old post to the new post if you are going down this route.

Here’s an in-depth guide on how to exactly tackle your content refresh.

 

13. Check Your Content’s On-Page SEO Tags

Every page or post on your website has 4 essential SEO tags that you need to optimize.

They are the title tag, header tags, the meta description and the URL slut.

Optimize them well and you’ll rank higher for the keywords that you want plus you’ll better entice searchers to click on it.

4 On-page SEO Tags to handle:

Title Tag – This is the title of your page or post that search engines will pick-up and what searchers will see.

Meta Description – This is a short 155 character description to write that describes what your page/post is about & to entice readers to click.

Optimizing your title tag and meta description is all about balancing the keywords of the topic you are trying to rank for plus compelling copy to get readers interested to find out more.

Header Tags (H1, H2 etc) – These are usually the main heading and subheadings of your website. It will not be seen on the search engines.

It describes what your page is about and is usually used to divide the sections of your page or post.

Here’s how to effectively write your header tags from scratch to capture attention and maximize conversions.

URL Slug – This helps to identify the particular page or post on a website. It is what you type in your browser in order to access a page.

For example, this blog post’s URL is “https://speechsilver.com/website-audit-checklist” and the slug is ‘website-audit-checklist’.

If you are using WordPress, you can easily edit your title tag, meta description, and URL slug utilizing the Yoast plug-in.

Pro-tip: Integrating the right keywords (which we will be going through later) is key when it comes to optimizing your on-page tags. 

Include them where possible in every single tag.

 

14. Ensure Your Pages Are Targeting The Right Keywords

If you want to reach your desired audience, then you’ll have to target the right keywords on your website.

Once you have conducted your keyword research, it’s time to integrate them into your pages and post.

While keyword stuffing is dead, you’ll still need to strategically use both your master keyword and related LSI keywords.

How To Use LSI Keywords:

Let’s say your master keyword (what you primarily want to rank for) is “Copywriting”, you’ll also want to create content & target keywords around related content.

These LSI keywords could also include “Conversions”, “Call to action”, “Offer and “Direct Response”.

Google not only analyzes your master keyword, but also your LSI keywords to determine what is the topic your page or post is about.

My post on “About Us Page Examples” ranks for a range of other keywords due to using LSI keywords.

Let’s say you are creating an in-depth blog post about financial planning. 

Covering topics and LSI keywords around your main keyword “financial planning” will allow you to rank for a variety of keywords.

 

15. Make Your Images SEO-Friendly 

Your images aren’t just there as visual treats or illustrations for your readers.

They can be optimized for search engines to be found through Google’s image search bar.

That means more opportunity to attract traffic and gain backlinks from people looking to use your images.

This is especially important if you are creating custom images and infographics for your website!

Here are 3 things you can do to make your images SEO-Friendly:

Optimize Your Image File’s Name

Whether you’re uploading JPG or PNG files, having the right file name helps to rank for an image search for the keywords you want.

Include your target keyword at the beginning and use dashes to flesh out the description.

So for example, if your post is about “The Best Winter Dog Breeds” and this is your picture below:

You’ll probably want to give this image a file name of “Best-Winter-Dog-Breeds-Husky.jpg” 

Utilize Alt Tags On Your Images

Your image alt tags provide more information to Google on what your image is about.

Optimizing it will allow you to increase the odds of indexing the image for the search term you want.

Plus it also helps visually impaired readers understand more about your image.

For the awesome husky picture above, I would write “Husky Dog In The Winter Snow”

Your alt tags can be easily inserted in WordPress.

If you aren’t using WordPress, you have to input code such as:

<img src=”Best-Winter-Dog-Breeds-Husky.jpg” alt=”Husky Dog In The Winter Snow”>

Fill In Your Captions

Captions are the text that is directly below your images.

While it doesn’t directly contribute to SEO, it adds to your user’s experience, especially if you have something important or witty to share about the image.

Of these three, it is critical that you optimize your image file name and your alt tags (or alternative text)

Pro-tip: Always try to use unique images such as custom illustrations or infographics. 

Those are highly shareable and are great to naturally attract backlinks! 

Plus you can also push them out on social media channels such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

SEO Performance & Tracking Checks:

That which is measured, improves.

A key aspect of setting up your website is ensuring that your efforts are being tracked accurately.

Here are five key things to set up and track for your website’s success.

 

16. Set Up Your Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free platform that anyone with a website can access to optimize your online presence.

It helps you accomplish a variety of tasks for your website audit and beyond including:

– Submitting your sitemap 

– Checking and solving any indexing issues

– Helping you understand more about how your website is performing (clicks, impression and click-through-rates)

– Giving you an overview of your backlinks

– Checking if your website is mobile optimized

Here’s an A to Z guide on setting up your Google Search Console.

 

17. Set Up Google Analytics

Google Analytics goes beyond just tracking and reporting your website’s traffic.

It allows you to understand how your visitors are actually interacting with your website and what needs to be improved.

Google Analytics allows you to track essential measurements such as:

– Time on page

– CTR

– Bounce Rate

– Traffic sources

– Page depth

Whether you are updating your website or embarking on a content marketing campaign, setting up Google Analytics is a must.

Here’s a guide on setting up your Google Analytics in 5 simple steps.

Looking to learn more about the key metrics within Google Analytics you must track? 

Here’s a comprehensive roadmap to take you from zero to hero!

 

18. Track Your Domain Authority & Backlinks

Your domain authority (DA or DR)  tracks how influential or authoritative your website is.

The higher your DA or DR, the more authoritative your website is, the easier you will be able to rank for keywords.

That means higher targeted traffic that translates to leads and sales!

In order to track your domain authority, you’ll need to use one of these two tools. 

Either Moz’s Domain Authority (DA).

Or Ahrefs’s Domain Rating (DR).

Thankfully, you can conduct these checks for free without going premium:

Check your domain authority (Moz)

Check your domain rating (Ahrefs)

Both are more or less the same and largely depend on the backlinks that you build or earn.

That being said, you’ll also want to keep track of the backlinks being built (which are essentially 3rd party websites linking to yours).

While you can check them for free here (Moz) & (Ahrefs), you probably want to go with the paid version that allows you to track both the quantity and quality of your backlinks.

I personally use the paid version of Ahrefs, it allows me to track backlinks of not just my site but any website in the world actually.

What you want to track is the number of backlinks from high DR or DA sites.

These are known as quality links.

 

19. Track Your Keyword Rankings

In order to effectively grow your traffic, you’ll have to track your search engine rankings for the keywords that matter.

While you can use Google Search Console to find the keywords your pages are ranking for, it is very troublesome.

 

Plus it doesn’t also give you important information (such as the search volume) of the keyword you are ranking for.

The smarter way is to use professional tracking tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs.

I personally use Ahrefs to track the keywords that matter to my business.

Third-party tools (the good ones) will allow you to:

– Track the keywords you’re targeting specific to countries that matter to you (for me, I track my keywords in both the USA and Singapore).

– Understand the monthly search volume of each keyword 

– Learn how much traffic you are getting from the keywords

– Find out which page or post is ranking for that keyword

 

20. Determine Your Top Pages & Posts

If you are creating a new website from scratch, you can probably skip this step.

But if your website has been in existence for a while or you have done a content marketing campaign before, it’s time to check which pages or posts are performing well.

The best way to do this is to use a third-party tool (I’m using Ahrefs but other alternatives like SEMrush or Serpstat also works).

A good top pages report will let you know key information about the best performing content on your website.

It has to, at minimum, let you know:

– How much traffic is flowing into the page

– The main keyword the page is ranking for

– The monthly search volume for that keyword

– The SERP rankings of the page for the main keyword

Checking your top pages will give you insight into how well your content strategy is working.

In addition, you’ll discover which parts of your site needs to be reworked or changed.

For example, if your pricing or sales page is very far away from being the top, there could be some errors that need to be fixed.

It could be that your visitors have trouble navigating to it (poor internal linking) or it isn’t optimized well for search engines.

 

Marketing Objectives Checks:

Last but not least, you’ll need to check if your website’s lead generation efforts are done correctly.

The best websites make it easy for visitors to convert into leads or sales.

That means optimized lead generation forms to compelling copywriting on their pages.

Let’s go through three marketing checks to conduct during your website audit.

 

21. Optimize Your Lead Generation Forms

Where are your forms located?

Have you made it easy and pain-free to get in touch with your brand?

Two of the biggest sins of a poorly converting website are:

– Not having easy to use lead generation forms

– Not locating your lead generation forms across key points in your website

Let’s fix that!

Make your lead generation forms a breeze to use:

That means requiring the least amount of input from your visitors, but enough to provide your business with information to proceed.

For example, if you are selling a software solution (Saas), you probably only need an email from your user to get them on-board.

Which is exactly what Trello did with their forms.

However, if you are selling customised services or your solution requires more information, then you’ll need to have more fields on your form.

Freshsales’s lead generation form is more complex, but for their solution – a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, they need more additional details.

Strategically locate your lead generation form:

Here are four key places to locate your form:

– Homepage

– Product or service pages

– Pricing pages

– Contact us

The more your visitors can find your form (especially at key buying points), the easier it will be to take action and convert.

 

22. Check On Your Website Copy

Powerful website copy builds your credibility, positions your brand in a position of strength and compels readers to take action.

However, most websites don’t really tell their story well nor really speak to their prospect’s needs and desires.

If you aren’t getting the conversions (leads, sign-ups, direct sales) on your website and if you are getting sufficient targeted traffic…

Then the issue is your website copy.

Here are two guides that will help you supercharge your website copy:

16 tips and principles to create effective website content

8 things you’ll have to do to write web copy that converts

 

23. Utilize Compelling Call-To-Actions

Call-to-actions are essentially a nice fancy button with text that invites visitors to take action.

That’s it.

But you’ll have to optimize it in three quick ways.

Use the active voice + a benefit:

Instead of writing just ‘Sign-up now’ use ‘Begin your 7-day free trial’

Tie in a benefit or a reminder of what they will get if they take action.

Utilize the right colors for your CTA button:

Yes, colors matter.

The right ones will allow your CTA to stand out from the rest of your website and push the right buttons in your prospect’s mind.

Here’s a guide to choosing the right CTA color for your website, brand and industry.

Address your reader’s fears in your CTA copy:

From the fear of poor customer service or being charged for a free trial, your prospect has fears you should address.

And your CTA is the perfect place to do it.

Basecamp’s CTA on their pricing page knocks it out of the park with compelling copy that gives a benefit, a bright yellow CTA color and addressing their prospect’s fear of using their credit card and cancellation issues.

Need more help? Here’s a guide on how to write a killer CTA that converts.

 

Still not enough optimization or checks for your website? Let’s take it to the next level with three more bonus steps and checks you can take.

 

Bonus Step 1: Use An SEO Audit Tool

While you can definitely do manual checks on your website, it isn’t very feasible if you have tons of pages.

An SEO audit tool allows you to swiftly detect errors from missing meta descriptions to broken internal links and 404 missing pages.

I personally use Ahrefs for my website audit tool and you should consider using one.

There are many out there which will serve the same purpose such as SEMrush’s audit tool and woorank.

 

Bonus Step 2: Conduct A Competitor Analysis

Every business has competitors and smart marketers and business owners will scout the competition.

What you will specifically be looking for are the pages (and keywords) where they are getting quality traffic from.

What I regularly do (for my clients as well) is to stalk the competition’s blog to get ideas and topics for my own content creation.

For example, if your business is a note-taking productivity app, you’ll probably want to stalk what a major competitor, Evernote, is doing with their blog.

Many SEO tools such as Moz, Ahrefs and SEMrush will help you do analysis on your competitors.

 

Bonus Step 3: Set Up AMP For Your Website

AMP, also known as accelerated mobile pages, allows your pages and posts to load faster on mobile searches.

This is different from mobile-responsive pages that are optimized for mobile.

How to check if your site is AMP-ready?

Just whip out your smartphone and browse the pages on your site. 

If you don’t see the “!” icon with an explanation when you click it, your site isn’t AMP-friendly.

While Google hasn’t come out to state that AMP is a ranking signal yet, studies have shown that implementing it does bring about benefits from higher mobile rankings to improving your server performance.

Using WordPress? Here’s how to set up AMP for your website.

Not using WordPress? Google themselves has a guide you can read up to get it done.

 

Congrats! Your Website Audit Is Done. 

Now that I’m finally finished, I want to hear from you!

Are there any other difficulties you are facing during your website audit?

Drop me a message at sean@speechsilver.com.

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