A website audit is not only about SEO. It is about design and UX, the lead generation process on your website and ease of administering the website, content of the website, and interaction with social media.
Your website probably has dozens, maybe hundreds of pages. It’s not possible to check them all at once in a batch. Choose up to ten pages that drive your business to its goal: the main page, a contact page, pages of the most popular products/groups of products. Check them first and make sure they work for you 24/7.
Design and UX Audit
Your website design is your first impression and has an impact on whether a visitor decides in 6 seconds to stay and continue the search that brought them there or bounce to another site.
According to Google research, it takes less than a second to judge the website’s attractiveness: those research participants labeled more complex websites as less attractive.
People prefer thinking of things that are easier to comprehend so a complex design is not helping your bounce rate with new visitors or repeat ones.
- A page structure is easy to distinguish: headers, titles (H1-H6), footers, the content that helps a user navigate a page.
- If appropriate, consider using design breadcrumbs and footer links. Use heat maps to see if your website’s visitors click the footer’s links first.
- Content density does not repulse a visitor: if it’s divided by headings, pictures, white space,…
- The design leads the visitor to the CTA links and buttons: interactive elements, hovers,…
- CTA is placed within the first ⅓ of a user’s screen.
- Web design aligns with the company’s brand.
- The website renders well on all devices: users can easily do what they came for on desktops, mobiles, tablets, and so on.
- Check all visual elements of your design: background illustrations share the same style for the sake of a smooth transition between pages; all design elements (logo, favicons, headers, typography, colors used) don’t contradict each other, too.
If you followed the instructions above, you can see these parameters changing:
- A level of bounce rate decreases since the navigation is clear and users understand what to do next.
- Session duration should grow.
- Users execute the main CTA.
Lead generation process audit
The lead generation process follows the design and UX topic. As we already mentioned in the checklist, the design must help to convert visitors into leads.
Lead generation process audit checklist
- A page has a clear call-to-action (CTA) block: a button, a link – whatever converts the best.
- No more than 3 calls to action.
- CTA should be visible and accessible for users (for instance, don’t hide a CTA in the footer if your website’s visitors don’t tend to scroll the whole page).
- If a website visitors change their mind and leave a particular CTA unfinished (for example, a contact form left unfilled completely), you should give them another opportunity to dispel doubt. Show them a pop-up offering a free consultation/a knowledge base to get into details/asking a reason for leaving. The pop-up is a rather tricky method of communicating with users, but wisely used – it works. Learn what annoys the website’s visitors, when it’s appropriate to show the pop-up and how much time should pass before the pop-up is shown, etc.
Likewise in the previous block, if you followed the instructions above users would execute the main CTA and if something disrupts them – there’s a tool that helps users to complete the action. Conversion will grow, if it doesn’t, you go back to the web design and UX section and check what’s wrong.
Let’s assume a page structure is designed wisely and users understand what actions they ought to perform to get what they came for. A menu does navigation work perfectly, and all that is left – not to repulse the users with content issues. They really do read it!
Content audit checklist
- The content adheres to the page goal: if it is a contact page – content must stick to the ways the user can contact you. It’s obvious, yet a very common mistake. Keep the page goal in mind when filling it with content.
- Content is logically structured and doesn’t confuse users. Use the “Inverted Pyramid” method used in journalism: place the most important info first, then proceed with supporting details, and only after all add related information.
- No spelling and grammar mistakes.
- No extra content: only what drives a guest to the CTA.
- Likewise, design in general, you should pay attention to content structure and how it’s divided: blocks, bullets, white space, and illustrative pictures.
The content improvement also facilitates the main goal execution: CTAs are being clicked/filled out/completed.
The search optimization part makes your content visible to a wider audience. Without specific terms, there are many technical operations you can do so that your content is found by more and more people.
SEO audit checklist
- Set up a tracking tool to track what’s going on with your website: keywords, traffic, entrance pages, exit pages, etc.
- Put appropriate content tags: title tags, description tags, image tags, meta tags.
- Use keywords and their synonyms in the headings, in the text itself.
- Eliminate broken links on your website.
- Make sure your content doesn’t have references to other sources at the very beginning: this way readers won’t leave your website too soon for Google Analytics or other tools to count it as a bounce and lower a website’s ranking in search.
- Think about using internal links on your website: in the footer, in content. Internal links must help users to continue their journey. If those links are inserted automatically, with the help of a bot, for example, Google can penalize you: it treats links jamming into every matching word as a manipulation.
- You’ve given enough attention to link building and there are other websites that refer to yours. Thus, Google acknowledges your website as an authority and ranks it higher. (If sites that refer to your website are credible)
- Tune the server files that influence how search engines access your website and index it: .htaccess, robots.txt, sitemap.xml. Google must crawl into and analyze your content correctly.
What SEO gives you:
- An understanding of what drives your traffic, what your traffic sources are.
- You understand how users find content similar to yours and how organic traffic grows because you use tags, keywords wisely.
- A level of bounce rate decreases.
- A visitor spends more time on your website than before due to internal linking.
Social media presence audit checklist
- Your company/brand is present on social networks: a public page, a group.
- You keep referring to your website at profiles in social networks and make sure content has a wide reach.
- Social media icons are embedded in the website’s footer or another appropriate place.