Website audits have always been popular among marketing pros. But the truth is, an audit can uncover all kinds of dirt about your site’s design, UX, content, and more. It’s not just for the SEO nerds anymore.
A basic site audit is like a tune-up for your car: you’re making sure everything’s working well under the hood so you can avoid major problems down the line.
And the best news? You can actually do a site audit yourself.
So clear out a couple hours in your calendar. Here are the basics of what an audit entails, and our beginner-friendly audit checklist.
Why Do I Need to Audit My Site?
Just because you haven’t noticed a major issue, doesn’t mean your site’s at its peak performance. Chances are, there are changes you can make that will bring in more customers, more efficiently.
But the thing is, you won’t necessarily notice those easy wins until you go looking for them. And that’s the point of an audit. You’re looking for areas of your site that can be adjusted to help you convert more of your traffic into sales. And if there are major issues lurking in any of your pages, you’ll want to find them before they start impacting your bottom line.
How Often Should I Audit My Website?
Plan to audit your site at least every 3 months. This cadence allows you to catch potential problems before they can grow bigger and take a toll on your business. We also recommend choosing 5-10 crucial pages that bring in more traffic or convert at a higher rate than the rest; you may want to check those out every month. Put a recurring reminder in your Outlook calendar.
Remember, your website isn’t static. Chances are your marketing and engineering teams are making small changes on a weekly basis. On top of that, user preferences are fluid and search algorithms are constantly changing. So while it may be tempting to put off that audit for another day, week, or month, it’s important to hold yourself accountable to that quarterly audit.
Our Website Audit Checklist
Without further ado, here’s a basic audit checklist that any business owner can use to gauge the health of their site.
Take a look at every content-heavy page, like informational pages and blog articles.
- Start by scanning, without actually reading the content line-by-line. Is it broken up with short paragraphs and headings, or are there long blocks of text? As a rule of thumb, keep each paragraph to fewer than 5 sentences so you don’t overwhelm visitors.
- Within each page, the content should stick to one main theme or goal. For example, everything on your About Us page should be about your team, mission, and company.
- Scan at least 5 pages of content for basic spelling, grammatical and formatting issues.
Scroll through every page and check for the most important design elements.
- Is it clear what action the user should take on this page? The main CTA button should be prominent, and the text should be easy to understand.
- Fonts and colors should be cohesive across the entire site. Do any pages stand out for the wrong reasons?
- Scroll through each page on your phone as well as a desktop. The site should be just as efficient and appealing on mobile.
There are a few basic elements that will help search engines interpret your site.
- Check whether you can add one or two of your most important keywords into a heading here and there. Keep your writing natural; don’t add too many keywords if it sounds awkward.
- Your keywords should be mentioned naturally throughout your content. Use Ctrl + F to find instances of a keyword on any given page.
- Add internal links to other pages on your site wherever it makes sense.
- Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to measure how quickly your site loads.
Take the Next Step
Congrats on getting through that checklist; the next part’s easy. Choose the top 5 action items that you think will have the biggest impact for your business, and make a plan for correcting them within the next 30 days.
Some items will be easy to correct internally. But others may require some digging, or point to a larger hurdle. If you need some guidance, we’re ready to lend a hand and help make your site more efficient, secure, and driven to convert.