The Top Five Elements To Evaluate When Auditing Websites

auditing websites

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Is it time for a website tune-up?

In this article we review the 5 areas to evaluate when optimizing and auditing websites:

  1. Website accessibility
  2. Website analytics
  3. Website content
  4. Website design – UX/UI
  5. Website SEO

When you launched your site, initially it may have done a great job creating brand interest, attracting new customers, and increasing sales. Over time internal and external changes and trends can start to whittle away at the lead generation power your site once had.

So how do you make sure it is still optimized and performing like it should be?

Every so often—we recommend at least quarterly—you should be performing a website audit to check if it is still operating effectively and if not, be able to identify what needs to be fixed and how.

Bringing in more traffic and revenue could be as simple as making some website improvements. But how do you run a website audit and what should you look for?

We have broken it down into 5 areas with checklists for each.

how to auditing websites

The Top Five Elements to Evaluate When Auditing Websites

1. Website Accessibility Checklist.

Showing your visitors that you are putting in work toward ADA web compliance is important today. When the ADA laws were created, they specifically mentioned the prohibition of discrimination in “places of public accommodation.” Today, ADA lawsuits also cover digital accessibility, including websites. Having web content that is accessible to users who engage with and navigate web content by special screen readers, voice, or other adaptive technology is part of ADA compliance. It means things like:

  • Providing accessible document formats (for screen readers)
  • Making font sizes and colors adjustable (for users with low vision)
  • Including audio descriptions and video captions (for hearing impaired and/or visually impaired visitors)

2. Website Design – UX/UI Checklist.

Think of your UX as your customer journey. Making sure you map out that journey, from first website visit to converting a sale, it is an important part of your audit. You need to think like a potential customer.

  • Are you making it easy for them to know what steps to take next and where to go?
  • Are you motivating them to go there?
  • If not, what needs to happen to streamline their journey and make the buying process as easy and straightforward as possible?

Your UI is another word for your website aesthetics. Is it easy to navigate your site? Are you providing your user with a visually pleasant experience?

  • What are the visual touchpoints that allow your visitor to interact with your website?
  • Have you organized your website so that it makes intuitive sense? Or are you causing your visitor to experience a cognitive overload?
  • What about your searching systems, labeling systems, icons, and hovering elements? Are they all working together to help guide your user?
  • Is it visually appealing? So, think contrasts and color palettes, font size, heading styles, imagery, etc.
information architecture website audit

Does your website contain these key elements?

  • Header elements (main nav menu, logo, social network links, basic contact info, search field).
  • Hero section that grabs a visitor’s attention engaging them to scroll or push CTA buttons.
  • Cards or Tiles are useful to better organize service and product offerings and/or posts on your blog archives page.
  • Testimonials / Reviews section (on home page or its own page)
    • Why? Customer testimonials are a valuable resource that have a powerful effect on shaping a buyer’s decisions. Displaying reviews can increase sales up to 270%! (Source: Spiegel Research Center).
  • Social media feed: Why? Embed your most active social media feed on your website to make your website dynamic and show that you are connecting with your customers and fans, as well as display what your customers are saying about your brand.
  • Your logo: visible in various formats and locations.
  • Favicon: visible, formatted and sized appropriately.
  • An About page, Contact page, FAQs page, Blog page, and applicable Policy pages.
  • A Footer section that includes navigation links, contact info, social network links, badges/certifications, and subscription fields.
  • Chat widget
  • Contact forms in various pages and places of your website.
  • Subscribe button.
  • Intent-to-leave pop up.
  • Breadcrumbs that increase findability and show a user where they are on your website in fewer clicks helping to decrease bounce rate.

3. Website Analytics Checklist.

Reviewing website analytics can initially seem like an overwhelming task. The key is to break it down into the most important segments to find major technical issues and understand the basic trends in your website’s traffic flows.

  • Analyze website traffic. Use a tool like Google Analytics to review and study your traffic patterns.
  • Measure your page speed. Is your website driving away frustrated users because it takes too long to load? Check your load time with a tool like WebPageTest or Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
  • Check for errors and broken links. You can use Google Search Central to find and fix your paths to website never-never land.
  • Look at your mobile responsiveness. Google’s mobile-first index makes sure that pages are evaluated for all devices based on their performance on mobile. Google offers their Mobile responsiveness checker so you can find out.

4. Website Content Checklist.

How’s your content? You need to look at a few different areas to answer that question.

  • Does your content and messaging align with your brand?
  • Is it original, error-free, and easy to read?
  • How about your use of keywords? Do you have enough, but not too many?
  • Engaging content keeps readers interested and curious. Does yours?
  • Is it sharable? Can your content be shared easily on social networks to extend your reach?

5. Website SEO Checklist.

Don’t forget the SEO! One of the best ways to improve your visibility, boost your credibility, and stay ahead of your competitors is to keep monitoring and improving your website SEO.

  • We mentioned the importance of keywords in your content, but your SEO is why they are important. Have you reviewed the quality of your keywords? Do you have blogs or other content to provide valuable information for industry-relevant, highly searched terms?
  • Have you verified your website on Google Search Console and added an XML sitemap?
  • Have you set up a Google Analytics account to track your conversion goals?
  • Is your website content written with the aim of getting your web page or blog post showcased as a featured snippet on Google? THIS IS WHAT WE CALL “SEO GOLD”!
  • Off page, does your website have structured data markup? The code that you put in the pages of your site must follow a set format for search engines to parse. Search engines read the structured data code and determine if your content is a good match for the query. Then, they use it to display the results.
  • The use of tags in your sidebar that feature keywords or phrases is considered metadata. This improves your visitor’s ability to use your site and helps to boost your SEO.
  • Do you have both internal and external links? Make sure you have the proper amount of both. To find strong external links, try this: List external resources for a specific topic with links out to those trustworthy, credible sites. Or take the top 5 ranking, non-competitor search results for your core keyword and add as a hyperlink to your page content or blog.
free website audit checklist feat img

Free Website Audit Checklist

Unlike your car, your website doesn’t always notify you that something isn’t working properly. Until website’s come with their own ‘check engine light’, performing a quarterly audit is the best way to determine if everything is still running smoothly—inside and out.

Remember the investment you made when you set up your site? You did that for a good reason. It is the 24/7 marketing machine, that when tuned up properly, promotes your brand, brings in the leads, and converts the sales.

When was the last time your site had a tune-up?

We’ll help make it easy for you. DIY with our FREE website audit checklist.

Need something even easier? Put it in the hands of the experts. We offer a complete website audit to get your site back in working order so you can watch your leads grow and your sales increase.

Scheduling a call with us is a few clicks away.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase the product or service. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

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