15-Point Checklist To Audit A Website Before Initiating A Digital Marketing Campaign

I AM SICK!

Quite literally. Sick. 🤧

Down with flu. And I have been sick for the past week now. The worst part is I didn't act on it soon enough. I waited for my body to heal automatically. Five days later, after having ignored the telltale signs, and several bouts of severe headaches, nausea, convulsions, perennial runny nose and watery eyes later, I finally visited my physician.

I told him what I wanted - medication to relieve me off this godforsaken headache and other pain-in-the-jack issues. Quite straightforward, isn't it?

My  physician, though, had other ideas. He was more interested in knowing what I needed. He wanted to uncover the root cause of the issues and not just subside the symptoms. This is why, after asking a few probing questions, he suggested me to go for complete health checkup. The health checkup was done, and sure enough, the headaches and runny nose were just symptoms to what was diagnosed as a severe case of respiratory infection. He then prescribed me antibiotics to fight the infection. “The symptoms would go away automatically”, he said. And they did!

That's when it hit me!

How a website audit is so much like a diagnosis or health checkup.

Just like the patient, the client may want stuff - top ranks, improved traffic. But as a digital marketer,  it is important for you to understand what the client or the website actually needs. This is where website audit comes into the picture. This is where we identify critical issues that may actually be resulting in the symptoms like not achieving high ranking, not getting relevant traffic, etc. “Fix the issue and the symptom goes away automatically”.

Top 3 Benefits of Website Audit

  1. From Customer point-of-view: it helps you identify and fix any usability and conversion related issues resulting in improved User experience.
  2. From Search Engine point-of-view: It helps make the website search engine friendly and increase its chances of getting indexed and subsequently ranked for the target search terms.
  3. From Client point-of-view: it gives your client a snapshot of their current scenario. This helps showcase the effectiveness of the marketing campaign when you compare the before and after results of the website audit pre and post the fixes.

Now that we know why it is important to run a website diagnosis or health checkup, let's understand how to run a successful website SEO audit check.

15-Point Website Audit Checklist

Website Content Audit

  1. Check for instances of internal duplication of content
  2. Check for instances of external duplication of content
  3. Check for instances of irrelevant/under optimized SEO elements
  4. Check for over-optimisation like keyword stuffing, etc.
  5. Check if the content fulfills the objective of the client
    1. Does it provide enough information for the customers?
    2. Does it provide enough incentive to the customers?
    3. Does it highlight the customer's challenges and provide solutions to those?
    4. Is the content lead and conversion oriented?
    5. Does the content have enough/too little/too many call to actions (CTAs)?
  6. Check the content for intuitiveness
    1. Does the content intuitively reflect the value proposition of the business?
    2. Is the buyer’s journey or the conversion funnel intuitive?

Website Technical Audit

  1. Check for indexability issues
    1. Have all relevant pages being indexed by Google?
    2. Have all irrelevant/ private pages been blocked from being indexed by Google?
    3. Are there any hidden issues leading to pages not getting indexed?
      1. Pages being blocked in robots.txt
      2. Pages being blocked using meta robots noindex tag
      3. Outdated sitemap.xml
      4. Unwanted redirections
      5. Canonical issues
  2. Check for broken links
    1. Are there in internal links on the website that are broken?
    2. Are there any backlinks to the website that no longer work?
    3. Are there any old pages that no longer exist but haven't been handled properly?
  3. Check for mobile responsiveness
  4. Check page load time
  5. Check to ensure that the website site structure is SEO friendly
  6. Check if the urls are SEO friendly
  7. Check for code validation
  8. Check for user and crawler sitemaps
  9. Check for redirections

Hope this 15-point checklist helps you run website audit like a pro and identify critical issues that need to be addressed for your clients website to start performing as expected.

Want to know how exactly to run these checks? I am giving away a free website audit checklist worksheet, in my next blog (next week). Stay tuned!

Got more audit points that you think I missed? Let me know in your comments below.

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