If you’re conducting a website audit, it can be handy to have a website audit checklist to make sure you’re not missing any key points. This beginner’s website audit checklist gives you a good overview of your website optimisation strategy as a whole.
What is a Website Audit?
Making sure that your website is always fully compliant with Google guidelines, as well as offering a positive customer experience, is vital to your success as an online retail outfit. A website audit can you help to identify any areas where it may be underperforming. As a complete analysis of every part of your website, it will determine how visible your website will become in search engine rankings. A competent SEO specialist will be able to identify and fix any issues that could mean your website is not generating enough traffic, or find out why your sales and conversions are not improving. The audit could include indexed pages, page errors, site speed and keywords frequency.
Note: In order to cover a lot of the points on this website audit checklist, you’ll need to gather data on your website with an audit tool. One of the best and easiest to get accustomed to is Screaming Frog – if you have less than 500 pages on your website it’s free to use, so definitely check it out before proceeding with your audit!
Are they unique and accurate?
Are they the right length (under 571 pixels)?
Do they contain keywords at the front of the title (or if this isn’t possible, just somewhere within the title text)?
Does the title include your brand?
Check out our full page title checklist for better SEO.
Description meta tags:
Are they unique and descriptive?
Are they the right length (below 930 pixels)?
Do they contain the keyword without overstuffing?
Are there any duplicate meta descriptions?
Are there any duplicate title tags?
Are they easy for a user to read and remember?
Is it made of words instead of parameters and session IDs?
Are unique, and contain keywords?
Is your website organised so that it’s easy for visitors to understand where they are on your website when they look at your URLs?
Do you have easily navigable breadcrumb lists that allow visitors to travel between the connected section of your website?
Do you have a Sitemap submitted to Google’s Webmaster Tools so that Google crawls all pages of your website?
If there are pages you don’t want to be crawled, have you fitted them with the necessary robot.txt files?
Do you have 301s set up to redirect visitors from old addresses to new addresses, and to favour the domain name you prefer to use (e.g. redirect ‘www.example.com’ to ‘example.com’)?
Are there any pages not loading correctly that need fixing, e.g. access denied, or page not found?
Have you used a tool like Google Analytics or Rank Tracker to find out which keywords are popular and successful in boosting your page visits?
Are there any keywords you haven’t been targeting that you need to start targeting now?
Are there any that you haven’t been optimising for well enough?
Is the content on your website unique (even things like product descriptions)?
Is it lengthy and relevant to what people are searching for – and does this match the keywords it is being targeted too?
Is your content well structured, with headings, paragraphs, and subheadings?
When relevant and appropriate, does the content include your keyword?
If you have text in an image (such as a picture of a menu), do you have a copy of the text you can use in its place so search engines can access the text?
Is your anchor text accurate in its description of the link it’s sending visitors to, and not just generic (e.g. ‘click here’)?
Do your images have alt-text?
Does the alt-text contain your keyword?
Are they a good length, and not a quick copy-paste of a paragraph from your page?
Have you made sure you only have one H1 per page?
Does it contain your keyword?
Are you including a couple of internal links on each page, especially at the top of the page where possible?
Do you also include a couple of external links to authoritative websites that improve the visitor’s experience?
Have you checked your backlinks with a tool like Ahrefs, so you can find out whether the websites linking to you are of good quality or not?
Are any of their backlinks now broken?
What sort of anchor text do they use to link to you?
Is your website design responsive, so people accessing your site on mobile devices can still have a good user experience?
No website audit checklist would be complete without talking about page load speed. Are your pages loading at a good speed on mobile and desktop? You can check this with Google Page Speed Insights.