Free Website Audit Checklist
Searching for the ‘Ultimate Free Website Audit Checklist?’ You’ve come to the right place.
Did you know that Google currently has over 200 ranking factors? For SEO’s, Google has always maintained that chasing position one rankings does not get results. If anything, you will actually lose out to competitors. Of course, search engines do not want anyone cheating the system. The best way to please the search engines, and win the race to the top of Google, is to adopt a natural SEO strategy.
Free SEO Audit Tool
Our free website audit checklist provides checkpoints within the optimisation process to help improve your search engine rankings. These actions follow Google’s best practices to ensure you don’t fall victim to a pesky penalty. Please note: we are not giving you a complete list of official ranking factors. This website audit checklist lists proven strategies that you may want to apply to boost your search engine visibility. The bulk of these actions are taken from our detailed SEO audit that gives you feedback based on your current SEO efforts. If you are looking to explore these actions in more detail, read on:
1) Review your content marketing
Every website online will have at least some content. How successful that content is online comes down to your wider marketing strategy. Check every page on your website, as the chances are they will be indexed by Google and should be optimised following the best practices. From an SEO perspective, you should evaluate your content using the following criteria:
Keyword Research: It goes without saying, keywords can either make or break your SEO campaign. Choose the right ones, and you’re on a one-way ticket to the top of Google. However, make the wrong choice, and you’ll be wasting your time and money on keywords that don’t impact your rankings. Always do your research before writing content.
Keyword Density: When it comes to using keywords effectively, make sure your focus keyword is mentioned at least three times for every 100 words. You can still rank if you have less content but keep in mind the average first-page result contains 1,800 words. As search engines become more attune to the human language, because of the many voice search devices on the market, the content published online can be more natural in line with how people actually speak rather than type. Using synonyms influenced by your keyword research to diversify your content is highly recommended.
Internal Linking: Google looks at the pages on your website as a map of linked pages. The internal linking of your pages and posts is essential when it comes to boosting the relevance of products, services and location/s. Google looks at the language used in those hyperlinks so using keywords that you want that page to rank for will give you a significant uplift in the rankings.
Duplicate Content:Unique, quality content dominates the first page of Google. Make sure your content isn’t a duplicate of another page on your site or, worse still, a rehashed version of someone else’s content.
Grammatical Errors: Readability is not a ranking factor, right now. Any content with spelling or grammatical errors, however, should be removed as it will impact conversions and brand credibility.
2) Analyse your conversion rate
Your conversion rate is the total number of visitors that end up converting in any given session. That conversion could be anything from an email sign up to a purchase on site. It depends on your KPIs and what you are looking to achieve online. The average conversion rate will vary depending on the industry, but the average is 2.39%. If your conversion rate appears to be much lower than this figure, then you have to identify the reason why. This could be down to one of the following reasons:
- You are bringing the wrong type of traffic.
- Your content doesn’t encourage people to follow a call to action.
- You are not presenting your brand as trustworthy.
- You are not providing value from your content.
There are many reasons that your website may not be converting. This is not something you can afford to take a chance on. Use tools like Google Analytics and HotJar to analyse who is visiting your website and where they are dropping off. Also consider, if the conversion rate is significantly higher and seems too good to be true, the chances are, it probably is. Unqualified leads massively skew your results and offer a false sense of security – you want to aim for quality, over quantity. Side note: Competitors could be intentionally visiting your site for research or to provide you with inaccurate data. Running a free website audit (linked above) is a great opportunity to dig deeper into your data and understand your results.
3) Optimise for mobile search
Did you know that over 60% of searches now come from mobile devices? To capture maximum enquiries online, make mobile optimisation a priority! Your website should deliver the same exceptional user experience on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. Since the launch of mobile-first indexing, mobile optimisation is definitely one for your website audit checklist. Google now considers the mobile version of your website as the original and will rank your domain accordingly.
4) Speed up your website
Search engines value a website that loads at lightning speed. There’s nothing worse than a site that takes forever to load – your visitors will get bored, and so will Google! A slow load speed will increase your bounce rate meaning visitors will lose patience and leave in favour of a competitor. Optimise your site’s speed for higher rankings and better results.
5) Use Ahrefs to analyse your backlink profile
Another consideration for the website audit checklist is backlink profile. Do you know your domain score? What about the links pointing to your website? How does this compare to your competitors? Having a strong backlink profile will have a clear impact on your rankings. While many things have changed in the world of SEO (the industry is extremely volatile), the one thing that remains the same is link building. It’s the most critical ranking factor when it comes to hitting those top spots in the search engine results.
When it comes to securing backlinks, the fastest way to start is to look at what your competitors are doing. Where have they sourced their links? Is there a broken link that you can replace? Tracking their most authoritative links will help you understand the process of link building. You should consider the following link building opportunities: guest posts, online citations, reviews and PR.
6) Encourage social media sharing on your site
Social media and search engine optimisation work together. Social media is a great way to build relationships with your audience and encourage more people to engage with your brand. Integrating this with your SEO strategy can be incredibly powerful, especially if you utilise social media sharing buttons. Giving your visitors the option to share content with others on social media is just another way to get people talking about your business.
7) Optimise your images with keywords
An image speaks a thousand words. You’ve probably heard this quote – but there’s a problem. Google is rubbish at reading images. As a text reader, Google cannot appreciate the visual impact of a pretty picture. To help Google understand your choice of images, you need to optimise them with alt text. When you save an image, include a keyword in the file name. Then when you upload your image, use descriptive alt text. A little bonus: Google will rank your websites higher if you use keywords here.
8) Secure your website with HTTPS, not HTTP
That cheeky ‘S’ is so important. When it comes to your site security and rankings, your website should be listed as HTTPS. If you haven’t made the switch, then add this to your website audit checklist. When migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS, speak to a technical SEO expert to ensure you don’t miss anything out.
9) Use Schema Markup
In simple terms, schema markup provides more information about your business to Google. The more search engines understand your business, the more relevant you will be for particular queries. This can be a tricky process – it won’t happen at a flip of a switch. That’s why we recommend using Google’s structured data tool. It makes the process of schema markup so much easier.
10) Find, fix, rank and repeat!
The final item on our free website audit checklist is never to stop working to improve your search engine rankings. We’d like to consider SEO as a simple tick box exercise. There are, however, endless opportunities to rank your website higher in the search engines. Things shift all the time so a competitor can always swoop in and clinch the top spot. We recommend checking your rankings and website analytics on a weekly basis for the best results. Of course, if you don’t have the time, our free website audit tool will give you instant recommendations at the click of a button.
A free website audit checklist that delivers the best rankings!
We hope this website audit checklist has given you some pointers to help you optimise for better search engine rankings. If you do have any questions, feel free to give us a call on 01226 720 755 for more professional advice – we can’t wait to hear from you!