Your website isn’t performing up to its potential.
It should be generating wayyyyy more:
- And conversions
But for some reason things just haven’t clicked yet.
So, being the savvy marketer you are, you decided you need to plan an all-out website audit.
Good for you! That’s a great idea.
…but how do you actually do that?
Everyone keeps telling you to focus on different areas:
“The most important thing is redesigning your site!”
“Don’t worry about your site’s design, silly! Focus on your messaging and copy!”
“Who cares about copy or design if no one comes to your site? Focus on your SEO!”
Who should you listen to?
What will actually lead to more $$$ in your bank account?
That’s exactly what we’ll talk about in this post. 🙂
How to Do a Website Audit (The Right Way)
Everyone telling you to only focus on a specific area during your website audit is wrong.
If you want your website to generate more traffic, leads, and conversions, you need to focus on ALL money-focused areas of your site.
That means you need to spend time improving your site’s:
- User Experience
- SEO & Content
Will that take a long time?
Yep—you’re dang right it will.
But what’s the point of even doing a website audit if you aren’t out to improve every important aspect of your site?
An in-depth audit focusing on these four areas is the only way to unleash your site’s money-making potential.
So, what does this mean?
- You need to give this process the time it needs. If you rush your website audit, it will show.
- You need to focus on the five areas listed above. Don’t waste your time on meaningless things like changing button colors or featured images.
With that in mind, let’s tackle this beast of a project one step at a time.
Table of Contents
Our Proven 4-Part Website Audit Template
Part 1: User Experience
User experience, in the context of making more money with your website, really comes down to one thing: whether your visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for on your site.
It’s the usability aspect of design—the aspect that makes sure your website is:
- Organized in an efficient way
- Easy to use and navigate
- Directing people to the pages you want them to visit
So with this in mind, there are 3 main UX questions to ask about your site during an audit:
1. Am I giving visitors too many choices?
Research over the past two decades has shown when people have too many choices they:
How does this apply to your website?
That ain’t ideal…
Giving your visitors too many things to click on increases the chances they’ll leave your site dissatisfied without doing what you want them to.
To avoid this (as much as possible), evaluate every form, button, link, and pop-up on every page of your site to see which of these 3 categories it’s in:
- Helps your visitors perform a valuable action for your business (examples: sign up for email list, share a blog post, fill out a contact form)
- Helps your visitors find something (examples: links to similar content, nav bar)
- Distracts your visitors (examples: irrelevant pop-ups, links to irrelevant pages or content, noncrucial information in the sidebar)
Keep everything in Category 1, only the most crucial things in Category 2, and nothing in Category 3.
Reduce the options as much as possible on every page of your site.
2. Am I making it easy for visitors to take valuable actions for my business?
Your website has one overarching goal: making you $$$.
But how easy are you making it for visitors to take actions that lead to $$$ like:
- Sign up for your email list?
- Purchase a product?
- Or reach out to you about your services?
It’s a question worth asking about every page on your site.
Building off the last question about giving your visitor only a few options, make sure the options you do give them lead to these valuable actions.
Here’s an example:
On my homepage, I have a hero section that takes up the whole screen and has a single button promoting a free download.
Getting people on my email list is one of the #1 goals for my site—so that’s why this is pretty much the only thing visitors see when they land on my homepage.
The only other immediately visible options are going to the blog (which they can opt-in from), my service page (which they can contact me for services from), or my contact page (same).
Each of these options are also valuable to my business.
More examples of sites doing the same thing:
3. Can your visitors quickly find what they’re looking for?
Visitors usually come to your site with a specific intention in mind.
And it’s your site’s job to help them do what they want as quickly as possible—regardless whether they landed on your homepage, a blog post, or a service page.
But how do you make this happen when you have tons of different pages?
It’s actually much easier than it sounds.
There are three main ways:
1. Your Navigation Menu
Your nav menu is a crucial part of your site.
Because it’s your site’s North Star.
No matter where someone is on your site and how they got there, they can use your nav menu to find your most important pages.
That’s why you need to be intentional with the pages you include on it (and more importantly, pages you do not include).
I recommend including no more than 5 options on your nav menu, and of those 5 options, only including the 5 most important pages (aside from your homepage).
Putting breadcrumbs on your site is an easy win.
They take 5 seconds to set up in most cases and show your visitors exactly where they are on your site (and how they got there).
3. Internal Links
Another quick UX win is adding internal links on your blog posts and pages to other similar posts and pages.
This also helps with SEO, so it’s a win-win.
But don’t go overboard here.
Adding too many internal links can send visitors down a never ending rabbit hole of distractions.
I recommend only linking to your key pages and making them open in a new tab.
You can do this in WordPress by clicking on the gear icon on a link and checking the “new tab” box.
Part 2: Conversion
Now that your site is incredibly user-friendly and points people toward the most valuable actions they can take for your business, it’s time to figure out whether your copy actually convinces them to take those actions.
There are two parts to this:
- Analyzing your current copy’s performance
- Making adjustments and complete copy overhauls as necessary
It’s important to approach each of these with an impartial mindset.
The goal isn’t making your site’s copy sound good to you, your co-founder, or your copywriter—it’s getting the most conversions possible.
And that means the only people your copy needs to engage, compel, and convince are your target customers.
Copy Audit Part 1: Analyzing Performance
There’s one metric you can rely on to measure your copy’s performance:
How’s that for a knowledge bomb? *Sarcasm Alert*
It’s obvious, but it’s worth saying because we both can get so caught up thinking about all the elements of good copy:
- Using customer voice data
- Implementing psychological tactics (in an ethical way)
- Following the right formulas
…that we often over-complicate copy so much that we spend time tweaking stuff that’s already working over and over again for no reason.
That’s why I want to remind both of us that CONVERSIONS are all that should determine how good your copy is.
So, in this first part of our copy audit, we’re gonna take an in-depth look at how many conversions every page, blog post, button, opt-in form, and contact form generates.
And we only need one (FREE) tool to do this: Google Analytics.
Using Google Analytics to Analyze Copy
Note: This requires you to have custom goals set up. If you don’t yet, here’s a great tutorial on how to do so.
There are 3 main reports I recommend looking at:
1. The Goal Overview Report
To get to this report, click on Conversions -> Goals -> and Overview.
This will show you your site’s overall conversion rate, along with the conversion rate for each of your specific goals.
It’s great for a quick overview of conversion performance.
2. Goals by URL
To get to this report head to Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing Pages -> then select a specific goal.
This shows you how well certain pages and blog posts convert for your selected goal.
A.k.a a goldmine of information.
So, for example, if you have a lead magnet you offer through an opt-in from on all of your blog posts, you can see which blog post generates the most and fewest conversions with this report.
It can help you figure out if your offerings and copy on certain pages are good fits for the traffic that comes in.
3. Goals by Traffic Source
To get to this report, head to Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels -> then select a specific goal.
This will show you which traffic channels convert best for each goal you’ve set up.
You can use this information to see if you’ve accurately matched the stage of awareness of website visitors coming from different channels with your copy.
So, for example, if your organic Facebook traffic doesn’t convert well, your copy on the pages they visit might not apply to the situation they’re in.
It might be too basic, too advanced, or too unrelated to their true problems and desires.
Copy Audit Part 2: Making Adjustments Based on Your Findings
With these insights top of mind, it’s time to go through and revamp the copy on any page, blog post, form, or opt-in that has a less-than-desired conversion rate.
The exact number that qualifies for a revamp will depend on your unique situation.
I recommend setting a threshold (of say, a 2.5% conversion rate) and tweaking/revamping all copy that performs below that threshold for its particular goal.
The main considerations setting that conversion rate threshold should be:
- Whether you think there’s room for improvement / untapped potential on most of your pages
- The conversion rate you normally see for the pages on your site (aka the median or average conversion rate on a page level)
Once you’ve decided on the conversion rate threshold, use these questions to help you rewrite the copy on pages that didn’t make the cut:
1. Did you correctly identify the visitors’ biggest problems, pain-points, and desires?
We both know people won’t do ANYTHING unless there’s something in it for them.
It’s marketing 101.
But sometimes our copy can hit on problems, pain-points, and desires that our visitors either don’t actually have or don’t care about as much as we thought.
You guessed it—poor conversion rates.
If you think this is the case with one of your pages, there are a few things you can do to figure out the real motivators your customers have:
- Put a non-intrusive pop-up on that page with a quick survey asking them specific questions about why they’re on that page and what they’re looking for.
- Send the same survey to your email list (bonus points if you have a specific segment of subscribers who’re super interested in whatever’s on that page).
- Have Skype calls with customers who’ve expressed interest in the offer on that page before and ask them to expand on their biggest problems and goals when it comes to that topic.
2. Did your copy communicate those problems, pain-points, and desires well?
It’s one thing to be spot-on when it comes to your customers’ real problems, pain-points, and desires with your copy…
…But you also have to communicate those through your copy.
You have to show visitors you:
- Understand their problems and pain-points
- Have struggled with the same things before
- Figured out a way to overcome them
- And have a solution to help them do the same
One of the easiest ways to figure out if your copy actually communicates these things is by simply asking people to review your work.
I recommend getting one of your top customers who’s interested in the offering on that particular page, as well as a marketing expert.
These people need to be unbiased and give you objective feedback on how well the current copy communicates your message.
Then, use their insights to hone your message.
3. Did you correctly identify and match your traffic temperature?
Every visitor comes to your site under different circumstances.
Some already know who you are and what you do, and they’re interested in seeing what kind of products/services you offer.
Some vaguely know about you, but don’t know how you can help them (or whether they have a problem you can solve in the first place).
Some have no idea who you are and interact with your brand for the first time when landing on one of your blog posts.
The list could go on and on…
The point is: all traffic has a temperature that impacts how receptive visitors will be to what they see on your site.
Hot traffic knows who you are, what you offer, and how you can help them reach their goals. They LOVE you and are incredibly excited about the things you’re doing. These are the people that are most likely to purchase something from you in the near future.
Warm traffic has interacted with you before, knows what you offer, and is on the fence about purchasing from you.
Cold traffic hasn’t heard of you before and doesn’t know what you offer (let alone how you could help them).
One of the most common copy mistakes I see on websites is people using Hot traffic language for a page that mostly gets Cold traffic.
For example, they try to sell a product at the end of a blog post where most of the visitors come from Google and have never heard of them before reading that post.
It won’t work well…
Instead, they’d have much better luck offering a free lead magnet or content upgrade in exchange for their email address.
Then, through email and nurture marketing, heating them up to turn them into that coveted HOT traffic.
4. Is your offer compelling?
Even if you nailed your visitors’ key pain-points/desires and communicated them well on your page, your copy can still fail if it doesn’t compel visitors to take action.
To do this, it has to be conversion-focused.
What does that mean?
You have to construct your offer using psychological principles about how humans make decisions to compel visitors to give you a chance.
There are tons of different principles and strategies to consider, but these are the main ones I recommend focusing on:
1. The “What’s in It for Me?” Factor
We’ve already touched on the fact that people only do something if they see something in it for them.
That’s why it’s so important to use benefit-driven copy on your pages.
You need to succinctly tell visitors what’s in it for them—a.k.a the tangible benefits they’ll get from your lead magnet, product, or service.
Incorporate benefits you know your visitors care about in all of your headings and body copy.
2. Social Proof
In order to get conversions, you need to develop some level of trust with your visitors.
Think about it: you’d never buy a product/service from someone you’ve never heard of before without doing a bunch of research, right?
That’s why Social Proof is so effective.
Including testimonials, results, and proof that you know what you’re talking about and have generated results before on your pages will skyrocket your conversion rates.
Finally, your copy needs to convince visitors that they need to take action immediately.
If you don’t create a sense of urgency with your potential customers when they’re on the fence, they’ll likely leave your site and think about it.
…and you know what happens from there:
- They look into your competitors
- They put off buying something they really need
- Or even try to convince themselves they don’t need to buy anything in the first place
To prevent this, you can apply a sense of urgency on your key pages by:
- Implementing a limited-time deal
- Communicating a potentially painful loss if visitors continue life without a solution to their problem
#1 is great at times (like if you’re running a promotion or launching a new product), but most of your copy will be in category #2.
How do create a sense of urgency by communicating to your visitors that they need to solve their problem (even if it isn’t via your product) or they risk a painful loss?
In short, by using copy formulas like PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution) to construct your pages.
These formulas help you create your messaging in a format that connects with visitors’ problems, shows that you’ve struggled with similar problems before and know what it’s like (showing empathy for their situation), and promising a solution (a.k.a your product).
Here are a few great resources for writing copy this way:
Creating this sense of urgency might make you feel a little weird, and that’s okay.
Because after all, at its heart, marketing is persuasion and manipulation.
BUT that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
If you truly can solve a problem your customers struggle with, it’s actually a great thing.
(Think of it like convincing a friend to make a decision that will positively impact the rest of their life like start that business, ask that person on a date, or go on that trip.)
Part 3: Design
I don’t have to tell you that your site’s design impacts your visitors.
You already know it—you’ve been to sites before that look so bad you had to leave immediately to save your eyes.
Those sites very well could’ve had great information, products, or services, but they were so ugly you couldn’t stand it and you left without interacting with the business.
It probably doesn’t surprise you to hear that other people do the same thing…
So, this section of the website audit checklist is here to make sure you never have to worry about being one of those sites.
I’m not going to lie to you and act like I’m a designer, though. I’m not. And I also don’t care about design a ton because I think there’s a limit to the returns it can bring (in other words, after a point, there’s only so much it can do).
But it’s important to get to the point where your site looks good enough to:
- Give off a sense of quality when it comes to your brand and your business
- Keep visitors focused on key content and pages (eliminating potential distractions)
- Encourage visitors to dig deeper and explore your content and offerings
You can reach that point by:
1. Keeping things simple.
When there’s too much going on with your design, it can be incredibly distracting and off-putting for visitors.
So, I recommend:
- Picking a simple, easy-on-the-eyes color palette that represents your brand (2-3 colors), keep logo design minimal
- Avoiding busy or commonly used stock photos
- Avoiding crazy animations (like parts of your site flying around as you scroll)
- Using easy-to-read fonts that are supported by most devices and browsers
2. Embracing white space.
White space is simply areas of your site with nothing.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be the color white, it’s more about the lack of elements.
A lot of business owners are scared of white space and think they have to add content to every part of their page.
But this goes back to what we talked about in the UX section…
Cramming stuff everywhere distracts visitors and gives them too many options to choose from.
Incorporating a healthy amount of white space in your design, though, can help visitors feel at ease.
3. Achieving balance.
All elements on your site—pictures, text, tables, forms, and more—have a certain amount of visual weight attached to them.
It’s not a quantifiable number—it’s one of those things you just know when you see it.
Well-balanced websites keep this in mind and strive for visual symmetry.
This post from JotForm talks about this more (and frankly, better than I can).
Part 4: SEO & Content
Everything we’ve worked on to this point helps you convert visitors to customers once they land on your site.
Now it’s time to focus on your site’s inbound marketing power.
Because, after all, your website is only effective if people actually visit it.
There are obviously tons of ways you can drive traffic to your site, but for this guide, we’re going to focus on organic traffic (that is, traffic that you don’t have to pay for).
Because once you set up and implement a proven organic traffic strategy, you’ll get qualified traffic EVERY MONTH without having to:
- Spend money on ads
- Actively promote your site or content
Will you need to continue working in order to grow and maintain your organic traffic? Absolutely.
But as you set up this organic traffic engine, you’ll generate qualified traffic and leads in the background for the foreseeable future while you continue working to get more.
So, whether you’re starting from ground zero, or SEO is already working great for you, here’s how you can audit your content & SEO to get more organic traffic:
Step 1: SEO-Driven Content Audit
A TON of businesses don’t have a strategy behind their content.
They write whatever comes to mind in a blog post, hit publish, then wonder why it gets no traffic after the first few days.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t going to get you organic traffic.
If you want to generate 1,000s of visitors every month from search engines you have to have an SEO-driven content strategy.
And a huge part of implementing that is optimizing and revamping content already on your blog.
(Click here to read my guide to implementing an SEO-driven content strategy with new content.)
Here’s the proven process I use with all of my clients:
1. Do In-Depth Keyword Research
Keywords are the foundation of every content campaign (and SEO campaign for that matter).
- How quickly you rank
- How much traffic you get
- And the quality of that traffic
They can literally make or break your content AND SEO efforts.
That’s why it’s so important to do it right.
I highly recommend checking out this guide to keyword research from Backlinko, and using tools like KWFinder and Ahrefs to get traffic and competition numbers for 1,000s of keywords in your niche (and shoulder niches) BEFORE creating any new content or doing anything with your old content.
Knowing the best keywords in your niche allows you to create content around keyword opportunities and rank much quicker than if you write content on whatever comes to your mind and find a keyword to “target” with it later.
Doing the latter strategy is like picking your keywords out of a hat—most of them will be way too competitive for your site to rank for within a reasonable amount of time.
2. Analyze Your Existing Content
Now, it’s time to find out:
- How many page views each blog post got in the last 28 days
- How many organic clicks each blog post got in the last 28 days
- How many referring domains and backlinks each blog post has
Finding Pageviews for the Last 28 Days
You’ve probably done this 1,000 times by now—it’s pretty straightforward.
Just head to Google Analytics then click “Behavior”, “Site Content”, and “All Pages”.
Scroll to the bottom of the report and change “Show Rows” to show all URLs on your site, then export as a .csv so you can import this into Google Sheets as a new sheet.
Finding Referring Domains, Backlinks, and Clicks from the Last 28 Days
To find link data, head to Search Console and click ‘Links” then “More” under External Links.
Export this report as a .csv and import it into Google Sheets as a new sheet.
Now, we’re also going to figure out how many organic clicks each URL has generated over the last 28 days.
To do this, click on the Performance Report in Google Search Console, then click “Pages”.
Export this table as a .csv and add it to your Google Sheet as a new sheet.
Getting All This Data on the Same Sheet
The easiest way to match all the traffic, click, and backlink data with your URLs (other than using a Vlookup) is sorting the column with your URLs by alphabetical order in each sheet.
Then, you can just copy/paste traffic and link data into your main sheet once you’ve added the appropriate columns.
3. Kill and Redirect Underperforming Posts with No Potential
Now comes the hard part…
After analyzing this data, it’s likely you’ll discover some of your content isn’t generating consistent traffic—it might even be as high as 80%.
That’s okay and very normal. Don’t let that discourage you.
But it is time to put your big kid pants on and kill any post that doesn’t generate consistent traffic.
I know you spent a ton of time writing those posts, but it must be done.
Because the more non-SEO-driven posts you have on your blog, the more you confuse Google.
Google assigns something called a crawl budget to your site—meaning it determines how often it will come back and visit your site to look for changes / updates / new content.
With a ton of non-SEO posts, you risk Google looking at all the posts that don’t have a chance to rank in place of those that do.
But it gets worse…
A ton of non-SEO-focused posts on your blog also dilutes your link juice.
Link juice is a concept that describes the flow of authority from links through your site. When someone links to you, your domain gets a certain amount of “boost” in authority and the specific page they linked to does as well.
With a bunch of weak blog posts, your link juice will essentially be taken from your key SEO posts (making them weaker).
So, keeping your site lean and mean reduces the distribution of link juice and helps you keep the most possible amount of authority with your key pages.
That’s why I recommend making these posts “drafts” in WordPress and redirecting them to:
- SEO assets on similar topics
- Your homepage (if you don’t have an SEO asset to redirect to)
I promise it’s worth it.
One of my clients deleted 100s of posts from his blog and saw a massive increase in traffic with this strategy:
4. Revamp Underperforming Posts with Untapped Potential
Now we’ll address posts on your blog that are generating at least a little bit of traffic.
Since they’re getting some traction, we definitely don’t want to delete them. But we do want to help them get more traffic.
So, we’re going to give them a facelift.
Here’s the exact process I use to revamp posts in this category to help clients drive 1000s of extra visitors to their site every month:
1. Do in-depth keyword research on the post’s specific topic.
We’ve already talked about the importance of doing TONS of keyword research before writing content.
This takes this idea a step further.
With these post revamps, you’re going to do in-depth keyword research on the post’s specific topic to figure out what the BEST keyword opportunity is (and if you’re already targeting it or not).
(Note: I define the best keyword opportunity for a topic as a keyword that can bring a medium-to-high amount of traffic to your site, is low competition, and brings in the types of visitors who are highly likely to turn into leads.)
So, for example, if I was writing a post on how to walk a dog, I’d use KWFinder and Long Tail Pro to figure out which keywords in that specific topic have the most traffic with the least amount of competition.
Few things in SEO can sabotage you quicker than picking a keyword that’s wayyyyy too competitive for your site.
That’s why this is so important.
2. Add new sections based on long-tail keywords.
As you do in-depth keyword research on your post’s specific topic, you’ll likely find a bunch of LSI (similar phrasings) and long-tail keywords (more specific keywords).
Take note of these.
Since the Google Hummingbird algorithm update in 2013, you can rank for 1000s of keywords with a single blog post by:
- Creating new sections and using those long-tail keywords as headings
- Including LSI keywords in the body of your content where possible (without hindering readability).
3. Make the content the best on the internet for its topic.
I talk a lot about making every post on your blog the best resource on the internet for your target keyword.
And that may seem like a way-too-lofty goal, but I promise you it isn’t.
The bar for great content has been raised to an unbelievably high level.
There are millions of blog posts published every day and most of the information circulating the internet now is simply rephrased and regurgitated versions of stuff we’ve heard thousands of times before.
People crave unique, exceptional content.
And I’ve found you can’t make this without having the goal of making every post the best on the internet for its topic.
I talk about how to actually execute this in my guide to writing a blog post and a guest post I wrote for Bloggers Ideas on the 5 elements of compelling content.
4. Republish the post, promote it, and build links to it.
Once you’ve revamped your post—adding incredible new content and reoptimizing it based on keyword research—simply publish and promote it as if it were a new post.
You don’t have to do anything here except going to WordPress, adding your changes, then altering the publication date.
Then, go through your content promotion strategy all over again (emailing it to your list, sharing it on Social, building links, influencer outreach, etc).
Step 2: A Standard SEO Audit
The last step with this website audit is making sure Google can find, understand, and rank your site.
Pretty important, right?
This might sound intimidating, but it’s actually fairly easy. It really just takes time.
There are 8 main things you need to check with your site to make sure it’s as SEO-friendly as possible:
1. Make sure your site loads as fast as possible.
Google makes it clear that page speed is a ranking factor, and it’s easy to see why.
The longer a website takes to load, the more visitors it will lose.
If your site takes more than 5-7 seconds to load, it will make Google look bad when people click on you in the search results (because they’re supposed to give searchers the best results as fast as possible), so they’ll bury you.
Here are a few high-impact things you can do right now to help your page speed.
1. Compress images.
Huge images take a long time to load, so a quick page speed win is compressing them (i.e. making the file sizes smaller).
The easiest way I’ve found to do this is through the Smush WordPress plugin.
2. Lazy load your images.
When all the images on your pages load immediately, it can slow down your page speed.
So, to prevent this, you can lazy load your images (i.e. make them load only when a visitor approaches them) with the Lazy Load WordPress plugin.
3. Leverage browser caching.
Leveraging browser caching means you’ve told your visitors’ browsers to download and “save” certain elements of your site.
So, when they come back to your site, those elements load faster because they’re in their browser’s cache.
If that sounds like a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo to you, all you need to know is that it makes your site faster for repeat visitors.
And you can implement this easily with a WordPress plugin like W3 Total Cache.
4. Use a CDN (Content Distribution Network).
A CDN is basically a network of servers that distributes website content to users depending on their geographic location (making websites load faster).
So, instead of you having a single server that all of your visitors have to interact with, you have a ton of different ones across the world, and your visitors will be able to access your site on the server closest to their location.
5. Improve your hosting.
Getting a better hosting package from a better hosting company can also help a ton here.
2. Make sure you’ve added custom SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions to key pages/post.
One of the most common CDNs is CloudFlare (and it’s free).
SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions are where you tell Google what each of your pages and blog posts are about.
Google then takes this text and displays it in search results (it’s important to note that sometimes Google decides to make its own SEO Title and Meta Description for you even if you gave it one).
You can edit these easily using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.
All you have to do is:
1. Head to a post/page in your WordPress dashboard.
2. Scroll to the bottom where the Yoast snippet preview is.
3. Click edit snippet and add your custom SEO Title and Meta Description.
Make sure you include your target keyword in both your SEO Title and Meta Description and write them with the goal of getting people to click on your post/page from the Google search results.
3. Add Alt Tags to your images.
Images have something similar to a Meta Description (where we tell Google what the image is about) called an Alt Tag.
You can easily add an Alt Tag to every image on your site by going to the image in your WordPress dashboard and entering a keyword-rich phrase describing the picture in the Alt Tag section.
4. Clean up any URL/Crawl errors.
Use a tool like Screaming Frog to crawl your site to check if you have any:
- 400x (broken link) errors
- 500x (server) errors
- Redirect chains (where there’s a redirect from A -> B -> C instead of A -> C)
- Insecure content (pages that are http instead of https)
Each of these confuse Google, waste crawl budget, and mess up the flow of authority across your site.
5. Make sure your page titles, headings, and URLs are keyword-driven.
On-Page SEO is a crucial component to ranking in Google.
Along with your SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions, each of your pages’ titles, headings, and URLs help Google figure out what your pages are about.
If Google doesn’t see your target keywords (or long-tail / LSI keywords) in these areas, you’re hurting your chances for ranking for them.
Luckily, this is one of those easy and effective SEO tactics.
(I wish there were more of these… :D)
Literally all you have to do is make sure your target keywords are in your title, headings, body content (a few times), and URL.
One thing to keep in mind: don’t sacrifice readability here. You never want to cram or stuff keywords into your pages and posts.
Do it naturally.
You really only need your main keyword in your title, 1 heading, and 1-2 times in the body, and you only need long-tail keywords in 1 heading and once in the body.
Google’s getting smarter and doesn’t need you to stuff your pages with keywords to figure out what they’re about.
6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
In May 2018, Google implemented the mobile first index. This means that the mobile version of your site is the one Google crawls and indexes first.
Your desktop site is still really important, but now your mobile site can have more impact on your rankings.
That’s why it’s so important to take your mobile site seriously.
If your site isn’t already mobile-friendly, you have a few options:
- Implement AMP
- Use a different theme that’s mobile responsive
- Create a mobile version of your site
7. Make sure you have an internal linking strategy.
External backlinks are obviously critical for ranking well in Google, but internal links are becoming more and more of a factor as well (these are links to other pages on your site).
Implementing an internal linking strategy on your site:
- Helps you pass authority to other pages on your site
- Helps Google find and understand other pages on your site
And you’re in direct control of these and can add them right now. How cool is that? 🙂
The main things to keep in mind when implementing them are:
- Adding internal links naturally to only pages relevant to the one you’re adding links to
- Using diverse anchor text that includes the target keyword, an LSI or long-tail keyword, or a phrase including one of the keywords you’re trying to rank the target page for.
8. XML sitemaps
XML sitemaps are essentially a roadmap to your site that you give Google.
It lists all of your pages, blog posts, images, and other key pieces of content you want Google to crawl and index.
If you have the Yoast WordPress plugin, you’ll have one of these automatically, but if not, you can generate one with a tool like Screaming Frog.
Regardless, once you have one uploaded to your site, you can submit it to Google by going to Google Search Console -> Sitemaps -> Submit sitemap.
9. Schema markup
Schema markup is micro-data you can add to your HTML that helps Google understand your pages and lets you have rich snippets (basically extras like review stars, product stock, etc.) attached to your search results.
Since a HUGE part of SEO is helping Google understand your site with every chance you get, I recommend implementing schema markup on every page where it makes sense.
If you already have Schema markup implemented on your site, you can check it with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
This Is a Ton of Work…But It’s Worth It
You know your site could be getting more traffic, more leads, and more conversions.
It just hasn’t reached its potential…YET.
This website audit checklist will help you make sure your website does reach its potential so you don’t have to keep leaving money on the table.
Yes, it’ll take a long time to implement it, but when done right, this website audit will generate returns for your business for years to come.
You’ll look back at this process and pat yourself on the back for taking the time to invest in making your site a money generating machine. 🙂