Website Audit Checklist: How to Improve Your Website in 2024

Performing regular website audits is a proactive way of protecting one of your greatest marketing investments. Even if you’re more of the set-it-and-forget-it type, performing a website self-audit annually is suggested to be at the top of your to-do list.

With this annual website audit checklist, you can quickly identify what’s working well and what may need some improvement.

As the business owner, you’ll run through this list regardless of whether or not you’ll be making the fixes yourselves. It can help you better understand how your website is serving you and your business in its current state. Then, by the end of this article, you’ll have a list of tasks to delegate to your website support team.

Psst… Prefer a more hands-off approach? Explore my hourly support services to receive a done-for-you website audit covering all of the topics listed below and receive a comprehensive task list for implementation.

For ease of digestion and review, I’ve broken this article into five parts. Inside you’ll find:

  1. User Experience: the ease with how visitors navigate your website
  2. Visual Branding and Design: the visual design of your website and brand
  3. Website Copy: the messaging and words on your website
  4. Google Analytics and SEO: knowing who and how people arrive at your website
  5. Website Tech: the general maintenance health of your website

While there is a lot of information in this article, my intention isn’t to overwhelm but rather to provide a clear and concrete guide while reviewing your website. 

First, click the button above to download the website audit checklist PDF to keep track of your progress and tasks to delegate to your team. Then, grab a cup of coffee, a pen, and paper, and let’s dive in. You’ve got this!

annual-website-audit

Part  I: The Website User Experience

While there are a lot of factors to consider when performing your annual website review, the user experience could likely be the most important. The user experience refers to your website visitors’ overall experience when visiting and navigating your website. 

A website’s user experience should always be simple, clear, and straightforward, guiding them to take the action you want them to take. So prior to evaluating your website’s user experience make sure you’re clear on the action you want your visitors to take. A few examples could be to book a discovery call, complete a contact form, call your office, download an investment guide, etc.

When looking at your website, ask yourself these questions as they relate to the user experience:

Website Speed and Performance

  • Does your website load quickly?
  • How long does it take to navigate from one page to the next?
  • What if anything needs to change to improve this?
  • Tip: To test this, I’d recommend going to your own website and clicking around. Does it load promptly? If not, perhaps try testing it on Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see what improvements could be made.

Website Mobile-Responsiveness

  • Does your website load quickly?
  • How long does it take to navigate from one page to the next?
  • What if anything needs to change to improve this?
  • Tip: To test this, I’d recommend going to your own website and clicking around. Does it load promptly? If not, perhaps try testing it on Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see what improvements could be made.

Important Caveat! Google’s tools are great resources but not always accurate. Remember you want to build and design your website for your user first, and Google second. Take Google’s results lightly and always consider the experience first and foremost.

Website Goals + Calls to Action

  • What is the primary goal of your website? Do your calls to action (buttons and links) support this goal?
  • Are your top navigation menu links clear and accessible? Do they support the goal above?
  • Are your bottom footer menu links clear and accessible? Do they also support your website goal?
  • Is your contact information and form easily accessible? Use this opportunity to test your contact form and verify the notification email addresses.
  • What happens after someone completes your contact form, requests a discovery call, or downloads your investment guide? Do you lay clear expectations on what happens next?
visual-branding-and-website-design-audit

Part II: Visual Branding and Design

Visual branding and website design can be just as important as the user experience. In fact, your visual branding and design should support and improve the user experience as mentioned above. 

An effective visual brand and website design should be polished, professional, and cohesive. And, in my personal opinion, timeless. 

In this next section, ask yourself the following questions as they relate to your visual branding and website design:

Logo Design

  • Is your logo clear and visible?
  • Is your logo sized properly? Not too small and not too big?
  • Does your logo steal the show or complement the rest of your visual branding?
  • Remember, your logo is not your brand. A strong logo is clean, simple and a small piece of your overall visual identity.

Color Palette

  • Are the colors on your website evoking the correct emotions? 
  • Are they easy on the eyes and using appropriate contrast?
  • Are they consistent and cohesive?

Font Pairings

  • Are the fonts you’re using clear and legible? 
  • Are you using too many or too few variations? 
  • Are you consistent with the sizing from one page to the next?

Photography

  • Are all of your website photos clear and crisp? 
  • Do you have adequate brand photography?
  • Do you need to add or remove any photos from your portfolio?
  • If you’re using stock photos, are they on brand and consistent in style, color, and sizing?

Cohesiveness

  • Overall, does your visual brand and website design invite a good flow?
  • Does the design accurately represent your brand and the level of service you provide?
  • Aside from your website, do all of your other marketing materials (both print and digital) feel cohesive with your visual branding and website design?
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Part III: Website Copy

Brand messaging and website copy can be considered the foundation of your website. I require all website copy to be completed before working on any new brand and website design project. Professional copywriting enables you to have perfectly crafted words to attract your dream clients and projects, establish your value and expertise, craft your user experience, and communicate with potential clients 24/7. 

When you have a strong foundation set by a professional website copywriter, it won’t need a full overhaul each year. But it’s a good idea to at least scan through your copy during an annual website audit.

Use the following questions to audit your website copy:

Website Pages

  • Is your copy still speaking to your target audience? 
  • Is it clear (on every page) who you work with and the services you provide? 
  • Does your website copy lead your website visitors to take action with clear calls to action?
  • Do you have any new services that need to be added? Have you stopped offering any services that need to be removed?

Portfolio Page(s)

  • Have you updated your featured projects in the last year?
  • Do you need to add any recent projects?
  • Are there any old/outdated projects you should remove?
  • If you have a single gallery portfolio, are you ready to expand into featured projects?

Blog

  • Are all of your blog post topics still relevant to your target audience and the clients you’re trying to attract? 
  • Are there any new topics you need to add to round out your blog? 
  • Are there any posts that you need to update?
  • Tip! Keep an eye on which posts are getting the most traffic and see how you can expand and leverage that topic.

Subscribe Forms

  • Are your email subscribe forms easily accessible?
  • Are the calls to action clear? 
  • Does everything work seamlessly?
  • Do you have a clear thank you page and next steps page after they subscribe?
  • Do you have a dedicated landing page for each opt-in?

Lead Magnets and Brand Collateral

  • Do you have a lead magnet that’s actively growing your email list? 
  • Who is subscribing to your list and downloading your lead magnet? Are these contacts your ideal clients? If not, get some fresh lead magnet ideas for interior designers here.
  • Take this time to also review your other marketing materials. Is your investment guide, welcome packet, etc. all on brand and cohesive with your website?
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Part IV: Google Analytics and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Knowing key details about your website traffic, visitor activity, search queries, and more is important for every website owner. I love using Ubersuggest to keep track of my analytics because it streamlines and simplifies this data for me in one location.

For your annual website audit, I’d recommend looking at the big picture to evaluate how your website is performing and if you’re ranking for the appropriate keywords. This is also a great time to see if your social media marketing efforts are paying off and make adjustments as needed.

Below I mention a few reports you can run within Ubersuggest, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console. Explore which ones work for you and forget the rest. I always refer to my stats as good measurements but not the end-all-be-all.

With that in mind, here are a few key factors to consider:

Search Queries and Rank Tracking

  • Inside your Ubersuggest account, click Rank Tracking to see which keywords you rank for. Review this report to see how you’re performing and if any changes need to be made.
  • Google Search Console’s Performance report is also a great report to see your top queries (ie terms people are searching for that get them to your website). 
  • How can you leverage the queries you’re already ranking for? If you’re ranking for queries you don’t want to be ranking for, revisit those pages/posts and adjust accordingly.

SEO Website Audit

  • Inside your Ubersuggest account, click Site Audit and get real-time reports on your On-Page SEO Score, organic monthly traffic, organic keywords, and backlinks.
  • Explore this page for any pressing SEO issues that need to be addressed.
  • You’ll also find reports on how fast your website pages load, how long visitors wait while interacting with your pages, and the overall stability.

Website Traffic Overview

  • Inside your Ubersuggest account, click Traffic Estimation > Top Pages by Traffic to identify which pages get the most traffic.
  • With these in mind, how can you leverage these methods with your marketing efforts?

Website Demographics

  • Inside Google Analytics visit Demographics to review the demographics of your traffic from the past year.
  • What location is your traffic coming from? Is this in alignment with the areas you serve?
  • How can you leverage what’s already working well? 

General SEO

  • Does every page have a strategic and unique focus keyphrase? Your assigned keyword is what you want that page or post to rank for. Learn how to choose the right focus keyword.
  • Does every page have a clear meta description? Your meta descriptions are crucial for optimizing your on-page SEO. Learn how to create a strong meta description. 
  • Tip! This is something your copywriter should provide you alongside your website copy. There are even some who will do audits and provide strategies around how to optimize your already existing content.
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Part V: Website Tech and Maintenance

We’re on to the last and final part of this website audit walkthrough. Your website tech and maintenance cover everything behind the scenes that make your website function, feel, and look the way it does. 

I recommend daily, weekly, and monthly website maintenance tasks, you can refer to the following list to evaluate your website maintenance routine and make improvements where necessary:

Maintenance Routine

  • Who is responsible for your website maintenance? 
  • Even if you have a team handling this, are you receiving updates and reports of what’s being completed and when?
  • What happens if your website crashes? Do you have a plan in place?

Website Backups

  • Are you running regular backups of your website? Double-check with your tech team that this is happening or set up a system to do it yourself.
  • My team uses BlogVault to run daily backups for all of our maintenance clients on a Website Care Plan.

Website Security

  • Do you have a system in place to monitor your website security including malware scans? My team uses BlogVault for this, too.
  • Do you know who has access to your website? Check the users listed under your WordPress dashboard. Are all of these users active members of your team? If not, remove the ones that should no longer have access. 
  • Are you using a secure password for your login? Make sure it’s secure and not the same as any other accounts. Use a tool like LastPass to keep credentials secure and unique.

Plugins & Software

  • Are all of your plugins up to date? 
  • Do you need to renew any of your licenses or subscriptions to your pro plugins? 
  • Are there any inactive plugins that need to be deleted? Are there any plugins you’re not using that should be deactivated and deleted?
  • Remember to review the questions above for your theme(s) and make sure you’re on the latest version of WordPress.

By performing an annual website audit you’re ensuring your website is fully optimized for your business as it expands and evolves.

When working on your website audit, my best advice is to take it a section at a time, making a list of to-dos for you and your team. Then, when ready delegate the tasks to your website care team. 

Having a strong foundation and timeless design, your website can last you for years to come.

If you got to the end of this list and decided now is the time for a new website for your business, I’d love to chat to see how I could support you. Click here to get in touch.

As a seasoned brand and website designer, Katie O'Brien strives to bring simplicity to business growth and peace of mind to daily life. Specializing in timeless brands and impactful websites, she works closely with interior designers elevating their digital homes with poise and personality.

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