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How to review a website beyond SEO [10 Points Checklist]

The problem with most businesses is that they regard their website as a one-time activity.

When the new website project starts, everyone is pumped with excitement and out of the box ideas.

However, everybody moves on to different projects a few months after the shiny new website is live on the Internet.

The company website is treated like the one piece of cheese sitting in the refrigerator for months. 

The website is abandoned. The content on it is outdated and obsolete, with no real plans to update it with the latest features that would keep website visitors engaged with the company offerings.

This goes to the extent that even new products and services are not updated on the website, adding value to the business.

To avoid all your website building efforts going down the drain, you need to regularly review your website.  

A strong website review will inform you how to boost your website’s SEO rankings and provide you with answers to the most important questions.

Such as how to attract more organic traffic, how to make most of the social media, how to improve your conversion rate and more.

Before we get into how to review your website, let us first understand what is a website review and why do you need it?

What is a website review?

A website review is a technique to check the performance of your website for certain criteria. While it is similar to an SEO audit, a website review also includes additional elements, such as advanced SEO methods, social media and content marketing, optimum website functionality and conversions.

Why do you need a website review?

Most people completely forget to work on the website’s SEO and structure while developing it and only focus on the User Interface (UI) or commonly known as the look and feel of the website.

That’s one of the top reasons to review your website. Other reasons include: 

  • You want to re-evaluate your website to get a more targeted audience
  • Your website is driving traffic, but there are no conversions
  • If your website traffic suddenly dropped either due to a technical issue or a search engine penalty and you need to learn how to recover from it
  • When you need to drive more sales from your eCommerce site 
  • When your blogging attempts are intended to produce better outcomes  
  • When you need to improve your Google rankings 
  • When you are interested in learning about other outlets, you can improve your website views and visibility. 
  • When you have not already completed a website review and want to ensure that your website is streamlined

How to review a website checklist

You can review your website in two ways. 

Either you can employ experts to review for you and tell you exactly what you need to change, or you can use this detailed how to review a website checklist to do it yourself.

If you are choosing to do it yourself, read on as I list down everything you need to conduct a review of a website efficiently.  

  1. Website SEO Audit
  2. Navigation Structure and flow of the website
  3. Mobile SEO
  4. Website’s user experience 
  5. Conversion Optimization
  6. Content Audit 
  7. Check all Tracking Code
  8. Social Media
  9. Structure data markup 
  10. Backlinks Audit

Let us understand each point in detail

1. Website SEO Audit

If you have been following my blogs for a while, you already know that the subject of SEO is enormous. Search Engine Optimization is all about optimizing the website to enable the search engine crawlers to crawl, interpret, and index the website easily. If all goes when SEO helps you achieve a better ranking for your website.

Search engines use a great many variables in their algorithms to rank the websites. In most cases, upgrades in rankings are achieved after many small changes to optimize the company website for search engines. 

How to review your website for SEO? 

There are several SEO components you need to be aware of while reviewing website for SEO, including:

  • The Titles and Meta Descriptions on all pages of your website 
  • The structure and format of all the URLs  
  • The format of the content on your site, including H1, H2 and H3 tags
  • All the internal links connecting different website pages
  • The images, videos and any other multimedia elements used within the website content. Additionally, you will also need to check the ALT tags on all visual components that explain them to the search engine crawlers
  • The speed of the website. An ideal SEO friendly website should load in less than 3 seconds
  • Effective configuration of robots.txt to authorize 
  • search engine bots to access your content. 
  • The structure and format for the sitemap submitted to Google
  • The configuration of your website’s 404 page 
  • Finding and fixing all broken internal and external links 

Learn What is Technical SEO and How to Perform a Technical SEO Audit?

Want to learn more? Check out my SEO Audit Masterclass

2. Navigation Structure and flow of the website

Although it is a significant factor to accommodate search engines, you essentially want your site to provide visitors with an outstanding experience.

While creative websites can be popular with fun navigation, it can be dangerous to incorporate this. Creating an easy to use the website is a smarter move.

Users can connect in numerous ways with your website – some prefer to read every text fragment. At the same time, some barely pay attention and will focus only on the mages and headlines.

There’s no best way to build a site, but it’s essential to have the flexibility for any user form as far as you can. 

If your new navigation has space for misinterpretation or misunderstanding, rest assured that people will be slipping through the cracks.

They will struggle to get what they want from your website and go away.

Thus, ensure that your website menu is simple with all page details right there and an ideal website navigation menu that will follow a simple structure like ‘Category > Sub category > product’.

For a simple informational site, you can define a structure that goes to 2 or 3 levels such as Home > Feature > Detailed Features.

Moreover, while reviewing your website, you need to make sure that your website’s content urges the user’s journey forward and follows the most fundamental web design rule, not to make them think.

3. Mobile SEO

The use of smartphones has become very prominent in the mobile-now generation.

To the extent that many specialists have projected for years that mobile searches will surpass desktop searches.

Thus, it’s no longer an option but a necessity to build a mobile-friendly website.

This is not just because of the number of people accessing the Internet through their mobile devices but also because it is an essential criterion by Google to rank websites on search engines.  

Factors for reviewing the Mobile SEO for your website

  • Test your website’s mobile-friendliness using this free tool by Google. You need to check each and every page on the website.  
  • Examine if you should create a native app for your business and add it to the app stores. This can be costly, but the longer-term rise in traffic can warrant the original investment. 
  • Check your mobile website’s speed to ensure it is loaded as quickly as possible. Google’s Mobile-First Index uses the mobile-friendliness of a website as a major ranking factor.    
  • Check that you comply with the guidelines if you use ads on your mobile sites, particularly AdSense. 
  • If you use AdSense, start using responsive ads, allowing you to improve your AdSense revenue significantly.
  • If you are using any popup on your website, make it a point to use effective popups that don’t occupy the entire screen.

4. Website’s user experience

The aim of user experience (UX) is to understand users, what they want and need, what is important to them, their capabilities and also their limits.

The business objectives and goals are also taken into account. UX best practices encourage enhanced experiences for the website visitor, which would persuade them to convert into paying customers.

A bad user experience can be the reason for the downfall of your business.  

Here is a checklist to ensure that the User Experience on your website is up to the mark

  • Check that you are utilizing enough white space on the website.
  • Ensure that your website’s page speed is as per industry standards.
  • Make sure that all the call-to-actions are engaging, inviting and attractive.
  • Ensure all hyperlinks are distinguishable.
  • Make sure that the main bullet points are segmented correctly.
  • Use visually attractive visual content that doesn’t impact the website’s speed.
  • Include engaging and well-designed headlines.
  • Maintain consistent pages on the website.
  • Check your 301 redirects and 404 error page.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive to all mobile devices.

5. Conversion Optimization

Every website is designed with one goal in mind to improve the business value.

Whether it is by increasing revenue through advertisements, promoting goods and services, creating an email list, or enhancing brand awareness.

So, while conducting a website review, it is essential to evaluate its success against those goals.

To ensure that you use incoming traffic to maximize the conversion rate, i.e., visitors’ actions can help accomplish your business objectives.

Here’s a checklist to improve the conversion rate

  • Track your website’s bounce rate, which indicates the number of users who exit the website without viewing a second page. You can get this data from Google Analytics. You need the bounce rate to be as low as possible because the more time a customer spends on your site, the higher is the probability of them converting into paying customers.
  • Check how many users converted and their buying journey using the ‘Goals’ function of Google Analytics. 
  • Get acquainted with the most significant Google Analytics reports understanding the user behavior of your website visitors.   
  • Set event monitoring to watch which buttons are clicked and modify the layout of the web pages accordingly. 
  • Find and strive to boost the pages with a higher exit rate.

6. Content Audit

There is no denying that you cannot do much without content when it comes to marketing your business in today’s very cut-throat market.

Content marketing is a great way for you to distinguish your business from others. This will help you get more traffic and paying customers both from search engines and social media. 

Below is the checklist to audit the content while reviewing your website

  • Ensure that your website content is original, up-to-date and adds value to the reader. 
  • You should also make sure that your content is not plagiarized in any form
  • Use canonical tags to help you to avoid duplicate content problems within your own website. 
  • See to it that you are frequently publishing new content on your site either in the form of blogs or product updates. 
  • Make sure that for content marketing, you devote sufficient budget as well as time because even though the cost of effective content marketing is pretty high, the returns are worth it. 
  • Track user-generated content and check that it conforms to the comment policies 
  • Track the ranking and the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of your published content 
  • If you have a lot of published content, make sure that it is structured into sections properly so that your users can find it easily
  • Make sure your pages have internal links so that consumers and search engines can easily explore the contents of your website 

7. Check all Tracking Code

Tags, trackers, beacons, and pixels are all tiny snippets of code applied to websites and serve a variety of different purposes such as monitoring, serving advertisements, customization of the website.

All this with the ability to calculate, reach, and convert visitors to customers.

These tracking tags can provide incredible insight into user behavior and help boost sales in areas that you would not otherwise be able to do.

You can use tools such as Google tag manager to use and manage all tracking codes in place including the Facebook Pixel tracking code.

Here is a checklist to review all tracking codes on your website:   

  • Check that the tracking code is placed on all pages  
  • Ensure that all web pages have only one tracking code put on them
  • See if all pages contain the correct tracking code 
  • The format of the inserted tracking code must be accurate 
  • Ensure that you are using the latest version of the Tracking Code
  • See if internal traffic and bots are getting filtered  
  • Ensure that you can monitor all cross domains
  • Use plugins such as Facebook Pixel helper, Tag Assistant by Google to verify the codes on your website

8. Social Media

Even with all the excitement over social media worldwide, there are still companies that do not use social media marketing effectively, which results in their inability to drive more traffic to the business. 

Let me clear a misunderstanding about social media and SEO before going into the points you need to review social media during the review of any website.

Both these tools are important and need to be used together if you want your online marketing campaigns to produce the best possible outcomes. 

With that out of the way, here’s the checklist for social media review: 

  • Ensure that you have dedicated pages on Facebook, Pinterest and Linkedin  
  • Ensure that you have Twitter and Instagram accounts 
  • Make sure that your social media links are there and working either on the header or the footer of your website.
  • Check the share button on your blog and other important pages  
  • Check and improve the frequency of publishing engaging content on your social media 
  • Check the hashtags you use while posting images on your social media  
  • Ensure that you have registered your business on Google My Business  
  • Check if you are using the open graph tags on Facebook 
  • Make use of social media ads to increase social media followers
  • To promote your business’ video content, you should add your videos on your website or embedding it would be even better for improving UX
  • Ensure that your social media accounts are search engine friendly 

9. Structure data markup

Out of all elements, you must review the structured data markup as they are necessary for search engine bots to understand what your page is about.

A structured data markup is nothing more than some predefined HTML tags or schemas that help the search engines interpret the meaning of the data on your website. 

Google uses the structured data markup’s contents to display it in the knowledge graph, answer boxes, informative posts, rich snippets, SEO and mobile search results.

Structured Data Markups is surely something not to be forgotten. It is used for stronger SEO and further exposure in Search results. The FAQ schema generator on my website is a good example for the same.

You should verify if you are using all structured data markups appropriately for your website during your website review process. Here you can find the entire list of schemas offered by Google and tools to test if they are integrated correctly.

10. Backlinks Audit

Eliminating all the jargon, backlinks are nothing but anchors that connect other websites to your domain.

Backlinks are significant for SEO because Search engines like Google or Bing consider backlinks for domain authority and use it as one ranking factor.

The higher the number of backlinks from relevant and reputable domains, the more organic traffic search engines will direct towards your website. 

During your website review process, you need to use tools such as Ahref or SEMrush to conduct an audit for all the backlinks on your website. 

Checklist for backlinks audit

  • Check if the link is broken and replace it with the correct link if that is the case.
  • Ensure that the link is from a trusted and authoritative website.
  • Check if the backlink is from websites that are from a similar industry or share similar website topics.
  • Ensure that the link is a ‘do follow’ link. No-Follow links are also fine, but Do-follow links offer more authority.
  • Check if the links are from unique domains.
  • Ensure that links have a keyword as anchor text
  • Ensure that the link is not coming from an adult or any other illegal sites.

Learn more about what are backlinks in SEO? And how to get more backlinks?

Conclusion

That’s all, folks. 

We have come to the end of my in-depth website review checklist.

Don’t worry; if certain aspects are complicated or difficult to comprehend, it is common to have doubts and questions as you try to do something for the first time.

The goal of this blog was to get you in the correct direction and highlight the areas that you need to pay attention to for your website review.

Following all the pointers will give you positive results and enable you to change and amend elements that are not working for your business. 

I hope you found it to be helpful and valuable to read.

Let me know in the comments if I missed out on any important pointers on how to review a website checklist.



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