It’s the cornerstone of your business—your “first impression” in a sense. It’s what will seal the deal for prospects that are in the learning and research phase, and if crafted correctly, it will keep existing customers coming back.
Your website is the most essential part of your B2B business.
And, in our experience, a lot of companies throw a site together when they first start a business—and call it a day.
If you’re one of those, you’re probably losing conversions (AKA money).
A lot of companies think that simply adding contact information and basics about the business is enough. But when it comes to scaling up, having an optimized website that’s performing will not only work for your customers, it’ll do a lot of the work for you.
That’s why we’ve come up with the ultimate website audit checklist. We’re going to break it all down for you so that you know exactly what you need to rank high on Google searches.
Will your website check all the boxes?
Let’s get started.
1. Start with the Basics
When we say basics, we mean making sure your website is performing for you via Google Analytics.
You should have a Google Analytics account that you check regularly. Your Google Analytics reports will provide patterns and trends on your organic search traffic, including which particular pages are performing well, and which are missing the mark. So to check the first box on our list, you need to:
You already do that? Good.
If not, set one up ASAP.
2. Make Sure There’s Only One Version of You.
Well, obviously, you haven’t been cloned. But when it comes to your website, that’s a whole other story. Many small businesses make the mistake of having multiple versions of their site that are indexed by Google.
What do we mean by that? Multiple URLs that may look different at the start, like:
Sure, your main web address could be the same across the board, but these different versions will mean your site lacks consistency—and that can affect you when it comes to tracking down who’s visiting.
There’s a simple way to test this and make sure the site goes to the same address: Type the versions above into your search bar. If your website is set up correctly, they should redirect to the same version of your website. It’s that easy.
If it doesn’t redirect? Go to your website’s settings and set up 301 redirects for all versions to automatically become the same URL. Remember: consistency is ideal here.
3. Update Your Content.
While you’re conducting a website audit, you’ll want to consider removing low-performing content so that Google will only read and rank the pages that provide the highest value to your potential customers.
But what does low-quality B2B content mean, exactly? Landing pages that have less than 100 words, category or tag pages, and broken links. Believe it or not, they hurt your overall search ranking—and that can become a big problem when you’re trying to scale up and find new customers.
Sometimes the easy solution isn’t to take down the page—but to update it. Easy fixes like updating broken links (no 404 error pages for you!) or removing them entirely can make a huge difference.
If you’re green to all of this, tools like Google Search Console can help you figure out which issues are the most pressing and what needs to be fixed.
When it comes to content, it’s not just about updating. You also have to ask yourself: Is the content on my site meeting the intended goals? Categorizing your content by type will help you stay organized, and it will help ensure that your website is organized as well. Be sure to collect performance metrics for each piece of content, so you can analyze it and see how well it’s doing. From there, you’ll be able to enhance your strategy.
4. Go for Speed!
Think about your website like you’re the one visiting and potentially looking to purchase a service or product. Whenever you visit consumer sites, what stops you from clicking “buy”? A lot of people will say slow website load times are what keep them from closing a sale.
You should be using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to test your page’s speed. Follow their recommendations when it comes to optimizing load times and reducing bounce rates, and you’ll improve your ranking instantly.
5. Examine your Navigation.
Websites are like architecture; there are clear hierarchies that make it easy for users to navigate. Check out how your website’s information is organized through the eyes of a potential customer.
Are the pages easily accessible? Is your website intuitive? Is your buyer’s journey path easy to follow? The answers to these questions will help you figure out which pages to optimize.
Quick tip: Add navigational links to your footer or make your header/top navigation sticky. This will make your site all the more user-friendly.
6. Make It Mobile.
This may seem obvious, but when a company’s website isn’t mobile-optimized, it makes it that much harder for someone to stick around—and that much easier for them to walk away to one of your competitors.
As you might expect, Google has a solution for this. You can run a Mobile-Friendly Test to figure out if your site is optimized and to identify issues that need fixing.
7. Strategize With SEO.
When you’re optimizing your website, you have to meet search engine needs and prioritize your customer’s experience. Sure, B2B SEO is very important—crucial, even—when it comes to ranking on Google, but you should also be providing value to your customers. Answer their questions. Address their pain points. Establish a community.
In order to improve your SEO, you’ll need to review backend elements like your meta descriptions, page titles, keyword usage, backlinks, and so on. It’s a lot. But from a content audit perspective, you’ll want your content to give your target audience what they want, and that’s high-quality, engaging content.
This is where keyword strategy comes in.
Are you looking to attract a local audience? A national one? Of course, it all depends on your marketing goals, but you can use this audit checklist as an opportunity to check your keywords and improve your rankings.
8. Look at Your Biggest Competitors.
Competitors: They can be a thorn in your side or your best learning opportunity—it’s all a matter of perspective. When it comes to auditing your website, take a look at the competition to see what they’re doing right—and what they’re doing wrong.
Is it hard to navigate their site? Do their pages take a long time to load? Are they ranked among the top three search results for your industry? These are some things you want to keep in mind when you’re working on your own site. Sure, everyone aims to be the best in their industry. But what you put on your site—and how it performs and engages with an audience—are what will truly make you stand out.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten all of the logistics out of the way, let’s talk design.
9. Follow a Style Guide.
When it comes to design, Adobe is essentially the bible for many designers. Their style guide adherence is really helpful if you’re just getting started.
A UI style guide is a single source for design documentation, which provides guidelines for the look, feel, and tone of your website. This not only helps with brand consistency and continuity but also controls a key part of the experience users will have when visiting your website.
Following a style guide will ensure that the user experience doesn’t change from page to page. Remember, consistency is key.
Not sure your style guide stacks up? Here are a few visual consistency checks you can add to your guide.
- Ensure your logo remains consistent across all of your pages.
- Make sure your background images share a similar style, so the transition between your pages and sections isn’t jarring.
- Ensure your icons share a similar style, and if they don’t, try replacing them with alternatives from a single family, such as Font Awesome Icons (which can be integrated with Divi).
10. Don’t forget to Social-ize.
Sure, we’re working on optimizing your website, but it turns out using social to drive traffic to your website is one important form of optimization.
Your social posts should regularly include links to your website, but your website should also include links to your social accounts. This prompts website visitors to connect with you and follow you for updates.
11. Look Through a Different Lens—Er, Browser.
Browsers: They’re all different, and no one is using the same one. Can your website be seen across Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Firefox with no errors?
The sad truth: what works for the goose doesn’t always work for the gander when it comes to browsers. The best way to guarantee your prospects and customers will be able to visit your site is to make sure you’re optimized for all browsers.
12. Are you on Google Maps?
Your business is based somewhere, right? Make sure the address is linked to Google Maps, and make sure the mobile version of the website dials a phone number when you click on the contact number. For example, if your company’s number is 559-553-5000, then that number should be displayed, and if someone taps on that number when viewing it via their phone—the phone should automatically start dialing. It may sound silly, but automating the dialing is just another step of optimization to make yourself easier to reach.
13. Can They Contact You?
Contact forms take out the guesswork for potential customers. They should include empty fields for the website visitor to fill in, such as name, phone number, email, and comments.
Your website should not only have a contact page, but it should also navigate to a thank you page any time a contact form is completed. You need it to go to a thank you page both because it’s the polite thing to do (hello, it’s called manners) and because that thank you page can help you track where your leads are coming from.
If you ever decide to run Google Ads, then you can add a code to the thank you page that will help you track the number of leads that came from Google Ads.
And don’t forget to add a Captcha! Adding one to your form will help Google prevent spam from filling out your contact form.
So, how did you do? Did your website pass the audit checklist?
Keep in mind that conducting a website audit will take time—and every company has room for improvement. Accept your website flaws and figure out how to fix them—that’s how you’ll rank on Google.
We know this is a lot to take in, so we’re happy to help. Reach out.