Look, you can take it from me; performing regular website audits is important, and dare I say necessary, to ensure proper website health and maintenance. Having the means to streamline this process allows the team at Connective to keep the stellar websites we push out staying their best, even as they age.

But what is all included when it comes to performing a website audit? And what is necessary to consider when trying to audit your website?

That’s what I hope to answer with this article today. In addition to discussing a 12-step website audit checklist that I have created based on personal experience working with the Connective team, I will also provide you with a comprehensive guide that you can utilize on your own website.

The Different Aspects of a Website Audit

If you want to go straight to the checklist, simply scroll past this section and it will be right below. However, I do think that understanding the integral aspects of a website audit is deeply helpful for performing a website audit and understanding what you’re doing!

In my personal opinion, there are five integral aspects to any website audit. Each of these five parts serves as a center of sorts for every single action you may take while performing a website audit. No matter what you do, each step of the website audit will be focused on improving one of these things in some regard. Let’s take a brief look at what each of these means and how it relates to the health of your website.


If you have any familiarity with digital marketing, you know what SEO, or search engine optimization is. SEO refers to the practice of increasing organic traffic to your website by strategically implementing practices that will boost your rankings in search engines. More often than not, this is centered around the quality of your copy, how your KPIs (key performance indicators) are performing, and the distribution of images and other elements across your site.

When considering SEO for a website audit, you should be paying attention to the quality of your home page and pieces of content on your website. Ensuring they have high-quality copy and are also properly formatted can do wonders for your website.

Technical SEO

Different from plain SEO, but also still technically a part of it, technical SEO concerns the technical aspects of your website, such as the underlying website structure, how search engines view your website, and page loading speed. Google views all of these underlying aspects as important factors in ranking your website on search pages, so these must also be considered when building and auditing your website.


disabled signage on the road

I’m sure you know what accessibility is, and it’s highly important on websites too. Every kind of person needs to be able to access and utilize your website, or else you could potentially be missing out on potential customers, or worse.

Accessibility is not only a moral obligation, but also a legal one. Many governments have enacted laws and regulations that require websites to meet certain standards and criteria for accessibility, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These standards and laws aim to ensure that websites are accessible to people with various disabilities, such as visual, auditory, cognitive, or motor impairments.

When considering accessibility in relation to your website audit, it is most helpful to focus on minor things such as font sizes, including alt texts on any image you add to the site, and more. However, you should also be aware of the government standards and requirements that apply to your website, and make sure that you comply with them. Failing to do so could result in legal consequences, as well as damage your reputation and credibility.


UX/UI stands for User Experience + User Interface, and this is important because whether or not your UX/UI is effective will determine how long a user wants to stay on your site. If your website is not easy to navigate, a user will likely get frustrated and leave as soon as possible, whereas if getting from place to place on your website is a breeze, users will be inclined to stay longer.

Most often where people fail in this sense is with respect to navigation on the website and cluttered visuals. For example, if it’s hard to navigate between important pages, such as different products on a store, users will be inclined to leave. Similarly, if your visuals clash, such as if you use multiple, highly contrasting colors and fonts, users will have no reason to stay.


CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is the practice of ensuring each and every visitor to your site becomes a customer. This can be accomplished with effective CTAs (call to action), landing pages (such as those from PPC advertisements) and enticing copy and visuals.

Depending on the type of site you’re running/auditing, your specific practices in improving your CRO will vary. In general, though, reaffirming the quality of the discussed CRO elements above is a good first step. More specifics on how to improve your CRO can be found… Right below this paragraph, actually.

The Checklist

checklist on a clipboard

And here we are! Our website audit checklist.

1. Define Your Goals

Before going into your website audit, understand exactly what it is you’re looking to improve by performing the audit. Are you concerned more about technical SEO because you noticed users would leave your website as quickly as they arrived, or are you looking to improve your website’s accessibility due to complaints you have received from past users?

By defining your goals and understanding what it is specifically you want to improve on, you can focus your efforts on those specific areas so your website can get the best results from the time you put into your audit.

2. Ensure Mobile Responsiveness

Responsiveness is arguably the most important factor to consider in the current landscape of the internet that we live in. Responsiveness refers to the ability of one’s website to change, or respond to the device a user visits the website from. For instance, if a user visits your website on a mobile device, will the website display properly, or will its formatting break?

If the answer to this question is no, your first priority should be to transfer your website to something that is responsive, as Google considers this quality very highly when ranking websites on its SERPs. After all, a majority of user traffic nowadays does stem from mobile traffic.

3. Check Google Search Console for General Website Health

google icon in a phone

Google Search Console is a free tool that every website owner should use to gain valuable insights and data about how their website is performing on Google. You can use Google Search Console to check various aspects of your website health, such as indexing status, crawl errors, mobile usability, site speed, and more.

One of the most important features of Google Search Console is the ability to see which pages of your website are indexed by Google and which ones are not. To access this information, go to the leftmost tab and click on “Coverage”. Here, you can see the total number of valid and excluded pages on your site, as well as the reasons why they are excluded. Some pages may be intentionally excluded, such as those that have the “noindex” tag or are blocked by robots.txt. However, you may also find some pages that are excluded due to errors, redirects, or other issues that need to be fixed. If you find any important pages that are not indexed by Google, you can request Google to index them by clicking on the “Inspect URL” button and then on the “Request indexing” option.

4. Remove Broken Links and Fix General Indexing Issues

Google Search Console can assist you in finding broken links and unindexed pages on your site. Some of these unindexed pages may actually be quite important to your website’s health, and you would have no way of knowing that it is unindexed without checking here.

To do this, simply check on the leftmost tab and find the option that says “Indexing”, and then click on “Pages”.

From here, it’s easy to see exactly why your pages are being unindexed. Some of them may be intentionally unindexed, such as pages that have the “noindex” tag, but you may find that other, more important pages on your site may have been left unindexed for a while. If you find any of those pages, be sure to submit them to GSC for indexing.

5. Analyze Website KPIs in Google Search Analytics

Google Analytics is probably the most important tool for any website owner looking to improve their website, simply because it provides so many different important pieces of information you’d struggle to find anywhere else.

Of course, utilizing Google Analytics requires a degree of familiarity with the platform, which you may not have, especially if you were like me and got to watch the change from GA4 to Universal Analytics. However, here are some steps to get you started:

  • Set up Google Analytics on your website if you haven’t already. You can follow this guide to learn how to install the tracking code on your site.
  • Familiarize yourself with key metrics such as bounce rate, session duration, and user behavior flow. These metrics can help you understand how users interact with your site, what pages they visit, how long they stay, and where they exit. You can find these metrics in the Behavior and Audience sections of Google Analytics.
  • Create custom reports to track specific KPIs relevant to your goals. For example, if you want to measure conversions, you can set up goals and track how many users complete a desired action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. You can also segment your data by different dimensions, such as device, source, or location, to gain more insights into your audience.

6. Improve Website Loading Speeds

loading progress in cubes

Your website’s ability to load quickly plays a significant impact on your website’s overall performance in search engines. This is true for two reasons. Firstly, Google simply includes page speed as an important ranking factor in its algorithm. What’s more is that poor page speed may increase your bounce rate, or the percentage of visitors to your site that leave quickly from your site without engaging on it for too long.

If your site loads poorly, it is likely that users will simply get impatient and leave after getting annoyed at the speeds. Finally, aside from all of these more tangible side effects of poor loading speeds, if your website isn’t performing up to par and loads slowly, that simply just isn’t a good look.

Websites nowadays must perform to certain standards to be considered competitive in any sense, and slow loading speeds are indicative of only negative things. Users who see your website load slowly will undoubtedly think to themselves “Wow, this website is old!”, and being lost in the tide of time of the last thing you want to do while on the internet especially as it continues to grow and evolve day-by-day.

Checking your website’s speed is as simple as going to Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Simply type in the link to your website, and Google will do the rest. The website will show you your page loading speeds on both mobile and desktop and provide insights into performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO.

7. Get Rid of Poor Backlinks

This is a step in the process that can only be done if you have access to Ahrefs, a highly useful website analysis tool that can show you many things you likely didn’t even know were possible to track prior. Specifically, we’re going to be looking at backlinks for this section.

Backlinks are essentially website redirects from one website to another, but in this case, it is from one other website to your own. A lot of how Google determines a website’s authority is through its backlinks; if your website had a backlink from a high-authority website, like the Washington Post, that would be great for your website!

On the other hand, if your website has a lot of backlinks from a website known for housing blackhat practices (unapproved strategies for ranking your website higher), then that could potentially be damaging your website’s performance without you even knowing a thing! In this case, you’d want to disavow those backlinks, and this is how you can do it.

In your website on Ahrefs, you should see a section labeled as referring domains. Click on that.

From here, it’s very easy to see the types of websites that are linking to your own. Most important here would be looking at the “Domain Rating”. Obviously, those on the higher end of the scale are much more favorable than those on the lower end. However, while scrolling through all websites, if you happen to run into or find a website that looks shady and is linking to your website, you should disavow it. You can find a guide on how to do this provided by Google itself here.

8. Consider UX-Design Issues that May be Prevalent on your Site

Going back to the issue of bounce rate, another reason why users may be leaving your site too quickly could be that your website’s UX design is of poor quality. UX design refers to any design choices made on your site that go into how a user interacts with your website, as is why it is called “User Experience Design”.

It is important to understand what your potential users will need when visiting your site, and not considering this enough is a good way to set yourself up for failure without even realizing it. Here are a few things to consider regarding UX design that you may not have thought about before:

  • On-site Navigation: Ideally, users should be able to easily find exactly what they’re looking for, or at the very least, navigate to somewhere where it is easier to find what they’re looking for on any page in the site. If you lack a home bar or a section of your website that offers quick access to high-priority sections of the site, that should be the first problem you should fix. Other issues to look out for in this regard include a lack of clear and obvious navigation tools, like backlinks.
  • Poor Information Layouts: Information on your site should be easy to digest and take in, and should never be overwhelming to look at from a visual sense. Pieces of information should easily flow from one block to another without any confusion. Additionally, when you include CTAs on your site, it should be clear what a user should do when faced with the CTA (download, sign up, etc.).
  • Improving Accessibility: your website should be able to be used by any type of person, regardless of their abilities and background. Some of the best practices to include on your website include adding alt text to every image, ensuring proper color contrast between the text and background colors, and further emphasizing ease of navigation on-site.

9. Improve Your Website’s Architecture

designer thinking of sitemap

Website architecture is essentially the underlying structure of your entire website. Understanding how each page links itself to another will not only assist you in optimizing the navigation on your site (improving the User Experience), but it will also help search engines understand your site better as well.

Search engines tend to favor websites that have clear, logical structures that can be understood at a glance. Typically, the structures that are best are ones that are best characterized by being “flat”. This means that, in general, reaching any site on the page doesn’t take too many clicks since each unique section has been segmented clearly. Here’s what you could imagine it would look like:

10. Perform Competitor Analysis

After having done all of these more minor, easy-to-pinpoint things, it’s time to look more actionable items that will persist in the long term. Firstly, competitor analysis. Although I can recommend many things for you to do, there’s only one group of people that will actually truly understand the nuances of your company’s niche: yourself, and your competitors. As such, why not try to pull some insights from them?

Visiting your competitors’ sites and attempting to analyze what they’re doing, and succeeding with is one of the best ways to diagnose what could be going wrong with your site if it isn’t performing up to expectations.

For instance, if you think your website structure isn’t up to par, take some notes on how you competitors are structuring their sites. Looking for some inspiration in creating effective CTA’s? Compile what your competitors are doing across multiple sites and then try to create one of your own based on their strategies! After all, all of these details are out in the open for a reason, why not make use of them?

11. Improve Content Quality

The content on your website is everything nowadays, especially if you’re looking to achieve any semblance of organic growth online. This often takes the form of content marketing, but also the copywriting on your homepage and other main pages itself is also highly important.

Here are some tips to improve content quality:

  • Conduct a content audit to identify outdated or underperforming content. A content audit is a systematic analysis of your website’s content to evaluate its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. You can use tools like Screaming Frog, Google Analytics, and SEMrush to collect data on your content’s performance, such as traffic, bounce rate, conversions, and ranking.
  • Use keyword research to inform your content strategy and ensure your content aligns with user intent. Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing the words and phrases that your target audience uses to search for information online. By understanding the intent behind these queries, you can create content that matches their needs and expectations. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz, and Ahrefs to conduct keyword research and find relevant topics and keywords for your content.
  • Incorporate multimedia elements such as images, videos, and infographics to enhance engagement. Multimedia elements can help you break up large blocks of text, illustrate your points, and appeal to different learning styles. They can also increase the dwell time and shareability of your content. However, make sure that your multimedia elements are relevant, high-quality, and optimized for speed and SEO.
  • Regularly update and refresh your content to keep it relevant and valuable. Content quality is not a one-time thing. You need to constantly monitor and update your content to reflect the latest trends, data, and best practices. This can help you improve your ranking, authority, and credibility. You can use tools like Google Search Console, BuzzSumo, and HubSpot to identify content that needs updating and refreshing.
  • Write clear, concise, and compelling headlines and introductions. Your headline and introduction are the first things that your readers see, and they can make or break your content. You need to write headlines and introductions that capture attention, communicate value, and entice action. You can use tools like CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, Sharethrough Headline Analyzer, and Hemingway App to improve your headlines and introductions.
  • Use a consistent tone and voice throughout your content. Your tone and voice are the expressions of your brand personality and values. They can help you connect with your audience, establish trust, and differentiate yourself from your competitors. You need to use a tone and voice that are appropriate for your niche, audience, and goals. You can use tools like Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and VoiceBuddy to check and improve your tone and voice.

12. Build a Habit of Internal Linking

To be 100% honest with you, internal linking is so important we already have a whole other article about it on our website as-is. I’ll give you the short version, though.

Internal linking refers to the practice of implementing redirects within your site to other sections for your site. For example, the link right above this paragraph is an internal link! Getting into the habit of internal linking is important for two primary reasons.

One: it increases the numbers for a very important metric in rankings (time spent on site). If users start clicking on your internal links while on the site, they’ll 100% spend more time reading all of the useful information your blog likely has from your content writing endeavors.

Secondly: if these readers continue exploring your site (and your content is actually high-quality things people would want to read), you may increase the chances of getting a conversion! The longer someone spends on your site, the higher chance that they’ll be interested in what you’re proposing and providing.

Website Audit Tools

different software apps

Our website and this article aren’t the only resources you can use to perform a website audit, of course. Here are some tools that can assist you in your audit process, along with some brief descriptions of their features and benefits:

  • Google Search Console: This is a free tool from Google that allows you to monitor and troubleshoot your website’s performance in search results. You can use it to check your website’s health, identify and fix indexing issues, submit sitemaps, analyze your organic traffic, and more.
  • Google Analytics: This is another free tool from Google that helps you measure and analyze your website’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and user behavior. You can use it to track metrics such as sessions, bounce rate, conversions, revenue, and more. You can also segment your audience, set up goals, and create custom reports and dashboards.
  • Ahrefs: This is a paid tool that offers a comprehensive suite of features for SEO and content marketing. You can use it to check your website’s backlink profile, keyword rankings, organic traffic, and competitor analysis. You can also use it to conduct keyword research, content gap analysis, site audits, and more.
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider: This is a desktop tool that crawls your website and identifies technical SEO issues such as broken links, duplicate content, missing meta tags, and more. You can use it to audit and optimize your website’s structure, navigation, and on-page elements.
  • PageSpeed Insights: This is a web-based tool that analyzes and improves your website’s loading speeds. It measures how fast your website loads on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions on how to optimize your page speed, such as reducing image size, minifying CSS and JavaScript, and using browser caching.
  • WAVE Web Accessibility Tool: This is a web-based tool that assesses and improves your website’s accessibility for users with disabilities. It evaluates your website’s compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and provides feedback on how to fix accessibility issues, such as adding alt text, using headings, and improving contrast.
  • Hotjar: This is a paid tool that helps you understand user behavior on your website through heatmaps and session recordings. You can use it to visualize how users interact with your website, such as where they click, scroll, and move their mouse. You can also use it to collect user feedback through surveys and polls.
  • Moz: This is a paid tool that provides various features for SEO and content marketing. You can use it to check your website’s domain authority, keyword rankings, organic traffic, and competitor analysis. You can also use it to conduct keyword research, content audits, link building, and more.
  • SEMrush: This is a paid tool that offers a wide range of features for SEO, content marketing, social media, and PPC. You can use it to check your website’s SEO score, keyword rankings, organic traffic, and competitor analysis. You can also use it to conduct keyword research, content analysis, site audits, and more.
  • HubSpot: This is a paid tool that helps you create and manage your inbound marketing campaigns. You can use it to create and optimize your website’s landing pages, blog posts, email newsletters, and more. You can also use it to track your website’s performance, generate leads, and nurture your customers.

Why Perform a Website Audit?

Finally, to close this article out, I want to just expand a little more into why you should perform a website audit, especially if you’re still on the fence about committing time to this endeavor.

Performing a Pseudo-Redesign

As someone who participates in the website redesign process quite often, I think it’s important to note that all of the things you would be checking during a website audit are the things that website designers check themselves during a website redesign.

As such, by performing a website audit yourself, you can essentially get everything you’d want out of a website redesign (the improvement in performance to your website) without needing to spend any of the money! Of course, it’ll take some time to learn how to do all of this yourself, but I’d say it’s well worth your time.

Optimize Website Performance

One of the greatest problems website owners face is that even if their website is pulling visitors, it may not actually be turning those visitors into customers. This can be one of the most frustrating things as a website owner, as you’re supposedly doing everything right, but you’re not reaping any of the benefits. Website audits are designed to help with exactly that issue.

Not only can you delve deep into the inner workings of your website and figure out exactly what the problem you’re facing is, you can also learn so much more about your website and make it so each and every element on your website is doing its job: drawing in visitors and turning them into customers.

Identify Unseen Issues Early

If you’ve read this article from start to finish, you likely have already noticed a pattern about some of the elements discussed in this article: you can really only see them using a tool or with the assistance of a second party.

You can imagine many a website owner slaving away at their computers attempting to figure out what’s wrong with their site but being none the wiser that the answer to their problem can only be found with another platform. By simply just being here on this article right now, you are actively avoiding this fate. Good job!

There’s only one thing left for you to do now, and I think you know what it is.

To Wrap It All Up…

folding a carpet

There you go, that’s the end of the article! After reading all of this, I hope it is much clearer now than before what it takes to actually perform a website audit on your own. Ultimately, whatever you decide to do with performing a website audit, I assure you that all of the effort required will be worth it in the end. The rewards of having a properly optimized and functioning website cannot be understated. Thank you so much for reading, have a great rest of your day, and good luck with your future website improvement endeavors!


1. Why is a website audit important?

A website audit helps identify areas where your website can be improved, ensuring it remains competitive and effective in drawing in and converting visitors.

2. What are the main aspects of a website audit?

The main aspects include SEO, technical SEO, accessibility, UX/UI, and CRO. Each aspect focuses on different elements crucial to your website’s health and performance.

3. How often should I perform a website audit?

Ideally, a website audit should be performed at least twice a year to ensure your website remains up-to-date and optimized.

4. What tools can help with a website audit?

Tools such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog SEO Spider, PageSpeed Insights, WAVE Web Accessibility Tool, and Hotjar can be highly beneficial.

5. Can I perform a website audit myself, or should I hire a professional?

While it is possible to perform a website audit yourself using available tools and guides, hiring a professional can provide deeper insights and more comprehensive analysis, especially if you’re not familiar with technical aspects.

Ty Hanson

Marketing Coordinator

Ty is the Marketing Coordinator here at Connective. He handles quality assurance in our content creation department, on top of other tasks related to SEO, marketing, and copywriting. If you ever want to play board games or rock climb with someone, he’d love to join.

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