The Ultimate Guide to Website Audits - How to Create, Present and Sell Website Audits

Clifford Almeida Clifford Almeida

This is the most comprehensive guide you will find on leveraging audits in your web agency or digital marketing company to generate more leads and close more deals in your business.

The best part?

This includes actionable strategies that our agency and 100’s of others are currently using to grow their businesses.

In short: if you want to learn how to generate more leads and close more of the deals in your pipeline, you’ll love this guide.

Table of Contents

Let’s get started!

Website audits are a great way to show your prospects or customers the value of your services. Most business owners aren’t focused on improving their website or even know the importance it plays in growing their business.

For instance, a business owner may want more leads or better ranking. They may not know what SEO is, or why it is important and how it can help them improve their online brand presence to bring them more business. So if your conversation begins with we do SEO and your domain authority is X you will lose them.

So instead of telling prospects you offer SEO services focus on their desired end result getting more traffic so they can grow their business. Show them you cared enough to do your homework by evaluating their site and provide them with an audit report that specifies the areas of improvement or opportunities you’ve identified. Make sure these are not generic but specific to them. You want to accompany the report with a consulting or strategy session to explain how these areas, if addressed, can help their site rank higher, get more traffic and ultimately grow their business. Dong this helps you build authority and establish your expertise. More about this further down in this guide.

Point is, stop with the technical jargon. Remember, a prospect is more likely to value your services when what you deliver is personalized and presented in a manner that they can understand. And that’s exactly what a good web audit can do!

But maybe you’ve tried offering web audits in the past, and really didn’t feel it did a whole lot for your business. Chances are, that’s because you were using “traditional” audits – and you were then exposed to all the frustrations and challenges that go along with running and presenting those types of audits.

I want you to know that things have changed in a big way! In this guide I will not only cover best practices for audits but will show you how we now run  website audits faster and easier than ever before. 

We’ll get into all of these issues in just a few moments. Let’s start with some of the common challenges of traditional audits…

The Frustrating Challenges of Traditional Audits

If you’ve offered web audits in the past, or if you’ve even done so much as researched whether it was a viable strategy for your business, then you may be acquainted with the challenges of traditional audits. Let me explain…

Traditional Audits Are Cumbersome

Up until recently,  running website audits was cumbersome, time consuming, costly and a tedious process!

Traditional Audits Are Cumbersome

Traditional Audits Take Time

Since we needed to use multiple tools to create audits, these audits took time. First you had to run the various tools. Next, you had to extract the information needed from each of the tools. And finally, since the tools all had different ways of formatting the information, you had to reformat everything to make it presentable.

You can imagine how long these sorts of audits used to take. We’d easily spend 3-4+ hours running tools, compiling the information, and formatting it into a professional presentation. 

Which brings us to the next point…

Traditional Audits Take Money

For starters, you needed to pay for multiple tools in order to provide a comprehensive audit. But what ended up being even more expensive was the hours our team members had put into creating the audits. I am sure those of you who have done manual indepth audits or delegated it to your team, you’ve experienced how laborious and costly it ends up being.  Sure we got paid well if the audits were part of a project discovery or consultation session deliverable. What really sucked was when we spent hours creating these audits as part of our sales prep and it not lead to us closing the deal.  Does this sound familiar? Keep reading till the end to learn how we now do sales prep in 5-10 minutes and wow our prospects with audit reports.

But that’s not all. Here’s another problem…

Traditional Audits Include Technical Mumbo Jumbo

Most auditing software create reports that are of value and interest to web professionals and SEO’s like yourself. But if you present the information as-is to your client, you’re going to be overwhelming them with jargon that they’re not going to understand.

So, how do you solve that problem? You got it – you spend even more time and money rewriting the reports so that they convey the benefits and value to your clients.

But you know what? It doesn’t have to be that way…

What I Discovered About Creating Effective Audits

We’ve been using web audits quite extensively since 2014 in both our lead generation and sales processes, so in that time we’ve learned a lot about how to make them as effective as possible. Here’s what I discovered…

Measure What Matters

Creating a good web audit is not a “one-size-fits-all” sort of deal. You need to analyze what is important to each particular prospect or client based on their goals, and then measure the items related to those factors.

For example, let’s suppose your client is getting a lot of high-quality traffic, but that traffic isn’t converting. Your website audit shouldn’t focus on ways they can improve their traffic. Instead, it should focus on their actual problem: converting that targeted traffic into leads or customers.

Over the years we have realized that for a website to be successful it needs to address:

  • User Experience: How professional and user friendly is the site?
  • Conversion Optimization: How well is the site optimized to convert website visitors into customers?
  • Performance & Security: How fast and secure is the site?
  • SEO / Online Visibility: How well is the site optimized to rank well on search engines like Google?

All of our audits include these categories and often times others like a Technical WordPress audit. You should be adding areas specific to your core services as well. Common ones we have seen are Social Media, Usability & Accessibility, Funnels and Landing Pages. Each of these categories can be their own service offering or be part of a comprehensive website or digital marketing service.

Measure What Matters

Which brings us to the next point…

Prioritize the Information

There is plenty of information you can share with your prospects or clients via your web audit. Even if you focus on what matters, you may still have plenty of recommendations to help the business owners achieve their goals. What you need to do is prioritize your recommendations with a focus on providing fast results and quick wins.

For example, let’s go back to the example of a website that’s having troubles converting traffic to leads or sales. Some web developers might jump to the recommendation of completely overhauling the site. Sure, that may be one of the recommendations in your audit. However, you can also offer smaller steps with quick results, like tweaking a headline or changing a call to action. Running an audit may help you identify that the site is not responsive but is getting a lot of traffic from mobile devices. Making the site responsive maybe an easier sell and could deliver great results with a lower investment. Once your client puts your recommendations to work and sees good results, trust grows which will result in a higher chance of your being able to convince them of investing in a full redesign or one of your highest end services.

Prioritize the Information You Present

Present the Information in a Useful, Valuable Way

Remember, your client doesn’t care one iota about all the technical mumbo jumbo in a traditional web audit. They have no idea about things like backlinks, minifying scripts or compressing images. You might as well be speaking Klingon if you share the industry jargon.

That’s why you need to present information in a way that’s meaningful to your client. Instead focusing on the tech details, you need to focus on the benefits, end results, and value the client will receive from following your recommendations.

So, at this point those of you who have or still leverage website audits in your business can probably relate to my challenges and frustrations.  I tried tool after tool and nothing even came close to meeting my needs. I knew there had to be better way!

The existing tools didn’t even come close to meeting my needs…

I bet they don’t meet yours either! That’s when I realized the only way forward was to create our own website auditing tool. Here’s what I had in mind as I developed it:

  • The system needed to automatically measure a variety of factors important to the success of a business that operated online, but it also needed to offer users the ability to manually assess certain points like user experience and conversion optimization points that required manual review.
  • The system needed to present the information in a useful way so that rewriting the results wasn’t necessary, thus saving a bunch of time and money.
  • The tool needed to compile the information quickly, and format it in a way that was professional, looked beautiful and was easy to understand.

End result?  I created MyWebAudit.com.

While I originally developed this tool for internal use, it became clear pretty fast that a lot of my friends and colleagues were really interested in using this tool too. Like us they’d struggled with the alternatives. They wasted too much time and money with ineffective audits. They wanted to create fast and useful audits like mine… and that’s when I decided to let other professionals start using this tool too.

So, now you may have some questions, such as what does this audit measure? And how can I use this audit to generate more leads and close more sales?

Let me walk you through it…

Here’s What Our Audits Measure

First and foremost, you want to bring value to the prospect or your customer. As mentioned, you should be focused on testing what is most important to your customer, not miscellaneous items that bring little to no value. Here are some items you can test using MyWebAudit.com that will bring value to your customer.

We Measure What Matters: Automatically Check 40+ Critical Factors

Web Design/ User experience

  • Professional website design
  • Relevant headlines and page copy
  • Mobile friendly
  • Professional digital branding
  • User friendly navigation
  • Relevant use of images and video

Conversion Optimization

  • Noticeable phone number
  • Primary call to action (CTA)
  • Lead capture forms
  • Relevant trust factors
  • Secondary calls to action
  • Unique selling proposition (USP)

Performance and Security

  • Page speed
  • Mobile friendliness
  • Site security (HTTPS)
  • Browser caching and compression

SEO/ Online Visibility

  • Keyword ranking on page 1
  • Accessible to search engines
  • Keyword used in page title
  • Brand in page title
  • Optimal page title length
  • Meta title and descriptions

As you can see, there are a lot of items you can test. As mentioned before, My Web Audit lets you choose which of these items to test for any given audit. You can test them all, or you can handpick the ones you want to test based on your client’s needs and goals.

End result? You’ve got a useful audit that provides a lot of value to your clients. Which brings us to the next point…

Benefits of Audits

When you do your web audits the right way (as I’ve outlined above), you’re going to quickly see just how beneficial they can be to your business. Let me share with you the sort of benefits you can expect to see when you start delivering high-value audits using My Web Audit…

Deliver Value and WOW them!

Personalizes Your Services to Their Needs

Website audits allow you to connect with your prospects by personalizing your services to their specific website and business needs vs. speaking in general terms of how you can help.

A whole lot of your competitors are offering “cookie cutter” solutions that may or may not apply. As part of their sales process they may even be offering information such as ebooks and videos, which have to be generic in order to be used with the masses. This not only of little to no value but it require the business owners to figure how to put what they just consumed into the context of their needs. When you deliver a good website audit discussing exactly what challenges and opportunities they need to address you seamlessly personalize your service offerings to their specific needs. This demonstrates to your prospects and customers that you not only understand their needs but you care enough to do your homework.

Deliver Tremendous Value Up Front

Website audits enable you to deliver tremendous value to your prospect or customers with little to no commitment on their part. All they have to do is give you some of their time in order to be educated on how to grow their business successfully online.

You see, if you’re not offering this sort of value, then you end up spending  a majority of the 30 to 60 minutes they give your telling them why they should invest thousands of dollars to  your services . That may sound a little crazy but sadly this is the approach a lot of agencies take. The ones that close more deals are the ones that deliver tremendous value upfront. 

When you do a website audit and present it will you not only deliver value, you build trust. That’s because you identify your prospects’ problems and offer  specific and actionable solutions to solve those problems. So instead of pitching, you’re offering value and solutions. You can bet this will make you stand out from your competitors and more importantly close more deals.

Get Your Foot In The Door

Offering a well-done audit is a great way for you to get your foot in the door by offering the website audit as a lead magnet or a low-cost service, you can establish a relationship with them at a lower investment level. Often times businesses have been burned before and are cautious about investing thousands of dollars on what they may perceive as false promises. With a website audit you can see what exactly they need, prioritize what can move the needle in their business in the shortest period of time and execute that. Once they see results or have a perceived value in your services they they’ll be much more likely to make a larger commitment with your business.

Build Trust

Simply put, people like to do business with those they know, like and trust. And a website audit is a great way to start building this sort of trusted relationship. If you’re delivering value rather than selling people on why they should hire you, you can bet they’re going to trust you more than the next guy pitching their services. 

Establish Authority

You automatically start establishing yourself as the authority and expert as you show them exactly how you’re going to help improve their website and grow their business with specifics. Meanwhile, your competitors haven’t identified the problems, and they certainly haven’t offered any actionable solutions. Your prospect is going to see you as the clear authority, as well as someone who cares about their business.

Generate More Leads On Your Site

I am guessing most of you reading this have some sort of lead magnet on your website to generate leads from users who are not ready for a consultation. Did you know that a well positioned website audit offer will have a much higher conversion rate as a lead magnet on your site than the standard PDF? Why? Because an audit provides them with relevant information specific to their website vs. the typical How To PDF guide. We have seen conversions as high as 4X that of our PDF lead magnets on our agency site.

Website audit landing page template

Remember, prospects are happy to pay for services that solve their expensive or painful problems. Showing them exactly what those problems are and how they can capitalize on them to grow their business not only makes your services relevant to them, it also makes your services valuable.

Now that you see the benefits of a good web audit, let’s turn our attention to specific ways you can use web audits to generate leads for your business…

7 Simple Ways You Can Use Website Audits to Generate Leads in Your Web Agency

There are several ways our agency and others have generated leads with website audits.  Here are six popular ones you can easily implement into your business today.

Simple Ways You Can Use Website Audits to Generate Leads in Your Web Agency

Email Past Clients

Email clients you have worked with in the past to say hi and offer them a high value website audit of what you could help them improve and grow their business. Leading with value by identifying areas of opportunity your services can help them with is a great conversation starter with past clients. This works exceptionally well if their current website support company has done subpar work for them. This approach works just as well for current clients who have not had a website refresh in over a year. The important thing is that you position the recommended changes as being proactive. Discuss the recommended changes as staying ahead or at the very least keeping up with Google and other industry best practices for websites.

Email template offering an audit to past clients

 

Run Paid Ads for Free or Paid Website Audits

Run paid ads on Google, Bing, Facebook or LinkedIn that lead to a page for your prospects to sign up for a paid or free website audit. Make sure to include a consultation session (call or in person) to review it vs. emailing the report over.

Website Audit Landing Page Offer

Offer a free or paid website audit on your site or on a dedicated landing page. Don’t just have a call to action button offering an audit build out a well optimized landing page for your website offer that addresses the primary pain points and desired outcomes of your ideal customer. The landing page will help increase your visitor to lead conversion rate because it will the design and copy of the page will focus on a the single objective of them requesting the audit.

An Example of an audit landing page

Use LinkedIn & Facebook Groups

Connect with groups on LinkedIn and FB that have your ideal audience and offer an audit.

Offer Website Audits at Networking Events

Present it as a special offer during your local networking events.Add the free audit offer to your email signature.

Cold Emails / Calls Offering Website Audits (Educate vs. Sell)

Use an outbound outreach campaign using email or phone calls. Make sure you lead with value vs. trying to sell a service. Initiate a conversation and find commonalities vs. pitching your services.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are just a few ideas of ways to use your audit to generate leads. The idea is to make use of all your communication platforms and advertising venues to offer your free or low-cost web audits.

Expert Tip: Make sure to couple your free or low-cost audit with a consultation session so that you can review it with your prospect in person or on a call.

4 Ways You Can Use Website Audits to Close More Business in Your Web Agency

Generating leads is great, but even more important is closing them into paid customers. Here are 3 ways our agency and others use website audits to generate more revenue.

Ways You Can Use Website Audits to Close More Business in Your Web Agency

Closing on Prospect Calls

In order to turn these leads into business, you need to provide value to those potential customers on your prospect call, not sell. You can stand out from the competition by covering the key points from your audit report to your customers during a meeting. Show them the value in your services by presenting very specific solutions to their website problems. In fact we recommend you position them as opportunities for growth. No business owner wants to hear they are missing out on revn Lead with value, educate effectively and build trust and the sale will come automatically.

Upsell and Cross Sell Services to Existing Customers

With our focus on acquiring new customers we often tend to forget that it’s much easier to sell a service to an existing customer we already have a relationship with. Offering a website audit is a great way to initiate a conversation with a client you have not spoken to in a while or to offer complimentary services like SEO or Page Speed Optimization for a site you have not worked on since you launched it.

Website Care Plans / Ongoing Support Retainers

Customers love it when you’re proactive. You can provide recurring support for their websites via care plans. Leverage the website audit to show prospects and customers how you can resolve their issues and maintain their websites on an ongoing basis. This works especially well for clients using frameworks like Joomla, WordPress, WooCommerce, etc. because they are all open source and continuously updated. Care plans are beneficial for your customers because they have ongoing support for their website and is beneficial for you because you have recurring business as well as more frequent touch points which help your customer relationship and can boost customer loyalty.

Win Back Past Clients

Have you been thinking about how to connect with a past client but did not know how exactly to reach out? Drop them a quick note telling them about how you enjoyed working with them and that you would like to work with them again. Impressing them by offering them a high value audit that clearly offers them actionable ways they can improve their site to generate more leads or generate more sales.

I think I’m not leaping to conclusions when I say that you can really see the value of web audits that are done right. And that brings us to the next point, which is how to effectively present your audit to your prospects and clients…

How to Present Your Web Audit

Most audits are very in-depth and written for a web professional or digital marketer. The key is to present your web audit with business owners or their marketing teams in mind. Define technical terms they may not be familiar with and tell them what these audit points mean to them. Don’t overload your audience with too much information. Only present the information that matters to your audience in the form of a PowerPoint or another simplified format.

When you present your audit points, you need to show your client:

  • What you are analyzing and why that matters to them.
  • The results of the test.
  • What you can do to resolve a failed audit point.
  • How the customer can learn more about it.

In your audit presentation deliverables, you should include a CEO-style presentation (including only high-level issues that matter most to your client) and a PDF report with in-depth information and how to solve issues. You can also include an optional video website tear down to bring added value.

And that brings us to this last point…

How to Easily Audit Websites for Your Clients

Before you spend time and money on another website audit tool, check out My Web Audit. This is not just a tool, it is a system that not only creates audits you’ll love with actionable results your customers will understand. You can quickly show your prospects what’s wrong with their website and position yourself as the expert help they need to fix it.

My Web Audit combines over 40+ manual and automated audit points that identify the major design, SEO, security and performance issues that cost businesses money. The tool includes built-in email automation features, to make your follow-up a breeze. Automating this area of your business can help you focus more of your time on building top-notch sites for your customers. This tool provides easy-to-read results scores to show your customer’s website health. You can display full audit results with the click of a button. It identifies top priorities, giving you an instant to-do list for your customer’s website.

The best part about this tool is that you can try it out absolutely free. Get hands-on experience with a tool that can get you more meetings and help you close more deals. Start your free trial today!

Clifford Almeida

About Clifford Almeida

I’m a serial entrepreneur, agency owner, change-maker and globe trotter. I created My Web Audit to help web professionals generate more leads and close more deals faster.