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The Ultimate Guide to Website Audits - How to Create, Present and Sell Website Audits
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 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 targeted traffic or leads. 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 offer SEO services,” 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, which is growing 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. Doing 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 like 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 this in just a few moments. Let’s start with some of the common challenges of traditional audits…
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The Frustrating Challenges of Traditional Audits
If you’ve offered web audits in the past, or if you’ve even 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 Website Audits Are Cumbersome
Up until recently, running website audits were cumbersome, time-consuming, costly, and a tedious process!
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. Does any of this sound familiar?
Which brings us to the next point…
Traditional Website 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 audits or delegated it to your team, have 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 did 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 a website audit report.
But that’s not all. Here’s another problem…
Traditional Website Audits Include Technical Mumbo Jumbo
Most auditing software creates reports that are of value and interest to web professionals and SEOs 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 Website 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 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.
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.
Let’s go back to the example of a website that’s having trouble 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 may be an easier sell and could deliver great results with a lower investment. Once your client puts your recommendations to work and sees good results, you build more trust, which results in a higher chance of you being able to convince them, of investing in a full redesign or one of your higher-end services.
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. In most cases, they know little to nothing 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 of focusing on the technical 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 a 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.
The End result? I created MyWebAudit.com.
While I originally developed this app for internal use, it became clear pretty fast that a lot of my friends and colleagues were really interested in using this too. Like us, they struggled with the alternatives. They wasted too much time and money with audits that didn’t deliver results. 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.
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
- 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
- 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…
Free Audit Templates To Get More Leads & Close More Deals
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Benefits of Website Audits
When you do your web audits the right way, 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…
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 be offering information such as ebooks and videos, which have to be generic in order to be used with the masses. This provides little to no value and requires 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 services to their specific needs. This demonstrates to your prospects and customers that you not only understand their needs but 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 your sales call, telling them why they should invest thousands of dollars in 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, you not only deliver value, you build trust. That’s because you identify your prospects’ problems and offer specific and actionable solutions. 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’ll be more likely to make a larger investment in your services.
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.
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.
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.
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 way to reconnect with past clients. This works exceptionally well if their current website support company has done sub-par 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 standards for websites.
Run Paid Ads for Free or Paid Website Audits
Run ads on platforms like 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
Use an opt-in form or create a dedicated landing page that offers your visitors a free or paid website audit. It’s important that you don’t just use a generic “Get a Free Website Audit” call to action button. Make sure the copy connects with your ideal customer’s expensive problem or desired outcome. Directing your traffic to an optimized landing page that focuses on the single objective of them requesting the audit will definitely increase your visitor to lead conversion rate. A few tips for your landing page:
- Keep the copy short and to the point.
- Make sure your phone number and form is above the fold (visible without scrolling).
- Add a relevant testimonial or two if possible.
- Show them what they can expect vs. telling them.
- Include an offer to cover the audit with them as part of a strategy session.
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 strategies to leverage website audits to generate leads and close more deals in your business. 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.
Closing on Prospect Calls
In order to turn these leads into customers, you need to provide value to them on your prospect call, not sell. 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. Business owners don’t want to hear that their website sucks! Lead with value, educate effectively, and build trust – the sale will come automatically.
Upsell and Cross-Sell Services to Existing Customers
With so much focus on acquiring new customers, we often tend to forget that it’s much easier to sell a new service to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new customer for that service. Offering a website audit is a great way to initiate a conversation with a client you have not spoken to in a while. Use it to sign them onto a monthly website care plan or cross-sell complementary services like SEO or Page Speed Optimization. This is a pretty easy sell for websites you’ve not proactively managed in the past year.
Website Care Plans / Ongoing Support Retainers
Customers love it when you’re proactive. You can provide recurring support for their websites via care plans. Use the website audit to show prospects and customers how you can resolve issues you’ve identified and proactively maintain their websites on an ongoing basis so they can get better results and focus on growing their business. Using website audits to sell website care plans works especially well for clients using CMS platforms like Joomla, WordPress, WooCommerce, etc. This is because they are open source and require continuous updates for bugs, security vulnerabilities, and enhanced functionality. Care plans are a win-win for both you and your client. It offers your client proactive ongoing support for their website to get better results while providing your business with a recurring revenue stream and the benefit of frequent touchpoints with your customer. This leads to a better customer relationship, boosts customer loyalty and more ongoing work. If you’re struggling with selling care plans? Learn about the three common reasons your customers may not be buying your care plans and how to overcome that here.
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, will improve their site to generate more leads or generate more sales.
I don’t think I’m 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, 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 on how to solve issues. You can also include an optional video website tear down to offer added value.
And that brings us to this last point…
Website Audits That Help You Get More Leads And Win Sales
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How to Easily Audit Your Clients Website
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 but 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 app provides easy-to-read results 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!
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