Audit Your Own Company Website

By | December 19, 2023
manual audit

Having a website is an integral part of any business’s online presence. However, simply having one isn’t enough; ensuring it’s optimized, error-free, and user-friendly is crucial. Conducting a manual audit of your website allows you to identify areas for improvement and enhance its overall performance without relying on automated tools. Many tech-capable website owners can manually perform a DIY, basic hands-on evaluation by themselves. While it might require some learning and attention to detail, many aspects of a manual audit can be understood and executed by website owners, especially with available resources and guides.

Why a Website Audit Matters

A manual audit of your website is a holistic analysis of your site’s performance, content, SEO, security, and more. It’s crucial for:

  1. Exceptional User Experience: Pinpointing and resolving issues that affect user satisfaction, encouraging longer stays and repeat visits, thus enhancing Google or Bing’s opinion of your website’s value.
  2. Elevated Search Engine Visibility: Optimizing for search engines to boost visibility and reach a wider audience, which can increase revenue or lead quality.
  3. Increased Conversion Rates: Crafting a user experience that guides visitors seamlessly towards taking desired actions, such as purchases or inquiries. This leads directly or indirectly to more company revenue.

Step-by-Step Manual Website Audit Guide

1. Page Loading Speed

  • Rapid page loading directly impacts user experience and search engine rankings. Page loading speed refers to how quickly a web page displays its content. It’s crucial because users expect fast-loading sites and tend to leave if pages take too long to load. Slow speeds can impact user experience, bounce rates, and even rankings in top search engine results.
  • Manual Audit Checks
    • 1.1 Analyze Page Loading Speed: Use GTMetrix or Chrome:F12 to determine what’s slowing site down.
    • 1.2 Check Image Sizes and Formats: Images can be resized.
    • 1.3 Check CSS and Javascript file for bloat: These files can be minified.
    • 1.4 Evaluate Third-Party Plugins and Scripts: Sometimes these add-ons just use too many resources.

2. Mobile Responsiveness

  • Ensuring your site is flawless across various devices fosters inclusivity and accommodates diverse user preferences. Mobile responsiveness ensures a website adapts and looks good on various devices (smartphones, tablets). With a growing number of users accessing the Internet through mobile devices, a mobile-friendly site enhances user experience, engagement, and SEO ranking. We know that Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites.
  • Manual Audit checks
    • 2.1 Get feedback from Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page (
    • 2.2 Manually resize your browser window to simulate different device sizes (desktop, tablet, smartphone) and observe how the site adapts.
    • 2.3 Use mobile emulators like Apple’s iOS Simulator or Android Virtual Device Manager ( to test on simulated mobile devices.
    • 2.4 Get friends, colleagues, or customers to access your site on different devices and provide feedback on its responsiveness and usability.

3. SEO Elements

  • Optimizing meta data and URLs directly affects how search engines understand and rank your content. Search Engine Optimization involves fine-tuning a website to rank higher in search engine results. Elements like meta titles, descriptions, and URL structures are essential as they help search engines understand and index website content, thereby improving visibility to potential visitors.
  • Manual Audit Checks
    • 3.1 View Page Source to display the HTML code of the webpage.
    • 3.2 Check for Relevant Meta Titles and Descriptions – <title> tags and <meta name=”description” content=”…”> tags should accurately describe the page’s content
    • 3.3 Each meta title and description should be unique across different pages of the website, accurately reflecting the content of each page. Meta tags should contain relevant keywords that users might search for, but should not be excessive or unrelated.

4. Broken Links and Errors

  • Broken links or errors impede user navigation and harm search engine rankings. Broken links or error pages can frustrate users, impacting trust in the website’s reliability. Additionally, search engines actively penalize sites with numerous broken links, affecting SEO rankings negatively.
  • Manual Audit Checks
    • 4.1 Manually Browse the Website. Visit each page of the website and click on all internal and external links to verify their functionality. Check Menu Items and Footer Links; each navigation menu iten and footer links should direct to valid pages. Click on images, buttons, or CTA elements and verify their linked destinations. Test forms, downloads, or interactive elements for proper functioning.
    • 4.2 Online Tools like W3C Link Checker ( and Dead Link Checker ( will scan the entire site for broken links, providing a detailed report. The Coverage or Crawl section in Google Search Console [Webmaster Tools] ( typically displays reported issues, including broken links, that Google has encountered while indexing the site.
    • 4.3 Distribute the task among team members to cover different sections of the website, if necessary, thus making the process quicker and more reliable.

5. Content Quality

  • While it may not directly affect SEO rankings, quality content is the backbone of a website. It should be informative, engaging, and relevant to the audience; consequently, high-quality, relevant content keeps users engaged, fosters trust, and establishes authority. Good content keeps users on the site longer, encourages sharing, and establishes credibility and authority within the industry.
  • Manual Audit Checks
    • 5.1 Language Tools, e.g. Grammarly ( or similar grammar-checking tools will identify and rectify grammatical errors and improve overall writing quality. Platforms like Language Tool ( or Ginger Software ( help detect and correct grammar, spelling, and style issues.
    • 5.2 Collaborate with team members who are native speakers and proficient in the language to review and verify content accuracy.
    • 5.3 Verify facts, statistics, or information by cross-referencing with reliable sources, thus ensuring accuracy.

6. Security Measures

  • Ensuring website security safeguards user data and builds trust. Website security is crucial for protecting user data, maintaining trust, and preventing cyberattacks like hacking or data breaches. Having an SSL certificate, using HTTPS everywhere on your site, updating software, and employing encryption measures help safeguard sensitive information.
  • Manual Audit Checks
    • 6.1 Ensure your site uses HTTPS by installing SSL/TLS certificates. This encrypts data transmitted between the user’s browser and your server, safeguarding sensitive information.
    • 6.2 Update all software, including CMS (Content Management System), plugins, themes, and server software, to their latest versions. Vulnerabilities are often patched in newer versions.
    • 6.3 Enforce strong password policies for user accounts, including a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters.
    • 6.4 Set up a Web Application Firewall to filter and monitor HTTP traffic, blocking malicious requests and protecting against common threats like SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS).
    • 6.5 Maintain regular backups of your website and databases. In case of a security breach, having backups ensures you can restore the site to a safe state.

7. Conversion Optimization

  • Conversion optimization focuses on improving the website’s effectiveness in converting visitors into customers, subscribers, or leads (your MWR- most wanted response). It involves improving elements like calls-to-action, forms, and user flow to enhance the likelihood of desired actions, thereby increasing business revenue or goals. Optimizing for conversions directly impacts business goals and consequently, increased revenue.
  • Manual Audit Checks
    • 7.1 Monitor the number of clicks each CTA receives compared to the total number of views. Analyze which CTAs perform best and drive more conversions. Track the conversion rates associated with each CTA to understand which ones lead to more desired actions (such as purchases, sign-ups, or downloads). Conduct A/B tests by creating variations of CTAs (different colors, text, placement) to compare performance and identify which designs or wording resonate better with users. Heatmaps and Click Tracking: Use heatmaps or click-tracking tools to visualize user interactions with CTAs, providing insights into which buttons receive the most attention.
    • 7.2 Analyze the Behavior Flow report in Analytics (Google, Matomo) to visualize the typical paths users take through the site. Identify drop-off points or areas where users leave the site most frequently. Set up conversion funnels in analytics tools to track specific user journeys, such as from landing on the site to completing a purchase.
      1. Identify where users abandon the funnel.
      2. Conduct usability testing where participants navigate the website while providing feedback.
      3. Observe how users interact with CTAs and the flow of the website, noting any difficulties or confusion.
      4. Review metrics like time spent on pages and bounce rates associated with pages containing CTAs to assess user engagement and the effectiveness of CTAs in retaining visitors.


Conducting a manual audit involves meticulous scrutiny of various aspects of your website. Regular audits not only maintain but also elevate your site’s performance, user experience, and alignment with business objectives. While manual audits can be effective, consider complementing them with periodic automated checks or professional assistance for a more thorough evaluation. Technical aspects, like in-depth security checks, complex SEO optimization, or detailed performance analysis, might require additional expertise.

By following these steps, you’ll significantly enhance your website’s performance and user satisfaction.

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