A well planned and executed website starts with a website evaluation checklist so you don’t miss anything.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of 23 things to check you’ve covered on your website for the best SEO and performance.
Website Checklist Items for Copy & Design Teams
Whether debating navigation placements or color schemes, your copy and design teams need to assess your website with laser focus.
Have your team scan through each page with this new website checklist in mind, and you’ll be sure to get a handful of helpful comments (and debates about comma placements, we’re sure);
Spelling and Grammar Errors
Before launching your website, check and recheck all headlines, body copy, call-to-action buttons, navigation bars, footers, landing pages, thank you pages, and any initial marketing promotions.
Ideally, your writers are well versed in SEO too. This is the perfect time to make sure all your copy is optimized for specific keywords to rank well.
Every company should know their brand voice. Even if your guidelines aren’t formally written down.
Whether your brand persona is witty, formal, informative, serious, humorous, laid-back, or a combination of several attributes, every aspect of your company should reflect that voice.
It’s confusing to customers when your emails are incredibly serious with distinct sales calls-to-action, but your social media is playful and inquisitive.
Let your customers know who you are and where you stand as a brand. It’s up to your copy team to understand this voice inside-and-out and ensure all copy is consistent.
If you don’t have brand guidelines, here’s a great Hubspot tool for establishing a brand voice.
Company Contact Information
If your company has changed locations or updated phone numbers, this step is incredibly important. Check every page to make sure the company information is the same and without spelling errors. You can even take an extra step and make sure the contact information is consistent on all company social media accounts.
Form Errors and Flow
Your website forms are a sweet spot for gathering customer information, leads, subscribers, purchases, and more. Don’t lose those precious connections with a nonsensical form!
Run through all of your forms just as a customer would to check for errors, ensure proper flow, clear instructions, aligned destinations, and a good experience from start to finish.
Test Navigation Links
From links embedded in your blog to your navigation and content recommendations in the sidebar. Make sure every link has been clicked and that there are none of those dreaded 404 error pages.
Social Media Channels
Speaking of links, ensure website visitors can navigate to your company’s social channels.
Test the links in the header or footer navigation bars, in emails, and on blog pages. Also, make sure to update any links on your social accounts to the new website.
There’s nothing that ruins a website’s credibility quicker than a pixelated image. Look out for low-resolution images or photos that are too dark.
Also, visit your site on a monitor, laptop, tablet, and phone to see things from every size and view. Mobile-first indexing is going live soon, smooth experience on mobile is essential.
While some formatting inconsistencies will be obvious, others are easy to scan over when you’ve been staring at a screen all day. (We’re looking at you, spacing). Double-check for uniform text, image placement, and color use.
Website Checklist Items for the SEO Team
If you want the online world to see your brand new website, here is a website evaluation checklist for your SEO team to ensure you’re site has maximum visibility in the search results;
Optimized Titles, Headlines, and Body Content
These areas are major SEO must-haves for ensuring web spiders can crawl your site and index your content.
Work with the copy team by sharing information on SEO best practices. This will streamline your workflow and help them create engaging, optimized copy.
Knowing the ideal title length before working on a blog or web page will make everyone’s job easier—and will score you points with your boss (and Google).
Meta Descriptions/Title Tags
A crucial step in boosting on-page SEO, meta descriptions and title tags summarize and help to rank your content in search engines.
Depending on your company’s structure, meta descriptions falls to either the SEO team or the copy team. No matter who creates them, each meta description should be <160 characters and offer clear insight into your page’s content.
Similarly, title tags also appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headlines for a specific result. These snippets of copy should stay under 60 characters for best visibility.
Images and Alt-Text
Behind every optimized website is a stellar SEO team that takes the time to descriptively name images and alt-text.
By naming an image based on its description instead of keeping the stock name or image number, search engines can discover the image and help it appear in search rankings.
Similar to meta descriptions and title tags, your website URLs should give a clear message to the content on each page.
Clean, easy-to-read URLs are more likely to be clicked—and hopefully interesting to viewers seeking your content.
It’s good practice to use keywords in your URLs, so look to the page headlines to help craft each one. You can read more about structuring URLs on the MOZ blog.
You won’t start diving into your site’s analytics until weeks after your website launches. However, make sure you can log in, have your dashboard setup, and have a way to track your traffic.
This is another item that can wait for a few weeks after your website goes live. Still, it’s a good time to put this task on the calendar to make sure the work you put into your meta descriptions, title tags, and URLs is paying off. Hurray for traffic!
Make sure all pages have relevant keywords within the title, meta description, headings, and copy.
While this step is largely completed while a page is being created, it’s never too late to go back in and add keywords to boost page optimization.
Website Evaluation Checklist Items for the Web Development Team
A web development team is responsible for putting everything together behind the scenes. Here are some things to check to ensure your site is operational from a development side;
Since many websites are built with temporary URLs for testing purposes when your site goes live you should double-check it’s full indexed.
For smaller sites, it’s easy to navigate through each page to make sure each one is working. If you have a large site with time-consuming navigation, consider a tool to find broken URLs. A good site to check your links is brokenlinkcheck.com.
Custom 404 Page
As a web developer, a 404 error page is your time to have some creative fun. Use this page as an opportunity to entertain, help, or redirect customers to other pages of your website.
Take a look at one of our favorite designs below from Hot Dot Production — the dots respond to your mouse movements.
Upload a Favicon
Favicons are the little images that appear in the tabs and address bar of your browser. Set up a graphic that shows off your brand and lets visitors quickly identify your website among their mess of open tabs.
This might be the most important point in this website evaluation checklist. Websites have to be mobile-friendly, it’s crucial to your SEO and the user-experience.
In November 2016, Statcounter discovered that 51.3% of website pages were loaded on mobile devices, surpassing desktop and laptop computers for the first time.
We’ve come a long way since then, mobile-first indexing is now live.
Since research estimates the human attention span is now eight seconds, a slow website is a huge threat to your brand image, conversions, and customer loyalty.
Waiting for your website to load not only gives visitors a terrible first impression, but it also is the perfect opportunity for them to click back and try another website.
Research by the Aberdeen Group found that web customers are won or lost within one second. You earned that click, now make sure it pays off by using a fast server, host, and responsive design.
Want to check the speed of your new website? Contact us for a free assessment.
You don’t know if your website visitors are using Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, or other browsers.
Cover your bases by double-checking the speed of your site on every browser.
Part design, part web development team, the proper use of fonts can immediately grab a visitor’s attention. Ask someone from your design team to join you when looking over fonts to ensure consistency, correct styles, color, and visual impact.
Once visitors make it to your website, it’s largely up to the navigation bar to see that they stay and explore.
Although your copy team will be searching for spelling errors, it’s up to the developers and designers to follow best practices for UX and UI. If possible, gather a test group to navigate through your website before launch.
Pay attention to any pain points, issues with finding content, or improvements for flow. You’ve spent a lot of time staring at the navigation—sometimes you simply need an extra pair of eyes to point out an improvement.
It’s Time to Launch Your New Website!
After checking all of these last-minute website checklist items off of your list, it’s time to go live!
Give your team and yourself a huge congratulations on finishing this monumental project. Then, prepare your developers and engineers for launch so they can quickly debug any issues that slip through.
Need help with any of the points covered in this website evaluation checklist?
We’re happy to discuss how we can help, just fill out your details below and a member of our team will get back to you;