A Handy Site Audit Checklist for SEO and Content Writing that Works — And Leads to More Projects

Computer keyboard keys with the words Audit Checklist

In today’s competitive market, a strong presence on the Web is critical to a company’s success. Yet many companies have no idea why their websites aren’t working as well as they’d like. As a web copywriter, you can be the hero who helps companies figure it out. And, it can lead to more paid projects for you!

Picture this scenario: a marketing director is charged with updating the company website. The site’s been the same for about five years, and it’s only generating lackluster results.

Their competitors “own” page one of the Google rankings in their market, and it’s downright frustrating.

The marketing director’s job may even be on the line, and she needs help now.

As a freelance copywriter who specializes in SEO and writing content for websites, this is where you can help and earn handsome fees doing it.

Your job as a Site Auditor is to make sure the content on a website is inviting and irresistible to visitors. And then, you can help turn those visitors into paying customers.

You can help the marketing director by explaining that you know how to make websites WORK MUCH BETTER in terms of traffic, leads, and sales.

The director says, “Fantastic! How can we get started?”

You say, “Let me go through your site and evaluate it against my ‘best practices’ checklist. This list includes all the must-haves for websites to work today. I’ll be able to pinpoint any gaps you have and recommend solutions. What do you think?”

The marketing director answers, “Okay, yes, please.”

(I outlined a complete step-by-step script for a phone call persuading a prospective client to hire you to do a Site Audit. You can find it here.)

Great! Now you have a client.

Now it’s time to sit down with the website and go through your checklist.

Here’s what you’ll have on your checklist as a starting point — just give it a YES or NO as you go down the list.

  • The website loads quickly, which means people won’t abandon it before even seeing it.
  • The site is mobile-responsive, meaning it’s easy to read on smartphones and tablets.
  • You instantly see the company name and know what they do (it’s crazy, but this is not obvious on a LOT of websites).
  • Every page includes a big, strong headline that shows why this company’s solutions are the best available in that category.
  • If it’s a local website, you can quickly tell where it is and how to contact them by phone or email (again, this is lacking in a HUGE percentage of local-business websites).
  • The headline and other copy sections include SEO key phrases people use in Google to find solutions related to this company. For instance, if the client sells “puppy crate training” solutions, is that phrase on the page? (Seems obvious, but quite often this is not the case.)
  • The website is very easy to navigate and read: you can find what you’re looking for within just a click or two.
  • The copy is friendly and 100% focused on the visitor; solving a need or goal in the best and easiest way. (This one seems obvious as well. But guess what? Thousands of websites use “corporate-speak,” confusing copy, “clever” overly creative copy, or other copy that’s not clear or user-friendly.)
  • There’s a clear call-to-action on every page, telling the visitor how to get what they want (such as, “download the free trial,” “get a sample now,” “request a free report,” “chat with a specialist,” or even “buy here.”)
  • It’s easy to order or buy from the website. This means visitors can easily place an order in the online form, without hunting for things or filling out gobs and gobs of information that turns them off.

Okay, that’s just for starters. But you can see the immense power of this type of checklist.

You’ll confirm what’s working.

You’ll find what’s missing.

And then you’ll recommend the corrections you can make for a fee!

Your “Gateway” to Offer Additional SEO and Content Writing Services to Your Clients

So, let’s say you perform a Site Audit for $2,500, and you were able to pinpoint gaps and areas of weakness …

Next, you deliver your findings to the marketing director, and then offer your recommendations to fix all the problems you identified in their website content — all of which pay you additional fees. For example:

Recommendation #1:

Revise the website’s content — on every page — so it includes SEO keywords in the right places within a more persuasive copy flow.

You can write each page to include a strong headline, lots of benefits, a wonderful offer, and a clear call-to-action, while including keywords in an ethical and helpful way.

You explain that this is a critical “must” if the client wants to bring in more leads and sales for her business. She agrees.

The cost to improve the content? $500-$800+ per page.

Recommendation #2:

Add several important pages that are currently missing from the site. For instance, visitors usually look for an About Us page, FAQs page, etc. — and your client’s website doesn’t include these important pages.

Therefore, you need to write those pages for the client so visitors find what they need. AND, those extra pages are additional SEO traffic-drivers.

The client agrees!

The cost to write new web pages? Once again, $500-$800+ per page.

Recommendation #3:

Create an ongoing series of blog posts or articles where the client can continually add valuable content geared to the prospects’ needs.

This is important, because websites are never “done.” You can bet that the client’s competition is using content marketing to continue bringing in traffic. Your client needs to do this, too.

Plus, you’ll then write those blog posts or articles on an ongoing basis, perhaps in a retainer agreement that locks you in for 12 months.

The fee for this ongoing content? The range can be wide, but let’s say at least two articles/posts a month for 12 months at $400 each.

Now, that’s just for starters. Depending on what your client needs, you could also offer email writing, e-newsletters, special reports, case studies, video scripts, and even social media management — all for additional fees.

That’s how an initial paid Site Audit can become your “gateway” to additional SEO and content writing paid projects in no time!

Give it a try.

You can become the client’s hero who saved the day — and get long-term business for yourself at the same time.

What questions do you have about the Site Audit method and using it as a gateway to other web-writing projects? Please let us know in the comments below so Pam can help.

Site Audits Made Simple

Site Audits Made Simple: Consult Your Way to Lucrative Web Copywriting Projects

Pam Foster reveals how you can make as much as $2,500 auditing websites while setting yourself up for even bigger web copywriting projects. Learn More »


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Published: July 13, 2018

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