Evaluating Websites Worksheet – 100+ Elements to Review

CC image of checklist including title tags, meta descripion, h1 tag, keywords. Source: baluart.net

Evaluating Websites Worksheet

Provided as a Courtesy by Oakes Writing Website Services

NOTICE:

The following web site evaluation worksheet is provided for information purposes only. It is Creative Commons Limited material which may be used with the following restriction:

This worksheet may only be printed in full, including this introduction. It is provided by OakesWriting.com to help clients and prospective clients understand how to best evaluate their website to achieve growth. It is not to be copied nor distributed by competitors of Oakes Writing. Anyone wishing to make use of this document for internal company purposes may do so by printing this page. No electronic copies may be made. Lines are provided for making notes once printed.

Website Marketing…A Brief Introduction

Website marketing is an art like any other. A website is a marketing tool and as such, it must be used correctly if it is to serve its purpose. A marketing plan is required. This 100+ point evaluation provides insight into the elements needed for developing a website marketing plan. By using this review, any website owner will know what is needed for their website to grow.

CC image of checklist including title tags, meta descripion, h1 tag, keywords. Source: baluart.net
When we help a client, the first thing we do is evaluate their website using this 100+ point worksheet. Source: baluart.net

At this point, the owner of the website will know which elements can (and should) be handled in-house and which may be outsourced. At Oakes Writing, most of our work is outsourced projects from other web site owners. Naturally, most of the work is writing content. And that makes us happy. That is what we like.

This is part of the reason we decided to make this information public—it saves us a step in the process and teaches our clients how to do for themselves. We believe that website marketing should not be a mystery. As with traditional marketing, anyone can do it, but some do it better than others. This is why businesses often hire traditional marketing firms. But traditional marketing is NOT Internet marketing, so we decided to help our clients by letting them see the difference. The result is the following 100+ Point Web Site Evaluation Worksheet.

The Worksheet is broken into the following segments:

  • Appearance (Human & Search Engine)
  • Content
  • Networks
  • Credibility/Trustworthiness
  • Online Marketing
  • Summation/Closing Remarks

 

NOTE:
Some elements are self-explanatory, some need a bit of description. We provide guidance where we believe it is necessary, but to keep this worksheet clean it is limited. If you have any questions regarding this worksheet, do not hesitate to complete the simple form at the bottom of this evaluation checklist or email us at CJOakes@OakesWriting.com

 

First Impressions (Human)

First impressions are important for human readers, but a website does not need to be flashy, only clean, neat, and organized. The following elements should be assessed based on these requirements, not according to how “pretty” they are.

  1. Overall ease of use: Does it load quickly and are the navigation elements easy to identify? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. URL Ease of use/Branding Impressions: (Is the URL easy to remember? Does the site work with www or without?) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Assessment of navigation elements: Site easy to navigate? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Site Security (https used?): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Individual Page assessments including…

  1. Home Page: (Does it clearly identify the purpose of the site? Is the logo easily seen?) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. About Page: (Does it clearly identify why a visitor should use the site?) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Contact Page: (Does it clearly identify how to reach the owner and/or administrator of the site?) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Are there ample ways to do reach the site owner/administrator (contact form, phone number, email, location if applicable)? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. Other Key Pages: (Do they serve a valuable purpose or are they fluff?) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Test the appearance across various devices including…

  1. PC: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Mobile devices (Android, iPhone, etc): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Tablet devices: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Office Location Information (if applicable): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. Map(s): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  6. Directions: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  7. offices/locations: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  8. Departments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  9. Overall Impression of Site: When evaluating a website, be sure to write an overall impression of the site. Doing this may help put the elements into perspective and help when creating the web site marketing plan. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

First Impressions (Search Crawlers)

First impressions do matter to search engines. Did you know that if the search engines do not consider the site worthwhile, they relegate it to fewer crawls? This means that when timely content is added, it may become out-of-date before the next crawl and therefore is useless. To get an idea about just how well a website is viewed by the search engines, consider the following elements.

  1. Clarity of Address/Location: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Blog (Does it have one? Easily located? Organized?): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Ratings provided by 3rd Party sources (I.e. Moz or Alexa): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Website Loading Time: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. Terms and Conditions/Privacy Policy: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  6. Google Console: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  7. Google (or other) Analytics: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  8. Google Adwords (or other Ad Platform used): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  9. Google Adsense (Or other Ad Platform used): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

IMPORTANT:
Some elements contained in this Evaluating Websites Worksheet require electronic means of measure. For instance, measuring the loading speed of a website requires use of a specialized tool. Ratings of 3rd Party Sources is another example. Your website administrator should know how to use and apply such tools.

 

Content Assessment

One of the most important elements of a website is the content. The Internet is driven by the written word. People visit websites for only two reasons: Entertainment and Education. In other words, for fun or information. Thus, pay attention to the purpose of the website in relation to these two reasons. If the site is there for entertainment, be sure that it is entertaining. If the goal is to convey information (such as with a sales or other business site), be sure the information provided is clear and provides value. Try to make the website entertaining, but keep in mind your market when doing so. In evaluating a website, consider carefully how each of the following elements play to your target market.

  1. Main content assessment: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Pages Assessment: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Content length: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Content layout: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. Grammar: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  6. Spelling: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  7. Keywords/subjects: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  8. Content properly developed?: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  9. Digital Errors: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  10. Blog Assessment: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  11. Content length (blogs between 400-700 words ideally; pages minimum 700 words with 2500 minimum word target for educational sites): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  12. Content layout: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  13. Images assessment (appropriate, proper size, linked): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  14. Video assessment (source optimized, good description, links, etc.): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  15. Page & Site Update analysis (when last updated, dates changed, how often, in what way?): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  16. Widgets (where, what kind, clutter the site or clean, etc.): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  17. Sidebar Content: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  18. Advertising (appropriate, unobtrusive, kept to minimum-no more than three and three): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Networks Assessment

Business is all about networking and the Internet IS a network. Just as a business would not ignore networking concepts when developing a traditional marketing plan, when evaluating a website, networks must be considered. Evaluating a website is preparation for developing a sound web site marketing plan. Knowing how to use online networking tools is vital to growing any website. Consider carefully the following elements.

  1. Quick tap phone access via mobile application: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Potential issues related to appearance: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Content referenced/Sources supplied and identified as such: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. General Citations included in content (and linked): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. Legal/Professional Citations: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  6. Careers/Jobs page (easy to locate, clear description of jobs offered, way to apply easily identified, online application or email, etc.): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  7. Link analysis (general overview): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  8. Inbound links (how many sites link in, quality links?): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  9. Outbound links (are links out of site appropriate? Spammy? Logical?): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  10. Internal links (Is the site well linked throughout? Can readers reach any page on the site in three clicks or less?): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  11. Social media connections (how many, what kind, prominently displayed, like and share buttons easily seen): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  12. Use of Wikipedia: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  13. News: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  14. Footer (How is the footer used? As a placemat or for marketing the site and business?): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  15. Site Navigation (overall): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  16. Side navigation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  17. Main navigation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  18. Special navigation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  19. Images in general: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  20. Placement of images: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  21. Images Appropriate: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  22. Original images: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  23. Images Linked? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  24. Images Tagged? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  25. Tagged properly? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  26. Good image descriptions? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  27. Alt Text used with images appropriate? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  28. Captions used with images? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Credibility/Trustworthiness Assessment

A golden triangle with words in orange Networks, credibility, content superimposed titled Golden Triangle of Website Success. Caption reads, As with any business, the better a website is able to provide readers what they want and develop the networks needed to convey a useful message, the better a website will perform. The three elements are: Credibility, Networks, and Content. A website missing any of these elements is doomed to failure. At Oakes Writing Website Services of Lubbock, Texas, we help professional clients restructure their sites in order to perform better. Better site performance then translates to more customers offline, which is the entire purpose of a professional website, right?
Image Source: Oakes Writing, Copyright 2013

In what has been termed “The Golden Triangle” C J Oakes, President of Oakes Writing developed a concept which describes the three vital elements of any website.

The Golden Triangle refers to Content-Networks-Credibility. To be successful, any business must be considered trustworthy by the public. The business must be credible. In brick-and-mortar businesses, many things play a role in making the company appear credible and these elements can be transferred to the online world.

The following elements should play some role in a website evaluation and marketing strategy.

  1. Memberships: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Professional/Trade Organizations: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. General Business Organizations: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Other credentials: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. Case results/Sales/Clients: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  6. Ease of Contact: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  7. Phone Number(s): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  8. Email Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  9. Contact Form: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  10. Attorney/Agents/Directors/Department/Member pages: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  11. Advertising on Site: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  12. Expanded demographics (if available): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  13. Terms/Conditions of Use: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  14. Privacy Policy: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  15. Practice Areas/Specialization/Reason for Being/Mission/Goals: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  16. Testimonials: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  17. Copyright/Trademark protections/Creative Commons: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Side Note

You may notice that some elements appear more than once in this Evaluating Websites Worksheet. This is because each element impacts the marketing of the web site in different ways. When performing your evaluation, be sure to consider how the element applies to the theme of the section reviewed. For instance, information related to contacting the site owner or administrator appear in the Overall Appearance section, Networks section, and the Credibility section. This is because getting in contact with any business plays a key role in how people perceive the company and how willing they will be to both patronize it and refer friends. Thus, the way contact information relates to the different elements on your website should be part of the marketing plan and strategy developed for the website.

 

Online Marketing: SEO/SEM

Marketing a website online is largely the same as marketing a business in the real world. The only real difference is the method of collecting data and following up on what is learned. The following element of this website evaluation worksheet are musts, though this list is not exhaustive. Carefully consider how each element plays to your target market and marketing strategy.

  1. Branding (Are branding elements in place: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Current Traffic: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Unique visits: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. Returning traffic: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. Average daily traffic: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  6. Time spent per visit: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  7. Bounce Rate: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  8. Where traffic comes from: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  9. Where visitors go after: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  10. Related Sites: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  11. Direct Competition: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  12. Google Adwords use: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  13. Search Information (site shows on general search): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  14. Common searches in locating the site: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  15. Related searches: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  16. Related Trends: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  17. Dominant Keywords: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  18. Suggested keywords (subjects): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  19. Demographics: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  20. Education level of visitors: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  21. Age of visitors: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  22. Gender of visitors: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  23. Average income of visitors: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  24. Other sites your visitors use: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  25. Dominant Languages: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  26. Dominant Nationalities: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  27. Dominant Cities: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  28. Common Buying Habits of Visitors: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  29. Other Demographic Info: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  30. Browsing location: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  31. Type of device used: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  32. Market Information: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  33. Target market review: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  34. Community information : ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  35. Key online competitors: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  36. Offline competitors: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  37. Competitor Impact Online: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  38. SEO Information: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  39. On-Page SEO: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  40. Local SEO: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  41. Subject/Profession/Specialization SEO: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  42. Content SEO: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  43. Site SEO: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  44. 404 alerts: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  45. URL data: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  46. Three-click navigation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  47. Site Map: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  48. Ease of navigation on mobile devices: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  49. Ease of Navigation on Tablets: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  50. Meta-information (if Available): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  51. Cookies used?: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  52. Calls-to-action: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Summary

Once this Evaluating Websites Worksheet has been completed, do a summary of the information contained within. This is the same process used as when writing a business or traditional marketing plan. The purpose of a summary is to help clarify what was learned from the evaluation and better convey it to others. For example: Upon completing this evaluation, it may be found that the networks of the website are weak. When phoning Oakes Writing at 337-660-4774, you can quickly and concisely explain the weakness found and we can advise accordingly. This saves you and us time and allows us to properly guide you. If this is something you can do yourself, we will gladly advise you so. If you still want help, we will be delighted to provide you with a quote.

In creating the summary, just write a couple of sentences about each section. A best practice is to consider three to five of the most important elements to address.

Appearance:________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Content:___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Networks:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Credibility/Trustworthiness:___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Online Marketing; SEO/SEM:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Closing Remarks

At Oakes Writing, we work with all kinds of websites, but our focus is on helping professional business owners such as Law Firms, Real Estate Agencies, Finance Companies, Medical Professionals, and the like. This does not mean that if you have another kind of website we will not help; we are happy to help anyone who needs us. But we do specialize in these forms of websites.

We hope that in using this Evaluating Websites Worksheet, you have been able to understand how we use our 100+ Point site evaluation to help clients. Furthermore, we hope you will use it to see where your website can be made better. If you need writing services or any other, we are here for you.

 

Recommendations

Should you choose, Oakes Writing can perform our 100+ Point evaluation for your website. When we do so, we will not only provide a summary but include three possible marketing plans based on goals you choose. We will also include three options to help you decide how aggressive you would like the website marketing plan to be. These are:

Option 1: Minimalist Approach

If funds are tight, we will offer a minimal approach to growing the website. This will allow the site to grow steadily and eventually become self-funded without destroying your budget.

Option 2: Moderate Growth

For website owners who want to quicken the pace but not grow the site too rapidly for whatever reason, we will offer a moderate growth strategy.

Option 3: Rapid Growth:

If you want your website to grow quickly, it can be done, at a premium. Rapid growth requires a very aggressive strategy and costly tactics, but if you are willing we are able.


Oakes Writing Guarantees Results!

At Oakes Writing, we guarantee our website services will produce both traffic online and busienss offline. We can do this because we largely restrict our website services to residents and businesses of Lubbock, Texas.

When you choose to have Oakes Writing develop and implement a marketing plan for your website, whether we perform the evaluation or not, we offer the best guarantee in the industry.

Only Oakes Writing Guarantees Results!

Read more about the Oakes Writing Guarantee here.