Your Site Audit Ticket to More Work: What Versus How

By Pam Foster | September 28, 2015

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Website Content Audits

A man and woman going over a plan of action.

In your Site Audits, understanding the difference between what versus how, means more clients.

In the first three articles this month, I explained the value of a web-content Site Audit:

Today I’m going to cover a very important topic:

How to use a Site Audit to establish a great reputation with clients and open the door to more work.

Let’s begin with a question I sometimes get about Site Audits. Someone recently asked me, “But Pam, when you deliver a Site Audit report, aren’t you giving away all the answers on how the client can fix their web content themselves, so they won’t need you anymore?”

Well, yes, you could shoot yourself in the foot if you give the client a big ‘ole list of HOW-TO instructions in your Site Audit report.

But you won’t be doing that.

Instead, you’ll give clients a Site Audit report that provides an education on WHAT needs to be fixed — and why — so they’re primed to hire you for all of the “fixes.”


Here are a few examples that clarify the WHAT versus HOW difference for you.

  • In your Site Audit report, you may note that the web pages are missing headlines (that’s the WHAT): “Most of your pages do not include a big benefit headline that immediately explains why the visitor should choose your product over other options.” (You won’t tell them HOW to write that kind of headline for each page. Writing the headlines is your job!)
  • Another missing element may be fresh content (that’s the WHAT). You may say in the report, “This site doesn’t include articles or blog posts, which can help you add fresh content that brings in more traffic.” (You won’t tell them HOW to add excellent articles and/or blog posts. Writing articles is your job!)
  • You may explain the competition has pretty good content, but you know your client’s web copy can trump the competition by doing a much better job of conveying why customers should choose the client’s products or services. (You won’t tell them HOW the web copy could be better. Writing web copy is your job!)
  • You may point out that the current pages don’t include proper SEO tags to help Google and other search engines understand what the page is about (which is a critical WHAT these days). (You won’t tell them HOW to write the best SEO tags for each page. That’s your job!)
  • You may also note that most of the pages are missing a compelling call-to-action that drives sales leads or product purchases. (You won’t tell them HOW to write great calls-to-action for each page. Writing them is your job!)

These are just a few examples of “WHAT” items you can include in your Site Audit Report.

Now, how does this “WHAT” approach serve as a ticket to more work for you?

That’s easy.

Once your clients see what’s missing — and the many items that must be done to improve the site’s results — they’ll realize they need someone to make those fixes.

That someone will obviously be you, since you’re the clever expert who delivered a great Site Audit report.

You’re the obvious resource to write better headlines, add fresh content each week, convey why your client’s products/services are the best, optimize all pages for SEO, and get people to ACT.

And that’s just the beginning.

Once you get going with clients who are excited about your skills, knowledge, and what you deliver, they’re bound to hire you for other projects on an ongoing basis.

In fact, the possibilities are endless with a great client because they might need any (or all) of the following:

  • Case studies
  • Special reports
  • A monthly e-newsletter
  • Specific promotional campaigns that involve emails and landing pages
  • Video scripts
  • Social media planning and posts
  • Banner ad copy
  • Podcast scripts
  • E-books
  • Print materials: brochures, sell sheets, magazine ads, and more
  • Direct-mail packages
  • Training materials
  • Speeches
  • Much, much more

So, how do you open this door to more work?

When you deliver the Site Audit report, you’ll review it with your client on the phone. During the phone conversation you’ll review each finding mentioned in the report. For instance, “Now, when I did a Google search for products you sell … I noticed your competition shows up higher in the results, and they have optimized meta descriptions. These descriptions can make a big difference in attracting people to their site instead of yours, so you need to optimize the meta descriptions on every page of your site.”

During your meeting, the client will realize all this stuff needs to happen for greater website success. And the sooner the better.

So at the end of your session, you may say, “I know there’s a lot to be done here. How about starting with the most important pages of your website? I can write new headlines, adjust all the content so it works harder for you, and weave in SEO keywords so you have a better chance of being found by Google. This is my expertise.”

The client will likely say something along these lines: “Great! Yes let’s get started. Please let me know what you need from us.”

And now the momentum has started for an ongoing, lucrative relationship with this client.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the insights into the value of providing Site Audits to all your clients so they can see what a genius you are, and hire you for all the work that needs to be done.

It truly is a great way to open the door to a lasting, lucrative, and fun relationship with all kinds of clients!

This article is part the series: Website Content Audits

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