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Site Review

Ever since our 2nd event, in addition to hosting talks at each event, we also host a ‘site review’ segment, where we (the audience) spend 20-30 minutes auditing a volunteered website live on the night and offering as much SEO ‘quick-win’ advice as we can.

How it works

A representative from the volunteered website (usually the business owner or someone in the marketing department) introduces their business to the audience, explaining what they do and what they’re trying to achieve goals-wise for their business’ marketing and sales.

We then use SISTRIX (our site review sponsor) to try and obtain as much data and insights for the website as possible.

We try and cover whatever we can in the limited time that we have: keyword research, on-site SEO, link building, Google Maps optimisation (if applicable) and so on. It might be the case that people offer other (non-SEO) forms of advice, such as UX (user experience), conversion rate optimisation, design critiques and other similar tips.

The audience can jump in with comments and suggestions throughout – the site review is announced to members of the Meetup group 3 days before the event, giving them the chance to do some prior research, should they wish to.

Whoever gives the best advice (determined by the site volunteer) wins a prize – usually a book, or some SEO merchandise provided by a conference or software provider.

The site review is videoed, which the site volunteer can gain access to after the event, so they can watch/listen back at a later date if need be.

Seeing it in action

Only one site review has been made public: Learnium’s, at the 2nd event. You can watch it on Periscope (although you’ll have to forgive the poor filmed-on-an-iPhone quality of the early events)…

Recent ones have been filmed at better quality and uploaded onto YouTube, however they are ‘Unlisted’ (i.e. only people with the link can access them; therefore they’re not searchable). If you’d like to see a few examples in action before volunteering your own website then feel free to get in touch and I can pass on the links.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from coming to one of our events and seeing it for yourself before volunteering it y’know… 😉

Criteria

There’s a few criteria to satisfy:

  • There’s a £100 fee, although £50 gets refunded after the event (if all goes well) and £50 goes to a charity of your choice (note: this doesn’t apply to charities, CICs, social enterprises, etc., in which case the fee is waived).
  • You can’t have had any professional SEO work done from someone outside the business (i.e. an agency/freelancer you might’ve hired).
  • If you’re in the process of launching or redesigning your site, it must be ready ahead of when the site review takes place (ideally roughly a week beforehand).
  • It has to be a viable candidate for SEO (in other words, it has to be useful for the audience to learn from – there’s no point auditing a business where SEO doesn’t really apply).
  • You must be ok with constructive criticism, bearing in mind that people will be critiquing parts of the website and your marketing efforts.
  • You must be ok with the fact that there’s nothing stopping competitors from being in the room and listening in on the advice (although this may be unlikely, especially given that the site review volunteer is only announced a few days in advance to the Meetup group‘s mailing list).
  • You must be able to attend on the night – ideally the individual from the business who volunteered the site – who also has to introduce the business to the audience at the start of the site review.
  • I also ask volunteers to sign a one-page legal disclaimer (nothing too scary – it’s just to protect myself and the audience if someone were to get bad or obsolete advice).

Want to volunteer your site?

If you’re interested in volunteering your website for one of the events – and you fit all the above criteria – then please get in touch!

I want to run a site review at my event!

You totally should! If it helps, I wrote a guide on how to run them over on State of Digital.