In this episode, Megan chats to Aimee Pruett about the benefits of food blog audits and common mistakes bloggers make when they audit their sites.

We cover information on how to do a a food blog audit, how it differs from an SEO audit and how it can impact our blog’s growth.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Food Banjo
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Bio Aimee is the creator of the Food Banjo blog. Amy has almost 20 years of experience in marketing and over 7 years running a food blog. As part of her marketing job, she has performed over 100 website audits in my career, so Amy decided to marry marketing know-how and the love of food blogging together to do food blog audits!


  • Do regular food blog audits to get perspective on your blog’s progress.
  • Blog audits look at branding, promotions, site experience and other elements.
  • It does not look at SEO in-depth (only a high-level analysis).
  • Do a professional audit when you hit a wall and you don’t know what to do next.
  • Find out if you’re on the right track and uncover opportunities that you may be missing.
  • How often should you do a blog audit?
  • Start your self-audit by placing yourself in a user’s shoes.
  • Pay attention to your Google Analytics and any reoccurring trends.
  • What are the most common site mistakes food bloggers make?
  • Prioritize the most important improvements you have identified for your site.

Resources Mentioned

Food Blog Audit


Click for full script.

EBT473 – Aimee Pruett

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers, hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you know that you are heard and supported. 

We hear the word audit being tossed around in our space so much, and it typically comes with one association, and that is an SEO audit. But Aimee Pruett from Food Banjo brings a new definition to the word audit to us. She joins me in this interview to talk about how bloggers can see quicker growth and gain more confidence from doing a blog audit, either by themselves or professionally. And this is not the same thing as an SEO audit. This is more of a really big picture step all the way back to view your blog from a totally different perspective. Aimee talks through the benefits of doing this, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring somebody to do it, how often you should be doing it, what is entailed in each audit, what you’re actually looking at. So you’re looking at things like how people experience your site as a whole, what your homepage is like, is your about page updated, things like that. And she also talks through some really common mistakes that she sees that we can avoid. And then of course, the most important thing, is actually taking action on the things that you need to do to make your blog just an overall better experience. This is a really valuable episode. I don’t think we’ve ever covered audits from this perspective before, so I hope you enjoy it. It is episode number 473, Sponsored by Rank IQ.

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Megan Porta 03:32

Aimee Pruett is the creator of the Food Banjo blog. She has almost 20 years of experience in marketing in over seven years running a food blog as part of her marketing job. Aimee performed over 100 website audits throughout her career, so she decided to bring her marketing know-How and Food blogging love together to do food blog audits. Aimee, welcome back to the podcast. How are you today?

Aimee Pruett 03:56

Good. Thanks for having me, Megan.

Megan Porta 03:57

Yes, great to have you back. I love repeat guests. This is so fun. And I love our topic today. I don’t know that we’ve ever given this kind of the attention from this angle, so this will be really great to talk about blog audits. First though. Do you have another fun fact to share with us?

Aimee Pruett 04:14

I do. So I was trying to think of something, but I realized that libraries are my happy place. I feel like growing up as a kid, I always loved going to our local library. The smell of it for some reason was amazing. And I was at our local library with my kids this weekend and I just realized how much I love it. You know, just being able to check out books, learn about so many different topics and you know, also be, you know, kind of diving into other people’s stories and fiction books and I don’t know, I just, I love that the library is a open space for anyone to go and enjoy, but it’s also a place for learning. And I just, I love libraries, I love them.

Megan Porta 04:52

I kind of agree with you. I’ve never actually given thought to that statement, but I think I love libraries too. The smell there is a common smell, isn’t there?

Aimee Pruett 05:01

There is. It was my favorite smell growing up, which sounds weird to say, but I just loved it.

Megan Porta 05:06

I love that. And in college I would just go kind of find solace in the library and just sit there and study or whatever. And yeah, it’s just like a peaceful place. I also love that they are kept fairly quiet. Yes. Like it’s just still a common thread that when you go into a library you have to be quiet, which I love.

Aimee Pruett 05:26

And it’s good. It’s a good way to teach my kids to be quiet too.

Megan Porta 05:30

Yes. Oh my gosh. It’s like it’s not my role, it’s their role. You need to be quiet. Where else can you tell them that. Nowhere . Oh, I love it. Okay, so love for libraries. Love that so much. You are here today to talk about doing blog audits and kinda what that entails. And it might not be in the sense that we’re thinking of, but to frame this, would you just want to give a little bit of a background on your blog?

Aimee Pruett 05:56

Yeah, absolutely. So I would say I started my blog at the very beginning of 2016, so many years ago. I’m one of those, I didn’t start my blog like way back in like 2010 like some people did that have been blogging for a while. But 2016 I had thought about doing one for years but just never did. And I did food photography before that and we actually started Food Banjo, which is our, which is my blog as a way for my husband to kind of practice his writing. because He wrote most of our posts back then. And for me to practice my photography and for us just to put up recipes that we were making in our kitchen. So we weren’t trying to make a business out of it, we were just kind of having fun with it and working on other skills. So I would say, yeah, the first few years we were not treating it like a business at all. But then at the start of 2019, I got pregnant with my second child and I really started seeing how all these other bloggers were making it into a full-time role. And I thought, you know, that’s so nice. It would be nice to have that flexibility one day or the option for that. So I started thinking that I wanted to start, you know, even if I didn’t make it a full-time job, I wanted to start making some sort of income from my blog. So that’s when I started really trying to make something from it. And I’ll say it took me a few years, because I didn’t get accepted into MediaVine until, I think it was November, December of 2021. So I decided in 2019 at the start that I wanted to do this. But then it still took me a few years of really doing a lot of the right things to make it happen. And I would just kind of say there’s a few reasons for that too. So I have a background in marketing. I have my Master of Science Degree in Marketing and have worked for many companies and marketing over the years and actually for like a lot of clients. And I’ve done a lot of website audits for these clients over the years. But it was just really hard to look at my own blog in the same light. And I was always questioning myself too, like, am I on the right path with this? Like, is my growth normal? Should I be father along with this? Am I doing the right things? 

Aimee Pruett 08:09

And it’s just, you know, it’s kind of hard to like assess your own situation too. It’s like you can do it for other people sometimes really easily, but you’re too close to your own website to know if what you’re doing is right. So I would say it wasn’t until, you know, I really started getting some advice from other bloggers and having them look at my site that I started being more confident in some areas, but then also seeing areas of opportunity where it’s like, okay, I really need to focus on this more because you know, like, this is going to help me see growth or you know, so, so it was, it was good to get that advice and have other people kind of take that second look at my side and like see the areas of opportunity they saw for me. And I think that really helped me get, achieve that growth and get to MediaVine levels also, you know, obviously investing in my blog, you know, and courses and different things. Yeah. That like helped me get there too and learn. But yeah, I think, I think that was kind of what helped. And since then, like, you know, I’ve just been able to really double down on what’s working for me and, and it continue to see that grow. So that’s been fantastic. So yeah, very happy.

Megan Porta 09:13

I think that’s the scariest part of having a blog or a business that’s so visible. because Like anyone can go visit our blogs, right? Is doing kind of self-analysis. We just assume that, I don’t know, like we’re protected or something because it’s, it’s ours and right’s easy to look at other people’s businesses and be like, oh, you should, you could probably do this and be successful. But it’s so hard to ask other people for advice on your, so how did you get past that point where you were, were ready to just seek other people’s opinions?

Aimee Pruett 09:47

I think you know, it was really that I just wanted to seek growth. Like I, yeah, it’s, it’s hard to ask for. Yeah. It’s hard to say, Hey, can you tell me what I’m doing wrong or what I’m doing? Right. But I think, you know, it, it is really when you want to see the growth and you’re like, okay, it’s like when people sign up for an SEO audit, you know, it’s, it’s kind of like, ugh. I’m like, I’m going to hear all the things that I’m doing wrong that I need to fix, but it’s going to help me out down the road with growth. So I think that’s kind of the same, the same way. You just have to be ready to, you know, want to see that growth. Yeah. And I, when I would do these audits for these companies too, and I would look at their website audits as part of my full-time job so often, like there were just the smallest things that would get missed too. So, you know, it’s just like, it’s hard to like just see those things when it’s your own site. So it’s, it’s nice to get a second pair of eyes always.

Megan Porta 10:36

Yeah. And the small things can, can add up.

Aimee Pruett 10:39

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Megan Porta 10:41

So we’re not talking about audits in the way that we normally talk about audits. So we usually refer to SEO audits, but you’re talking about something entirely different.

Aimee Pruett 10:51

Yeah. So I would, you know, the way I look at it is I would say, you know, an SEO audit is really focused on driving your growth for SEO. It’s, you know, it’s looking at all the components, you know, your, your, the way your posts are laid out, your back links, you know, your site structure, core web vitals, you know, a bunch of different stuff that’s going to go into SEO. The way I see a site audit, you know, a lot of, a lot of things you might look at in a site audit, you’re, you all, like the SEO audit might cover too. But I think a site audit, you know, is kind of a higher level look. It’s not as focused on SEO, like, you know, you might look at like SEO from a high level, but you’re also looking at, you know, just how you’re about page is filled out, you know, what the overall site experience is, how your marketing and branding fits into it, how your photography is, you know, just kind of like your site as a whole, how everything fits together and you know, looking at that. So not really diving into just SEO or you know, Pinterest or a certain area. It’s just that holistic look at the site.

Megan Porta 11:44

Yeah. So SEO could be a little piece of it, but it’s not the main focus.

Aimee Pruett 11:48

Exactly. Right.

Megan Porta 11:50

All right. So I’m going to ask you to kinda talk through what you look through, but what do you think, like what could, how could this benefit a food blogger going through something like this? A process like this?

Aimee Pruett 12:03

Yeah. So I would say kind of like me, you know, if you, if you’re wanting to, you know, know if you, what you’re doing is right and wanting that second pair of eyes, then you know, it can really get you on the path to faster growth because it can let you know if you’re right on, on the right track and uncover opportunities that you might be missing. So, you know, I would’ve have loved to know back in 2019, you know, how I was doing. I, I do think it probably would’ve saved me a lot of wondering and I probably, probably would have invested my time differently because I was, I think I was focused on some of the wrong things too. And I think a lot of people, you know, that happens to a lot of people like where someone’s actions aren’t really lining up with their goals. So I think it’s just, it’s nice to be able to have that second pair because then you can, you can see where you, what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. And then also have that confidence because I think, yeah, it’s just, it’s hard to know. So instead of spending, you know, the next year focused on the wrong things, you can maybe make a few quick tweaks or you know, kind of reprioritize what you should be focused on. And then it’s, you know, it’s just you can, someone else might catch things that you completely missed or they can look at your blog in a certain way or give you different suggestions. And you don’t always have to take all of those because you know it’s your business. But I think it gives you a lot of different perspectives. And I think too, like a lot of us always get caught up in more content, more content, you know, which is important and writing for SEO, which is also important. But I do think sometimes we just don’t take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture of our site and you know, how the marketing and everything is all fitting together. So I think everybody, you know, whether you hire somebody to do an audit or whether you’re doing your own self-audit should be, be doing that on a regular basis is really just kind of, instead of just kind of being in the weeds is really like taking a step back and saying, how does this all fit together? What are, what’s the overall experience for everyone?

Megan Porta 14:04

The weeds are comfortable. We, a lot of us like the weeds.

Aimee Pruett 14:07

It’s true. And I get in the weeds too. I have to sometimes just like block off a day on my calendar to, to say, okay, today is my day to really go in and analyze my site and say like, what is working? What do I need to prioritize? You know, how have things been going? What do I need to update on there? And, but yeah, it’s very easy to get caught up in photo shoots and writing posts and promoting on social media and just doing, yeah, the weeds work.

Megan Porta 14:32

Yes. So how often do you recommend taking a, you know, step back and looking at your blog with a bigger, from a bigger lens?

Aimee Pruett 14:40

Yeah, I mean I guess it really depends, because I think, you know, if you’re, I guess yeah, if you’re doing like self-audit versus professional audit, I think it’s going to depend on the, the person also the scenario, I would say if you’re doing a self-audit, this is probably something you should at least be doing on a quarterly basis, or at the very least a couple of times a year. Really just looking through everything, making sure you’re, you’re on the right track really knowing what’s going on. I think for me, I like to also use that time to really dive into my analytics and search console and see what posts have been performing, kind of what the overall trends look like too. But I think even if you’re not doing that part of it, just going through and looking through your site and saying, okay, how’s my Instagram account in relation to my blog? Or how’s my Pinterest account doing in relation to my blog? And you know, going through your about, about page and saying, is there any up, are there updates that need to be made on here? So really just, you know, doing that on, you know, a quarterly basis. But then I would say if you’re doing a professional audit, if you’re actually paying somebody to do it for you and getting a second pair of eyes, I would say it’s going to depend too, because you’re probably want to going to, going to want to do a professional audit maybe when you’ve hit a wall and you, you’re not seeing growth and you’re just really not sure what steps you should take next. Or I guess, you know, too, like if you’re trying to take your blog to the next level. And also then when it’s really beneficial is probably those people who have the newer blogs and you know, probably six months to two years old and you’re just wondering, am I doing everything I can be doing? Am I on the right track? I need some professional advice. I just want somebody to take a look and make sure that everything’s looking okay. So I would say for the professional, the, on the professional side, it’s kind of more of like an as needed, you know, depending on your goals. But doing a self-audit is something you should be doing on a regular basis.

Megan Porta 16:27

Okay. And then how do we know if we go professional or if we do it ourselves?

Aimee Pruett 16:31

I would say like if you’re happy with the direction of your blog, you feel like you have a good handle on things, then you know, maybe just a self-audit is what you need to do on an ongoing basis. And you know, I also think about the bloggers that are very big and have teams of people and they’re getting lots of, you know, input. They’re probably having team meetings, hopefully, you know, they’re analyzing their blog on an ongoing enough basis and getting input from all the team members where professional at it might not be something they need to do because they’re, they’re already having a lot of feedback from their team and expertise. But I would say so in that case they might just, you know, be needing a self audit. But I would say a professional audit is great for anybody who maybe doesn’t have that, who, you know, really wants a second opinion, who wants to know they’re on track or who wants somebody to come in and see if they’re missing something big that could hinder their growth. I would say too, probably a lot of bloggers in that one to three year mark would benefit from a professional audit and those that are just, you know, kind of looking to take their blogs to next level. So like I would say, you know, like for me, even though I do self audits, you know, it’s always nice to have another blogger come in and, you know, a professional like take a, take another look and say like, okay, how’s everything going? ? Yeah. Like, am I missing anything? Like it, you know, like what do I need to do to take my blog to the next level? Because again, like, you know, you can be so close to your blog that, you know, it’s just nice to have that second pair of eyes and second opinion.

Megan Porta 17:56

A fresh set of eyes is so valuable.

Aimee Pruett 17:59

It really is.

Megan Porta 18:00

Even if you’re doing everything right, I feel like I can have kind of a mental handle on a project or something and I can present it to my mastermind group and just like, what do you guys think of this? And it’s amazing what just a fresh pair of eyes can see that I can’t see.

Aimee Pruett 18:15

Absolutely. I mean, yeah, we miss things all the time. Yeah. And having other people in the industry that kind of take a look like it’s, it’s gold, honestly. It is. And yeah, I’ve you know, certainly been in that scenario too where it’s just like, hey, like I, I know I’m doing a lot of things right, but what else could I be doing?

Megan Porta 18:34

Yeah, absolutely. So if we do go the self-audit route, what do you recommend we actually look at?

Aimee Pruett 18:41

I would say there’s a lot of things. So you can, I mean you can look at everything on your site, but I would say, you know, really number one kind of just going down is the overall site experience. You want to actually go into your site and click around, see how, you know, put yourself in their shoes, put yourself in a user’s shoes and see and click around, see how they might experience things and what the overall site experiences for a user. Because again, I think a lot of times we’ve put up content on our blogs, but maybe we’re not going through to our homepage all the time and trying to use it like a user would. I see all the time people saying like, oh, I didn’t know my ad density was so high  or I didn’t know this pop-up ad was happening here. And that just means you’re not going to your own blog and kind of seeing what that experience looks like. So you want to, you want to check it on desktop, mobile, if you have a tablet, check it on tablet and just look at it on all those different things because things can show up differently on those. So really just going and, and seeing what the site experience is like. So that’s one.

Aimee Pruett 19:41

Number two I would say is branding. So asking yourself, are you telling the same story on your blog? Your social media, everywhere you are online. If someone hears your blog name, what would be the words they should think of, and is that the same across all your channels? And are, is your color, are your colors the same? Like, are you basically like how is your branding, is it consistent across everything and does it tell the story you want it to tell? And you know, really looking at your homepage, because that is kind of the storefront, your gateway to the blog. So is everything up to date on there? What are you featuring? Do you have an email opt-in, you know, what the overall experience is? And then also the about us page, because I know, we know how important it is these days to really showcase your experience and your EAT and really have that personality behind it and you showcasing like why you are the authority on that. So I have actually seen a couple of scenarios where a blogger has done some really cool things and been featured in, in some amazing things, but they don’t mention it on their about page. Yeah. And it’s such a miss and you know, I know like, it, it could come from a couple of places where somebody is maybe a little too embarrassed that they don’t think that it’s, you know, they really want to showcase it on there. You know, they’re like shy about it, don’t want to be braggy or the other scenarios. They just get busy with the other stuff and don’t, and forget to update their about page. But like, you know, it adds great authority so they, you know, really need to take the time to like add it in there and update it.

Megan Porta 21:12

This is a key point, especially since the Google helpful content update. We’re all familiar. Some of us more than others, but I keep telling my mastermind group, like, you guys, if you haven’t updated your about page, do it today. Like, don’t do it. You know, I’ll do it like next month. Like seriously sit down and do it because it’s really, really important. And I get it. Like, it’s hard to talk about ourselves in a way that’s like kind of braggy, like, oh, I’ve done this and I’ve been here and I’ve been there. But I think that that is like the one thing that you can do in your control right now that’s really going to send a signal to Google and to your user how awesome you are and how experienced and how much expertise you have in all of those words that we hear all the time. That is like a huge, huge thing.

Aimee Pruett 22:00

I agree. And you know, Megan, you mentioned like don’t do it. Like don’t put it off till next week. Yeah. I think it’s so easy to put it off, you know, because again, like we want to spend time on posts or things that we think are going to drive more traffic and revenue and our about us page. Like we’re like, ugh. Like that’s not going to, that’s not, you know, going to drive search traffic or you know, it’s not going to drive revenue. And so we put it off, but we forget about how much those small things do impact the overall experience to, you know, for the E-A-T and then also just, you know, if somebody comes to our blog and they want to read about us and you know, if they want to sign up for our email list or whatever, they might check out that about us page. About sage and say like, why would I want to follow this person and what I want to know more about them. And so it is important to kind of put your best foot forward there.

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Megan Porta 24:17

Can I share a little hack I have for about pages?

Aimee Pruett 24:20


Megan Porta 24:21

So I actually happen to love my about page. And the reason is because I didn’t write it, I hired a really good friend of mine to write it and just assumed like she knows me really well. She would put things in there that I wouldn’t necessarily put in and kind of brag in a way that I wouldn’t. So when she was finished, I was like, this is so perfect and I never would’ve written this way about myself. So I don’t know, like if you have a good friend or someone in your family who knows you really well, who is good at writing, hire them, pay them money to write, at least get an about page started and that way you know it’s going to get done in a certain timeframe and you’re going to get that kind of braggy stuff written about you that you wouldn’t do yourself.

Aimee Pruett 25:05

Megan, that’s, that’s such a great tip. And I think, you know, I kind of think about it in relation to like, when you’re searching for a job and you have a resume and there are resume writers that can like help you, you know, craft things in the right way. Yeah. It’s like, yeah, you don’t need to be the one to always, you know, it’s hard to talk about yourself. So, you know, it’s so I think it’s such a good tip to get somebody else to come in there and write it for you. Then you can always modify it, but like for them to kind of like put those words down on paper and talk about what they, you know, their perspective and they’re more likely to brag on you than you would on yourself. Like I think that is such a good tip.

Megan Porta 25:41

Yeah, I mean I, it kind of accidentally happened, but once it did I was like, oh, I’m so glad I did that and now I just recommend that all the time. Find someone who knows you.

Aimee Pruett 25:50

I love it.

Megan Porta 25:50

Yeah. So what else do you look at when doing an audit?

Aimee Pruett 25:54

Yeah, I would say, so this is, this is a big one that most bloggers usually don’t fall into, but I was doing an audit probably about a month ago and I saw this, which is broken links. I was doing an audit and I, and I found that this one blogger had two broken links on our homepage. And this is a blogger that is on Raptive, like she is successful, you know, she has ads on her site, but I think, you know, she just missed something with the content. And so these prominent links on the homepage were leading nowhere to 404 pages. And so I think, yeah, especially on the homepage, like I said, clicking around making sure you don’t have any broken links, you know, on your about page two, just trying, you know, to make sure you don’t have any of those running things through a broken link checker if you can and fixing those when you can. But yeah, I think that’s, that’s a big one, especially when it’s on your homepage. You don’t want to encounter that.

Megan Porta 26:48

It can seem like a small issue, but that’s not a small issue.  a small issue, that’s a big issue.

Aimee Pruett 26:53

Absolutely. Yes. And then I would say, you know, post structure recipe card, internal linking photography, like all the other stuff that we think about, you know, just in terms of like posts and site experience. And then I would say finally, you know, I just diving into your Google Analytics and search console data, like I said, you know, not everybody you know wants to do this all the time, but it is really important to see, you know, what’s going on with your posts and, and if things are dropping or rising in the rankings and you know where your top pages were, different times of year, because I know every summer I know that there are pages of mine, posts of mine that do really well and then they drop off in the fall and that’s fine and I know that happens, but then next summer I always expect them to pick up again. And if I didn’t take the time to kind of go through and kind of look at those numbers and audit my site for those numbers and really follow those trends, then, you know, next, next year they could completely fall in the rankings. And if I didn’t know that those posts did well then I wouldn’t, then I might see a big traffic drop and I wouldn’t know what caused it. So I think it’s important to also just making sure you’re diving into those analytics, search console, Pinterest analytics, you know, whatever it is, just knowing what’s going on with your site and where your traffic’s coming from.

Megan Porta 28:05

Knowledge is power, right?

Aimee Pruett 28:07

It really is.

Megan Porta 28:08

And not everyone likes the numbers, but there I do have another hack with that I’ve been doing, are you familiar with RankIQs, Brandon Gaille’s, the quadrant series that he takes people through to determine which content has been, he calls it like leaky bucket syndrome, which content was doing well that is no longer doing well, it’s kind of dropping off. It’s exactly what you’re talking about, Aimee, but he talks through this process. He has a series on his podcast, but then there’s also like a video walkthrough on, I think it’s on the RankIQ site. I can put it in the show notes, but I’ve started doing that this year and it is so helpful because I don’t necessarily know what to look for when I go into Google Analytics. Like, you know, I don’t think a lot of us do, but he, he tells us exactly what to look for and then kind of orders things according to what you should be updating first, second, third, and so on. So it’s, it’s super helpful and it’s the reason that my traffic right now is going bonkers, crazy awesome, because I started doing that at the beginning of the year, so I highly recommend that. Or something along the lines of what you’re talking about.

Aimee Pruett 29:16

Yeah, I agree. I know what you’re talking about. And I think it’s really smart how he walks through that because I think, you know, just some of the perspectives he, he gives in that and what you should focus on are things that aren’t as intuitive as I would necessarily think. Right. And, and so, you know, focusing on some of the posts that like, you just kind of like are doing well, but you want to rise to the next level, you know? Yeah. because I, I feel like sometimes I focus on the posts that are just like, Ugh, they didn’t get zero traffic, but I need, I need to make them get traffic. Yeah. And it’s like, well, you’re not, you might not see the bang for the buck there that you want. So he really does a good job with that quadrant, like helping you prioritize a little bit better what posts to update and focus on.

Megan Porta 29:56

Some of the stuff that comes up when going through his process, I’m like, no, I, I kind of resist it. Like, right. I don’t think that should be the thing that I’m focusing on, but then I do it begrudgingly and guess what, those posts take off. So there is magic to the process. So kind of just trust in the process and if you decide to do his method, do it anyway. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So is that kind of all the main things that you would look for during a self-audit?

Aimee Pruett 30:23

Yeah, I would say so. I mean, I would say, yeah, look at everything, but definitely make a list of everything I talked about and make sure you are, are looking at each of those things because you know, you don’t want to, you don’t want broken links. You want to make sure your branding’s good, you want your post structure to be good, you know, all those things. You, you want to make sure you’re looking at all of the, all of those things.

Megan Porta 30:41

Do you recommend logging these things too? Like maybe opening a sheet and documenting what you’re seeing each time?

Aimee Pruett 30:48

Absolutely, yes. Because I think, yeah, you’re going to, at the end of the day, you’re also going to want to know what you should work on. So yeah, I think it’s important to kind of go through and, and make lists and notes on everything.

Megan Porta 30:58

Aside from the broken links, what other common things do you see that food bloggers are doing wrong or missing?

Aimee Pruett 31:05

So as I’ve been doing this, I feel like there’s, there’s definitely some trends of things that I, I see more than any others. So I mean I, yeah, I see stuff here and there. Obviously every blog is different, but the things that I see most commonly that any blogger should kind of look out for is number one, ads or popups hindering the overall experience and making it hard to navigate. I do see this typically happen more with newer bloggers who maybe are using AdSense. Maybe they’re not on MediaVine or Raptive, where you can control the ads as much, but sometimes still even popups, you know, make it hard to navigate around. Especially there might be a popup that it’s really hard to see how to x out of it and you know, so that’s going to cause somebody just to navigate away from the site and you’re not getting that ad revenue and not getting that engagement. And so I think a, that’s, that’s one thing that I see a lot is just bad overall experience where even, you know, ads are covering the recipe card. You know, I know a lot of ad networks like MediaVine have ads in the recipe card and that’s not what I’m talking about. because Like a lot of times those are fine, like, you know, those aren’t covering the recipe. But every once in a while there is popups and stuff that just cover the recipe and you know, it’s hard to figure out how to make them go away, especially if you’re on mobile. And so I think that’s a big one is just ads and popups hindering the site experience, which would cause somebody probably just to be frustrated and click away and look for another recipe.

Megan Porta 32:32

This is why I got rid of email popups completely. I don’t do, I haven’t done them in years because of this very thing. Aimee, I went, went kinda did like a self-audit on this and I was looking at my site and I could not find a popup that was easy to get rid of. That wasn’t super frustrating for me. It was like, oh my gosh, there’s already these video ads and, and ads, you know, that are earning me revenue. I don’t need this extra thing. And I know that’s such a no-no to say from an email marketing perspective. So sorry email marketers, but I just like, I could not justify it. So I completely did away with it and I’ve been at peace with that.

Aimee Pruett 33:09

I actually agree with you.

Megan Porta 33:11

Oh good.

Aimee Pruett 33:12

I’m on the same page. I have an email sign up on my side of course, as we all should to grow our email list, but I don’t have a popup for it. And that is the exact reason I just, I don’t want somebody coming to my site and one of the first things that they interact with is a popup where I know they want the recipe. I know, I know they want the recipe. I know they’re looking for the recipe. I would rather get the email sign up because they really want more content of mine. And I, you know, I share my recipes in Facebook groups a lot and what I see happen is when sun bloggers share it, I do see complaints from the people in Facebook groups about, you know, and this is, you know, people that are wanting to make the recipes. So people that are wanting to make cookie recipes or whatever, like somebody might say like, oh, I had to leave the site because there were just so many ads, it was hard to navigate or it was just filled with popups. And I have gotten complaints like that maybe once or twice in the last, you know, two years that I’ve been sharing recipes to Facebook groups. And it’s because I think I don’t have an email popup and I really try to optimize for the site experience overall, so that way people will click on my recipes and appreciate them. And so I, you know, and again, like you said, email marketers probably hate us, but I, you know, you kind of have, it’s, you have to weigh it like the site experience versus popup. I’m never going to tell anybody that, oh my gosh, take down your email popup unless it’s something where it’s just hard to navigate away from and stuff because you know, they, they see the value in it, but it might be, be aware of how this is affecting the experience.

Megan Porta 34:43

Well you said the perfect thing. I want people to get on my email list because they want to, so if somebody wants to get emails from me, they will figure out how to do that. It doesn’t need to be like right in their face right away when they’re probably wanting the recipe right away. That is just going to annoy them. I think. So it’s, I think it’s a personal decision for sure. But for me it’s an absolute no-brainer for my site.

Aimee Pruett 35:06

Yeah, exactly.

Megan Porta 35:07

Okay, so we have all this information, we’ve done a self-audit, or we’ve gotten a professional audit, now we might be overwhelmed, right? How do we like take the next step and actually take action?

Aimee Pruett 35:18

Well before we go into that, do you mind if I share a couple more mistakes just because I think.

Megan Porta 35:22

Oh yes, please.

Aimee Pruett 35:23

I feel like it’s important for everybody to kind of be aware of these. So I have two more. So one, one thing that I see on many, many blogs is a logo that’s a little too intricate and hard to read. I, I think, you know, a lot of us might get like logos design that we’re super proud of, but the text on it is just too small to read or, you know, there’s just too much going on in the image and it might look okay on desktop, but if you view it on double on mobile, you actually can’t read it. And I think that’s really bad because if somebody goes to your site, they want to, you know, see your logo, recognize it, but then also see your site name and your logo. So I would say yeah, having logos that are hard to read is something I encounter a lot and something that, you know, everybody needs to maybe think about simplifying. Yeah. But also making sure their logo represents them and is fun and if they want it to be fun or, you know, represents their brand personality, but also just making sure that people can read it.

Megan Porta 36:19

Yeah, absolutely. I know of a bigger blogger who has a logo exactly what you’re talking about, and it’s like, I, I mean I know the brand because it’s just a, a known brand. . . But like I can’t, I don’t know if anyone can actually read this. So that is something so simple that we can just, you know, really easy, easily evaluate by just like looking at it on your phone and on a tablet and from different perspectives.

Aimee Pruett 36:46

Yeah. And it’s, you know, it’s something that happens all the time and you know, it just happens.

Megan Porta 36:52


Aimee Pruett 36:53

And then the last thing that I see a lot, and it’s, again, so easy to overlook, but it’s where a blogger hasn’t updated their seasonal content. So maybe actually they, you know, their email opt-in is for summer content, but we’re close to Thanksgiving. Or maybe they’re sharing Valentine’s content and we’re in the summer. And then the same thing on the homepage I see where people have kind of a featured category, but it does not match up with the season we are in right now. So I would say that’s always something important to look at, especially when you’re doing a self-audit, is go through your homepage and say, Hey, is all of this relevant right now in the time we’re in? Because that appears time and time again where, you know, just it gets overlooked. because again, we might not be visiting our homepage and we might have, you know, been so proud of ourselves, we put up this seasonal content , but then we forget to switch it out. So yeah, again, that’s something we all need to need to be aware of.

Megan Porta 37:47

Do you recommend maybe putting something in your calendar as the season changes? Just to remind yourself of that?

Aimee Pruett 37:53

I think so. And then I think also maybe putting a time in your calendar to do yourself audit on a regular basis too is, is a good tip. Because especially yeah, if you’re, if you have an opt-in that’s seasonal, you want to have a calendar reminder to switch it out.

Megan Porta 38:08

Yes. And if you follow through with it, if you, you have the blog audit on your calendar and you actually follow through, I say do a self-reward because good job. Right?

Aimee Pruett 38:17

Love that. Love the self-rewards.

Megan Porta 38:19

Okay. Any more mistakes you want to mention?

Aimee Pruett 38:22

Those are the top ones that I see time and time again.

Megan Porta 38:25

Okay. So now how do we take action?

Aimee Pruett 38:28

Yeah, so this is the important part because we can do the audit, we can do a self-audit, we can get a professional audit. But, but you know, like you said before, you, like you talked about, should we make a list of this? Yes, we absolutely should make a list of this. If you’re doing a self audit, you should make a list of everything that you’re seeing. And then if you have a professional audit, hopefully they are providing you with a list of recommendations and kind of their findings. And then basically based off of that, you should take the list of recommendations and then prioritize based off of your long-term and short-term goals. Because again, every business is different. You know, your business and you are going to have to decide what makes sense for your business based on your goals and priorities. So I think, you know, from the email list side of things, what we talked about, Megan, if somebody came and did a, did an audit of my site and told me, Hey, you should really put up an email popup in there, I would say, okay, does that make sense with what I want my goals and priorities right now though? And really think that through, I think, you know, I’d be like, that’s a great recommendation, you know, but is it something I want to do now? And just think about how that fits into my goals and priorities and what you were saying earlier about Brandon and the quadrant of updating posts. But also we also have to remember that the, if somebody is doing an audit of our site, sometimes it’s good to have that fresh perspective.

Aimee Pruett 39:47

So we might think about, you know, in, in, in that case, we’re thinking about updating posts in maybe a different way and prioritizing a different way that we wouldn’t normally. So the same thing with getting a blog audit. Somebody might make a recommendation, you’re like, I don’t, that doesn’t make sense for my site. You should really think it through and think, okay, but is it going to help me achieve the growth I want? Does it make sense for my site right now? And so again, it’s, it’s all about prioritizing, deciding what makes sense for your business and then also figuring out which things you want to do and if there are things you need to outsource, because I think that’s important too. There are things that we’re like, Ugh, I don’t have the time for that. I know it’s recommendation, but it’s going to take me like three days to even like just full-time to sit down and figure that out. But maybe you can hire somebody else to do it that’s an expert in it that’s going to take them way less time and be way less of a headache for you where you can focus on other parts of your business. So I think that’s also important just to figure out like what things you can do and what things maybe you need to hire out to do, someone else to do. And then also what that calendar looks like for if, if you have a long list of recommendations and things you need to update, are there things you need to do now versus a month or two or three months down the road? So I think that’s always important is just prioritizing getting that set up depending on what organization system you use. If it’s Google Docs or Airtable or Asana or whatever it is, you know, getting that in there then, so that way you have those in there and can really then make those updates.

Megan Porta 41:13

And just be sure you act and you don’t Yes. Sit on the things you know you need to do for too long. Right.

Aimee Pruett 41:19

That is absolutely true. Yeah. You have to take action.

Megan Porta 41:22

Yeah. It’s hard to take action.

Aimee Pruett 41:24

Yeah, absolutely. And I don’t think I even mentioned this, but yeah, I’ve talked about how I’ve, how I’ve looked at these sites and I actually do this as a service too for other bloggers. Yeah. So, yeah, so I, I love helping out other bloggers. Like I think my years in, in marketing and working for clients like have just made me like, I just want to help other people and, and, and stuff. So I have a service where, where I, I do blog audits for, for other bloggers as well and specialize in food blogs, especially a sport of course, since that’s, that’s what I do.

Megan Porta 41:55

So how do people get hold of you if they’re interested in not doing it themselves and having you help?

Aimee Pruett 42:01

Yeah, so they can go to That’s where I have my services listed and resources so they can get more information there about any services pricing. And you know, obviously there’s always free resources too, so, so yeah, they can go there for just a lot of resources on getting a blog audit, a professional audit, or also free resources. So yeah, is where they would go to get more information on that.

Megan Porta 42:23

And then I see that you offer mini versus advanced audits.

Aimee Pruett 42:28

I do, yes.

Megan Porta 42:29

How do you decide where a blogger would fit in there?

Aimee Pruett 42:33

I would say a mini audit is really good for those bloggers who are kind of wanting to just make sure they have a good check on everything. The ones that, you know, kind of like me back in 2019 when I was, when I was like, I just want to make sure everything on my site is correct, but I’m not missing anything that, you know, I’m not missing any opportunities. I’m doing everything right. I think a mini audit is a great quick check for that. I think the difference is the advanced audit really looks at, you know, more specific pages on your site, and then it also looks at, you know, it, it does a dive into analytics and search console data to really pull out those opportunities and say, Hey, here are your posts that are getting a lot of traction right now. Here are some that have fallen, you know, here could be some reasons. And, you know, just kind of really doing kind of that analytics analysis too that, you know, is a lot more in depth, but can also kind of uncover some of those things for, for bloggers who are just like, Hey, I want to, I have a big loss in traffic. I want to figure out what’s going on. Or I kind of want to, you know, see some, what some opportunities are, you know, from a bigger picture that, that are using my data. So, so I think that that’s the big difference between the two.

Megan Porta 43:37

Then I see that you have a podcast, Aimee. Talk about that.

Aimee Pruett 43:41

I do. I actually was very inspired by being on your podcast last year. I’ve done a lot of webinars in my job, presented a lot of information, and being on your podcast just made me realize how much I love sharing information. And so I’d been wanting to do it for a while. So I think it was this summer I started a food blogging podcast as well. And I don’t interview guests like you do, I just kind of talk about, you know, what’s going on in the industry and sharing tips. But yeah, I, I love doing it. And it’s at Food Banjo is the name of my podcast, so I have a lot of fun with that.

Megan Porta 44:14

Amazing. Adding it to my list now. I’m super excited to listen. Cool. Okay. Is there anything we should mention before we start saying goodbye, Aimee?

Aimee Pruett 44:22

I think that’s, I think that is it. That’s, that’s the big things. And just again, like I encourage, you know, whether you’re going to do a professional audit or not, like everybody should be looking at their site on a regular basis and doing self-audits. So if you haven’t done that in the past, add it to your calendar and make sure you’re doing it.

Megan Porta 44:39

Okay. I’m going to add that to my calendar today. Thank you for the nudge , and just thank you for joining me again and for delivering all this value. We appreciate you so much. It was such a pleasure to chat with you again. I love our conversations.

Aimee Pruett 44:51

It’s so fun. Thanks Megan. Yeah.

Megan Porta 44:53

Do you have another quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?

Aimee Pruett 44:57

I do. And it is, remember when you will wanted what you currently have. And the reason why I love that is just I think you know too, like especially when you’re blogging and have a food blog, there’s all the times where you’re like, oh, I need to be, I need to be further along than I am now. I need to be doing more. And then you have to, you have to have the gratitude for man. But two years ago, I really wanted to be where I’m at now and I, you know, was really striving for this. So I think you, again, you always have to celebrate the small wins and think how far you’ve come. So that’s why I love that quote.

Megan Porta 00:45:29

A little perspective shift can go such a long way. Seriously. It really can.

Aimee Pruett 00:45:34


Megan Porta 00:45:34

Yes. Amazing. I love that. We’ll put together another show notes page for you, Aimee, and we’ll put all the stuff we talked about today inside of that. And you can head to Tell everyone again where they can find you, mention social media, anything else you wanna mention. Perfect.

Aimee Pruett 00:45:53

Yeah, you can find me, as I mentioned, at for any of the audit services and just blogging resources. And then is my food blog, and then I’m Food Banjo on all the social media channels.

Megan Porta 00:46:09

Awesome. Yes. Thank you, Aimee, so much for being here. And thank you for listening, food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Outro 00:46:17

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.

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