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Why We Ask for Full Access During our Website Audits

One of my fave things to do here at Adster is website audits! It’s partly because I get to tear apart someone else’s website and tell them everything that’s wrong with it. It’s the best! It also plays to one of my strengths: delegating! After we discover potential issues with a site, our amazing team delves into fixing them.

A common question our team gets from clients when we do a full site audit is about access – why do y’all need login credentials for my Google Analytics, my website CMS, my FTP, etc? Buy a girl a drink first, naw mean?

Other than the fact that you’re paying us to lurk around your website, we’re not trying to invade your privacy. We’re just trying to make sure we discover absolutely everything there is to know about your website and your digital marketing in order to give you the most accurate diagnosis.

Here’s what we need and why we need it. (Of course, if you don’t have all of these things, that’s fine! That in and of itself is a great indicator of where your web presence is at and how we can help.)

Google Analytics

This is probably the most important tool that we need access to. Analytics allows us to take a look at traffic sources, who is coming to which pages, how they are visiting, see if there are broken/duplicate pages, see if there are any goals set up already – so many things really!

Google Adwords

If you’re already running Adwords, we’d really like to take a look and run your campaigns through our Adwords grader to diagnose potential issues and point out improvements that our team can make if you decide to move forward and work with us.

Google My Business

Here we mainly want to check out how this has been set up. Local SEO has a lot of nuances & rules – did you follow them?


If we suspect there are any sort of major technical problems with the site ( organic ranking issues, spammy backlinks, etc.), we may set up a Google tool called Search Console and FTP access can be required to do this.

Search Console is a free tool that your team can continue to use – it helps to diagnose technical issues and it’s so great and amazing and I LOVE IT.

FTP access can be the most difficult credentials for us to get – rightly so, many clients & developers hold this information pretty close to their chests as it’s essentially giving away the keys to their sites. We’ve also worked with a lot of clients who have proprietary CMS’s and simply can’t give this to us – that’s fine, let us know and we’ll find a way to work with your website crew to get that sweet sweet Search Console setup without this!

Your site may already have Search Console setup so access to this would be all we need in this case.

Content management system (WordPress login, for example)

for a CMS that we’re less familiar with (especially anything custom) this will help us determine what kind of fixes our team will actually be able to make after we put together our recommendations. Some CMS’s don’t allow certain changes to even be made to a site, or they may be particularly complex and we try to be as accurate as possible when we put together a quote – poking around in the back end lets us do this.

We only need view only access for any of these items. We don’t want to change anything, we swear! Our team is trying to get the best overall picture of your website and it’s overall health & wellness.

Interested in learning more about website audits and building a digital strategy for your business? Contact us today!