Six Points Every Website Audit Must Address—
When was the last time you performed a website audit? Last year? Just after your latest redesign? Never? You should carefully audit your website as much as you visit your dentist — or at least should.
To be sure, there’s no such thing as a finished website. Chances are your website has evolved since it was launched. That means there’s new content including copy, images and certainly messaging. A semi-annual review of your site will help you identify if the site is achieving its objective, consistent with your brand and attracting and holding quality visitors on a regular basis.
To be sure, a website audit is not solely focused on SEO (search engine optimization). Rather, it may help identify areas of your website that need SEO focus. More important, a website audit takes a holistic approach to reviewing a website and establishes a solid list of improvements, fixes and updates necessary to better reflect and comunicate your image, message and benefits. Plus, a website audit will identify any outdated technology and potential interface and usability enhancements that might leverage new technology or website best practices.
A complete list of tasks necessary to perform a comprehensive website is beyond the scope of this article and in most cases, website audits should be customized based on the type of website, business and market. However, here are five things every website audit should include.
- Content Review – Is you content current, compelling and communicate clearly? Does it attract and hold your customers. Review analytics of bounce rates and conversions.
- Technical Analysis – Review site performance. Is your core, platform and site framework up to date? What is your backup and restore strategy? How easy is it to update content? Are you taking advantage of new technology and social media?
- SEO Insights – Quick review to identify if you’ve covered the basic in SEO: page titles, URLs, header tags, meta descriptions, xml sitemaps, alt tags, image tags and incoming, outgoing and intrasite links. Are you paying attention to analytics?
- Brand Compliance & Consistency — Are you consitent with your brand style guide and rules? Using the same colors, fonts, graphics throughout the site. Do all your pages and content areas reinforce your brand and message? How can you improve the look of your website.
- Usability — Is your site navigation intuitive? Does it take too many clicks to perform basic navigation? If you’re using a shopping cart, is it easy to buy and pay for products and services? What secondary and tertiatry navigation are you using. Are you taking advantage of innovation in technology and navigation methods?
- Capture & Conversion — Are you capturing the attention of your visitors and converting them? What’s the conversion strategy? Sale, memberhip, mailing list sign up, subscription to blog or enewsletter? Review analytics and identify rate and set plan to improve that rate? Set plan to review, improve, measure and monitor.
If it has been more than six months since you’ve performed a website audit, it’s time you take a closer look, you could be losing customers without knowing. At the conclusion of your audit you should be armed with a solid action plan that will help you improve performance of your website, bring you up to date with technology and increase conversions and sales.