Building and launching a profitable website is a labour of love. It requires an investment of time and money for it to attract and convert your ideal paying client. But be warned, if you neglect to maintain the framework of the site you spent weeks building, it can quickly become non-performing, and actually negatively impact your bottom line. In short, all that time and money goes down the drain if you don’t pop the hood up every now and then and have a good rummage around.
A website audit is essentially an evaluation of your site performance. It needs to be a central factor in determining whether your site implementation is optimised to reach the goals and objectives that you set out to achieve when you first launched it.
It doesn’t matter if you have a flawless design or some of the most exceptionally creative and beautifully put together content. If you’re not regularly carrying out those all-important checks, how can you really be sure that your site is working as effectively as it should for your business?
So, now that you’ve popped the hood – where do you start?
1. First things first – let’s assess your website’s performance. The sole purpose of having a website is to be seen and therefore you need to audit your site through the eyes of your visitor. Is it working effectively? Do all your links work, or are there 404 errors? Are you maximising the use of keywords and are you producing high quality content that converts?
2. One of the most crucial factors to consider is site speed; how long does it take for your website to load? I’ve mentioned before that we’re an impatient bunch, and there’s data to prove it. Although it varies by sector, most studies agree that sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load will lose around 53% of mobile users. Read that again, that’s over half your traffic bouncing because your site is too slow.
If your site is taking longer than 3 seconds to load, you’re going to want to do a little digging and find out why? More often than not, it’s down to images that aren’t optimised for web use, or an issue with too much html which can really bring the site speed down. If you have an inbuilt SEO toolkit, you can run an SEO analysis which will list a range of errors on your site for you to rectify.
3. Have you made sure that your site is optimised for mobile? With advancing technology and well over half of all Google searches now taking place on a mobile device (a trend that isn’t going away), having a mobile-optimised website is essential to ensuring all visitors get the best user experience. In fact, Google now also penalises you if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, meaning you’re not ranked as highly in search results.
4. What about your SEO? Search Engine Optimisation is important for driving organic traffic to your site based on tagging your content appropriately so that you rank for the keywords most relevant to your business. This also includes ensuring all your images have alt text – super crucial to make sure your site is accessible.
5. If your site is performing well and you’re getting good, consistent traffic to the site, the next thing to tackle is conversions. You should be regularly reviewing your site analytics: what pages are getting the most traffic? How is that traffic moving between pages? Do you have clear and concise calls to actions (CTAs) on each page?
If you run an ecommerce business, what about your checkout process? Have you tried it yourself? Is the process as simple and intuitive as it can be? If there are too many steps, you’re more likely to have abandoned carts, because the customer can no longer be bothered to complete the process. Really you should be aiming for a checkout flow that has 4 steps or less.
What is my best next step?
I totally understand that it can be difficult to know where to start when carrying out a website audit. So to help you out even further, my 10 minute Website Audit guide will help you quickly evaluate just how effective your website is, and determine what areas to tackle first. Download it for FREE here.
Alternatively, you can book a Website Audit call with me to get my expert feedback on what practical changes you can make on your site in order to see immediate results. Use my calendar to book a date and time that suits you and we’ll put together a tailored action plan for your website.