Using Website Audits to Find Opportunities (and Errors) On Your Site
One of the biggest misconceptions that business owners and marketers have is that they can launch a website -- and then let it sit without any updates, changes, or optimizations.
A website shouldn’t be a static piece of your marketing that stays the same for years or even months. You should regularly revisit your website with a critical eye to find out what you can update, how you can improve, and especially, what you need to fix if and when errors evolve.
That’s why you need to conduct regular website audits.
What’s a Website Audit?
A website audit is a review of your current website that prompts you to look for opportunities to enhance the site, improve your messaging, and resolve any problems. You should regularly conduct website audits to ensure that your business website is both working properly and working effectively for your business.
5 Ways to Conduct a Website Audit
There are many ways to conduct a website audit. You can perform a very detailed review of your site, or you can simply run through your pages with a critical eye.
Here are a few approaches you can take based on your resources, your goals, and the time between your audits.
#1) Experience your site as visitors do.
Simply step into the shoes of your audience, and take a tour of your site as if you have never seen it before. Read the content, and follow the site funnel to see where it takes you and if you have any questions along the way.
#2) Ask cold audiences for feedback.
Even if you review your site like a new visitor, there are still things you already know that will prevent you from seeing the site with totally fresh eyes. So ask other third-parties who aren’t familiar with the site to review it and provide feedback.
#3) Review your analytics.
If you can’t conduct personal website reviews, look to your Google analytics to find out what current site visitors experience. Pay close attention to bounce rates that show which pages lose audiences, and look at the most popular pages to see how they drive and hold attention.
#4) Use site audit tools.
Tools that review and scan your site can also expose lurking problems or optimization opportunities that aren’t necessarily visible to the eye. Consider using tools like SEMRush, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, and other similar options that review your site for SEO, performance, and content quality.
#5) Hire experts to conduct an audit.
Combine the best of user feedback and audit tools by working with a professional to perform a regular audit on your site. Work with website strategists who understand industry best practices and have access to top audit tools to ensure your site meets ever-changing website standards.
What To Review During a Website Audit
No matter what method you choose to conduct your website audit, look at these site elements when you go through the process.
Consider what it’s like for users who land on your site. Look at the site from their perspective, and identify things that create a positive or negative experience.
- Are site elements clear and easy to read?
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Can you easily find the content you need?
- Do all links open to active, correct pages?
Design and Layout
Website aesthetics and design best practices regularly change. If your site was created a year or more ago, consider if the design and layout are modern and up to current standards.
- Is the design of the site consistent with modern layouts?
- Does the site look good on all screen sizes?
- Are the photos outdated?
Messaging and Content
As your brand evolves, so does your messaging. Review your site to see if all messaging is consistent with your brand and offerings. Confirm that all content is accurate and also high-quality. Identify content that needs to be updated or rewritten.
- Are the taglines consistent with your current messaging?
- Are all of your products and services listed on the site?
- Are all of the details for your products and services current?
- Is the pricing on your site accurate?
- Are all of the sales and promotions current?
- Is your team page up-to-date and accurate?
The most effective websites have a conversion funnel strategy that naturally moves users from one page to the next on their way to a conversion, such as signing up for a list or making a purchase. Review your site to see if there is a clear conversion funnel.
- Is there is an obvious end-goal for what visitors should do when they visit your site (download an ebook, sign up for a free consultation, make a purchase, etc.)?
- Does every page move users along a path toward that goal?
- Are there call-to-actions at the end of each page that drives users toward that goal?
Social Proof & Trust Signals
Social proof and trust signals are site elements that make visitors feel comfortable doing business with you. As you look at your site, consider if there are any or enough of these signs.
- Does the site include reviews or testimonials?
- Does the site include logos or mentions of past customers/clients?
- Are there before-and-after photos or case studies that show the results of your work?
- Are there site security badges on check-out pages?
Search engine optimization helps your website get in front of interested customers when they want to find a business like you. Make sure you have set up your site for SEO best practices that appeal to top search engines. SEO audits can be quite complex so consider using a checklist or tool to review your site for on-page, off-page, technical, and local SEO.
Performance & Security
Even if your site content is great and the design is beautiful, visitors won’t stick around for long if the site doesn’t work or feel secure. So ensure that your site meets standards for performance, speed, and security.
- How quickly does your site load?
- Are users bouncing before the site fully loads?
- Is your site secure?
- Do you have an SSL certificate and a secure check-out?
- Are all of your plugins and CMS up-to-date?
When Was Your Last Website Audit?
If you can’t recall your last website audit, or worse, you’ve never done a site audit -- it’s time to get started. Use these tips to conduct a site review on your own, or reach out to a partner like MyArea Network to get a professional analysis of your site.
Don’t let opportunities to improve your website and business slip through the cracks. Make sure your website is set up to drive real results. Contact MyArea Network to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you audit and improve your site.