Performing a Site Audit
Are you familiar with website audits? Today we’re going to outline what they are, how to perform one, and why they’re important.
Even your website needs an annual check-up
You already know annual maintenance is important for your car, your home’s equipment and your health. It’s important for websites, too! A site audit is an analysis of how well your website works for users and search engines. An audit examines the factors that affect your website’s visibility in search engines while making sure your users are able to navigate through your site and find what they’re looking for. To get the most out of your website, it is best to review it once or twice a year against a checklist of items. While site audits are especially useful for older sites, they are helpful for newer sites as well since design trends, technology, and search engine algorithms change so frequently.
Has any content been added since the last review? If not, it is best to consider areas that might be added to or updated. Do you have new products? New services? Updated pricing? Are there customer segments you are focusing on that you didn’t before? Even if nothing needs to be added, it is best to review the text on the site for accuracy.
Search Engine Optimization
If your services, products, or customers have shifted, it may be time to review the keywords, tags and base SEO on the site to make sure they are targeted to the correct segments. If, for example, you were previously courting retail customers but now would like to focus more on corporate clients, an adjustment should be made so you are showing in the correct search results.
Are there new functions you would like to add to the website? A search function? Mapping feature? A staff page with head shots? Ready to get your blog started? Want to add a chat feature? A project portfolio? Want to add features to your store? Enhancements like these can add to your engagement and ultimately more phone calls and sales
Should any of the imagery be updated? Does the photography still reflect the business personality and services being offered? Should it simply be updated to keep the site looking fresh? Were there any images that you decided to live with at first, but now you’d like to find something better?
Has someone on your team been adding content to the site? If you haven’t been reviewing that, now might be the time for a spot check to ensure that the site styles are still in place and that brand image is staying consistent from page to page.
Are you reviewing the site statistics occasionally? It’s good to have a grasp of some basics such as bounce rate, time spent per page, time spent per visitor, main entry and exit pages and page with the highest traffic rates. Basics like these can tell you what visitors are most interested in, where the site can use improvement and where to put your marketing effort to get the most bang for your buck.
If your site has been live for two years or more, it may be time to think about what has happened in terms of web tech advances since the site was originally built. Responsiveness has been around a while now but the options keep improving. You should review how the site looks and performs on various devices to see if it can be improved. With anywhere from 30-70% of your site traffic coming from a mobile device (and always on the rise), mobile can’t be ignored. Other parts of the website may also have new options available.
Has the design of the site withstood the test of time? Has your logo been updated or have your brand colors shifted? Are there simply some upgrades you would like to see in the site to improve the appearance?