Why is it necessary to audit your website? What are the goals of a website audit?
Ultimately the goal of a website audit comes down to two things:
Increase the efficiency of your website to rank higher in search engines and do more business.
If you improve search engine rankings, you’re going to have more people visiting your site and more business opportunities.
By improving the content and user experience on your website, you’ll increase the number of conversions that result from the increased opportunities created.
If you don’t audit your website regularly, you’re going to fall behind and your website will quickly become obsolete. Letting your website go can be costly for two reasons; you’re going to lose business that you could be getting on your website, and when you do come around to making a change, you’re going to have to completely refresh your entire website all at once.
The user experience includes everything from the design of your site to the content within its pages. It’s how users interact with your website.
So you had your website designed last year. It looks great, but when you had it designed the web developer asked you to produce content for your web pages. The web pages need to say something, right? You know all about your business, but maybe you didn’t put too much thought into the needs of your website users at the time. Now a year has gone by, you haven’t seen much success from your website, and your business has shifted its direction.
The content within the pages of your website isn’t a once and done assignment, it’s something that evolves with your business. If you never update or insert fresh content into your website, the people landing on your web pages won’t receive the right message. It may be irrelevant.
Usability and Architecture
Is it easy for people to get to where they need to go within your website? If they need to buy something from you, is it easy to find? Is it easy to go through the purchasing process? Improving the ease of doing business will simply encourage more people to take action on your website.
The content written on a web page shouldn’t be written like it’s printed on paper. We read words differently on a screen than we do when they’re printed. Website copy should be written in short paragraphs, short sentences, and have headings to help people skim relevant information.
The site architecture and content should all guide users to the point of conversion. When someone lands on your website, what is it that you want them to do? What is it that you need them to know? Guide them to it.
SEO (search engine optimization) increases your website’s organic visibility in search engines. That meaning, when people search for your products or services, you show up more in the search results. It brings more people to your website.
An SEO audit is best done by someone who knows what they’re looking for. A lot of what makes web pages optimized for search engines happens within the code of the web page. The meta descriptions, header tags, alt tags, image optimization, page speed, responsive page design, etc. It’s all best looked at by someone who knows what search engines are looking for in a website.
The other part of what makes your website more appealing to search engines is the user experience. If you’ve managed to create a smooth user experience as discussed above, this will also help your search engine presence. Learn more about holistic SEO.
SEO audits are crucial if you want your website to be successful. Search engines are how consumers find what they need, and if you’re not showing up in relevant searches, it can cost you business.
Who Should Audit Your Site?
You should be looking at your website on a regular basis to make sure it’s updated, makes sense, and is working. You shouldn’t do a website audit all on your own though. It’s always beneficial to have a second set of eyes.
As a website development and digital marketing company, we have all the tools we need to audit our own site, but we still have other people help audit our website for us. You can’t point out your own blind spots, so it’s important to let someone else take a look.
It’s also important to get multiple perspectives. People who build websites for a living are going to provide very different, but equally valuable insights as the input of an existing customer. The customer will point out user experience issues that you might not be aware of. The web developer will be able to tell you what’s happening in the backend of your site that might be hurting your search engine rankings.
In order to make sure your website is being utilized to its full potential, it’s crucial to keep an eye on it and update it when necessary.
Think of it like a fire. When you first build and ignite it, it’s going to burn well for a while, but eventually, it will start to die down if you don’t add to it. Keep an eye on it and add fuel when it gets low to keep it burning strong over time. If you let it go too long, you’re going to have to completely re-ignite your flames.