Are you frustrated with your website? Do you feel like it's time to redesign or rebuild your website? It might be, but it might not be that time. Instead what you should do is a website audit. A website audit will help you determine the best approach to reach your business goals.
The most common type of audit is an SEO audit, which will help you improve your search results. However a full website audit will do more to put your website in line with your business goals.
Define Your Website Goals
Before you do a website audit, your need to know what you expect your website to accomplish for your business. When defining these goals it is important to be specific. Avoid goals that are overly broad and undefined.
For example instead of saying the website should gain more traffic and increase the number of leads we receive via the contact form your goal should be to increase site visits 5% per quarter and an additional 10 leads per month. Now that you have a measurable goal you can more accurately look at the before and after of your website audit.
Page Speed Matters
One important criteria for google ranking and visitor retention is your site speed. If you site speed visitors will leave quickly and have a poor impression of your site. Additionally google lowers your search ranking.
A good tool to check your page speed is Google PageSpeed Insights. Paste in your website url and analyze. Google will give you a score for both mobile and desktop and tips on how to improve your score.
When a site is built with best practices in mind getting a good score should be simple. The site I built for Pinnacle Wealth Brokers has a score of 99 for mobile and 100 for desktop.
Your sites navigation is how your visitors find content on your site that is important or relevant to them after they've arrived. Is your navigation easy to use and intuitive? Is some of your content buried deep in your site making it difficult to find?
- It might be time to re-evaluate how your site navigation and content is organized
- With larger sites you may need to nest content in sub-menus or internal navigation
- With larger sites like that you'll want to have a site search available to help visitors find content
One way to find out the effectiveness of your navigation is to do some user testing. Ideally with someone who is not familiar with your website or organization. Show them your website and ask them to find certain content - you can watch them to see how easy or difficult it is to find the content. With this information in hand you are now better informed about how to design your site navigation.
Are all the pages on your site up to date and relevant? Periodically you should go through and update content to keep up with changes in your organization, whether that is is contact information, staff bios, or new products and services. Updates need to be made.
Content review can also mean removing content that is dated or no longer relevant to your organization. With any modern CMS you can change content status so that it is hidden from visitors but still available in the control panel should you wish to return it to public view.
Website security is important. Find the answers to these questions.
- Is your CMS up to date?
- Are all of the plugins in your CMS up to date?
- Are the forms on your website accepting spam submissions?
Depending on the answers a simple update may resolve your issues or it may be more involved. Keeping up with CMS and plugin updates keeps your site safe.
If you're website is not being served up using https, then it is at risk, secure your website with SSL and ensure google doesn't mark your site as not secure. Additionally google will penalize your website in search results. You should get an SSL for your website, it's easy and in most cases free.
It is also important to consider accessibility with your website. Ensuring your website is accessabile makes it available to all visitors including those with various disabilities. Many countries have laws requiring websites to be accessible including Canada and the United States.
Learn more about the business case for website accessibility and the risk of getting sued if your website is not accessible. My podcast has an episode coming out on March 26, 2019 titled Accessibility: Why it's Important. Check out Website 101 Podcast.
All modern CMSs are very capable when it comes to technical SEO. A good developer will set up your site to have technical SEO working including: meta tags, Open graph tags, json LD, sitemaps, twitter cards and canonical URLS.
However content editors often forget to fill in the various fields for SEO content. The result is that many pages on your site are not optimized for search or sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Audit the content on your site to ensure SEO fields have been filled in as well. If they have not, editing older entries is essential. An alternate option is to have SEO content generated automatically in case your content editors have not completed the SEO fields.
Like this article? Subscribe Now!and get notified when new articles like this are published.
A website audit has many parts to consider including:
- Page Speed
After auditing your website you'll be in a better position to optimize and address any issues your website may have. Before rebuilding a website it is important to do an audit so you can determine what needs to change and what is working. You may even find that rebuilding your website is not necessary, but rather all you need to do is a few changes.
Are you ready for a site audit? Email Meto get started.