No matter what your industry is, or how big or small your business is, you’ll need some online presence to be seen, trusted and available to your customers.
It’s really important to know that you can’t simply set up your website and let it run on its own. The internet is constantly refreshing, so even if you have the world’s best website design, if you’re not maintaining it, it’s standing still, and you will get left behind.
To stay up to date and engaged with your audience you need to make sure you have a finger or two on the pulse. This helps you stay on top of changing trends and industry demands as well as the repairs and maintenance your website needs to prevent getting bogged down with broken links, error codes and system bugs that pop up through automatic upgrades and plugin changes.
How a website audit can help your business thrive
You can keep an eye on your website by running a quick diagnosis that acts as a sort of self-driven mini-audit every month or so. When you regularly audit your website in this way to stay on top of the small issues that occur, you can get away with only needing to complete a full website audit once a year.
Warning signs to look for that indicate you need to audit your website include:
- A dip in traffic
- A negative change in your SEO standing
- Higher bounce rates
- Fewer than expected conversions
If you see signs that your website is struggling, an audit will help you understand where the weak spots are so you can decide what action needs to be taken. Do you need a complete website redesign or some targeted renovations to get things up to speed?
To help get started we’ve detailed the five essential features to cover in your audit to make sure your website operates to its full potential, year-round.
The Top Five Reasons To Audit Your Business Website
- Mobile Optimisation
Having an incredible website design for desktops won’t necessarily translate to mobile devices. There are a lot of new factors to take into account that actually gives you the potential for more interaction on handheld devices.
You get significantly more opportunities for your customers to interact and engage with your site thanks to touching screens, location-specific services and being able to have their attention when they are ready to give it (i.e. sitting at a doctor’s office).
Here are just some features to make sure work for your website across mobile devices:
- Fit to screen
- Screen rotation
- Available menus
- Call to Action buttons in the right place, showing well and working
- Font size
Even if you have already taken the steps to create a mobile-friendly online offering, you need to audit this side of your online presence to make sure it stays current.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Having an online marketing strategy is pointless if it’s buried so far down the search return listing no one can see you. You need to put in the work to have valuable SEO strategies to receive better search ranking results and audit these often to make sure they stay current.
That means you need to bow to some Google rules and get into the good books, especially with super fast loading times and relevant keywords.
- Know the current Google algorithm rules and use them to give your website an edge over the competition.
- Use the right keyword, particularly specific keyword phrases that your target audience is searching for your industry, location and business offering.
- Take a speed test to see how fast your site is loading – it needs to be instant.
When you start to learn what works, you can include multiple keywords within your content and receive a bigger number of hits, leads and conversions across the web.
- Offer buyer journey progression with Your Call to Action
The positioning of your Call To Action (CTA) is important, but so is what the call to action is. To help move things along for your user, place a call to action they need exactly where they need it. Anticipate the next step and put it there for them, making it fast and easy for them to take action.
i.e. Click to add to cart
Obviously, one path is not going to be right for everyone. Some of your visitors will be ready to buy now, others will want more information, research and evidence.
You can increase your audience responsiveness by offering a primary and secondary call to action. Those who are ready can jump straight to the end (or next section). Those who want more information can click to go to another blog, testimonial or product description.
This way you have a primary action step and a secondary action step to help please everyone and create pathways to increase the speed and effectiveness of their visit to your website.
- Quality Website Design
You might have spent a lot of time, effort and money creating the perfect website look and feel, however, the design of your website is limited to what is happening when you create it.
As your business progresses your style will change, it might be slight, but it will adapt and evolve nevertheless. At the same time, other people are creating new and amazing websites that push boundaries and change user expectations, so what was once cutting edge, will slowly fade to the background with time.
Some key areas to keep ahead on include:
- Plugin updates
- Relevant images
- New videos
- Consistent new content
- Easy navigation
Some things that probably won’t change frequently that you can lean on heavily as reliable design choices include:
- The colour theme (this should reflect your business)
- Easy to read, clear fonts
The more your users see of you and your businesses, the more credible and trustworthy you will appear, so save the stock images for your content and only use authentic, unique pictures of your business, staff and products on your parent pages.
- Quality Content
While your website design and functioning are the important organs that make it work, content is the blood flow that keeps it fresh and sustained.
The good news is it’s the easiest to modify, add and update, which is why it slots in last on website checklists, not because it’s the least important.
Quality frequent content that is reliable, clear and helpful ticks multiple boxes for website benefits:
- Keywords and phrases show up in searches
- Attracts new prospects
- Shows what your product can do and what problems it solves
- Provides backstory, character and personality to your business and product that is genuine, likeable and trusted
- Maintains interest and keeps visitors on your website longer
- Offers credibility and shows you as a professional authority in your field
- Answers frequently asked questions
- Helps convert leads
Rather than just posting articles and blogs, including a variety of media to meet different audience needs and make things more engaging, personal and interesting.
As well as text-heavy content, you might like to consider delivering media through:
If you have identified a drop in traffic, leads or conversions or are seeing a higher bounce rate, you need to take action to determine what is turning visitors off, or where you are falling behind your completion.
If you choose to ignore your website and let it run on its own, it will invariably run down and stop performing at a rate that will be enticing enough to get people’s attention. In as little as three years’ time, you’ll need to build an entire website from scratch and hope to regain the momentum your former site had.
If you don’t feel confident running an audit yourself, be sure to reach out and ask for help from a professional website designer who can quickly and reliably get to the heart of your website issues and make suggestions for how you can turn it around.