Your website is arguably the most important aspect of your digital marketing strategy. Why is that, you might ask? Well, websites act as the focal point that all of your potential leads are sent to so that they can be converted. With this in mind, it makes a lot of sense to routinely perform a website audit.
Things like web design play a huge role in how well your website visitors respond and perform the tasks you want them to in order to make a sale. The case for the power of website audits have been subject to some insightful research, as only around 22% of businesses are actually satisfied with their conversion rates.
This means the vast majority of 78% are dissatisfied with the performance of their website. This goes to show the potential that website audits could add to improving your business and highlights the necessity that it actually is.
What Do We Look for in a Website Audit?
According to the Nielsen Norman Group, “user experience encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
Basically, your website is a crucial contact point between yourself and your customers, so what they encounter when they reach your site is a large factor for whether they are going to stick around or leave immediately.
Web design comes into play here heavily, and will be something we’ll expand on further into this article.
The UX Honeycomb by Peter Morville aims to outline the aspects of UX that need to be balanced in order to make it the most optimal for consumptions.
The UX Honeycomb is a great little framework that is flexible enough for you to prioritise different points, dependant on what is more important for the business. For example, some businesses may want to be more desirable than usable, or usable than credible. The important thing is that these choices are made consciously and not as a mistake.
A website audit is not a one-off task and should be done on a regular basis to ensure your website is in the best shape possible in order to maximise conversions. A big part of being able to do these audits is having your analytics set up correctly so you can benchmark yourself to see if you’re making improvements or not.
The three main questions to ask here is:
Are you collecting enough data?
Is the data you’re collecting credible?
Are there any technical difficulties that need to be addressed?
For example, if you’re testing out the efficacy of your web design, you’d want to be collecting enough data on how many people are landing on your website so you have a baseline to measure whether your new web design changes have worked.
You’ll also want to ensure the data is credible, so for example, if the marketing department hasn’t excluded their IP addresses into Google Analytics – then you might be measuring results based on figures that are much higher since they would be accessing the website often but obviously aren’t using the site like regular visitors.
Lastly, a common problem is the technical issues that occur with Google Analytics and data collection. This is a main issue that often comes up in the website audits we do for our clients. Having your analytics incorrectly set up could mean that you have been making changes whilst analytics has not been tracking your visitor’s behaviour – meaning you’d have zero data on how successful this change actually was.
Did you know mobile traffic in 2017 made up over 50% of traffic globally? Yes! The power of mobile is growing on a near daily basis which brings up another huge aspect that marketers now need to consider.
Since over half of the world’s traffic is now coming in from mobile, it makes sense that you’d need to create an immersive and enjoyable experience for them to ensure that you get a good conversion rate on mobile alongside your desktop variants.
Surprisingly, many companies still haven’t picked up on the fact that having a well working mobile site is integral to their business – which means your competitors are probably slacking and you can fill in this gap effectively with great mobile web design.
Design and Layout
Web design is seen by many as simply being the pretty visuals used by a brand, however, our website audits often point out the ineffective web design that many companies employ in the hopes of converting their visitors into paying customers.
There’s plenty of small decisions, that when combined together in the mind of a website visitor either makes or breaks their experiences. Things like font choice, colour palette, placement of images, directional cues, website layout, and more are key parts of the web design and layout choices that need to be optimised in the website audit.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation (or SEO) is pretty much woven into every aspect of conversion rate optimisation these days. It’s the bare basics that any good website should have. With any website audit, there’s always a section dedicated to search engine optimisation, as its an easy inclusion to have but MANY businesses fail to implement correctly.
When we talk SEO, we’re speaking about a variety of factors such as whether the copy on the website is optimised towards how your target audience searches for you all the way down to the more technical aspects like website speed.
The technical aspects of SEO like website speed may seem small and insignificant, but can have massive impacts on the success of your website. A study by Gomez found that users expect pages to load in two seconds, and after three seconds, up to 40% of users will abandon your site. A difference of one second could mean potentially losing out on close to half of your potential visitors!
Studies like this really stress the importance of having correctly implemented SEO on your website as a foundation for the rest of your efforts.
Last, but certainly not least, is content marketing. A powerful (and severely underused) tactic that builds up your brand as a thought leader in your niche, all while attracting scores of potential customers by creating content around what they are commonly searching for.
For example, if you sold electronics, you would want to build out a content strategy and plan that allowed you to be top of mind throughout the research process as your customers are entering the market so they are able to find and stick with you earlier on.
Similar to SEO, there’s plenty of aspects that come into play when we perform a website audit to determine if the content marketing is up to scratch. But mainly we look for whether the website is publishing great, useful, and keyword optimised content that speaks to their customers. Depending on the niche, other relevant websites may want to link back to your articles because they provide value – this is called a backlink, and having high authority sites linking to yours only strengthens your ranking in Google.
We’ve gone through some of the big considerations we look at when performing a website audit such as web design, content marketing, and SEO. But now that you’re more knowledgeable about the process, why not try out our free website audit? We’ll look at all the factors above and more!