Completing a regular website audit is among the best investments you can make in your online business.
Done quarterly, you get to monitor what’s working and what’s not. With this knowledge, you can continually improve your processes, services, and products.
Why wait to do a review once a year? No telling what insights you may miss in that amount of time! Not to mention the overwhelming chore the task becomes if left unattended for so long.
Reviewing your site’s performance regularly gives you the data you need to serve your audience exactly what they crave. You can be ready with answers to their pressing questions and solutions for their demanding problems.
You’ll be in a better position to reap the best results from your online business with every audit performed.
Is it Really That Important?
A comprehensive website audit is an examination of your website’s marketing performance. In addition to the technical aspects, such as SEO visibility and page speed, you’ll evaluate the impact your promotional campaigns are having on your target audience.
To optimize for overall performance, analyze both your site’s design and content strategy. Seek to uncover gaps where you can deliver a better user experience as well as more focused materials. Take a look at your website from different angles to see where it might be improved.
A comprehensive audit is not so difficult or time-consuming that you can’t do one at least every quarter. The time is well spent because you’ll check your traffic plus emerging trends in your sector. That information is required for you to stay on top of the needs of your audience.
Start With a Plan
Having a strategic plan of action before you begin makes it much easier to evaluate your website.
Review the goals you set for the period when you did your last assessment. Hopefully, you decided at that time which metrics you would measure to gauge their success.
Improved SEO results, increased audience engagement, and better conversion rates are all common business objectives that can be refined using information from this exercise.
You may need to use different key performance indicators (KPIs) every quarter, so don’t feel these must be set in stone.
Let’s begin with your content.
Conduct a Content Audit
It isn’t so overwhelming to conduct a comprehensive content audit if it’s broken down into phases. Try these suggestions.
Set up a simple spreadsheet with the information you’ll need to inventory and assess all your content. Your up-to-date editorial calendar is an invaluable tool when looking into your content’s metrics. It should provide you with all the details for each piece available through your site.
Along with the title, type and format of each piece of content, note its URL, buyer’s journey stage, author if you have more than one contributor, and the date of publication/last modification.
For auditing purposes, also collect the three metrics you’ve decided to analyze, along with columns for rating each item and recording notes or comments about that piece. Download our Content Asset Worksheet to get a head start.
With this information compiled, analyze your content assets from the point of your last audit to date. (Another reason to do this quarterly!) Notice any trends uncovered by the data, and make notes for future action.
For example, should a piece be repurposed or retired? Which articles would benefit from a stronger call-to-action (CTA)? Could your well-performing webinars be promoted and offered for another viewing? Can you plan upcoming initiatives around the best-performing topics? Are there broken or misdirected links that need updating?
Document your evaluation once completed. Use insights from this project to refine your content marketing.
Rejuvenate Your Content Strategy
Use your blog wisely. A blog is the centerpiece of every successful website. Readers continually demand fresh content and your blog is the best way to serve it to them.
Think of your postings as the specials on a restaurant menu. Serve assets for readers at every stage of the sales cycle. Some visitors want only an appetizer, but others are ready for your full course meal.
These are the ideal clients who have visited and developed a taste for your offerings over time. Don’t forget to add a couple of sweet enticements to keep them satisfied.
Deliver fresh content. Readers hunger for new and better information with every search request. Be alert to seasonal trends and use the freshest ingredients when designing your content.
Regularly providing resources that rely on the most trustworthy references in your niche is the best way to satisfy audience cravings.
You may need some help, so consider outsourcing some of your content creation to a ghostwriter competent in your market.
Even better is to keep your ears open to issues of concern in your industry. Use these insights to create enriching content that caters to your readers.
More Content Tips
Offer your content in several formats. Don’t forget to present your “specials” in different ways. Not every visitor has the taste for a 1,000-word blog post, so offer a podcast, short video or on-demand webinar for immediate consumption.
Check out your competitors. You don’t need to steal their recipes to get an idea of ways you might present your offerings that will appeal to your audience and give them a taste of something new.
Interact with your guests. Ever notice that the owners of the best restaurants get to know their regulars and make themselves available to all their clientele? They help their patrons feel welcome and comfortable, and you have to do the same.
In addition to analyzing your metrics, ask your visitors for their opinions on new initiatives. Customers will gladly share their ideas and let you know their feelings if given the chance.
And you’ll want to know about any glitches right away so you can eliminate them and keep your readers happy.
Conduct a Website Audit
A comprehensive audit also gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your website optimization activities. The information it reveals will guide you in enhancing your site for maximum performance, SEO, and conversion rates.
User experience is a foundation of high-performing websites. To maintain visitor enjoyment and comprehension, look at how well your site functions from a user’s standpoint. A little tweaking here and there can do wonders for your online business.
Strive to make it easy for your visitors to find what they’re searching for. Guide them with clear navigation and an intuitive flow from page to page.
Review your website as a visitor would to reveal small details that might be putting them off. Notice areas that could be improved to help your readers gain the most value from your offerings.
Have a trusted friend take a look and give you an honest review. They might see something you’ve overlooked.
Feed Your Audience’s Needs
How to know what to serve your visitors? It’s a lot harder to satisfy their cravings if you have no idea what they have a taste for.
When internet pickings were slim, people were happy with whatever crumbs of information or entertainment they found online. But these days, your visitors have access to websites from all over the world featuring a multitude of flavors. Stay in touch with your customer base to give your guests exactly what they’re hungry for.
Improve User Experience
Your website should be as easy to understand and as nice to look at as you can make it. Just like a fine meal, it should be a feast for the eyes as well as a satisfying experience.
Format your content with readers in mind. It’s difficult to read long pieces of content presented without breaks. Large blocks of words are overwhelming to the eye and put readers off. Use short paragraphs, subheadings, bolding, numbered lists, and other visual aids to keep the flow of your content attractive and easy to read.
Reduce the clutter. Go easy on your guest’s eyes. Don’t try to crowd everything onto a single page. Your images and designs can’t convey the desired effect if they’re crowding out your posts. Spread your content out to give your visitors a chance to digest it.
Use colors and placement to highlight information. Without contrast to break things up and draw the eye to certain areas of the page, your readers can easily gloss over important points in your presentation.
Review for typos. Nothing is more distracting than a website with spelling mistakes and missing words. Not only are such errors annoying, but they can also reduce your visitor’s understanding of the information you’re trying to convey.
Some readers will never come back if they sense you don’t care enough to give them a professional experience on your website. Thought leaders generally take more care and are rewarded with loyal followers as a result.
Presentation Is Key
When dining in a fine restaurant, the presentation is just as important as the flavors of the meal. And fast food takeout is packaged for quick and easy consumption, even on the road. The delivery is appropriate to the user’s needs. Make sure your website does the same.
It’s up to you to decide the type of brand you represent and your website must follow suit. The smallest details are those that can make or break your business.
Imagine what your visitors would think if they found your website riddled with spelling errors and broken links. The only recommendations they might give would be for laughs at your expense.
Whatever your product or service, the presentation must be appealing and inviting to entice visitors and keep them coming back.
Periodic website audits can uncover weaknesses in your online recipe. They’re your best insurance against driving your ideal clients to abandon your site in search of more appetizing selections.
Presenting your audience with valuable information served in a beautiful setting shows them you care enough to pay attention to detail. They’ll appreciate the time you’ve taken to give them what they’re looking for delivered in a way they can appreciate.
Carve out some time to conduct a comprehensive website audit with these essential tips in mind. Download our Content Audit Worksheet and adapt it for your use. Then let us know what you think in the Comments!