First things first
What the f*ck is a website audit???
At its core a website audit is simply a checkup for your website, just like your annual health check with the GP. Its aim is to identify what’s working well and what could do with some improvement and in general making sure your website is working at its best.
But WHY do I need to do an audit???
There are a myriad of reasons why you should audit your website but I’m just going to focus on one. A website is a living extension of your business, and your business is continually changing and evolving. Your ideal customers and their needs are also constantly changing, you need to make sure your website changes with them. Regular audits help to ensure your website is always at its peak to keep attracting those ideal customers.
I’m so busy already I don’t have time to do an audit every time something changes!
At a minimum you should audit your website once a year, and more frequently if you’re regularly adding and updating content. Just remember, an annual audit is not a replacement for regular site maintenance. I’ll be going into website maintenance on the blog soon so keep your eye out for that post.
Ok, ok, you’ve convinced me, how do I do this audit thing?
You may be wondering what you need in order to undertake a website audit. The main thing you need is access to your website, I recommend a desktop or laptop rather than a mobile device. That’s all you need for most of the audit however there’s a range of free tools available to help speed things up for you. I’ve included links to my favourite tools inside an easy to follow checklist, you can download it and get started right now!
If you’re not ready to jump right in check out the basic steps below. The audit is broken down into 6 main steps, each with 6 questions for you to work through.
The 6 steps
- Responsive Design – Do images, typography and branding elements resize and reposition themselves between different screen sizes?
- Do your brand colours, typography and imagery represent you and resonate with your ideal customer?
- Have you used brand consistent typography and colours across your site?
- Is the typography easy to read; colour and size?
- Are you using high quality graphics and images that reflect your brand?
- Is your site easy to navigate using your main navigation menu?
- Do you have any dead links? Ensure all links are still pointing to the correct locations. If content is no longer accessible use an SEO tool or redirection plugin to redirect to new relevant content.
- Is all your content up to date and still relevant? Review main pages and your most popular blog posts to ensure content is still current.
- Does the content above the fold (before you start scrolling) on your homepage clearly identify what your site and business are about?
- Are you using language and visual content that resonates with your ideal customer and represents your brand voice?
- Does your ABOUT page describe how you can solve your clients problems in a way that is easy for them to understand?
- Do you have a way to attract and collect leads? E.g enticing lead magnet linking to an email marketing platform?
- Do you have a way to track visitor behaviour and actions on your site?
- Do you have a system in place to re-target site visitors through advertising?
- Appropriately placed calls to action that stand out from other content
- Clear links to your social media channels
- Do you have a plan in place to drive traffic to your website? A rocking website won’t help if people don’t know about it!
- Are you running an SEO plugin or does your platform have the ability to customise page titles and meta descriptions?
- Have you optimised your keywords? Keywords or phrases are needed in your page meta data and throughout your content
- Have you submitted your sitemap to search engines for indexing?
- Have you used meaningful file names for your images and included appropriate titles and alt text including keywords where relevant?
- Do you have logical links between different pages on your site?
- Do you have reputable sites linking to your site? Backlinks are an important part of SEO as they help Google to know you have valuable content.
- Ensure your website platform, plugins, and themes are all up to date
- Remove unused themes and plugins, these could be slowing your site down
- Check that you have recent backups of your site
- Do you use the username admin to log into your site? Consider using a named admin user instead to increase security.
- Do you use reCaptcha or another bot prevention tool on your contact forms to prevent spam?
- Ensure you have an SSL certificate installed and all pages are showing as secure in your browser
- How long does it take for your page to load? Ideally your page should load in less than 5 seconds, preferably in less than 3 seconds.
- Images have been optimised for dimension and file size. The smaller your images are the quicker they will be to load.
- Do you have an optimisation plugin configured for caching?
- Do you have Gzip compression enabled on your server or by using an optimisation plugin?
- OPTIONAL: Are you using a CDN (Content Delivery Network)? A CDN can speed up your website if you have visitors from all over the world by storing content across various locations around the globe. There are also dedicated image CDN’s that can help improve performance if you have an image heavy site.
There you have it, whilst ‘website audit’ may sound daunting it doesn’t have to be.
To recap, there are 6 main areas you should focus on when reviewing your website:
- Website Speed
Don’t forget to download the checklist to guide through the process, including some super useful tools to help you along the way.
Are you still feeling overwhelmed with where to start? That’s ok, I can help! I can dig deep into your website to conduct a comprehensive audit for you.