It has become a basic necessity for every business to own a website. However, simply having a website isn’t enough to stay competitive. A quick Google search for businesses in your industry will give you a good idea of who is taking their online presence seriously and who isn’t. But having a nice-looking website isn’t just for show. Keeping up with the online competition can translate into real-world success. A well-designed and functional website conveys professionalism and trust to potential customers and can be a business’s greatest sales tool.
So, if you’re wondering if your website is representing your business or serving your customers the best it possibly can, it’s probably time for a website audit.
What is a Website Audit?
A comprehensive website audit will review every facet of your website to determine where and how improvements can be made. Broadly speaking, a good website audit should cover 6 key elements.
- Design & Brand Representation
- Content Quality
- Functionality & User Experience
- Mobile Responsiveness
- Search Engine Friendliness
Let’s break each one of these down to get a better understanding of what they mean.
Design & Brand Representation
The first thing a user will judge a website on is its design. This includes the colors, font, page layout, image quality, and overall visual cohesion of the site. Visitors appreciate a well-designed website because it communicates that the business cares how it’s presented and wants to be taken seriously.
The design of a website also communicates the personality of the brand it represents. It conveys who the target audience is and works to develop an emotional connection with its visitors. This matters a lot, as customers are much more likely to purchase products and services from companies they feel share their values.
A website audit will examine how well the design of your website complements your brand and judge the overall visual quality compared to current design trends.
Content is often one of the most overlooked aspects of a website but is one of the most important to get right. A website’s content includes all of the text, images, and graphics that appear on the site. When judging the quality of the content, you should take into account the:
- Emotional and informational quality of the verbiage
- Quality and content of the imagery
- Overall messaging
The words you use to describe your business matter. The informative quality of your content will determine a visitor’s understanding of what your company does and what it has to offer. Having succinctly worded content that answers all of the questions a user might have and imagery that captures attention and lends itself to the overall informativeness and excitement of the site is crucial.
This portion of the audit will determine how informative and emotionally impactful a website’s content is.
Functionality & User Experience
Another often overlooked element of a website is what it actually allows visitors to do and how easily they can do those things. Sometimes business owners just aren’t aware of what their customers expect to be able to do on their site. This could be something as simple as submitting a contact form or placing an online order. Providing your visitors with the ability to interact and engage with your company online in the ways they want will greatly improve their overall satisfaction.
A website’s functionality and user experience also include basic things like load speed and navigability. Simply being able to quickly find and view a page that a user finds of interest matters a great deal. Users have very little patience for websites that load slowly and don’t provide clear links or buttons to the information they’re looking for.
A website audit will look for ways to improve all the current functions of a site and assess what functions might be missing that users have come to expect.
A call-to-action (CTA) is anything on a website that directs a user to perform a particular action. As such, CTAs are the primary sales funnels for a website and are what turn a visitor into a paying customer. An example of a CTA would be a tap-to-call phone number or an email capture form.
While a CTA can take many forms, it should always be working to propel users further down the sales funnel. A website audit will determine how effective a website’s call-to-actions are at performing this task and if further call-to-actions would be of benefit.
Today, every website should be mobile responsive. This means that the website will automatically adjust its design whether it’s viewed on a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Since over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, ensuring that mobile users can use your site just as well as desktop users is very important.
A website audit will compare the user experience of a website across multiple screen sizes, then make suggestions to create a harmonious experience across every device.
Search Engine Friendliness
Even if you have the best-looking, most-functional website on the internet, if no one can find it on search engines it won’t be doing your business much good. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a highly technical field and concerns nearly every aspect of a website. Important factors include:
- Keyword density
- Content quality
- Page headings and titles
- Load speed
- Number of backlinks
- Meta tags
- Online reputation and reviews
- Lifespan of the domain
On top of all this, websites also have to avoid negative factors that can hinder their visibility on search engines. Negative factors might include:
- Shallow or duplicated content
- Keyword stuffing
- Spam links or paid links from a link farm
- Something that’s blocking search engines from “crawling” pages and properly indexing them
A website audit will look at how well optimized a site is for search engines and see if it’s possibly being hampered by any penalties.
Time for a Website Audit?
If you’re looking at your competitor’s websites and see a significant difference in the quality of theirs and yours, it’s probably a good idea to have your site professionally audited. The good news is that Barta Media Group offers Free Website Auditing! All you have to do is fill out the form below and we’ll send you our audit in the form of an easy-to-read document so that you know exactly where improvements can be made.
So why wait? Fill out the form and get your Free Website Audit today!