It’s easy to remember that your car needs an MOT, you can even sign up from reminders from the government. But with your website, it’s easy to leave it unchecked and running with sub-optimal performance which can affect the effectiveness of user interaction.
However your website has been set up, you’ve invested time and money into it along the way. This is why it’s essential that you look after your investment in order to continue getting a return from it. It is important that you get at least a yearly website audit to keep everything running smoothly.
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What is a website audit?
A website audit is a comprehensive analysis of the health and performance of your website. There are lots of areas of a website to explore when performing an audit.
In most cases SEO and content marketing are the main reasons to do a website audit but these aren’t the sole purpose of a website audit.
Keep reading to explore what we suggest to look at.
Top 12 things we suggest evaluating:
1. Performance (speed, page size, etc)
Web page speed optimisation should be a top priority. The speed of your site dramatically impacts your site’s SEO (search engine optimisation) and bounce rate.
A slow-loading, poor-performing website will cause visitors to abandon the site, not because your content is unappealing, but because your website is too slow. According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of consumers expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds.
2. Browser compatibility
If your site is incompatible with a particular browser, people using that browser will have a frustrating experience. Such user experience problems can massively affect your website’s success – 88% of online consumers say they’re less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
Even if your site is compatible with a particular browser or system now, it may not be compatible with future versions and upgrades of the browser/system which is why it’s necessary to check the compatibility during your website’s MOT.
3. Navigation and accessibility
How easy is it for users to find information quickly? Any difficulty and your bounce rate is going to increase. You need to make sure you have:
Boost your customer experience across the board with web accessibility. Too many pop-ups, hard to read font, unclear content, and complicated purchasing flows make it difficult for everyone to navigate your website.
Plugins have traditionally been a very important part of computing, web browsing, and creating content on the internet. They have played a major part in making sure basic functions of our online activities work properly and smoothly. They are involved with all sorts of activities from viewing documents to watching movies and much, much more.
Are all your plugins still active, needed and up-to-date? Are they still supported by your developer? Make sure they have been tested.
5. Mobile responsiveness
Does your site load quickly on any device?
Research by Google has found that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds.
The elements on all your pages should be responsive. However, if certain elements don’t work well on certain devices, unnecessary images and elements can be hidden on mobile devices to provide a better browsing experience.
There are four screen sizes responsive design focuses on:
6. Google and search engine rankings
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is central to your website’s visibility. It communicates with Google and other search engines to rate the relevance of your site for users and their search queries.
How easy is it to your site in a search? The easier you are to find the more users you’ll get to your site, this is why SEO analysis is key! Keywords and rankings are constantly changing so it’s important to check how you’re ranking regularly and make any updates that will help you rank higher.
7. Website copy and readability
How well do we ensure our published content is up-to-date and answers users’ questions in an engaging way?
Writing an engaging copy to influence your prospects and eventually convert them into customers is a challenging but rewarding task.
If you have a high bounce rate (your visitors dropping off as soon as they land on your website), the chances are your content is not helping them. This could be because your readability is bad.
8. Campaign effectiveness
Marketing campaigns help businesses and companies attract new customers, get sales and generate more profits.
Is your website helping drive people to any campaigns you’re running?
Learn how to evaluate your campaign here
9. Broken links
Broken links on your website can be harmful in two ways:
- They make for a bad user experience – When users click on links and reach dead-end 404 errors, they get frustrated and may never return.
- They devalue your SEO efforts – Broken links restrict the flow of link equity throughout your site, which impacts rankings negatively.
10. Backlinks to your site
Google views your backlinks as a signal of how useful and respected your website is. They play an important role in search engine algorithm, SEO, and your overall strategy for growing your website.
It is important to make sure that any backlinks you have are still working and are successfully bringing people to your site.
11. Security and safety
You don’t leave your houses’ front door open (hopefully) so why would you leave the front door of your site wide open! It is essential to secure your website. This means putting protection in place to keep out hackers, bugs, and other online nasties.
Without the proper protection, your data could be at risk, your site could crash, or you could even lose money.
Make sure your protection is up-to-date and keeping everything secure when you perform your website audit.
Have all obligations under law been met? A misstep in the design of the website you build could land you in legal trouble. Check out some of the top regulations that you need to be aware of when auditing your site. Read all about them here.
We would always suggest evaluating your website goal once a year (at least)! Is your website still relevant? If you are having doubts, creating a digital transformation strategy could be exactly what you need. Click here to read 4 benefits of digital transformation.
Keep in mind…