A critical step that many business owner’s overlook (or forget) after they launch their website, is to monitor and optimize its performance. You might think that once your website is launched, the work is done. However, there is a huge missed opportunity for you to get the most from your website if you don’t take time to regularly check on it’s performance.
So, how can you keep tabs on your website after you’ve launched? It’s as simple as doing a website audit.
What is a website audit?
A website audit is an in-depth analysis of your website’s performance, structure, and content. Conducting a website audit is a great idea for any business wanting to get more from their current website or considering redesigning their website completely in the near future. A website audit will help you identify problem areas that may be hindering your website’s success and guide what improvements can be made to help resolve them.
Website Audit Checklist
Whether you choose to conduct your own website audit or outsource auditing your website to a web design agency, you’ll want to look at several different aspects of your site, to help you get a picture of how it’s performing as a whole. Here is a quick overview of some of the key areas and items you can audit for your website:
- Quality and clarity of communication
- Blog is updated with timely, fresh content
- Information is accurate and reflects your current services/products pricing
Website Design / User Experience (UX)
- Mobile-friendliness / responsiveness
- Website navigation is consistent and clear
- Forms properly function for users and send admin notifications
Search Engine Optimization
- Confirm all pages have optimized H1 level headings + meta descriptions
- Resolve broken links or orphaned pages
- Track keyword rankings for target keywords or phrases
Website Accessibility (See all WCAG criteria.)
- Confirm you have descriptive ALT text on all images
- Confirm all font sizes are readable (recommended minimum 16pt font)
- Color contrast ratios are optimized for key text and its background (4.5:1 for small text and 3:1 for large text)
Marketing & Lead Generation
- Clear call-to-actions on every page
- Opt-in opportunities exist such (Email newsletter subscription, lead magnet download, calendar scheduling)
Many of these checkpoints overlap one or more categories – that is, by improving one area of your site, it can help increase the performance of one or other more areas as well. A good example of this is improving your website’s speed; While you might primarily want to improve your site speed to help your visitor’s have a better experience while navigating your site, improved site speed can also improve your SEO as well.
What tools you need to perform a website audit?
Depending on what the full scope of your website audit is, there are some tools that are going to help make this process a lot easier. Some of these are free while others you may need a paid subscription to utilize:
- Google Analytics (or some type of website analytics) – An analytics tool like Google Analytics will help to track the behaviors of users on your website such as what pages they are visiting and how they got to your website in the first place. This is a free tool offered through Google.
- Keyword Search / SEO Tool – A keyword research tool will help you to see how you are ranking for certain keywords or phrases. While there are free options out there such as Ubersuggest or Moz Keyword Explorer Tool, you’ll be required to set up an account and be limited to a number of daily or monthly searches. Ultimately, a paid subscription to one of these keyword research tools or others like Ahrefs is going to give you better visibility into your keyword rankings.
- Accessibility Scanner – An accessibility scanning tool will look at your website’s internal structure and code to determine key areas for optimization such as missing ALT, or increasing contrast/readability for your website’s text for vision impaired users. Improving your website’s accessibility helps vision impaired users be able to use and easily navigate your site. You can use Accessibee’s accessibility scanner to generate a free report for your website.
These are just a few of the tools that can help with gathering the data you need to make informed decisions about optimizing your website.
What to do after you’ve completed your website audit
Once you’ve completed your website audit and identified any issues, then it’s time to make the changes in order to actually improve your website’s performance. The best way to tackle this to-do list of optimizations is to prioritize them in terms of items that will have the biggest impact and/or require the least amount of effort.
Come up with a timeline and priority level for each of these changes and who will be responsible for completing each of the items from your website audit.
For some of these changes, you may have adjust your website’s structure and layout, which could involve working with a web designer or agency. While other changes may simply require creating new content or revising existing content that you can write you self. Once you’ve completed all the updates on your to-do list, you can monitor the impact of your adjustments using analytics or other website behavior tracking software such as Hotjar.
How often should you audit and update your website
You should continue to audit and monitor your website at minimum, every 6 months to a year to make sure it’s up-to-date and performing at it’s best. If your business changes significantly over time, or 3-4 years have passed since your site was originally designed, it may also be time to consider redesigning your entire website. New technologies are developed constantly and a fresh design can help integrate functionalities that may have not been available to you before.
If you’d like a partner to completely handle your entire website audit or website redesign, you may want to outsource the work to a web design agency. Not only will they be able to help identify issues you may have on your website, they can help identify other areas of opportunity and implement any changes required for you for a total hands-off experience.
Ready to get started with your website audit or website redesign? Reach out to K Design Co. today!
I help female entrepreneurs and business owners create brands that command the spotlight. I love working with women to help them create beautiful, one-of-a-kind brands that give them the confidence to take their business to the next level and get them seriously noticed. I’ve worked with coaches, authors, influencers… you name it, and I bet I can help you too.