One of the first things we do for clients here at AstroAgency is to get to know our new client’s online presence through a detailed website audit. We think it’s one of the most important ways to keep track of a company’s online image, and in this post we’ll explain what a website audit is and why you should be doing one regularly.
To help you get started we’ve also included a 4-step website audit guide which takes you through the basics.
A website audit is a detailed look at the design, performance, and visibility of a website. A good audit will check if a website is well-designed, engaging, secure, and user-friendly.
A website audit also includes making an in-depth analysis to identify problems, weak points, and areas for improvement. Are visitors leaving your site after just a few clicks? Or is a bad web design alienating your customers? A website audit lets you find these problems and help you improve your web performance.
Now that you know what a website audit is, why should you do it? You may think that your website is top-notch, but even the best-designed website can have hidden problems, and new issues crop up as you add content, move pages, or grow your online presence. A regular website audit will help you catch problems, keeping your website engaging and your web visitors happy.
So, now that you know why your website needs an audit, how do you make it happen? Here are four simple steps to get started.
First impressions count, and web visitors make up their minds quickly — a 2006 study found that web designers will decide whether they like your site in about 50 milliseconds. And this split-second decision has consequences — 75% of consumers judge a company’s credibility based on its website design.
So, beyond making your website visually appealing, what can you do to improve your web design?
· Make your website readable — break up dense blocks of text with subheadings and lists, choose a legible font, and make sure text is large enough to read.
· Keep it simple — text should be easy and intuitive to read, with nothing that can mislead or confuse visitors.
· Include a clear call to action — your webpage should prompt visitors to do something, whether it’s buying a product, booking a consultation, or getting in contact.
User experience can make or break a website, with 88% of consumers unlikely to return after a bad online experience. Once you’ve checked your web design, take some time to find out how visitors interact with your website.
· Check if your website is mobile-friendly — designing a webpage to be compatible with a variety of devices is known as ‘responsive design’, and with more than 50 % of web traffic occurring on mobile devices, it’s crucial to have a mobile friendly website.
· Navigation — your website should be easy to navigate, with the most important pages prominent and easy to reach. Make sure you also have a clearly signposted contact page for visitors to get in touch.
· Content — make sure that your website content is simple enough for visitors to understand. Not everyone is a rocket scientist!
With your website looking good and offering visitors a quality user experience, it’s time to take a look at the technical side.
· Check if your site is secure — is data transfer to and from your website encrypted? If not, you should obtain an SSL certificate and use HTTPs for your site. As well as preventing data from being intercepted, HTTPs helps websites rank higher in Google searches.
· Check for broken links or missing links — missing pages or broken links can make your webpage look outdated or badly maintained. Even if your visitors do get lost on your website, make sure they stay engaged with a customised 404 error page.
· Check your website speed — how fast does your website load? Google found that 53% of mobile visitors leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load, and faster pages rank higher in search results.
Is your website striking, intuitive, and up to spec? Great! Now it’s time to start testing it.
· Don’t test your own website — after spending time developing a website you start to lose perspective. Ask colleagues or a select group of customers to test your website and look for bugs.
· Test often — ongoing tests help identify issues as they arise, and keep your website performing well.
· Perform regular website audits — websites constantly evolve as new content is added and your business grows. Regular website audits will help keep your website at peak performance.
If you follow these four steps, then you’ll have made your website more engaging, easier to navigate, and more useful to your customers.
For a more in-depth website audit that focuses on both the content and technical side of your website, then get in touch with AstroAgency — our digital marketing team will go through all the steps above, as well as covering social media, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and investigating how users interact and navigate within your website.
Contact AstroAgency to arrange a website audit.