Many business owners and website owners might feel that their website design is something that is somewhat “permanent”. It is not. The old days, where you designed a business website and never reviewed it again until you went out of business, are gone. In today’s ever changing online world, your web design needs periodic review – otherwise the site quickly becomes obsolete. You can't have old product photos on it, out of date user manuals or even poor web page layout and design.
Website Audit 101
Any professional web design agency knows that, to be competitive in any business, you need to constantly evolve. As a result of almost daily changes in web technologies and design techniques, periodic web site audits are now the norm rather than the exception.
Here are 7 aspects of your web design that should be audited regularly:
1. Audit Your Content: In web parlance, “content is king”. If you haven’t yet taken a look at what’s on your website for a while – now is the perfect time to do so. You may just be surprised at how dated some of that material already is – even though you may have posted it just a few months ago.
• Fresh content endears your website design to search engines
• Updated content endears you to your website visitors – old and new
• Innovative content endears you to paying customers and those who are researching a solution by scanning your website and your competitor's websites.
In auditing your content, you will also be ensuring that your brand and your image are appropriately presented to your audience.
2. Audit Your Links: As you update your own site, and as other sites (to whose content you might have links to) update theirs; existing links can easily become 'broken' or miss-directed. If there’s one thing more annoying than poor content – to both human visitors and Search Engine BOTS (these are the computer programs operated by search engines like Google to scan the web for new web pages and updated web pages) – it’s poor website linking.
As part of your website audit, you must get your web design agency to find all broken links; re-establish correct and new links, and explore the possibility of introducing additional links if required.
3. Audit Your Site Maps And Navigation: Unless you are one of those dormant (i.e. “Dead”) sites, you’ll likely have new products, updated services, and fresh ideas flowing throughout the site. Sometimes, this leads to some of those ideas being grouped in the wrong place, on incorrect pages, or under inappropriate tabs. Site mapping and navigation audits will help determine whether your users should be offered a fresh set of navigational “instructions”, so they can find what they are looking for quickly. Such audits may also reveal tweaks that your web design agency can make to the site, in order to give your visitors a better website navigation experience.
5. Audit Your Performance: Newer website design techniques and technologies mean that your website may have either improved in performance, or the implementation of these innovations results in site performance degradation.
With the help of specialised tools and software, such as Google Analytics, a site performance audit can help you fine-tune your website so that it performs optimally when visitors visit you – regardless of what device they use, or which operating system or browser they use. You don't want web pages loading slowly and you don't want page load delays , for example, because of external factors like Twitter feeds or Facebook feeds.
6. Audit Your Security: With so many instances of cyber security lapses these days, it’s vital that you ensure that your site is protected. From antivirus updates and scans, to the latest web server and Operating System updates, your web design agency will need to audit and repair all aspects of your website infrastructure and security.
7. Audit Your Competitors: Last, but not least, a thorough competitor audit can reveal a great deal of insight into what your competitors are doing. Have your web technology partners audit your 3 closest competitors for things like website size, online marketing presence, keyword usage and other key metrics. Then, use that information to review your own online marketing strategy.
A web presence audit isn’t just about seeking, finding and fixing deficiencies in your web design strategy. It’s more about ensuring your online presence is continually improved to meet the almost daily changing expectations of your new customers, existing clients, business partners and suppliers.
While you may do some form of auditing yourself - in fact, you should – like updating your price lists and product and service information; working with a professional web design company will ensure that your website audits give you the best value for money, cover all the areas that need to be covered and generate some new ideas for you to consider for your website so that you are at the top of your industry on the web.
If you have any website questions that you'd like answered, give us a call on 01-6216866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd be glad to have a look at your site for you.