Have you had a website built for you but you’re not too convinced that it’s doing a great job at bringing in sales or generating leads?
Then you might need to consider doing a website audit and spending some time deep-diving into all parts of your website and identifying areas for improvement.
Perhaps it’s the speed of your website letting you down. Or maybe it’s the fact that your copy hasn’t been written with your ideal customer in mind. It could be that the process of purchasing your products is too clunky and requires too many steps.
To help you figure out the issues that are stopping you website from being a real money maker, here is our complete website audit checklist containing suggestions for the types of things you should be checking and analysing when looking at your website.
Put aside some time to focus on auditing your website – it will require a fair amount of focus. You could even just spend 30 minutes each day focusing on a particular area.
You’ll want to keep all of your notes in one place for easy access, so open up a Word document or Excel spreadsheet and get ready to start auditing!
1. Look at your Google Analytics data for insights on how people use your website and where they come from.
Don’t have a Google Analytics account? Well your first task is to get one set-up for your website via this link. It’s completely free and you’ve got to be mad if you don’t use it.
Google Analytics provides all sorts of incredible insights about your website visitors – where they come from and how they behave on your website. You can discover what pages get the most view, how long people spend on your website, what countries they come from, what device and browser they are using, how they found your website and even how they navigate through your website.
You can even set-up additional eCommerce reporting so you can find out specifically where your revenue comes from and whether there are correlations between certain types of behaviour and amount of revenue.
If you have a Google Analytics account, we suggest filtering on at least 3 months worth of data and check up on some of the following things:
- What are the demographics of your website visitors? Are they predominantly male or female? How old are they? Where do they come from? This is important especially if the demographics of your visitors don’t match the characteristics of your ideal customer. For example, if your ideal customer is a 25 year old female but you’re mainly getting men in their 40s to your website then you have an issue and you either need to rework your content so it better talks to the 25 year old female or consider marketing towards a different audience.
- Take a deep dive into the analytics of those who have made it to your website from a particular channel. How do website visitors from Instagram differ from those who came to your website from Pinterest? Do people from Google search spend more time on your website but view less pages? Do people from your email newsletter spend less time on your website but view more pages? Is there a correlation between the source of traffic and the amount of people who make it to checkout? Is there a correlation between the source of traffic and the amount they spend at your online store?
- What sources bring you the most traffic? How engaged is this traffic (e.g. how much time do they spend on your website and how many pages do they view during their visit)? If most of your traffic comes from Facebook but they aren’t necessarily the most engaged audience, what can you do to make these people more engaged (e.g. ads targeted at a more relevant group of people)? If less of your traffic comes from your email list but they are the most engaged, what can you do to get more people signed up to your email list and clicking through to your website?
2. Test your website speed
Our tool of choice for testing your website’s speed is Pingdom. Simply enter the page URL and choose a location you want to simulate testing from. (For example, if you are an Australian business who sells to Australian customers only, then it’s sufficient to just test from Sydney). Once you’ve run your test, you should receive recommendations on improving your site speed.
Ideally you want your web pages to load within 4 seconds. Even if your pages are loading quickly already, making the tiniest improvements can make the world of difference especially for your Google search ranking.
3. User Experience – Put yourself in your customer’s shoes when performing main tasks on your website.
If the main goal of your website is to have people purchasing a product then start from the very beginning, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and try purchasing one of your products yourself to see how easy it is and what pain points you might come across.
Things to consider:
- Regardless of what web page you are on, is it easy to quickly figure out what type of product or service you sell?
- If you start on the home page, is it clear what action you should take first?
- If you sell products, are your product descriptions clear and enticing? Do they make you want to add the product to your cart? Do you provide a list of product specs?
- Is it easy to find the cart and proceed to checkout?
- Is it easy to find out shipping costs without having to go to the cart/checkout?
- Is it easy to find the returns policy?
Even better? Get someone from your target market to test (and give them a gift in exchange for their time and feedback).
4. Lead capturing
Are you using your website to capture leads?
Do you have an email list? And do you have a form set-up on several places throughout the website to allow people to subscribe to your email list?
Do you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool? Is this integrated with your website so that whenever someone sends you a general enquiry or purchase something from you, they get added to your CRM?
If you have an eCommerce website, does your email marketing tool segment buyers into different groups for you based on their purchasing habits?
Have you set-up a lead magnet to encourage people to join your mailing list? Some examples of lead magnets include:
- Discount codes.
- A free service such as a consult or report.
- A free product.
- A digital product such as a checklist or eBook.
- A product brochure with full details about your product.
- Case studies
- Access to a password protected resources section.
If you are offering some sort of freebie, do you make it clear that you will be adding their email address to your mailing list?
Do you know how effective your lead magnet is in getting sign-ups? Are people actually opening up the email to retrieve the lead magnet?
If you are selling to people in Europe (or have the potential to), is your email opt-in form GDPR compliant?
5. SEO Optimisation
SEO in itself is worthy of its own audit.
If you haven’t done so previously, we recommend undertaking keyword research to make sure your website is being found on Google by the right audience.
Then look at your Google Search Console data. If you don’t have a search console account, we highly suggest you get one (once again it’s free).
With this data, you’ll be able to see what keywords your website is appearing on Google for and how many people are actually clicking through to your website. Then you can determine the following:
- Does your website have a sitemap?
- Has your website or any pages on your website been blocked from being indexed by search engines?
- Are your SEO page titles and descriptions enticing? Do they contain the right keywords that people should be searching on to find you? Do you use the correct heading types on your pages? For example, do you use h1 headings for main page headings?
- What keywords do people use to find you? What kind of content could you add to your website to increase the chances of people finding you in a search and clicking through to your website? For example if your website is appearing in a search for “workout ideas”, perhaps you could write a series of blog posts listing ideas for workouts for different parts of the body.
- Do each of your images have appropriate alt tags that both describe what the image is about but still incorporate your target keywords?
6. Mobile Responsiveness
Often we take for granted that our website should just magically work on any device and then we get a shock when we find a major issue on tablet or mobile phone.
Having a mobile-friendly website is absolutely crucial, not only for your Google search ranking (indeed Google now prioritises how your website looks & functions on mobile over desktop) but for the general user experience of your visitors.
Be sure to test your website out on as many different devices as possible. At a minimum? Make sure you’ve tested your website on desktop, laptop, tablet (portrait and landscape) and mobile. Ideally, you should test on different types of tablets and mobiles too. Just because your website looks good on an iPhone X, doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on a Samsung Galaxy S20.
Some things to look out for when testing your website on smaller devices:
- Font sizes – is the copy too small to read? Or is it too large and breaking up over multiple lines?
- Buttons – make sure they’re big enough to press on mobile.
- Page size – remember, people are generally out and about on their mobile devices and using their mobile data to load websites. This means that the smaller your web pages, the better as it means using less data and pages load quickly.
- Scrolling – how much scrolling does one have to do on a mobile to get to the main part of the page? Is there any opportunities to hide elements that aren’t necessary on mobile such as images?
- Layout – are there any elements that are overlapping, making text difficult to read?
Do your contact forms work? Do you receive an email notification when someone sends a message via your website’s contact form?
Does the checkout process work – all the way from adding an item to cart to making final payment and receiving confirmation by email.
Are people able to sign up to your email list and do they receive a welcome email or lead magnet from you upon signing up?
Is imagery of a high quality? Could you benefit from replacing stock photographs with professional branded photography?
Do you have a brand style guide and does your website adhere to this guide (i.e. are you using the correct font and colours)?
Do you consistently use the correct colours, font styles and sizes throughout the website?
Does the overall aesthetic of your website match your brand? For example if you sell a high-end product, does your website look and feel high-end? If you sell a fun, funky kid’s product, does your website look fun and funky?
Do the links on your navigation bar make sense? How many levels of drop-down menus do you have? Are your most important links on the main menu or hidden in a drop-down menu?
Do you provide quick links in your footer so that your website visitor doesn’t have to scroll all the way back up to the navigation menu?
For longer pages, do you use jump links that let people jump to different sections on a page?
Is your content written with your target audience in mind? Do you speak to their problems and make it clear how your products or services can help them?
Do you use a combination of short, succinct sentences and longer prose?
Does the copy match your audience? For example if your target audience are young, sassy women, does the copy reflect this? Or is your copy a bit too serious for this audience?
Do you have case studies demonstrating how your product or service has made a difference to your customers’ lives?
Do you have testimonials displayed on your website?
Do you have blog posts and resources that demonstrate your expertise and will keep website visitors returning for more? Does this content help your target audience to solve a problem they might have? Can these problems be solved using your services or products?
Do you provide clear calls to action that help visitors decide what action they should take?
11. Security and Technical Support
Do you have an SSL certificate correctly installed on your website?
Do you have back-ups enabled on you website? Do you know how to access a back-up if there are issues on your website?
Are your website plugins up-to-date?
Do you know who to contact if there are issues on your website?
Do you have a strong password for your website admin and hosting logins?
Do you have security and anti-spam measures in place?
Hooray! You’ve completed a full audit of your website.
Using this information you can now assess for yourself whether you can get away with just making tweaks and optimisations to your website or whether you need to go ahead with a full rebuild – it all depends on how your website was set up in the first place.
From here you can also decide whether to make these changes yourself or hire a professional to help you out.
Regardless of what decisions you make, the fact that you now have a clear pathway towards a website that converts is a huge achievement in itself and you should be very proud.
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