Wondering if your website is doing a good job at achieving your business goals? Is it generating enough leads and sales? Are you driving enough traffic to it? Is it doing an effective job at showcasing your skills, talents and products and helping you stand out as a thought leader or expert in your field?

If you’ve answered “no” to some or all of these questions? Then it may be time for you to pause, do a website audit and spend some time really deep-diving into all aspects of your website and identifying areas for improvement.

To help you figure out the issues preventing your website from reaching its full potential, here is our complete and comprehensive website audit guide to help you get back on track with a high-performing website for your business!

Before we audit…


First of all, take a step back and identify your goals for your website (if you didn’t already do so at the time of building your website).

Before diving into doing an audit of your website, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of your business goals and how you initially wanted your website to support your goals.

Didn’t set any goals when you first built your website? That’s ok – it’s never too late and indeed, this is the perfect time to now have a think about what you would like your website to do for your business.

Examples of goals include:

  • Generating online sales (pretty obvious for the likes of eCommerce businesses and those selling digital products). If you sell both online and in a physical store, then you might have a goal for online sales to make up a certain portion of your overall revenue.
  • Generating targeted leads, i.e. receiving enquiries from people who belong to your ideal/target market. For example, at Moolah Digital, our target audience are generally creatives and consultants who have established businesses that have been around for at least 3 years, are ready to take their business to the next level and understand the importance of a strong online presence.
  • Receiving invites and requests for podcast appearances, blog appearances and speaking opportunities (crucial if your goal is to be seen as a thought leader or expert in your field).

Make sure you have your goals on hand, written out so you can make sure to refer to them throughout the website auditing process.

Look at your analytics for insights on how people use your website and where they come from.

This is crucial data that, in conjunction with your goals, will help you to form a baseline of how your website is currently performing and make sure you’re identifying the right areas for improvement throughout your website.

At the absolute minimum, you should have Google Analytics installed on your website. If you don’t, then add that as a first action item on your audit checklist. After all, as the old saying goes, “you can’t improve what you don’t measure”.

Other tools/platforms where you can collect valuable data and insights about your website include:

  • Google Search Console to track your website’s performance on Google search, in particular what keywords your website ranks for and what keywords drive traffic to your website.
  • Hotjar – this heat mapping and behavour analytics tool is a step-up from Google Analytics and provides a WEALTH of detail on how people navigate and use your website. You can see how far down pages people scroll, what buttons they click on and so much more.

At an absolute minimum, you would want at least 3x months worth of analytics data before making any huge decisions, unless you’re constantly getting huge amounts of traffic from the get-go.

Looking at your data, some of the questions you’ll want to ask include:

  • What are the demographics of my 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 visiting your website, then you have an issue and you either need to rework your content and possibly your branding & design so your website better talks to the 25 year old female. OR consider marketing towards a different audience altogether

  • What attributes and behaviours can you identify from 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 via Pinterest? Do people who find you via a Google search spend more time on your website but view less pages? What pages are they viewing? 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 and how engaged is this traffic? 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? Or are you best to focus your efforts in other areas? For example, if less of your traffic comes from your email list but they’re very engaged when they’re on your website, maybe you could look at increasing the number of subscribers to your email list and enticing more of your list to get to your website.
  • Are there pages where people scroll all the way down or pages where people don’t bother scrolling much at all and skip to another page or leave your website altogether? What’s your bounce rate like? What buttons are people clicking on/not clicking on?
  • What keywords do you appear on Google for and what keywords produce the most clicks through to your website? Are these in line with the type of things you’d like to be found for? Are there other keywords you’d like to show up in search for?

When looking at your website data, make sure to keep your goals in mind. If your goal is more targeted lead generation, focus on analytics related to keyword appearances and click throughs, how people are finding you and the performance of call-to-actions and landings on your contact pages.

Your action: Try and identify 3-5x key insights using your analytics that you’d like to focus on because you feel these will drive greater success for your website and business.

Let’s get auditing!

 

Hooray! We have our goals and a whole heap of data – now it’s time to take a good look at our website and identify all the areas for improvement to help reach our website goals.


01 – Test your website’s user experience: put yourself in your customer’s shoes when performing tasks or finding information on your website.

User experience is all in the name – it’s all about making it as easy as possible for your customers and website visitors to perform a task.

As part of your audit, we suggest you put yourself in your customer’s shoes and have a go at performing any crucial tasks on your website.

For example, if the main goal of your website is to get people to sign-up to your online course, then put on your customer hat and start from the very beginning of the journey. How easy is the process and what pain points have you come across?

  • If you start on the home page, is it clear what your immediate next step should be?
  • What is the sales page for the online course like? Have you made it clear what the problem is and why and how your course solves this problem?
  • Have you made yourself accessible if someone has questions about the course – e.g. is there an FAQ page? Do you provide a booking link for people to schedule a call with you?
  • Is the pricing structure clear (and not misleading)?
  • Is it easy enough to proceed with making payment and signing up to the course?

What about if you have an online store? Is it easy for people to purchase your products? Do you offer a range of payment options? Is it easy to get to your cart? Is the checkout process short and sweet? Are shipping costs clear?

Whilst testing out the user experience of your website yourself is a great start, you could take things to the next-level by getting existing customers or potential customers from your target market to conduct some user testing on your website. You could enlist volunteers and provide some sort of reward in exchange for their time (such as a gift card to use either at your own store or a general Visa gift card).

02 – Mobile responsiveness: how easy is it to use and navigate your website on mobile and tablet?

Having a mobile-friendly website is absolutely crucial, not only for your SEO and Google ranking (indeed, Google now prioritises how your website looks & functions on mobile over desktop), but for the general user experience of your visitors. At the end of the day, it’s humans using your website and if it’s a real struggle-street for them to do this on a mobile phone? Then they’re just simply going to click away and take their business elsewhere.

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 – are they big enough to press on mobile?
  • Loading time – how fast does your website load on mobile, both on a Wifi connection and on a data/4G/5G connection?
  • Scrolling – do you have to do a lot of scrolling to get to the main information? Can you hide any unnecessary elements that don’t add a lot of value on mobile?
  • Layout – are there any overlapping elements that make text difficult to read or buttons difficult to press?

03 – Design and branding: Does your website reflect your brand? If someone were to come on to your website, what perception would they have of your business based on the brand style, colours, fonts and imagery?

For example, if you sell a high-end product, does your website look and feel high-end?

If you’re a business that wants to be perceived as friendly, fun but still professionals – does your website reflect this?

It’s all in your branding – the colours and fonts and how elements are positioned and laid out on the website. This in combination with using imagery and photography that also reflects your brand. Instead of using stock photographs, could you invest in a professional brand photoshoot?

04 – Website copy: do the words on your website speak to and resonate with your target audience? What kind of tone does your website copy convey? Is this in alignment with the tone of your brand?

When it comes to designing & building a website, business owners will often get fixated on the look of the website, but not spend enough time considering the copy, which is a huge mistake. 

If your website looks pretty but the copy is poorly written? The whole thing is just going to fall flat.

Strong copy is absolutely crucial – you should be speaking to your target audience and their problems and making it clear how you can help solve these problems.

Then there’s the way this copy is written in terms of layout and tone. Do you get to the point and use short, succinct sentences as much as possible? Does your copy match your audience? For example, if your target audience is ambitious, career-focused women, does the copy reflect this? Or is the copy too gentle? 

Additionally, it’s important to consider what kind of content can be found on your website. Especially if you want to come across as a thought-leader who knows their stuff, it’s worth going beyond just standard, cookie-cutter information and page content.

  • Do you have case studies demonstrating how your product or service has helped solve your customers’ problem(s)?
  • Do you have testimonials displayed on your website – not just in the form of written reviews but maybe video too?
  • 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 better understand what you do or helps prepare them so they can start working with you?
  • Do you provide content and resources in a range of format, besides just written words? Other options include video, interactive documents, PDF sheets, spreadsheets and infographics.
  • Do you provide clear calls to action throughout your website to help visitors decide the next action they should take?

Finally, there’s the SEO aspect. As important as it is to write human-friendly content, it’s also important to incorporate relevant keywords throughout your copy (but can still read naturally and not as if you’re trying *too hard* to win over the Google algorithm!).

Take the time to assess your content and whether it helps your website to achieve its objectives and support your business goals.

05 – Performance, speed and security of your website

A website that is secure and loads quickly is an absolute must in this day and age. Be sure to do the following when auditing your website:

  • Test your website speed. Our personal favourite tool for running speed tests is Pingdom because it lets you easily choose a location for testing from, thus providing a more accurate picture when putting yourself in the shoes of your website visitors.
  • Does your website have an SSL certificate installed? You can find out by checking in your browser address bar and seeing if there is a padlock icon next to your website address.
  • Do you have security measures in place on your website? This is a good time to also check who has admin access to your website – should they still have this level of access?
  • Do you have backup measures in place in case something goes wrong on your website and you need to restore it? If so, do you know how to go about restoring a backup?

06 – Lead Capturing & Email Marketing

Especially in the days of overcrowded social media platforms and algorithms, it’s crucial more than ever to focus on your owned channels such as your email list. Don’t have an email list? Then add that as an action item and look to get yourself set-up with an email marketing platform and add sign-up forms to your website.

Otherwise, for those of you who do have their email marketing platform integrated with their website, take the time to answer the following:

  • How easy is it for people to sign-up to your email list? And how can people sign-up to your email list? (Check out our blog post with ideas on where to add email sign-up forms throughout your website).
  • If someone reaches out via your contact form, do you capture their details in your email marketing/CRM platform?
  • Do you provide any sort of incentive for people to join your list (it doesn’t necessarily have to be a discount code – you could provide a freebie. Or you could keep it as simple as offering fortnightly insider news & tips that you don’t share anywhere else)? The point is to give people a reason to join your email list – and a pretty damn good one too.
  • How effective is your current email marketing platform in terms of deliverability and the ability to create personalised, targeted email campaigns and automations?

07 – SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO in itself is a beast and worthy of its own separate in-depth audit. It’s still worth spending some time conducting even just a basic SEO audit of your website, however you don’t need to overthink it. Just identifying issues in other parts of your website and making fixes will by default make a difference to your SEO ranking.

See, SEO isn’t just about keywords and making sure pages load super fast. A website with good SEO will be a website with a great user experience, a website that looks good, resonates with the right people, provides value and is just a great website to use.

However, as part of a basic SEO audit, be sure to consider the following:

  • Do all of your pages have SEO titles and descriptions set-up?
  • Are you using headings and subheadings on your pages correctly?
  • Sitemaps – do you have a sitemap set-up on your website?
  • Indexing – have any pages on your website been blocked from being indexed by search engines?
  • Keywords – has your website been optimised to rank in relevant and appropriate keywords for your business? For example, if you’re a website designer who’s getting A LOT of traffic for keywords related to copywriting but you don’t offer copywriting as a service? Then you may need to assess the copy on your website to more appropriately reflect this.
  • Images – have you added appropriate alt tags to your images and have they been optimised for web?
  • Website speed and mobile responsiveness – as we’ve mentioned previously, these play a key role in your search ranking, so it’s important to see how well your website is performing in these areas.

08 – How has your website been set-up? Is it easy for you to manage and make updates as needed?

As important as it is to consider your target audience when auditing your website, it’s also very important to take the time to assess how easy it is to manage your website and keep it up-to-date. This is especially important if you don’t have the budget to outsource and would like to be able to make updates yourself.

  • Are you able to make basic content edits to existing pages?
  • If you have an eCommerce website, do you know how to manage inventory, products and orders? Do you know how to upload new products?
  • Are you able to publish blog posts or create new pages yourself?

 If you’ve answered “no” to some or all of the above questions, it could be worth getting some training or having a professional help make updates and changes to the website to make it more manageable for yourself.

After the audit – your next steps

 

Hopefully by this point, you’ve managed to identify the right areas where improvements need to be made to your website in relation to your goals. Now it’s time to make a decision on what to do next.

To tweak and update or to start again?

The answer will depend on the amount of issues identified from your audit as well as the complexity of the issues identified.

If you are going down the path of working with a professional to make the needed changes to your website, be sure to get several quotes and compare the price of fixing your website with starting over again – that will definitely help you make a firm decision.

Also consider things like the age of your website and if it’s not mobile responsive at all. If your website was built 5 years + ago, in all honesty? So much has changed in the world of web that you might just be better off starting afresh with a fresh new website that adheres to best practices today.

Made the decision to start again with a website redesign?

If you’ve made the call to just start afresh with a clean slate? That’s fantastic and so very exciting!

If you’re considering engaging an agency to help you with redesigning your website? Well, be sure to consider the Moolah Digital team! Working closely with business owners to dream up custom websites that resonate with their target audience and help them to take off and grow is our jam. We’ll be able to make sure we get your entire website foundation right from the get-go.

COMING SOON – your free website audit workbook

That’s right – we’ll be providing a free, interactive and easy-to-follow workbook to help you audit your website yourself. It’s still in progress but we promise it’ll be a goodie!

To be the first in line to receive this workbook, you’ll definitely want to jump on our email list – use the below form and we’ll send the workbook over once it’s ready to go!

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