What is Wrong with Your Site?
:: A Website Audit Checklist for Beginners ::
By Jacob Abraham, WPDean
-There are so many articles and tutorials available online on website audits. These articles contain information on things like search engine optimization (SEO), Web design, mobile responsiveness and a whole lot of other terms that sometimes seem more like placed keywords rather than actual advice. However, it is important to be able to conduct a website audit every once in a while to determine what needs to be altered in order to make your site perform better. Owning a website is no longer a simple activity.
Both visitors and search engines are becoming more demanding of the experience and content that is offered, which makes it imperative to regularly conduct a website audit. The following is advice for those going at it alone.
Conducting the audit by yourself
Companies like Microsoft, Apple and other multinational companies can afford to hire an arm of SEO professionals to do this work for them. They have the money and the power to get the best of the best in the industry. For your startup business, you might not be able to do that. Nonetheless, your site still needs to be checked as well because visitors don't care about how many resources you have (or don't have), rather about the experience they are provided. You have two options here: hire an SEO agency or do it yourself.
If you are a beginner in Internet business and general online work (of which the following advice is intended for), the thought of doing the website audit yourself can be a bit intimidating. It should not be the case though. You will only need to know what you are checking for.
1. It's Not Mobile
Can your site be accessed through mobile devices? Research has shown that a majority of Internet users access the Web through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. As such, if your site is not mobile responsive then it is not going to be as popular as you might want it to be.
With a responsive Web design, your desktop and mobile content will be kept on a single URL. This makes it easier for the users to interact with, share and link to your site. Google search algorithms are also able to do indexing of your content with more ease. Larger and more complex websites can have a bit of problems with responsive designs. In such a case, it is best to have a segregated website that is specifically designed for the mobile devices or explore adaptive Web design.
2. It Lacks Content
A site is nothing without content. Visitors want to learn from your website, so ensuring that there is fresh, high-quality material in the form of articles, videos, podcasts or images is important for not only search visibility but also sales as users will leave if you have nothing for them.
3. It's Tough to Use
The design of your site should be user friendly or simply put; your site should not need a map and several user manuals in order to understand it. People should be able to get around your site with ease. This means that the content on one page can link to content on another page.
The important pages have to be listed at the top of the page to make for their ease of access. For instance, some people want to find out what your company is about and then they can decide to check your product list. Right on the home page or any landing page, they should be able to find links to these pages.
The content should be easy to understand as well, written to easily answer questions not to present information that begs more questions.
4. The Design is Overwhelming
The design of the site will take into consideration everything from the layout and organization of content to positioning of the calls to action and white space. The content on your site should flow from one block to another one without overwhelming your readers.
The design should also feature enough white space throughout. White space is great for reducing cognitive overload of the visitors. You might create content that is extremely engaging that leaves the reader feeling (actually experiencing) the emotions in your content. There might be other content on the sides of the article that will probably overwhelm the reader.
5. The Branding is Inconsistent
If the site is for a business, then you should keep branding in mind. Everything from the colors to typography should speak of the character of your brand. The colors of your Web design should accentuate your company's logo and other tools of your business.
These are just some of the many things that you must check when you are carrying out a website audit. They are the most important aspects of your site that will either bring people to you or push them away, but seeking expert help will accelerate your company's grown.
About the Author
Jacob Abraham is an SEO expert attached to a renowned SEO consultancy firm. He has more than seven years of experience in helping small and medium businesses get better visibility of their websites with the divi wordpress theme. He has recently taken to blogging and is enjoying himself thoroughly.