The New Year is the perfect time to make sure that your digital footprint is as strong as it could possibly be. There are so many things that could go wrong with a website, and it will have an effect on your sales and perception to your audience.
Website audits are usually something that’s conducted by a digital marketing professional or web developer, but if you don’t have the funds to hire a freelancer, think of this as your DIY guide.
Even if you’re not well versed in digital jargon, the things you need to look out for are all things that you should already be paying attention and have access to as someone with an online presence.
Here are some important tips for maintaining an effective website in 2018:
Although you’re website provider already has an internal analytics system, that is no reason not to connect your site to Google Analytics. Google Analytics gives users insights that other systems cannot, especially if you are using the paid plan. While most people using Google Analytics can analyze their data and come to conclusions themselves, Google Analytics will gives suggestions for you, if you aren’t well-versed in data analytics.
The things you want to look out for here is making sure that everything that can be tracked, is being tracked.
Are all forms being tracked? Downloads for PDFs?
Are there links that are being directed to the wrong sites?
How are you doing when it comes to meet your goals?
Once you’ve noted all of these things, you can then go back to your website and put the pieces together as to why you might be failing when it comes to KPIs and tracking.
2. User Experience + Design
The user experience (UX) is very critical to the success of your website. Ever go to a site that just looked awful and immediately you didn’t trust any of the content? These are the types of sites that people tend to not read, and buy from. Having white space around your content is known to increase user attention by 20%.
Other things to take note of when looking at the design of your website include:
· Are your buttons visible and easy to tell its clickable?
· Are calls to action clear and not only at the bottom of the page?
· Are your pages text heavy, with no relief of images or white space?
· Are the graphics, fonts and other design elements consistent with your branding?
Search engine optimization should be at the top of your mind if you are a content creator, and even if you aren’t. There are two types of SEO you should be paying attention to- on-page and off-page SEO. On page refers to all of tactics you can use to rank better within your website, and off-page refers to those that will help you rank, besides your website content.
Below is your on and off page SEO checklist:
Social media engagement
4. Technical Issues
Technical issues are also another factor that can effect the way search engines and users view your website.
Go through each page of your site and be on the look out for these basic issues:
Are there any broken links that need to be fixed?
Does the site search actually return what a user is looking for?
Are there any URL redirects? You can use Google Webmaster tools to check your website for 404 errors.
How is the site speed? Even a 2 second delay will cause 87% of users to leave the page, causing an increase in bounce rate.
Are you using hyperlink differentiation?
How do you audit your website for look and functionality?