Getting your business website online with an attractive design and relevant information about your business is important, but if you want your website to attract, engage, and convert visitors into qualified sales leads, you’ll need to make sure your website is optimized for search engines, contains content that is relevant to your target audience, and is geared to drive desired actions such as filling out a lead form, calling your business phone number, or placing an online order. It is also important to make sure your website loads quickly and provides a secure connection.
Getting your target audience to visit your website is one thing. It is yet another to get them to stay, interact with your content, and respond to your calls to action. While providing the best user experience that leads to above-average conversion rates is an ongoing journey, the good news is that there are established best practices that when used properly will set up your website for success.
In this article, we’ll cover the key areas to consider when evaluating your website and walk you through a simple process for conducting a website audit using free online tools.
What is a Website Audit?
A website audit is related to improving website performance by assessing how certain factors contribute to your traffic goals. In short, it is the first step to website optimization.
HubSpot cites four classifications of website analysis:
Website Performance Assessment
In general, this assessment covers your website’s usability and speed. Your website should be designed with your target users in mind. Your value proposition and the main reason that users visit your website should be easily accessible. Similarly, calls to action should be clear so that the conversion of visits into sales is seamless.
For example, let’s use the example of a website for a retreat center. This retreat center determined that most of the visitors coming to the main page of this website have a goal of finding an overnight retreat with reasonable prices and hassle-free planning. From the main page, it should be easy to navigate to find retreat planning information and options to request a quote.
Taking factors like this into account is one aspect of user-driven analysis, where you use data about your users and analyze website improvement opportunities accordingly.
Keep in mind that once your visitors feel that your website does not have the product or the content they need, they will likely look for an alternative source. This may even happen within a few seconds if the visitor is skimming your site.
Your website’s speed also dramatically affects your conversion rate. HubSpot says that the first five seconds of your website’s load time is the most critical to your conversion rate. With each added second, conversion rates go down by around 4.42%. This is expected since almost 70% of potential buyers admit that their willingness to purchase from a seller is affected by page speed.
Knowledge of on-page SEO techniques and analyzing which ones contribute most towards your search engine optimization are the key elements of SEO audit.
Create a content strategy around the keywords that target your niche market. Then, incorporate appropriate keyword use in page titles, URLs, and meta descriptions.
In the previous example, the retreat center, should target consumers who want to plan overnight retreats. However, the owner should remember that their target market is not always looking for something to purchase at that moment.
Sometimes, they are just looking for information on retreat activities, comparing locations, or looking for tips that will prepare them for their future getaway. For this reason, the owner should also work on ranking for relevant retreat keywords that would increase website visits that can be converted into leads down the line.
Conversion Rate Assessment
Conversion rates determine how effective your digital marketing efforts are, especially if you need to assess how you have allocated your budget towards each campaign.
In this case, you have to create your buyer personas and follow their customer journey during their interaction with your content. Analyze which landing pages, marketing offers, and calls to action resonated with each persona.
Your landing pages should follow the best web optimization practices while providing conversion opportunities throughout different stages of the sales funnel.
In this analysis, you will need a web developer or an IT specialist to look at your website’s user experience and user interface. This assessment considers all of the three previous assessments as they all relate to the overall user experience.
It would be best if you worked to keep your website error-free, responsive, and optimized. Broken links and error messages affect your visitor’s confidence and will lead to lower conversion rates.
Optimize your site structure for effective search engine indexing and crawling by using internal links, tags, robots files, and sitemaps.
How To Perform a Website Audit
1 . Use a Site Audit Tool
Determining how to improve your website performance can be done through site audit tools. Many of these tools are free, like HubSpot’s Website Grader. Using a reputable one will provide you with information on your website’s strengths to focus your website analysis and improvement on weak aspects.
2 . Identify Errors
One of the most popular and simplest SEO tools is Ahrefs’ Keyword Rank Checker. With it, you can see how your website ranks in your target location based on your target keywords. You’ll also find data on relevant keywords and competitors’ websites.
As of 2020, more than 90% of internet users use mobile devices to access the internet. If your website does not have a mobile version, you are missing the opportunity of reaching customers who may have smaller browsing screens and slower mobile internet connections.
To increase your visitors’ confidence in buying or providing their contact information, ensure that your website has no technical errors and security flaws.
3 . Analyze Content, Design, and User Experience
Speed significantly affects your customer’s user experience. Speed refers to the website page load speed and the rate at which customers can reach their goal for visiting your website. If the intent is to find and purchase the right product, they should be able to seamlessly access your product list, add items to their carts, and proceed to checkout.
If your visitors are looking for information, it should be immediately available to them. In case you would like to use this as an opportunity to capture their information as leads, the signup process should be quick and simple.
Post only grammatically correct and plagiarism-free content to avoid search engine ranking penalties. Similarly, images should be optimized for site speed and search engines.
Putting It Together
Learning how to improve website performance requires an overall knowledge of technical website audit, SEO audit, website performance metrics, and conversion rate factors. Some of these can be done on your own as a website owner, such as using our free website audit tool, while the tasks will require the skills of a technical expert.
At Improve & Grow, our goal is to assist businesses in optimizing their website. Find out more by scheduling a meeting with us today.