Your website acts like your online shop window.
If a prospective customer peers through the glass, are you happy with what they’re seeing?
There are three things that a website should be:
- Visible - If people aren’t finding your website, then what’s the point?
- Engaging - Your content needs to be exactly what your target audience want to read.
- Converting - Your website should convince people to take a positive action.
Essentially, your online shop window should say, “come on in, have a browse and engage with our content,” enticing people in and nurturing them gently into customers.
In order to achieve a website that does this, you need to carry out a website audit to understand the ins and outs of your website - what it’s doing well, and what could be improved.
To help you do this, our team of website experts here at Catalyst have gathered 8 key questions into this website audit checklist to help you determine whether your website is performing, and what needs to change to boost its efficacy.
1. What is my website used for?
Do you have a website because you’re just checking a box, or are you using your website to its fullest potential?
Every business owner understands that they require a website in today’s modern age, but not everyone seems to understand why (the answer isn’t “because everyone else has one”).
Ask yourself – what do you want your website to achieve?
- Is it there to generate leads?
- Should it warm leads up with nurturing content?
- Is it an eCommerce site designed to sell?
- Is it there to purely educate?
- Does it provide access to a customer portal?
Your website can be multiple things, but it will never succeed if you don’t have a distinct goal in mind at all times.
This is because focused websites perform the best. If your content/design is tailored to your target audience’s needs, then they’re far more likely to take the action that you want them to, be that buying something or getting in touch.
2. Is my website generating leads?
Generally, for most businesses, a website is there to generate revenue.
One of the key ways that websites generate revenue is by nurturing and delivering warm market- and sales qualified leads.
First thing’s first, perform a digital website audit to check how many people are visiting your website on a regular basis (this is made easier using tools such as HubSpot). Now check how many of these visitors are submitting a form, getting in touch or downloading gated content.
Generally speaking, most websites sit around a 1-2% conversion rate, with good websites getting as high as 5% (or more, if you’re a massive brand, but we’re talking SMEs today).
This means that improving your conversion rate by small amounts (say 0.5%) is a big deal. Say you have 10,000 prospects visiting your website every month, and 2% of them get in touch, that’s 200 leads that are already familiar with your brand.
Improve this to 2.5% and you’re looking at 250 potential customers. Drive more traffic, and the growth is exponential.
If your website isn’t generating leads, then you need to look into why:
3. How good is my user experience?
Having a website that’s pleasant to use is crucial. We’re sure you’ve heard the term “user experience” or “UX” before, but what exactly does that contain?
What is website user experience?
A website’s user experience describes how someone feels when navigating a website on a desktop or mobile device. This is impacted by its design, coding, messaging and logic. User experience is good if the website provides what’s expected in the easiest way, and is poor if the website is overly complicated or frustrating to use.
The best way to determine whether your website’s user experience is good or not is to have people you trust conduct a user experience survey and provide feedback.
Ask them if they found it easy to understand, whether it was annoying to use and if they got lost at any point.
The key is to balance great design (looking good) and perfect functionality. Just because your website looks great, doesn’t mean it works well.
In addition to this, there are a whole host of useful plugins and tools that you can use to determine usability, such as HotJar and Crazy Egg, which show you exactly how people are using your website using custom heatmaps and recordings.
Looking for support auditing your website’s user experience? Book a call with our website specialists today.
4. Is my website ranking for industry keywords?
Keywords are essential when judging if your website is performing. If you’re looking to improve your website’s performance using targeted keywords, you need to understand what they are and how they work.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the search phrases that real people are typing into search engines. If your website is mentioning these keywords in relevant content, then search engines will put you in a higher position. A higher position means more people will click on your website.
More people clicking on your website gives you the best chance of closing sales.
The use of keywords has changed over the years, with search engines now favouring content that’s written for people first, search engines second.
This means that, once you’ve identified your keywords, you need to sprinkle them into content that’s well written, informative and genuinely useful for the reader.
Gone are the days of keyword stuffing (squeezing your keywords in hundreds of times per page). Modern marketing relies on determining what keywords your customers are using (as well as the keywords your competitors are using), and factoring these words into well informed copy.
5. Who is my website designed for?
Your website isn’t for you, it’s for your audience.
A big mistake that we see lots of organisations make is building a website that they really like. Unfortunately, what you like is largely irrelevant when it comes to website design. If your audience doesn't like how it looks/performs, then it’s a completely wasted investment.
Take the time to narrow down exactly who you expect to be using your website. Isolate both the industries, business types and job roles; this will help to inform your website design decisions moving forward.
6. Does my website represent my brand?
If your website hasn’t been touched in 5+ years, then there’s a good chance that it doesn’t represent who your business is anymore.
Your website’s branding is one of the key influences in its success. Get it right, and people will remember you as the go-to business for your offering. Get it wrong, and, well, you can imagine the outcome.
Click here to learn more about how you can build a stronger business brand.
7. Is my website’s copy good?
Copy, words, messaging; whatever you call it, it’s got to be right.
If your website isn’t saying the right stuff, it’s never going to convert, simple as that. Have a read through your homepage, about page and key services. Do they concisely explain who you are and what you do?
Like with user experience, get people to read through your website and summarise what they think it is that you do (this can be extremely telling).
If your website’s copy isn’t doing its job, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
You’ll want to revisit your business’ value proposition, nail your tone of voice and decide exactly what you want the message on your website to be. It is essential that your copy complements your design. If not, your website will start to fall apart, and it will not deliver the ROI that you want it to.
8. Are there any development issues?
Have a click around your website. Check links, CTAs, blogs, imagery, forms; literally click on everything. You may be surprised to find that some things simply don’t work.
Don’t worry, this isn’t especially unusual, but you should be regularly auditing your website in order to check that everything’s working exactly as it should be (it doesn’t reflect well on your brand if your website’s not functioning especially well).
Build a successful website with Catalyst
Websites are wonderful things when they’re working. They’re a cause of sleepless nights and stress when they’re not.
At Catalyst, we’re website experts. Our diverse team of designers, copywriters, SEO experts and developers work together to create commercially focused websites that deliver exactly what they say on the tin.
Whether you’re looking for a lead generation machine or an eCommerce powerhouse, you can rely on our expertise to get the job done.
Get in touch with our specialists today to find out how we can use our digital website audit process to build you the website you’ve always wanted.
Alternatively, reach out to us using the below details:
T: 0121 296 5275
Looking for more? Check out our ultimate guide on building a website that delivers leads.