How long has it been since you gave your website a checkup?
If you are like many, you may not be sure how to do a website checkup, or if your site has ever had an analysis since launch. Often, websites are thought of as set-it-and-forget-it tools. But, an annual website audit – an examination of the look, tone and feel – can help you find and correct the issues that may be keeping your website from performing as it should.
Think of an annual website checkup as an important housekeeping item. It’s an opportunity to identify what changes may help to improve its functionality, what you can do to keep your digital strategy on track and how you can enhance your content marketing effectiveness.
The good news is that a website checkup doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out exercise. You’re not doing major surgery or a complex overhaul. You do a website checkup simply to better understand how your website is performing and to identify any areas of opportunity for improvement. Here’s how to do a website checkup in four steps:
Checkup item #1: User experience.
A thorough website audit will help you understand how easily people are able to find the information they look for on your website. Check to see if page layout is helping a visitor access important content, no matter what type of device (desktop, mobile) they use to view your site. And see if your site still loads fast and is responsive to user commands.
Checkup item #2: Overall look.
During a website checkup, you need to consider if the overall look is still reflective of your brand and if that look is consistent across the entire website. Look for changes in fonts, colors and page layout across the site. Identify any pages that don’t work and note pages that have broken links. Also look at content to identify anything that is outdated, wrong or doesn’t have clear calls to action.
Checkup item #3: Visitor use.
When reviewing your website during an audit, you should investigate what pages visitors are going to and what they do once they get there. If certain pages keep readers’ interest or result in specific engagement, but others don’t, find out what the difference is. Perhaps readers impatiently move off a page because it comes up slowly, doesn’t present information clearly or lacks a good call to action.
Checkup item #4: Optimization.
It’s important that your website be easy for users and search engines to find. Your website audit should include looking at each page and learning where you can make tweaks to better optimize your site. Look to be sure there are keywords in the page title, content, images and links. Give your website a checkup to be sure page titles are less than 70 characters and that keywords are used in the meta description.
AFTER THE CHECKUP
Once you complete your website checkup, you should have a short list of pages that need to be revised. Make it a priority to fix pages that are not:
Your website is a direct reflection of the care and service people can expect to receive from you and how engaged your brand is as part of the community. When you do a website checkup you can identify things to improve in order to deliver a more robust, relevant, benefits-focused experience for your visitors.
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