Identifying Goals and Selecting Criteria
It all begins with the goals. You have to determine the exact business drivers for the whole redesign project. The plans should represent the smaller reasons for the redesign as you are unlikely to alter your business goals in general.
The second most important thing you need to do in a web audit is to choose the categories you want to evaluate. The main categories are:
● Marketing and sales goals
● Web design
● Site user-friendliness
● Data and analytics
Now that that’s done, let’s take a look at the wide range of questions you should use to perform the audit.
● Is the homepage clearly explaining what your business does and the services you provide?
● Are there any grammar and spelling mistakes on the site?
● Does the site contain duplicate content?
● Did you write the text for humans or search engines?
● Are you using bullet points and numbered lists for key listings on the site?
● Do you consistently offer fresh and valuable content for your target audience?
● Are you using creative headlines for the blogs?
● Are the blog posts educational or just salesy?
● Do the landing pages contain unique and engaging content?
● Is the website easily crawlable for Google’s bots?
● Are you using both inbound and outbound links?
● Do you have any broken links?
● Do you have title tags? Alt tags on images? Description tags?
● Are you using enough relevant keywords (without stuffing them)?
● Do you use hyphens on image file names?
Marketing and Sales Goals
● Do you have a target audience that you previously determined and clearly defined?
● Do you have marketing and sales goals?
● Are you achieving those goals?
● How do you measure the success of this achievement?
● Are the visitors generally doing what you expect them to do on the site?
● Are you experiencing continuous, positive growth?
● Are you generating leads from the website?
● Do you have a newsletter or specific blog content that encourages users to return to the site?
● Is the design in alignment with your brand?
● Are your pages consistent with the format for headers, typography, hyperlinks, text, and navigation?
● Is important content easy to find?
● Is the number of images in line with the amount of text, and do they complement the text’s theme?
● Is the design making content easy to digest for the average reader?
● Do you have clear CTAs (call to action) that quickly lead users to what you want them to do?
● Is the site responsive?
● Is the site mobile-friendly?
● Is the website easy to navigate for the average user?
● Is the loading time of an average page fast enough?
● Is the font consistent across the site, and does it compliment the brand?
● Can the users complete the desired action easily and quickly?
● If you have a real-life store, is the experience in the online store consistent with the offline store?
● Is the site hosted on a reliable and scalable platform that’s easy to use?
● Are the credentials for this platform secure?
● Is the website working well on most major browser platforms?
● What are the web applications running on the site, and are they good?
● Does the keyboard (the tab, arrow, and enter keys) provide easy navigation without using a mouse?
● Is the cursor moving logically while using the keyboard for navigation?
● Are the link texts providing contexts for images, logos, and charts?
● Do you have alternative meta-text for non-text elements?
● Are captions always provided for multimedia elements on the site?
● Are there any unidentified colour elements?
Data and Analytics
● Are you effectively using analytics tools to track website activity?
● How are you using analytics data to optimize efforts?
● How are key performance metrics trending over time?
● Does the site have an SSL certificate (secure socket layer)?
● Do you have a good technical support system?
● Is the content management system (CMS) using the latest version?
Performing the Audit
Now that you know the most important things you need to check and the questions you need to ask, you can start the audit.
Once you start, begin taking notes as well. Use a spreadsheet, for example, and write down all the checks you perform and your findings. This will be helpful after the audit is complete, as you’ll have all the data and insights needed to do the redesign.
You can even assign priority levels to each finding and corresponding task you’ll need to perform to fix the issue.
The crucial thing here is always to do an in-depth audit. Without an in-depth approach, you’re bound to miss some smaller details that can add up and limit your website’s effectiveness.
If you want to learn more about performing a good website audit, please reach out to us. We can help you do everything necessary for a successful audit to take place. Let us know, and let’s see how we can collaborate.