I don’t know about you but for me … the last two months of the year always seem to fly by. Once the Halloween candy is gone all that is left is a blur of random relatives, crazy shopping days, sugar cookies and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Before you are knee deep in the Holiday Madness I wanted to shoot you a quick email to remind you that NOW is the best time of year to review your company’s online presence with a website audit.
With lots of customers and employees starting to plan vacations we can often times find an extra hour or so to perform this type of self-audit and make sure that your business is ready for a successful 2015. It’ll be here before you know it.
Here are the top 9 items to review when performing a website audit.
1 Home Page
Take a few minutes and look at your home page.
- Is it representative of your brand?
- Is it customer-focused (focused on them, not you)?
- Do you have contact information plainly visible?
Remember: A new prospect coming to your site is really looking to see how you can help them so make sure you tell them.
2 Opt-in Forms
If you have opt-in forms on your site (newsletter signups, landing pages, lead magnets, etc), and I hope you do, double-check them. Fill out the form and make sure the process works the way you want it to.
- Do you receive a thank you message?
- If you are delivering content – is the content actually being delivered or is it going straight to the SPAM box?
- Check your list stats and see how many leads you’ve received in the last 30 days. Are you OK with that number?
Pro Tip: If you don’t have any opt-in forms on your website, this may be a good time to review why you have the site in the first place. Is it helping you achieve your business goals?
3 About Section
The “About” page on your site is typically the 2nd most trafficked page on a site for a reason. People want to know about your and your company so give them some information. Don’t be afraid to get personal.
- Tell them who you are and why you do what you do.
- Tell them about your family or organizations that you support.
- Show them a picture of Lucky, your crazy 3-legged dog.
Remember: Most people prefer to do business with other people – not organizations.
4 Staff changes
If you display staff members on your site…
- Have you had any staff changes this year?
- Old employees that have moved on?
- New staff that have joined the team?
Note: To keep from having to monitor this I usually prefer just a photo of the owner or a group photo of the whole team (doesn’t need to be swapped out if you lose or gain a few team members). If you have a storefront you can also include an inviting photo of your shop.
5 Product/Service offering
Year-end is a great time to review the Products/Services pages on your site.
- Are there any new additions that haven’t made it to the site?
- Did you discontinue any products or services that are still listed on the site?
- Are there any products that clients have been asking for?
Pro Tip: A year-end customer survey can be used to glean information from your clients. Not just to give you a report card of how you’re serving them but if you ask a few open ended questions – they will usually tell you exactly what they would like to see next.
6 Contact info
Double-check your contact information.
- Has your address changed?
- Do you have any new phone numbers?
- If you have a contact form – submit it and make sure the form contents are being delivered to the person that is expecting them.
7 Dated or Hard-Coded Values
If you are using any dated or hard-coded values on your website – take a look and make sure they are up to date and ready to go for the new year.
- Check copyrights in the site footer “© 1996 ABC Company”
- Hours of operation
Pro Tip: For things like pricing that have the tendency to change often – Try adding a simple call to action button like “Call Today for Pricing?” This keeps you from dating your website and gives your sales staff the opportunity to talk to a prospect.
No list worth its weight in salt would be complete without talking about mobile friendly websites. There are many ways to make sure you company is ready for the upcoming mobile revolution:
- Mobile App
- Mobile Website
- Responsive Design
Pro Tip: For most small businesses, moving forward with a Responsive design is the best solution because it allows for rapid content editing and eliminates the creation of duplicate content.
If you don’t know if your site is mobile friendly or not, open it up on your mobile phone. Is it easy to read and navigate? If not, I would move this high on your “To Do” list for 2015.
Smart marketing decisions are based on data and that data comes from web analytics tools like Google Analytics. If you haven’t looked at your numbers in a while – check it out.
- How much traffic is your site really getting each month?
- Are they new visitors or returning visitors?
- What keywords are visitors using to find your site?
Pro Tip: Google Analytics has the ability to create custom reports showing you just the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that you are interested in so that way you don’t get bogged down with all of the “extra” data that is provided.
There you have it – 9 steps for the perfect website audit. Perform these tests now to make sure you are setup for success next year.