Many of us are busy people with businesses to run in a challenging environment. Fulfilling orders, manufacturing products, managing time, leading people and putting out fires take up most of our days (and even our nights). Without much spare time, few of us give our brands’ websites much thought. After all, we paid experts to build and get them running, so everything should be going smoothly, right?
But not paying attention to your website can cost serious money. E-commerce platforms need to be completely trouble-free to maximize sales. Even if you don’t sell anything on your website, it is still where potential consumers go to find out about your products. Those same customers will head to other brands that Google doesn’t ghost if your site has serious SEO issues and is buried in search results. Either issue can leave you wondering why your sales are trending downward instead of heading in the right direction.
To prevent your sales or SEO from slumping, we have developed the following website audit checklist to ensure it is up to par. Time is money, so it is designed to be a quick read and understandable even if you aren’t a webmaster. But more importantly, this checklist focuses on your website, which can quietly cost you revenue. Give it a read to discover what steps you can take to increase your profits.
AUDIT YOUR CHECKOUT PROCESS
The checkout process can often be an afterthought for many e-commerce websites. But even the slightest glitch can seriously derail it and lead to skyrocketing shopping cart abandonment rates. Seemingly trivial items like asking for credit card information before giving a total cost can have shoppers fleeing your site. And you might not notice the adverse effects until it’s too late and your sales plummet. The solution is to dive into your checkout process and give it a thorough audit before this happens. Check out our blog post, where we provide a full rundown on how to do just that and keep your customers completing their purchases.
DIVE INTO GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that is a must-have for anyone serious about their website. It shows how traffic flows to your site, allowing you to see leads and create a well-informed strategy to convert them to sales. GA also lets you understand how well marketing campaigns are performing to make adjustments. You can also see what pages draw the most traffic on your site to understand what SEO strategies are working and apply them to low-performing pages. Google Analytics can even gather valuable first-party data and demographics about your customers. Read our blog post here to understand why first-party data is so important. Best of all, Google Analytics is free to anyone with a Google account, and its reports are easy to understand. Click on the link to register for Google’s course Google Analytics for Beginners to fully grasp how to harness its power.
USE SEO OPTIMIZATION TOOLS AND APPS
SEO is a complex subject involving many factors and constantly changes as Google’s algorithm changes. A rookie mistake is to focus solely on only one of the many aspects of SEO (like backlinks), thinking it will solve any SEO issues. There is a lot more to it than that and to get the best results and fully optimize your site for SEO, hiring an agency skilled in it is your best bet. Not everyone has the resources to do that, but there are both free and paid tools and apps that can help. Many of these are as simple as inputting your URL and letting the tool or app perform an analysis. There are many options with varying results, which can be like navigating through a minefield to find one. Thankfully, cloud-based CRM Hubspot has listed its 30 best apps and tools for auditing SEO. Remember that these apps and tools will only find potential issues, and it is up to you to rectify them.
CHECK LOAD SPEED
Load speed is one issue that many focus on in relation to SEO. And indeed, Google will penalize you in its search rankings if your site loads extremely slowly. But consumers are even harsher with zero patience for slow-loading sites. Multiple surveys have shown that they will start abandoning your site in as little as three seconds. Google’s research shows that 53% of customers will leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load and won’t return. Numbers like that will kill sales, but checking load speed is as easy as emptying your cache and heading to your site. Remember to look at all your site’s pages, especially product ones, and not just the homepage. Intensive graphical elements, auto-playing videos and poor web hosting can all slow your site down.
AUDIT THE UX
Your site’s user experience (UX) can significantly impact conversion rates. Some think only of how easy a site is to navigate as being UX. But it is more holistic and involves the overall experience someone has on your site. The use of graphics, photography, video, content and overall design all play critical roles in UX. They help create an emotional response and a powerful brand image. If your site is an e-commerce platform, it should also convey useful and credible information to consumers. Like with load speeds, customers will quickly go elsewhere if your site is clunky, hard to navigate, confusing or lacks necessary details. There are experts that can help you identify your UX weak points. But it can also be done through consumer surveys and even asking your employees to assist in the process. Check out the video above to get started, and don’t overlook this often-forgotten factor that could be silently killing your sales.
CHECK THE MOBILE EXPERIENCE
Most of us sit in front of our computers every morning and visit our websites. But how often are we checking them on our phones? Not ensuring that all of your website (and not just the homepage) is completely functional on mobile devices can destroy sales. According to the most recent Pew Survey, more adults now use their mobile phones than computers (76% versus 69%) to make purchases. Those numbers climb even higher among younger demographics, with 92% of adults ages 30-49 using their smartphones to shop online. Even if you are not selling directly on your site, consumers are still coming to it searching for information. And they are more often on their phones than on a computer. This might sound like basic knowledge, but some entrepreneurs launch websites without considering mobile functionality. Others have added to existing sites without auditing how the new pages look and function on a mobile device. Thankfully, the solution is simple and doesn’t involve spending significant capital. All one has to do is browse their site on a smartphone to ensure it functions properly with good mobile UX.
Auditing your website is one of the most important steps you can take. If you want to be serious about it, one of the best things to do is to hire experts instead of DIYing it. At Kahn Media, we are specialists in auditing websites for function, UX and SEO. We are also a full-service agency that can provide stunning photography and videos for your site, along with expertly crafted content. Our digital marketing team can create effective high-ROI campaigns to support any online marketing efforts. And we can even create a new website for your brand from scratch. Contact us today to see what is possible and how we can help make your website effective, engaging and profitable.