Auditing Your Website During Times of Transition:
Your website should continually evolve to accommodate changes in user behavior, market dynamics, and competitive shifts. Times of transition provide excellent opportunities to evaluate your market position and your ability to differentiate your business from competitors while connecting with target audiences in a way that moves people to action.
Now is the time to reevaluate your brand, your messaging, or your interactive strategy and assess your website’s performance from your customer’s point of view. If you are considering a website update, a self-performed audit will guide the development of a customer-centric, funnel-oriented, results-driven website that can contribute directly to top-line objectives.
Traditional website audits evaluate technical features, SEO, and limited design performance while largely ignoring more impactful aspects of a site such as user experience, messaging, and funnel management. When clients engage us for a website audit, we examine the site’s user experience, content and engagement, and lead funneling in addition to searchability and performance.
A thorough website audit can be used to:
- identify opportunities for how your website can evolve and adapt to the needs of your users and generate more leads.
- implement changes by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your site design, navigation, content, and engagement that directly affect the user experience.
- correct technical issues that have a negative impact on the user experience and interrupt lead funneling.
- consider the bigger picture of how your website integrates with your overall marketing strategy and sales tactics.
Criteria for Evaluation
Following is a list of website features and questions to consider for those who want to improve the user experience for better website performance and improved lead gen.
- User Experience
This includes all aspects of a visitor’s interaction with your website, including usability, seamless integration of products, services, and markets, and meeting the user’s needs and expectations. A positive user experience that meets the user’s needs generates more leads and builds brand loyalty.
Basic questions for consideration include:
- Do you have a simple yet intuitive website design and page layout?
- Are your conversion paths and/or processes intuitive?
- Is there consistency in how fonts, colors, and other important visual elements are being used?
- Is there a clear hierarchy of information so it is easy for visitors to understand what they will find on the page and where they might look for the information they need?
- Does your content organization strategy inadvertently dilute SEO content and interfere with organic search goals?
- Is your product or service naming convention logical and easy for audiences to interpret?
- Content and Engagement
Content includes all of the messaging, images, text, downloads, videos, audio, and information available from your website. Engagement is the degree to which these elements are relevant and meaningful to the user and move the user to action. Meaningful, relevant content attracts active searches with intent and improves the quality of prospects entering the lead funnel. Content is a principal way that businesses establish industry leadership and credibility. It is also the key component of an inbound marketing program.
Aspects to consider:
- Is your content customized to meet the needs and pain points of individual audiences?
- Is the breadth and depth of content sufficient to satisfy user expectations?
- Is the content useful to your user? Does it add value?
- Do you communicate with confidence, leadership, and trust?
- Is it clear that you truly understand your audiences and how you solve their problems?
- Does your content follow a logical or efficient path?
- Is your copy deep (vs. shallow) without being too dense?
- Lead Funneling
Lead funneling is the planned strategy of effectively moving a site visitor from initial search to the website and through content to action. The key word here is planned. A results-oriented website that is expected to put quality leads into a pipeline must have a lead generation and lead funneling strategy. Websites that work in harmony with sales efforts capture more highly qualified leads and create a more satisfying experiences for customers and sales partners.
Questions for consideration:
- Are there a variety of marketing offers that appeal to different user personas?
- Are there conversation opportunities for users in varying stages of the funnel?
- Are calls to action used effectively?
- Searchability and Site Performance
Searchability and site performance (such as load times) are the factors that most website audits delve into to help determine gaps that need to be filled to boost results. While these two areas are extremely important, we suggest assessing them at the end of your site audit instead of at the beginning. Focusing first on keywords and technical performance can make it too easy to forget about the most important consideration for a results-driven site: customer experience.
In order for your website to engage and outperform competitive options, you must demonstrate an understanding of your customers by efficiently and consistently meeting their needs and solving their problems. This can only be done from a customer-centric approach that focuses first on what the audit reveals and second on building (or rebuilding) the website to resolve key issues and create a more satisfying customer experience. A customer-centric site audit helps shift the assessment focus from you to your customers, and it ensures that strategy, design, and goals are aligned with the needs and behavior of your target audiences.
For a free self-guided website audit, click here to download.
For a no-obligation website audit performed by Wavelength, call 717-823-6939 or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.