Is a website audit worth the money?
We’ve all been there — you’ve spent time searching for your favourite product, put in the hours doing your research and when the time comes to purchase, you’re not sure what to do or if the site is secure.
If you’re anything like us, it’s enough to put you off purchasing it. It’s hassle, it’s time wasted and it’s easier to buy from a competitor who, while they might be more expensive, has a website that is easy to use.
Of course, it doesn’t just relate to eCommerce sites — if your website is running slow, not getting you up the search rankings or its content is hard to find then it is time to find out what you can do to get it converting more customers.
If you are developing a new site that is replacing an old one, or looking to improve your current website, an audit before you get can be a great sense check.
If you have got any search-related issues, you can fix them before you go live which will save you plenty of time and possible penalties from Google that could see you drop down (or off…eeek!) the rankings.
We’ve pulled together a list of key things to keep an eye on before launch day that could put potential customers off converting or get you in Google’s bad books.
1. Keywords, tags and titles
It’s worth doing some informed research about all the keywords you need on your pages and how you’re going to get them into your meta tags and page titles. Don’t go crazy and try shoving in as many keywords you can think of on a page, have a focus and stick with it so it is consistent and concentrated.
Google doesn’t like too many, it looks spammy and it’s also not a dream to read if you are a human. This article has some helpful tips about how to get meta tags and descriptions working really well for you. Further reading:
2. Mobile friendly
In 2017, if your website isn’t mobile friendly then is it even a website?
Giving people a seamless experience that adapts across devices is essential to keeping customer satisfaction high. Trying to zoom in on a website on a phone that isn’t small-device friendly or convenient and before you know it, your conversions will be down in the dumps. In the US, mobile browsing now exceeds desktop browsing so ensuring it’s fit for mobile devices is essential. And if that’s not enough to persuade you, if it’s not mobile-friendly then Google will penalise you for it. Kapish?
Further reading: https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/6196932?hl=en-GB
If you’re moving from an old site to a new site that has a new URL structure and pages, using 301 redirects is a great way of retaining your ranking power and keeping your customers happy. 301 redirects, well, they redirect you. It’s a simple way of making sure that your old URLs point at your new ones so that customers who’ve bookmarked a page, or are reading an older blog, are not faced with the dreaded error 404 message that says “Oops! That page can’t be found.”
Once that happens, people are losing interest — by using 301 redirects, your customers don’t even need to know that it’s changed. They’ll type in your old url (or come to it via Google) and hey presto, they’ll automatically end up on your new page. It means that you also retain all the SEO power you’ve built via your old site — bonus. Don’t forget that linking internally also has a positive impact.
Further reading: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools
4. Current metrics
Make sure you’ve got a record of your current site stats so that you can benchmark them against your new site. You’ll likely have some goals and targets for your new website so you need a point of reference to know how well it’s doing.
If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics then you might want to introduce yourself and get-to-grips with the basics so that you can position yourself perfectly and smash those targets.
Further reading: https://analytics.google.com
If you’re looking to undertake site changes, or you’re considering a new site build, then come to us for your website audit. It’ll help you identify any of the pinch points above and get your performance up-to-scratch.
Once your website’s live, keep an eye on how it’s running and deal with issues when they crop up…don’t leave them too long or all that hard work will go to waste. Again, if it’s a bit much to handle then why not ask us about some ongoing support to keep you running smoothly?
Originally published at www.socialyou.co.uk.