It’s Spring! The time of year when people’s fancy turns to thoughts of …. audits! This would be a great time to review your website to make sure it’s serving you and your visitors as well as it could be. There just might be opportunities to convert sales, present a better first impression, or build support for your organization hidden right on your website.
Maybe you have a website that was built several years ago. In recent years, website technology has made great strides, and so have people’s expectations. At the same time, people no longer have patience for poorly designed sites with annoying animations or information that is hard to find. Today approximately half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices, so if your site is not optimized for mobile, you’re not giving your visitors the best experience possible.
Maybe you’re ready for a new website or a website redesign. If so, the questions below will help you focus your discussions with your web designer on what is important to keep, change, eliminate, or add.
Whether you’re building a new website or refining your existing site, a thorough, objective review might uncover opportunities you hadn’t considered. I suggest that everyone systematically, objectively review their website regularly to find ways to improve it. Consider asking a third-party to give you a true, objective opinion. The questions that follow are a good start.
[bctt tweet=”A thorough, objective audit of your website might uncover opportunities you hadn’t considered. .” username=”kimmarla”]
- Is it very easy for visitors to find your most important business information?
- Phone number (click to call is nice on mobile sites)?
- Email or contact form?
- Address (a map would be nice)?
- Business hours?
- Social media links?
- Other relevant info, such as menus for a restaurant?
- What are the three most common tasks a visitor will do (make a purchase, look for information, sign up for something, schedule an appointment, send a note)?
- Are there clear calls to action on every page?
- Is the navigation easy to follow using clear, descriptive words? Is the navigation consistent throughout the site?
- Would special features be useful to the company or its visitors: schedule an appointment, join a group, download a report, interact on social media, share a post or page, sign up for a newsletter?
- Do you take advantage of a Frequently Asked Questions page for additional content?
- Who is the audience – customers, targets, employees, job applicants, researchers, reporters, donors, volunteers?
- What are they likely to want to do on the site? Can they do it in less than three clicks (preferably one or two)?
- Is the audience likely to include people with slower connections, older browsers, vision difficulty? If so, are accommodations made for them?
Content – the words
- Is the writing clear and concise? Is it free from jargon?
- Has a good writer other than the initial author reviewed it for clarity, spelling or grammar errors?
- Is the text legible?
- Is it clear what the company does?
- Is it clear who the target client and website audience are?
- Are client testimonials and case studies current and easy to find on the site?
- Is all of the content current?
Content – the pictures
- Are the graphics as clear as possible?
- Are graphics relevant and meaningful?
- What image does the site project? Do words, design and graphic all support the same image?
- Is the look-and-feel consistent with other company materials?
- Is the look-and-feel consistent throughout the site?
- Are you selling products on your site?
- How easy is it for customers to complete a transaction?
- Do you suggest add-on merchandise?
- Do you capture customer information in your database?
- Do you have many abandoned shopping carts? If so, can you figure out why?
- If you are displaying advertising on your site (your own or anyone else’s) are you balancing the revenue opportunity with the cost of annoying your visitors with pop-ups and animated ads?
Back of the house
- How long does it take the pages to load?
- Do all elements of the site work – links, database features, graphics?
- Does everything work on all platforms: Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome Mac + PC, Firefox Mac + PC? How does it look on older browser versions?
- Is the site fully responsive – does it look good and function well on mobile devices, tablets, etc.?
- Is there a site map?
- Is there a search function?
- Is there a system in place to regularly confirm that all functionality is up-to-date and functioning well?
- If your site is built on WordPress or another content management system, do you routinely makes sure the program, themes and plugins are up-to-date, and delete any that aren’t being used?
- Do you regularly back up your site so you can recover in case of a server crash?
- Is there a system in place to answer inquiries that come through the web? Is it adhered to?
- What are you learning from stats and analytics?
- Where are your visitors coming from?
- What are they searching for?
- What pages are they visiting?
- How long are they staying?
- What page are they leaving from?
- How do you drive traffic to the website?
- Are you working with paid search or search engine optimization? Are those programs routinely reviewed for accuracy and effectiveness?
- Are each page’s most important keywords found on titles and text?
- Are page titles relevant to the content on the page?
- Is the site easy to update? Is there a system in place to review all site content and update as necessary?
- Are there new, easier, or better ways to accomplish the necessary tasks, or to do things you weren’t able to do before?