Today in another solo episode and I am chatting with you about conducting a website self-audit. I wanted to talk about this subject because I think that it’s so important that each of us takes time every once in a while to look over our website and make sure it’s really working and supporting our business. It’s easy to get caught up in everything else we have to do as a business owner and leave our website to the last minute (or not update it at all even though h we know we should).
That’s why I’ve created this self-audit outline that you can follow that makes it easy to look at your website and go over it ever y once in a while and make sure that it’s serving your business in the best way possible. Most of the things I’m talking about here won’t be big changes that need to be made, but small pivots that can help increase the traction that you’re seeing from your website and really get you the results that you’re looking for so that your business can grow and you can spend more time doing the things that you love.
- Why conducting a website audit is important
- Starting with the heart of your brand before you audit your website
- What you should look for and update on the most important pages of your website
- The three most important analytics to look at
- How to audit your website’s SEO
- Three bonus tasks to help you further improve your website
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek
- The Contract Shop
- Understanding Analytics – Website Analytics Basics
- Finding Keywords for Your Website and SEO Basics
- SEM Rush
- Quarterly Website Maintenance for Your Website
- UX – What is It and Why is it Important?
- Choosing and Optimizing Images for Your Website
- SEM Rush
- Dig into the Why behind your business
- Look at your website’s navigation to make sure only the most important links are included in the main menu
- Make sure your brand’s mission statement is included in some way on your Home page
- What is the Why behind your work?
- What are your brand’s goals?
- What mission does your brand seek to accomplish?
- What do you want to be known for?
- Who is your dream client?
- What are their hopes, dreams, and big goals?
- How can your brand help them reach those big goals?
- What are three brands they love? Why do they love those brands?
Your home page is the most important page of your website because it will be the first impression most people have of you. The goal of your home page is to communicate who you are, what you do, where a visitor should start on your website, and to inspire them to action. Make their decision about what to do next easy and get them into your content ASAP. This is a great place to include an appealing opt-in.
- Update the images on your home page to reflect your work and your brand’s style
- Make sure your navigation is simple and easy to use
- Make your mission clear
- Focus on the benefits of working with you
Your about page isn’t really about you, it’s about your dream client. People are going to check you out before they decide to invest time or money into your business. They want to know what you can do for them right now. If you have an online business, whether you’re supporting it through a blog or not, your need a solid About Page that’s easy to find and targeted to your dream client.
- Introduce them to who you are, what you do, and who you serve
- Share your mission in a way that’s personal to your
- Include a headshot with you looking at the camera and smiling
- Share your story, values, team, etc. to let people get to know your brand
- Use testimonials
- Feature the places you’ve guest posted, been a speaker, or been interviewed on a podcast
Your services page is probably going to be your most content-heavy page because you want to share a lot of information, but you can improve the design by removing distractions (such as a call-to-action in your banner image), breaking up your content into smaller chunks, and making it easy to get in touch with you.
- Be clear about what you offer
- Focus on the benefits
- Show off your best work
- Encourage people to get in contact with you
Portfolio (for visual services)
Your portfolio is a great way to show off what you do and connect with your dream client. It’s important that you use this page to show the type of work you want to be known for - not every project needs to be included here. If you have a lot of items to share, consider creating sections based on style or event type so visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.
- Share only the projects you want more of
- Create easy to navigate categories or case studies
This is where you house your testimonials, press, or featured posts. You can also show any awards or accolades you’ve received that are relevant to your field. These can be on a separate page, but should also be sprinkled throughout your website.
- Focus on the transformation
- Include a head shot of your client
- Use quotes that are relevant to your service
Your blog is so much more than simply sharing images or talking about your work - it’s where you can start to educate your clients and give them a behind-the-scenes peek into what you do.
- Create categories so your content is easy to navigate
- Use links within your posts to related content
- Visit and update old content
- Create a plan to continue to share content
Getting people to contact you should be the ultimate goal of your website, so it’s important that your contact page sets you up for success.
- Use a form on your contact page that collects the information you need from most people.
- Have a professional email address on your contact page.
- Include office hours or expected response time.
- Consider an autoresponder so people hear from you right away about what to expect.
- Terms and conditions
- Check out The Contract Shop* for pre-written policies (Yes, I'm affiliate for The Contract Shop, but only because I use and love the templates and other products Christina creates.)
For more in-depth information about website analytics and what you should be paying attention to, plus how to use Google and Squarespace analytics, check out my episode on understanding analytics.
1. Traffic Sources
- What it Does: tell you where people are coming to your website from. There are a few different locations including organic search (people who find you on search engines), referral (coming from a different website via a link), direct (people typing in your website directly), and social (coming from a social media platform). You can also dig into which referral, social platform, and search engine terms someone is using to find your website.
- What it’s Good for: This metric is good for knowing how people find you and referral sources you can take advantage of.
2. Top Pages
- What it Does: tells you the most visited pages on your website.
- What it’s Good for: This is good for focusing your efforts on adding calls-to-action or other conversion events and for knowing what people are looking for when they come to your website.
3. Top Exit Pages
- What is Does: tells you which pages people leave your website from most often.
- What it’s Good for: This is a good starting point for places to add calls-to-action that keep people on your website. It’s also helpful for knowing if there is content that isn’t popular or relevant that you can update or remove.
Listen to my episode on finding keywords for your website and SEO basics for more in-depth information.
- Revisit your list of keywords and keywords phrases to make sure they’re still relevant
- Google yourself in an “incognito” window to see what other people see when searching for you
- Use SEMrush to see what keywords your website ranks for
- Update your headlines to include keywords and keyword phrases
- Make a plan for on-going maintenance on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis (https://www.lemonandthesea.com/process-to-profitability/quarterly-maintenance-for-your-website)
- Conduct a UX test (https://www.lemonandthesea.com/process-to-profitability/ux-what-is-it-and-why-is-it-important)
- Optimize the images throughout your website (https://www.lemonandthesea.com/process-to-profitability/choosing-and-optimizing-images-for-your-website)
Need more help?
Get the Guide to see example questions, tasks, and my tips for conducting a successful UX test.