Building a website is a challenging task. Aside from ensuring all elements work as planned, it is also a matter of providing the users with an assurance that the website is safe to use and credible enough compared to its competitors online. One of the best ways to ensure the users’ trust is by conducting website audits. But what is it, and why is it essential for small businesses? Here are some ideas.
What Is a Website Audit?
Website auditing is a set of processes used to evaluate the technical and content elements of a website to ensure that it is performing well and complying with the various regulations set by the law. In layman’s terms, it is evaluating a site to improve its performance.
Website audits provide means by which to optimize the website’s performance. Whether it is about improving the site’s navigation, adding content, fixing bugs, removing unnecessary data or making specific improvements to the website page, a thorough website audit provides information vital to the small business's success.
How to Conduct Website Audits
There are many ways to conduct website auditing. However, the most popular ones are internal and third-party auditing. Internal auditing involves looking at the site to ensure it is up-to-date and compliant with the local laws. Third-party auditing is more intricate because it involves an external party looking at the site.
1. In-House Audit
The first way to conduct website auditing is through in-house audits. IT department or marketing members usually perform the task as they are the most familiar with how things work in the current website edit.
Although more cost-efficient, in-house audits are not as effective as third-party auditing; the same people who built, launched, and tested will review the website. Therefore, it is more difficult to spot the irregularities within the current system.
2. Third-Party Audit
A third-party audit involves hiring a third party to inspect the website. It is more thorough and effective as it doesn’t include insiders who know the nuances of the site. Third-party auditors can go all out on their site review, not considering all the work done to produce the website.
The third-party website auditors will study the site’s navigation, review the website’s source code, test the site’s loading speed and comprehensively review the site’s SEO practices. They should provide a cohesive and detailed review of the site, including its highs and lows, to help companies know which aspects to change and keep.
What Aspects Need an Audit in Websites?
Several aspects of a website need to be audited to ensure that the site is performing at its best. The most important parts of websites are:
Navigation is moving from one page of a website to another. The process is often easy for the users to use, but there are instances where the navigation makes a website feel like a maze. However, many websites contain unnecessary links that mislead users into clicking on them. These links, of course, have no purpose, and their presence only adds to the confusion of the users. A website should promote easy navigation with the help of third-party auditors.
The content of a website should be clearly defined, accurate and comprehensive. Although this may seem like an easy job, many website owners are guilty of having incomplete or inaccurate information on their sites. It can lead to users getting frustrated and leaving the website.
Website speed is something that everyone is concerned about. They don’t have time to wait for the site to load before they can read its contents. Users nowadays want to go to a website, read the contents, and return to what they are doing quickly.
The best way to prevent slow load time is by using a caching service. A caching service will store the most frequently used elements of a website which will help improve the site's speed. It also helps to consider a page's loading speed on smartphones as most people use them to navigate websites online.
SEO refers to the website’s Search Engine Optimization. It is a process of optimizing the website for search engines, helping them quickly find and display the site’s contents.
SEO is essential for every website. It will help the site get more visibility and help the viewers easily find it in the search engines. Therefore, ensuring the website follows the latest trends in SEO is a must to ensure its continued ranking on search engines.
Benefits of Auditing Websites
Website auditing is not only a one-time process. It should happen at least once every time search engines update their algorithms. Auditing a website should become part of a company's maintenance task, ensuring users a visitor-centric website.
1. Improves Performance
Better performance is a standout reason why businesses should conduct website audits. Ensuring that the website is optimized for performance will be more accessible for the viewers to use and navigate. In return, people wouldn't have to look at other websites to get the needed information.
2. Increases Revenues
Improving the website's performance means that the site will be getting more viewers and traffic. As a result, there is a high chance that the website will earn more from potential customers turning into conversions and sales. More visitors also mean more chances of ranking higher on search results due to high volumes detected by search engines.
3. Improves Search Engine Rankings
Updating outdated SEO trends on a website can help it rank higher on search results. Re-optimizing the website for search engines should help the website lead in the search results through the number of organic visitors counted on the website.
4. Builds Online Reputation
Reputation is another aspect users consider before visiting a website. They rely on other people, reviews, and references from other websites to build trust and confidence in a website. Therefore, building a website's name and reputation through website auditing should ensure users can count on the website for their needs.
Every business should practice website auditing regularly. It is an excellent opportunity to learn more about their website, weaknesses, and strengths. Through audits, companies will have a better grasp on what they should keep or change, promoting more website visits, conversions, and sales for the company.
Arch Web Design is the best web design company in Canada. We provide web development services to help companies establish their businesses online. Our systematic approach to designing websites aims to create the most competitive website for our clients, which can help them leverage against the competition. Visit a web design agency near you today or book an appointment through our website today.