Self-Assessment: Conducting a website audit
How often do you take a look at your own website? I don’t mean when you last logged on, but actually took a step back and looked at each page, each link, the content, the images – the whole thing. For most people, the answer is ‘never’.
It’s quite easy to build a website (or have a website built for you), and then move forward, getting on with the business of running your business. From time to time, you may add an article, a blog story, add an event or a photo, but in the main most people leave their website as it is.
Imagine your website was a shop, let’s say a boutique or a men’s clothing shop. You would probably go through some similar processes, choosing a sign-writer, choosing colours for the outside of the shop, setting up an engaging window display, maybe add some planters to the outside to attract people to come inside. You would buy your stock, and design the interior to showcase your stock at its best. Job done! Now you simply wait for the customers appear.
Right? No, we all know that’s not enough. The paintwork outside needs to be maintained, the plants need watering, the window display needs regular updating and the stock too. Otherwise, your shop would soon look tired and worn out. Regular customers may stop coming back as there is nothing new to wear, and potential customers might even think that the tired worn look may be a sign that you are closing down, or perceive that the lack of attention to your own business may be a reflection on how customers may be treated, and they therefore walk on by.
So, like a shop, your website needs regular review and updating. It needs to look fresh and up to date, and it’s not just the front end (the shop window), it’s what goes on behind the website that also needs your attention. Like a stock-take there are things that you can do to keep your website in tip-top condition.
Common issues you see on a website are broken links. These can happen easily – such as changing your Facebook page name and then forgetting to update this on your website, or an event is featured on the home page long after the date has passed.
However, there are simple steps that you can follow to help you ensure your website is fit for purpose, matches your business profile, and is user friendly. We have developed a helpful, easy to use, self-assessment tool for business owners. You can use it as a one-off, or better to use this a a regular self-check. If you would like a copy of this self-assessment, or want to know more about how we help small businesses grow their business online then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
More ... If your business website needs a more detailed self-assessment, there are a number of websites that can produce a self-assessment for you, including Page Insights by Google. This will produce you a detailed report using a Red/Amber/Green rating, and explain what needs to be done to fix issues. Some businesses will feel confident in working through the issues, others will feel overwhelmed by the technical detail of the work required. If this is you, don’t panic, there are businesses which specialise in helping to improve the SEO of websites, and can work with you to address these issues.