Imagine this: one day you’re on Page 1 of Google. The next day you stumble down to Page 14. You don’t even know what hit you but it hit you hard. This scenario happens in real life, and in most cases, hapless business owners are left in the rubble wondering what happened. That’s why a Website Audit Report is a must.
A website audit report thoroughly checks your website so you’re certain that it’s SEO-friendly and gives visitors and potential customers a great user experience. Better SEO means your website is more visible to your prospects. It means they can find it faster and easier than your competitors’ websites. A great user experience means visitors will come back to your website and even share it with their friends and colleagues. This means you have the opportunity to convert online visitors into customers.
So what does it take to make and keep your website SEO and user-friendly? Focus on the following improvements. However, it’s important to understand that these 10 improvements can only be started after your website has undergone an audit. The surgery doesn’t come before the checkup, right? Always determine what you need to change first, and then change it. See what we mean below.
Improve User Experience & Online Conversions
First order of day is to always focus on converting your website visitors into loyal customers. You can accomplish this by making simple tweaks to your website so that it gives visitors a better user experience (UX). A website audit report will determine what UX issues are preventing your website from converting visitors into leads or sales. If your site is not user-friendly, you can expect a backlash from frustrated visitors. For instance, Forrester and Akamai found that 79% of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to buy from that site again.
Fix Page Errors
Page errors are both an SEO and usability issue. According to a study by Jupiter Research and Akamai, 28% of dissatisfied online shoppers blame their dissatisfaction on error messages. Error pages are usually caused by faulty URL structuring or outdated internal links. For example, if you moved or deleted a page, but other pages still link to it, your visitors will most likely encounter the HTTP error 404 (not found). Only an audit will allow you to track all these error pages.
Address Title and Meta Issues
Another crucial factor is the population of page titles and meta descriptions with correct keywords. This may well be giving your website SEO problems as meta data is used to communicate with search engines. Sadly, not many business owners are aware of this fact. The SMB DigitalScape report and BIA Kelsey found that 56% of small and medium-sized business (SMB) websites do not use meta descriptions. This is both a problem and an opportunity for you. Fix your title and meta issues today, while your competitors have yet to resolve theirs.
Check for Navigation & Usability Issues
According to Forrester, 49% of websites do not even comply with basic usability principles. It’s no wonder that 50% of online sales are also lost because visitors can’t find content they are looking for. It becomes even more complicated when mobile traffic comes into the picture. According to Keynote, 44% of mobile users have encountered navigation problems. So, when you get an audit, make sure it includes a navigation and usability check, and for all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Determine Web Design Mobile Responsiveness
As mentioned above, your website needs to be easily navigated through and usable regardless of the device the visitor is using. Otherwise, you risk losing that potential customer. A survey by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger for Google found that 96% of users have come across a website that’s not designed for mobile. Separate research by BIA Kelsey showed that 93.3% of websites are not optimized for mobile. Now, how can you definitely determine if your mobile-responsive and mobile-friendly? An audit report will test the “responsiveness” of your site. You will know if it automatically adjusts based on the screen size and device being used to view it, and if it is mobile-friendly.
Uncover Issues Slowing Page Load Speed
Also a major usability issue is slow page load time. Forrester and Akamai found that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Can your site meet this expectation? Hopefully! Some 33% online shoppers are dissatisfied with a retail website that loads slow, Jupiter Research and Akamai found. Some 42% of users, who have two or more years of Internet experience, cite “quick page loading” as important factor to their loyalty. Don’t lose these prospects and customers.
Ensure Content Converts Visitors to Leads, Sales
Content may also prevent visitors from converting into customers. If visitors do not find your content informational, engaging, and useful, they will leave. A new set of eyes is great when evaluating content as business owners tend to appraise their existing content based on their perspective, not on the customer’s point of view. No wonder, users can’t find the content they need 60% of the time, according to research by User Interface Engineering. That’s too bad as 90% of consumers find custom content useful, according to the Custom Content Council.
Make it Easy for Prospects to Contact You
If there’s any takeaway from this article, this is it: make sure your website contains your contact details! The SMB DigitalScape report found that 60% of SMB websites are missing either a toll-free or local telephone number on the home page. Some 65.7% had no form-fill option to allow consumers to request information while 74.7% were missing an email contact link on the home page. A website audit report will check all your pages for contact information and recommend where you need to put it to ensure it’s visible to your visitors.
Identify Elements That Increase Bounce Rates
Bounce rates also matter. A high bounce rate means your users leave without going to another page, which could generally mean that what they saw at a page they landed on did not interest them. They “bounce” when they exit without taking a positive action on-site (such as signing up to your newsletter or reading the next post in your blog). Content websites typically have a 40%-60% bounce rate, according to Google Analytics. If yours has a much higher bounce rate, then there’s obviously a problem you need to address immediately.
Be Up-to-speed with Google Algorithm Updates
The final item on this infographic was saved for last for a good reason. It’s perhaps the No. 1 reason why you should give your website a good audit. According to marketing software developer Moz, Google changes its search algorithm around 500 to 600 times a year. Most of these changes are very minimal and will not affect your website. Some updates, however, can hurt your rankings on Google if the site does not comply with that update. An SEO forum found that Google’s Penguin update negatively impacted 65.71% of members’ websites when it was launched in 2012. A year before that, the Panda algorithm update hurt 40% of websites, members polled by the forum said. With at least two in three people using Google over any other search engine, you simply should pay attention to these algorithm updates and ranking on Google.
Get Free Consulting on Website Audit
The 10 website improvements mentioned here will not only make your website friendlier to search engines, they will also give your users a better experience on-site. Being SEO and user-friendly helps your website convert more visitors into leads and sales. All this starts with finding out what issues your site is facing; this can be done through a website audit report.
We’ll give you a free consultation on website audit report to ensure you understand exactly how this service can benefit your business today. Call us now or send us a message so we can schedule your free consultation.