Have you audited your website recently?

Todays’ guest blog post is by

Wendy Chamier who is a web consultant who focuses on your website success and emarketing.

Your site is looking absolutely peachy right? 
 OK, maybe not so peachy, and you think it could do better. But you are getting visitors to your site, you are getting sales through the site, so what’s the problem?
Besides, you are more interested in sexy new social media “stuff” !
Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to be excited about with social media, and lots to take your time and attention, but it could be a mistake to leave your website languishing in the process.
Your website is still, and will, remain important to your business. And it still needs looking after and a bit of TLC (“tender loving care” to those who were wondering)!
I mean for example – you go and have check-ups at the dentist right? (No? Well you should!)
And how about your car? Unless you are fortunate enough to have a new car, it will get an MOT every year. And hopefully a regular service?
Regular check-ups and servicing ensure issues that you are not aware of, do not build up until suddenly it’s too late – your teeth drop out or your car blows up. OK, so extreme analogies, but you know what I mean!
“But there is nothing wrong with my site” I hear you say. And maybe you are absolutely right, but wouldn’t it be better to know for sure?
All may look peachy from the outside, but be wary of what lurks within!
A website audit should help you understand (amongst other things)
  • Are there broken links that you know nothing about? Meaning your potential customers are finding pages that don’t exist and you are losing them.
  • Are your keywords working for you? Maybe you are not getting the same number of visitors from the search engines? Maybe there are new or better keywords that you should be targeting. A recent site audit for a client highlighted key opportunities for a particular group of keywords.
  • Are your title tags working hard enough for you? These are a critical component of SEO
  • Are there any issues with duplicate content? An audit for another client showed the same page incorrectly multiplied over many different URLs.
  • Are all your pages being indexed in the search engines, or are some being missed?
  • Is your robots.txt file working with you, or could it be causing problems? A site audit for one client showed that the robots.txt file was causing Yahoo to not spider their site!
  • Is your code clean? Could it be creating problems for the search engines?
  • Do you have any hidden content on your site that only the search engines can see – eg text the same colour as the background. You can get penalised for this.
  • Are you maximizing opportunities for people to buy from you? A site audit for another client demonstrated how a very complex contact form was stopping people contacting them.
It’s very easy to launch a site in a flurry of excitement and anticipation, and then it’s kinda just left there! Maybe others are looking after it and are telling you it’s doing a fine job? Or maybe it’s reached a plateau of visitors which seems fine, but which could actually be far short of where you could be. Or maybe it’s simply not delivering what it once did.
So, the next time someone says to you “the website is doing fine”, pause a second, take a step back, and have a look under the bonnet to see what may be lurking there! You may be surprised at what you find. And with a little bit of tweaking and fine tuning, you may see wondrous things happen!

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