Your website is the bread and butter of your business.
It’s your digital calling card. Often, it’s the very first interaction someone has with your company.
It’s the spoon that feeds the brand experience to a customer when they purchase your products or services.
Most importantly, your website needs to evolve alongside your business.
If you’ve been in business for a while and have never done a website audit, the time is now!
While this may sound like a tedious task, it’s actually one of the more fun and engaging aspects of running a company. Sound crazy? It’s fun because it’s going to help you optimize your website, branding, calls to action, user experience, products, services, testimonials, SEO, and content.
A Website Design Audit: It’s a makeover for your money maker.
The more you can focus your website design on the user’s needs, challenges, and goals, the better experience you’ll provide. Whether you’re designing for your company, or for a client, we’ve got all the tips you need to plan the direction and timeline for your website improvements.
What is a website design audit?
A website design audit covers much more than just the design of your website. The functionality of your website, the content, and creating a smooth and intuitive user experience are just as important as the visual design aspects. Don’t just make a “pretty site”, make a site that catches the eye and helps someone go from prospect to customer.
This is also a great opportunity to review your branding, make sure everything is on message, and reevaluate who your customer is. Knowing who you’re talking to and how to talk to them is key, and your website is your voice. Focus and consistency across all pages and channels is key.
Why does doing a website design audit matter?
It’s actually a good thing when an audit is called for, because then you know everything is going to be on the table and only what’s great and necessary and working will stay. This also probably means that the company is growing and expanding, and the website needs to evolve alongside that growth. Growing pains are to be expected, and are easy hurdles to jump when the goal is clear: a better website = a better business
How do you know when to do a website design audit?
Beyond the growth mentioned above, you’ll know it’s time for an audit if someone complains about a broken link or if parts of the team are veering off in different directions. Again, focus and consistency are key and the larger a company gets the more important it is that everyone is on the same page and going in the same direction. A common vision will make the dream work, along with team work of course.
What do you look for in a website design audit?
Everything. Literally everything on the website, on the front end and back end needs to be looked at.
You’ll be looking at everything which includes:
- Logo in all formats/color schemes
- Broken links
- Unclear or off-brand messaging
- Brand identity
- Style guides
- Consistent verbiage
- Calls to action
- Photo size and compression
- Backlinks (a great opportunity to add native links to older blogs and articles)
- Product descriptions
- Goals of the website
- Page speed and performance
- Responsiveness on multiple devices
- User Experience
- Social media graphics, messaging, links, tone, and voice
Once you’ve gathered everything, take a step back and look at it as a whole. This will give you perspective and help you see things clearly.
How to Conduct a Website Design Audit
Start with collecting every branding element. If all branding elements aren’t already in one place, this is also a great opportunity to create a Dropbox, Google Drive folder, or Brandfolder.
Then, create a killer project management flow in a platform like Trello. You can assign tasks and delegate to appropriate team members to divy up the work and ease the sense of overwhelm. This will keep you on track and ensure that all the moving parts are organized and accounted for.
You’ll just start by going through the website page by page (tedious yes, but incredibly worth it). The main thing you’re looking for is consistency. If something is off, this is the time to find it and fix it.
And, you’ll only have to do this once every few years. And as you continue to create content, products, and offerings, you’ll have a clear and concise strategy for moving forward.
The point is to do this once (in a while), and then reap the rewards of a well oiled machine for years to come.
If the team realizes that the direction of the entire company has gotten a little off course, then great! Better to know than to live in the dark, going the wrong way. If you do realize this is the case, or major issues arise within the team itself, (communication, project management, work load, and time management) you can conduct a Health Monitor to heal the business.
A Healthy Website is a Happy Website
Hard work is always rewarded. And what’s better than a seamless website that is completely in alignment with the goals and branding of the company. Nothing bad ever comes at looking at things dead on.
Uncomfortable at first, sure. But bad? Never.
If you want to go through a website design audit step-by-step with our DIY website design audit worksheet. Subscribe to the form below! We’ll hook you, and your website, up.