How to Create a Brand Audit of Your Website
Ahhh… The New Year. A time made for re-evaluating your decisions, like how you told your Aunt Linda your investment in Dogecoin would pay for your retirement by the end of next year. Or how you texted your ex, “Happy Flag Day—I wish I had seen the red ones in you. JK! Whatcha up to tonight? 😉😜” before hibernating from the entirety of the world for the next two weeks.
While it may not always be in your best interest to dwell on all the mistakes you’ve made in the past year, that innate desire to replay the details of your missteps can be good for your business—if done well.
A brand audit is essentially a way to contemplate professionally. Think of it as a way to review your brand’s major assets and messaging, such as content, website design, UX, SEO rankings, logos, brand visuals, and social media. When applied to a website, brand audits are vital to supporting its health, ensuring user retention rates remain high, and preventing older content from harming SEO rankings.
It’s out with the old and in with the new, so let’s get to the details of how you can thoroughly audit your website!
I Don’t Want to Do A Website Audit—Why Should I?
If you’re happy with your current website and visuals, it can be hard to evaluate them from an unbiased perspective. However, an audit can tell you how your audience views your brand. This is essential because it’s your audience that drives profit, so their opinion matters. And just like Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, sometimes you just have to do it.
A website audit gives vital details into your site’s effectiveness, performance, and visual identity. By understanding what’s driving traffic and conversions, you can gain valuable insights that will improve your site for years to come.
The Main Benefits of a Website Audit
Okay, so we’ve convinced you that an audit is essential. But how exactly does it help? We’re glad you asked…
1. Improve SEO Rankings
Maybe you’re sick of hearing certain buzzwords like narcissist, gaslighting, and SEO optimization. We’ll leave the first two to the experts, but brace for impact, because we’ve got to delve into the importance of SEO.
SEO determines your website’s visibility. And visibility is everything when it comes to people reaching your page. After all, if Kim Kardashian posts a selfie on Instagram, but no one is around to read it, would the Internet ever break at all?
A website audit is designed to evaluate how discoverable your website is to search engines. And by using the data from your website audit, you can fix any SEO issues that may hurt your rankings.
Some things to check for when auditing your website’s SEO include:
- Checking all title, heading, description, image, and meta tags for appropriate keywords.
- Fixing any broken links or images on your website.
- Avoiding placing links on landing pages that may affect website bounce rates by encouraging users to click on said links too soon.
- Building high-quality, internal links.
- Incorporating content that lends itself to outside sites linking back to yours.
- Checking to see which sites are referring the most amount of traffic to your website.
- Cleaning up the back-end code to ensure pages are loaded as quickly as possible.
- Deleting duplicate content.
2. Convert Visitors into Leads
Sure, visitors for the holiday season are great, but you know what’s even better? Visitors who soil all your dishes, eat all your food, and use all your toilet paper but don’t contribute to the meal? (We kid….) Websites are similar—and what kind of a visitor is someone if they don’t end up paying for the services or products you’re offering before they leave?
Lead generation is one of the most crucial aspects to consider when performing a website audit, so always consider how productive your site is at growing conversion rates, including:
- Writing a concise call-to-action on every page— this can be a sentence, a link, a form, or a button.
- Placing the call-to-action in a visible location (i.e. not at the bottom of a 10,000-word article).
- Providing access to certain content, promotions, or other incentives in exchange for filling out contact information forms.
- Deleting excessive or minor calls-to-action (one or two should suffice).
- Using pop-ups to help users whose actions indicate they may be confused or have questions regarding your services (but use them sparingly).
3. Create More Relevant Content
Content is king, and nothing helps with search engine ranking more than high-quality, relevant content. While having a good backlog of content is certainly remarkable, it needs to fit within the vision of your company and your brand guidelines. That means if you’re a doomsday prepper company with blog posts detailing how to survive Y2K and the Mayan Apocalypse of 2012, it may be time to purge that in favor of prepping for the inevitable digital simulation invasion by Metaverse instead.
Some other ways to audit your content include:
- Dividing content into blocks, bullets, infographics, and images.
- Ensuring that all content is in some way driving your users to the end goal of a page, whether it be filling out a content form, contacting your business, or answering a frequently asked question.
- Fixing any content with spelling or grammar mistakes.
- Monitoring which content receives the most visitors.
- Responding to users in the comment section of articles to increase engagement rates.
4. Analyze the Competition
Website audits shouldn’t be insular. That is, it’s important to understand the market you’re competing in and who your biggest competitors are. By analyzing the competition, you can:
- Increase your understanding of how and what your competitors are ranking for.
- Improve business strategy and determine future campaigns.
- Generate ideas on improving branding and messaging.
5. Improve Website Design and UX
Users want to find the information they need as quickly and efficiently as possible, so let’s leave the feeling you’re navigating the winding back-alley streets of Italy via a moped up to Jennifer Coolidge and not the users of your website.
UX design can be improved by considering the following:
- Is your website responsive on different devices such as laptops, cellphones, tablets, etc.?
- Is your site designed to meet accessibility standards for those with visual, hearing, or other impairments?
- Does your page have a logical flow, indicating that a foundational information architecture has been constructed?
- Is the site user-friendly, affording visitors the opportunity to make mistakes and correct them easily?
- Are the visual elements of your page legible, fluid, and designed to prevent slow web page loading times?
- Is your company’s description and key differentiators easily viewable on the first page of your site?
Just like any good musical artist, your website should constantly be evolving. There are always ways to improve your customer retention rates and generate new leads by improving your website’s basic functions.
A website brand audit forces a company to take a hard look at its performance levels and devise new and creative solutions to improve business practices. Do you need help with your website? We’d love to chat!
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