How to Conduct A Website Redesign Audit

Website audit is an essential component of every redesign project as it should be. You are redesigning your website for specific reasons, and mostly are not good. A website redesign audit not only discover negative elements that hurting the overall performance of your website and thus your business. Instead, the audit can give insights on how and which parts of the website can be improved.

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You might have general ideas on what the current problems of your website are – no one’s coming to my website, fewer transactions, meager sales, no ROI, etc. These ideas impact the business and not necessarily the performance of the website. But of course, a professional website redesign audit can provide more in-depth benchmark analysis and insights regarding:

    • Menus and navigation
    • Site architecture
    • Site functions
    • User experience
    • Page content
    • Calls to action
    • Unique value proposition
    • Domain ownership and registration
    • Site and page load times
    • Panda penalties
    • Penguin penalties
    • Website traffic
    • SERPs performance
    • Security aspects

Evidently, auditing a website will never be complete without tying web design Philippines and search optimization together. The audit will not be holistic as well if you are not going to consider the technical and non-technical aspects of the redesign.

Redesign to protect online assets

You have fallen into the pit of poorly performing website. Nonetheless, you have already built online assets that must be protected during the redesign process. These are informative contents, keywords in the #1 position of SERPs, high-quality inbound links, etc. Redesign audits are necessary to protect these assets. What we will do is to separate good and the bad and continue with the former.

Juggling all these and re-integrating these assets into the redesign is not easy. However, the failure to address these issues will only lead to confusing site architecture, unclear navigation, lost traffic and missed linking opportunities. You have already built these assets for several years. Why would a website redesign hinder your growth now? It doesn’t make sense.

What to audit

Content

Uniqueness of the contents impact conversion. How? Google penalizes unoriginal and duplicate contents by de-indexing the duplicate pages. When it does, don’t expect your website to appear on the results pages. Never! Nonetheless, even if your contents are original, without proper syntax (spelling, grammar, punctuation, copyright and plagiarism) and description (title, headings, meta tags, etc.), it will not also rank.

SEO

Optimization is non-negotiable if you want users to find you. While content forms part of the SEO Philippines in general, it is just one aspect of such. On-site, internal pages should be examined whether they are optimized for the right keywords they are aiming for. Off-site, link portfolio must be reviewed including deep links, inbound and outbound links, and reciprocal links. The same goes with anchor texts to determine if the hyperlinked texts include an appropriate cross-section of the keywords and key phrases whether they are relevant to the overall theme of the website or not. Potential for penalties (Panda and Penguin) or if the site is already penalized by Google is also determined through the process.

Architecture

Architectural integrity, technically-speaking, affects the bottom line. Due to exposure to malicious elements in the web, your website’s software platform may become deficient. A search engine-friendly website has well-structured URLs, header tags, sitemaps, robots.txt (if applicable) and custom 404 error page. Inappropriate use of other elements such as CSS and JavaScript can also cripple you site’s performance.

Navigation

Internal navigation is crucial not just for the users, but also for the spiders crawling and indexing your website. Search engines, Google mainly, crawl and index an entire website. In some instances, it may indexing pages that should not have been indexed in the first place. If a website is not navigable for the users, chances are, it may not also be navigable for the spiders.

Usability

Navigation must be intuitive to the users. Are clickables functioning and functioning properly? Are the call the action buttons visible and clickable? Are there clear instructions on how the users can access your product and service offerings? Usability is subjective wherein what I find usable for me may not be usable for you. Regardless, usability is one of the ultimate goals of any website. Usability must be prioritized.

Functionality

Perspectives regarding functionality differ for the site owner and visitor. However, both points to one thing: easy-to-use interface. For the owner and admin(s), simple mechanisms that can help in easily making changes must be present. For the visitors, contents must be readable especially the salient points. Contact details should be visible as well and with multiple means of contacting the company. Put simply, the intent and purpose of the website should be clearly evident on the homepage even for the first-time visitors.

Domain

Owners must be the domain registrants, or a company representative. Third parties may also register a domain in behalf of the website owner. Ownership agreement should be established if the previous web designer registers the domain name for you and if there is no established agreement whatsoever. If there is an ongoing agreement between the two parties, what is the status of such?

Security

Software revisions mostly include security updates. Making your website hack-proof is not without difficulties, but this is important. Checking the current version of the software against what is installed is the logical next step. Fundamentally, passwords should have high levels of effectiveness.

Credibility

Trustworthiness should be established early on. Did you know that Google’s page rank mostly depends on the overall importance of your website especially in the eyes of the users? Perceived and actual website credibility could be the difference between providing personal details (beyond name and email address) and not.

 

An audit is no longer about whether your website needs a redesign or not. That’s out of the question. The moment you thought of redesigning the website means there is something wrong with the site and it already needs an overhaul. Sometimes, it just takes an owner’s gut feel to know that something is not working well as expected. Anyhow, a true entrepreneur’s mind always looks for improvements, and your corporate website is not an exemption.

 

Image credit: Clicks Bazaar

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