5 Important Tips for a Website Audit
A successful website audit is a review of the websites content, features and functionality compared to their marketing practices and performance online. Most of us will review our website when we are not generating enough traffic. The outcome of the website audit will inform us of our next step, whether your website requires new content, better functionality, or a facelift. These 5 tips will help you to successfully perform a website audit.
Your website’s domain plays a crucial role in its ranking and you should aim for simple keywords. For example if you own a child care centre in Balmoral then aim for a domain such as ‘balmoralchildcare.com.au’. The reason you aim for ‘.com.au’ and not just ‘.com’ is because Google’s rankings favour location. For example if you are in Australia surfing Google, chances are your search results will display Australian websites before American or Japanese.
Even if you already have a domain and it’s the name of your business, you should invest in multiple domain names as they can all be directed to your website very easily. Using the previous example, if you own a child care centre in Balmoral and your domain is ‘tobyskids.com.au’, register ‘tobysdaycare.com.au’ and ‘balmoralchildcare.com.au’. The words day care, child care and Balmoral are all keywords that will place your website under the appropriate search terms.
Websites that have been around for a long time have a heavier influence on Google rankings; however you would not want to pay a ridiculous amount of money for an old domain. If you are a new player in the market the best way to combat older websites is to use new, exciting and creative content.
Website Content / Keywords / Meta Tags
Use interesting content combined with keywords on every page of your website. Do not overly use keywords or your ranking can be penalised, however up to 10% is fine. Meta Tags are titles to every section of your website, this includes, tabs, images, titles, sub headings and your domains suffix every time a new page is entered. Using the previous example, if your web domain is ‘tobyskids.com.au’ and a visitor clicks on the ‘facilities’ tab, your domain should now say ‘tobyskids.com.au/facilities’ and not ‘tobyskids.com.au/content.cfm/f3b514’.
Name all the media you use with appropriate titles, including images and videos. This will help with backend ranking and will improve your rank in Google images, which will generate more traffic to your website.
Outside Traffic – Articles / Press Releases / Directory Submissions / Forum Posts
Do you currently use any of the above mentioned traffic generators? The latest trend is word of mouth or CSR (corporate social responsibility), which is basically testimonials, independent opinions and community involvement. A good example is any company that promotes charity or fundraising. The use of family images and satisfied clients help to promote CSR. Similarly the use of articles and forum contributions help to increase awareness.
Articles and forum posts are independent opinions from free lance writers, which can be anyone, including you even if you own the domain. If you are in the child care industry you should jump onto forums discussing child care topics. Do not use a sales pitch, rather give valuable feedback and when asked for a recommendation you can mention your website.
Articles are 400 – 600 words in length and are precise topics, which can be about any area of your work. By linking keywords in your article you can successfully generate traffic back to your website. If you make changes to your website create a press release, which directly talks about your website’s features, who you are, what changes have been made and the date of your new websites launch. These techniques greatly impact on building brand awareness. You can submit these articles and press releases onto a multitude of free online article directories.
Business directory submissions should have been one of the first tasks on your list. It’s very simple, Google the term business directories and start submitting; you’ll find sites such as ‘hot frog’ and ‘start local’. These directories advertise to a wide community across the web.
Social media is an advanced networking and meeting system that has taken off in the last decade. Nearly everyone has a Facebook page or a Twitter account and there is no reason your website should not have one. The biggest networking platforms are all free to register and are one of the best ways to build credibility. Your fans are able to like your page and you can post new deals and packages directly too them. Social media allows for open discussions and people who post comments, like your page and become a fan are similar to testimonials that build trust and CSR.
You may have a high visitor rate, but a low turn over rate, or visitors are only staying for a few moments before leaving. Most times this is due to your websites functionality. Take a look at your website and pretend you’re a potential customer; click on every link on each page and make sure they link correctly. Review your content and make sure it makes sense. Ask yourself, are my contact details correct and are they displayed on the landing page? If an online enquiry is sent, is that email address still active and does the online form work correctly.
The best way to find out if your website has bad functionality or is outdated, is to simply visit your competitors. If your website is about child care then visit the highest ranking child care websites and companies that you know receive a lot of business. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of their website verse your own. A refresh of your website may not be so easy and you should consult a professional for further advice.
Consulting a Good Developer
If you would like to know more about website audits or if you would like to consult a professional website development and online marketing company then jump onto Google and search for web designers in your area. A professional web development company will be able to refresh your websites appearance, functionality and recreate your websites content. A good web development team will also be able to increase your online presence through social media, article writing and keywords. To find the best designer, take a look at their online portfolio and view their graphic artwork.