Does your website need a health check?
Updated: Jan 15
Websites are still the most important marketing tool for marketing your business/ service. Is your website fit for SEO, content-rich and technically perfect?
Google algorithm has undergone numerous changes in recent years with much emphasis being stressed on the need for high-quality content.
“Website without visitors is like a ship lost in the horizon.”
―Dr. Christopher Dayagdag
The first time I performed a content audit was in 2003 for an education and scholarship website. It was a painstaking manual effort as it was believed that the more content we add to the site more visitors we would attract. On the contrary, when I slashed the site of 2300+ pages to less than 150 pages the traffic accelerated over 200% within 3 months bringing in new queries and admissions. The exercise took nearly 6-8 weeks, and I analysed every page on the site, every document that was uploaded, mapped it to the analytics. I even conducted a 50 question survey on what customers look for, what are their interest areas, how useful is the content, and most importantly, how easy is it to navigate the site. (Of all of this was pre-Google Ads and SEO days!). To my surprise without any promotion, I received 2000+ responses that totally changed our perception of the use of content and how they were navigating the site.
In 2003-04, mapping ROI was not as advanced as it is today, but the impact was direct in terms of managing the site, navigating to search for content and attracting repeat users. Users no longer got lost in the jungle of content. Even after reducing the site to just 150 pages I was convinced we could slash it further by 50% to get more specific and focused. Creating traffic-worthy pages was crucial in 2003 and even more so now, with most traffic coming from mobiles and reducing attention span of a few seconds.
It may seem daunting but you have to start somewhere, take small bites at a time. After managing over multiple websites across construction, contracting, education, manufacturing, outsourcing, and social development sites, I have tried and tested content audit plan that I recommend for small and medium businesses:
Understand your customer - Have clarity on what your visitors are looking for. Conduct a survey to understand their needs.
Check the basics - How mobile-friendly is your website? Do you have Google Analytics? Have you added SEO tools like Yoast? Do have an XML sitemap that can be submitted to search engines?
Review on a regular basis - Schedule an audit once a year. Use the survey results as your basis. Study your analytics and analyse the pattern every six months. Evaluate the content quality each quarter. Look for parameters like unexpected spikes or dips, bounce rates, leads and conversions.
Quality content drives action - Classify content relevance based on the company’s strategy, strengths, most searched terms, missing content. Check if you need to introduce new formats like video, infographics, podcasts, vlogs, etc. Google Analytics, Social Shares, Survey, Page descriptions and Query forms have been my main data source.
I live by my content calendar.
Quality check for your content - Rate your content for alignment to your business objective, check the length of content, add unique information, review which content is generating maximum interest, timeliness. A/B testing is a must. Re-index all pages you have rewritten to be relevant for Google.
4 key aspects of audit
An SEO website check
A technical website check and
A content audit
A marketing audit
So what could the audit reveal?
A website health check will address many issues - Need for new website design, SEO-friendly content, audience preferences, redundant or outdated content and extent of audience engagement depending on how detailed it is.
Websites are still the most important marketing tool for marketing your business/ service. It is the content which needs to have answers to the customers' queries, needs, and curiosity that make it trustworthy.
Before you launch your next campaign undertake a website audit. Take steps today to elevate your website to the next level.
Once your website has a clean bill of health, it can do wonders.