For part six in our seven-part website audit tips series, we’ll look at your user’s journey through your site, analytics, and backups.
Follow your user’s journey through your website
Let’s love on your audience a bit – and make your website a great experience for them!
You have the opportunity to turn a visitor into a fan by building your relationship with them as they explore your website.
How do we do that?
First, think about how your visitor arrives on your site. Where did they come from? A Google search? Your social bio? Your business card?
Next, how will they move through your site? Do they start on the homepage? Is there something they should read first?
Where should they go after that? Think about what will help your audience to build a relationship with you.
To influence how people move through your site, consider the calls to action on each page.
Depending on their interests, you can direct people to different parts of the website.
At the bottom of each blog post or page, you can add a link to the next step, the next blog post, or the next thing they can do to get more or stay in touch.
Here’s an example:
- Spark their interest on the homepage
- Build trust on the about page
- Then intrigue them with an insightful blog post
- And finally – stay in touch with a signup form that gets them on your email list
Let’s review your social media connections
Hey, I totally get how easy it is to set up the links and forget about it. This entire challenge is set up to review some of those things we set up and forgot about – to make sure they are still working for us!
So let’s go through each of those little icons and make sure the links work. Then, let’s take a look at each social link and decide if we want a link to that platform – or if it’s something we’ve moved away from.
Maybe different platforms should have those links instead.
And let’s check any social feeds we have on our site to make sure they are showing the latest posts! Sometimes the connection to those feeds gets broken and has to be restored… ask me how I know
Finally, let’s make sure the links are in the places we want them. We want social links and icons to be easily found but not distract from the visitor’s journey through the website (like we talked about yesterday).
Review your website traffic
I usually find it best to look at trends over time. How did your traffic trend over the last month? The last 3, 6, or 12 months?
Then I look at specific pages on my site. Are any of them getting more traffic? What about blog posts? Which ones are people reading the most? Are there posts they are not reading at all?
For e-commerce, you can look at which products people visit. Are they staying longer on certain pages?
Where does your traffic come from? You can see the physical locations that might help you market to a specific area. You can also see if your visitors are on mobile or desktop, and which browsers.
Also, you might want to know where people are coming from on the web before they click on the link to visit your site. Do they find you in search? Do they come from social media? If so, which platform? Are they on your email list? Maybe they click on links from your emails.
The answers to these questions can help you target one social media platform over another, choose what kind of blog content to focus on, or even help you decide which products or services to focus on in your business.
Review your conversion rate
First of all, what’s a conversion?
It’s where someone takes action on your website. They sign up for your newsletter, purchase a product or service, download your freebie, sign up for your webinar, or enroll in your course.
You can get a conversion rate by dividing the number of people who took a specific action by the number of people who visited your site.
Looking at your conversion rates can tell you whether your website visitors are interested in your product or freebie.
They can tell you if you need more traffic or if you need better traffic – people who will be interested in what you have by the time they get to your site.
So your conversion rates help you determine if your marketing and messaging are attracting the right people to your site.
Back up your website
You didn’t think I’d let a website audit slip by without talking about backups, did you?
I’ve been there and had that sinking feeling before – of knowing that I need to restore my website using a backup and wondering if it would work.
I found an issue on my website a few months ago, at 11 pm, of course.
The first backup didn’t work – cue sinking feeling x 10.
I moved to the second backup.
That one worked – so everything was restored and OK in about 30 minutes.
For WordPress.org sites, backups are essential if there’s ever an issue with your site.
And it’s all up to you if your host doesn’t do it for you. Fortunately, there are tools and plugins to help.
For other website platforms:
- some offer backups as part of your subscription
- some offer the ability to make a copy of your site as a “pseudo-backup”
- and some offer apps that backup your site
Also, you can keep a copy of your content, your graphics, and even screenshots of your site’s main pages, just in case something ever goes wrong.
Even having a written brand guide with colors (yes, hex codes), fonts, and other important information would help if you had to rebuild your site from scratch.