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How to perform a website audit in 5 steps

Mar 17, 2022
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12 min
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Alžběta Pevná

In this article, we will cover the basics of Website Audit like:

  • What is a website audit and why should you audit your website?
  • Where should you start?
  • Checking your homepage
  • Auditing the call to actions
  • Analyze the brand
  • Audit of the customer journey
  • Is your website mobile-friendly?

Let's begin by exploring why you should perform an audit and how it can help your site reach its digital marketing goals.

What is Website Audit and Why Should You Audit Your Website?

The goal of a website audit is to provide you with an in-depth analysis of your site's health, performance, and overall structure.

Websites often don't perform as well as we would like, and an audit can reveal the reasons why. Based on the data, we can identify issues that could be causing damage and apply solutions.

Where to start?

Setting goals for your website is the first step. Describe what you want your visitors to do on your website and what is the purpose of your website? Is it to sell a product or service, or is it simply to represent your company? You should revisit these goals during the audit to see if your website achieves its objectives.

1. Checking your homepage

The homepage of your website is the most critical part. The home page serves as the first impression of your business. We must remember that it takes users just 0,05 seconds to form an opinion on your website. Therefore, we must ensure they understand in those few seconds what your business is doing.

We start the audit by examining the first part of the website - hero. It is critical to keep the focus of the visitor on things that actually matter. Your headline should explain clearly what your business is all about. A contrast between different types of text makes it easier to read and concentrate on what is important.

Images and graphics should help the user understand your business better if they are included in your hero. Here, more than anywhere else on the website, the image must serve a clear purpose.

The hero section should always include a call to action. Your website should tell its visitors exactly what they should do next, and where we want them to go. In this article, we will explore the call to action in greater detail.

TIP: A helpful tool Visualeyes for showing where the attention will be drawn within your entire hero section.
VisualEyes hero section heatmap
VisualEyes hero section heatmap

Hero section

  • A strong headline that tells the visitor they’re in the right place
  • A clear description of what the business does and who they help
  • Call to action with an easy ask

Sections

The same rules apply to the other sections on your home page as well as the rest of your website. Make sure your copy, photos, and graphics are consistent with your brand.

  • A clear headline that is easy to understand and makes one strong point
  • Copy that’s easy to skim-read and understand
  • Check your headings - there should always be only one H1 heading per page
  • Photos and graphics that are on-brand and support the copy
TIP: HeadingsMap Chrome extension is an excellent tool for checking headings on your website. It will alert you if your page has more than one H1 heading and display the sequence of all your headings. You should structure your headings meaningfully to increase your Google rankings.
Showcase of HeadingsMap Extension
HeadingsMap Extension

Social proof

Social proof is an effective marketing tactic for a number of reasons. There are several types of social proof that can be used to boost conversion rates, depending on the product or service. Some examples include:

  • Photos and testimonials from customers
  • Company names and logos, particularly from recognizable and well-respected brands
  • Customer case studies
  • Reviews on third-party sites such as Yelp or Google
  • Testimonials from industry experts and expert social proof

Testimonials

Does your website offer social proof in the form of testimonials?

They should include:

  • Headshot to make it more persuasive
  • Quote that focuses on the results they got from working with the business
  • Typography that makes the quote easy to skim-read and understand

2. Auditing the call to actions

A call to action (CTA) on a website encourages users to perform some specific action. Without a clear CTA, the user may not know the next steps to take to purchase a product or sign up for a newsletter. This could lead them to leave the site without completing their task. An effective call to action lets the user know exactly what to expect when they click on a button or take the next action.

TIP: Instead of using CTAs like learn more, use more specific directions like: Discover the benefits.

Buttons

  • Background colour: accent colour that catches the eye. Avoid using your accent colour for anything else than your CTAs and buttons.
  • Padding: plenty of room so it stands out
  • Font: easy to read, preferably sans-serif
  • Font case: all caps or title case
Example of bad and good use of CTA buttons
Example of bad and good use of CTA buttons

Call to action

  • Strong headline one strong point
  • A clear description of what visitors will gain
  • Use of clear, descriptive words in call-to-action buttons
  • Every page should consist of at least one call to action (don't overdo it)
  • Keep user flow in mind - the placement of the CTA has to make sense

3. Analyze the brand

Branding is more than just a logo. It's not just about how your brand looks, but also about how you communicate with your customers. It's up to you to decide what kind of tone feels true to your target audience, as long as it's consistent with your brand values and persona. It can be authoritative, playful, intellectual, ominous, or fun.

TIP: To determine your brand voice, choose three distinct descriptors for your company. You should choose clear words that convey a strong feeling. Try words like passionate, reliable, quirky, or relaxed. Those words will guide your content's tone.

Audience

It is crucial that your website is designed for your audience. Be sure to understand what drives them and what makes them click.

  • Your customers - is your website created for the right audience?
  • Voice brand - are you using the language of your brand and customers?

Visual Branding

Now we can start to focus on the visual part of your brand. As a company, you should have a brand guide, which consists of brand colours, typography and graphics. A brand guide will help you stay consistent with your brand as your company grows. Consistency is the key when it comes to branding.

The Compote Brand Colours
The Compote Brand Colours

Typography and copy

  • Headings: easy to read
  • Body text: easy to read, at least 16-18px
  • Visual hierarchy: each text element sized appropriately
  • No more than 2 different fonts
  • Headings: Is it possible to scan just the headings and understand what each page is about?

Colours

  • On-brand colours used consistently
  • Neutral and accent colours
  • No more than 3-4 different colours
  • Explain brand colours - using contrast colour only on most significant CTAs

Photos and graphics

  • High-resolution images that add personality to the brand without being a distraction
  • Consistent style to create a cohesive look and feel
  • Check the sizes of your images - large images will slow your website (we recommend a maximum size of 180kb). Use an image compressor to reduce image size.
TIP: If you are using stock photos make sure they all have the same look. An excellent way to achieve this is to find collections by one artist that have the same light and atmosphere.

4. Audit of the customer journey

A customer journey is a path a visitor takes through your website. It begins when the visitor enters the site and ends when they leave. It shows the different ways people interact with the website as they use it to reach their goals.

Figma Jam - User Journey Map
Figma Jam - User Journey Map

Flow

  • Predictability: Does clicking on a link take you to the page you expect it to?
  • CTA: Does each page have 1-2 clear and sensible calls to action?

Navigation

  • Easy to find
  • Clearly named
  • No more than 5-6 options

5. Is your website mobile-friendly?

A responsive website adapts its layout and/or content according to the size of the screen on which it is displayed.

The amount of traffic on mobile phones has risen dramatically over the past decade. In February 2022, 57% of websites were accessed through mobile devices.

Google Chrome Inspector - Responsivity
Google Chrome Inspector - Check responsivity
TIP: You can check your mobile responsiveness in Google Chrome across different devices. To do this, right click on any part of your website and select inspect. From here, you can choose many different devices to check your site.

Responsive Website

  • Good looking: Does your website look as good on mobile as on desktop?
  • Layout: Does each element display as intended (e.g. not hidden, not getting cut off)
  • Font size: Does the text appear large enough for readers to read, without taking up a great deal of space on the screen?
  • Navigation: Is the menu easy to find and use?

To Wrap Up

Now you're ready to conduct your first website audit, which will help you improve your website. Additionally, website audits can include other data that should be reviewed, such as SEO, speed, accessibility, etc. This can be an overwhelming process, so we recommend you start with these quick tips before diving into more complex audits.

TIP: To help us determine if your website needs help with SEO, you can use SEO Site CheckUp To check website speed you can use PageSpeed Insights

If you need help we offer our clients complex website audits which also consists of:

  • SEO
  • Website Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Best Practices
  • Speed
  • Security

Alžběta Pevná
By
Alžběta Pevná

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