How to review your website
Here's our handy guide for a quick once-over review of your website. Do this about once a month to ensure your website is going in the right direction for you, your visitors and your website so they don't feel forgotten about - *sniff*.
1. Check your stats
First thing's first - check the stats. They don't just tell you how many people are visiting your lovely website, but they also help find what pages are working for you and what areas of your site could do with improvement.
- Take a look at how many visits you are getting on average per month,
- For how long?
- What's your bounce rate?
- What are your visitors are looking at?
- What content is working for you?
This will tell you what pages need to be improved, as well as give you an idea of where people are coming from.
These are all key things to take note of when you are reviewing how your website is currently working for you.
2. Webmaster Tools
Check your webmaster tools if they are set up in your analytics. This will tell you if there are any errors on your website. It will also be able to tell you what people are searching for in relation to your website.
You can also check for any errors that may need attention within your website.
3. Check search results
Look at how it appears on Google? It's important to look good, remember - first impressions count! Make sure that all of the information being pulled out is up to date, relevant and useful.
Are you on page 5 for key terms? This is a red flag to make changes.
Always set a benchmark for any work that's undertaken, whether it's by yourself or your web agency. Identifing your competitors (local and abroad) and analysing websites / brand / marketing will help you think about where your business is positioned.
Look further a field when searching, change your location (you can find this in search tools, it will automatically pull out your location, so try to make it more general eg. UK) - This will stop Google from pulling out just the local businesses in your area.
This is important for setting realistic tasks and managing expectation of changes you can make.
5. Check it out on different devices: mobile, tablet, tv ...
Look at how a website looks on a mobile, does everything shift appropriately? Can you access the information you need without having to zoom in or out?
If your website was built 5 years or so ago, your users may be struggling to view it on their phones and tablets. Maybe it's time to invest in a responsive website?
6. What's your best performing content? Take a peek at your top pages
Following on from point 1, revisit the top pages of your website in your browser to take an objective look at how they can be improved using what we've learnt so far. After all, they are the heavy hitters, and sometimes a lack-lustre about page is consistently getting the second most amount of visits on your site.
Time to ask yourself some questions ...
- Do they need more images?
- More share functionality?
- More calls to action ?
- More 'links'
- More 'pretty'?
- More styling?
- Could video help?
7. Set tasks and targets
After analysing your website data, take look at setting realistic tasks and targets. These can be as simple as you want to begin with. Google even has some nice little tools to help you out if you want to get more complex (i.e. you can even specify that you want %age of visitors to land on a certain page every time they come to your site etc)
Whatever it is, set some targets, even if its just so you don't forget about your ole website. It does miss you when you are gone!
- Where do you want your business to be?
- Do you want more visits and conversions?
- Do you want people to visit more of the website?
- How much of a budget do I have?
- What's the 'best-spend' for maximising return?
Our top tips for quick wins include:
- Spelling. There is nothing worse than visiting a website with poor spelling, punctuation and grammar. Visiting a website with good spelling, grammar and punctuation gives a website a very professional appearance and pleasant user experience, but also remember to use language that is suitable to your audience
- Text links between content, it's a simple concept but often missed. Simply linking a word or short phrase to another page in your website offers the opportunity to visitors of your website to view other pages of your site
- Little tweaks across the website are always a good idea, like aligning text and images or re-writing long sentences, breaking up content with imagery / pull quotes ... these are just the little things that can make all the difference
It's then time to look at the bigger picture. Is your content working for you? Are your images up to date or looking a little old?
8. Update your social media
Yes yes, we know it's all the rage and friendface will make you millions, but what we mean is that once we've set all the tasks, updated the website, crossed the t's and dotted the lower case j's, it's time to do similar updates across your social platforms of choice.
This is a rather large topic that we'll cover properly in a separate post, but be sure everything is consistent. We'd be looking at headers, profile pics, descriptions, links to you website, the 'about' blurb and any other extra bits. Consistency, 'corporate vibrancy' and fresh content is a good thing.
9. One month later
Fast forward to one month later and it's time to revisit everything you've done. Have we hit all the targets and completed all the tasks?
We take another look at the original stats and compare them closely to before the changes were made.
- What worked, what didn't?
- Were there any spikes in activity? If so, what were the causes?
- How did these efforts work in relation to enquiries / emails / sales?
As 'webmaster/marketeer/web owner', you need to learn from it and continue your web journey.
Thanks for reading ... if you have any comments, suggestions, advice - feel free to comment below!