Website audits are crucial aspects of doing business properly, especially in eCommerce. These audits are designed to cover several areas of your business, including SEO, content, CRO, performance, supply chain, platform analysis, and more. An audit is the perfect opportunity for you to see each component, evaluate it properly, and discover issues and areas where you can improve. The results will turn into a map you can use to optimize your business.
Your audit should be focused on what’s going on in your business right now. Marketing campaigns, posts, and products are to be considered later in your audit. You should cast a wide net that will help you discover many opportunities for improvement. Take note of all findings as you go because these will be a measurement for your future goals.
Here are some areas where you should do an audit as well as information on how to do it.
SEO is a great place to start because can really improve your sales by making it easier to find you search engines. You should focus on whether product pages are visible to search engines and users alike. Here are some of the things you should look at:
- How do you handle expired or out of stock products with redirects and linking to related product?
- How do you handle the SEO on seasonal products?
- How do you handle SEO on new products?
- What is the content like on your product pages?
- What is your internal linking like?
- Are related products organized properly?
- Do you have high quality images on your product pages?
“You should look for duplicate product pages, 404 errors, poor internal linking and other areas where audits are very important. All of these can negatively impact user experience. This is recommended list necessary to fix the state of your website and make it rank better,” says Ellen Renaldo, a business writer.
One of the most important things when it comes to an online business is choosing the right eCommerce platform. Your audit should definitely include figuring out whether you need a platform switch or not. If your sales have been dropping for a while now and you don’t get any new customers, you should think about checking a new platform that could potentially bring you some new customers. A great new platform can bring you an uplift in sales. Some of the reasons you should do this include:
- Better User Experience - What is the navigation on your website like? What is your site speed like? Check your imaging, check-out process, and new features. You should also check the features that directly impact your CRO and SEO.
- Mobile Optimization - You need to optimize your website for mobile devices because they’ve become a priority for web spiders and the Google algorithm, which was updated in 2015 to put mobile friendliness first.
- Market Conditions - Because there is an increased need to give users a great multi-channel experience, evolving market conditions may need to change how you integrate your social commerce.
- Scalability - Your business can easily outgrow your current platform, which can impact you negatively. Is the current platform you’re using able to handle your business as it grows?
- Cost - If the cost is cheaper on another platform for the same (or better) quality, why would you stay on your current platform?
- Platform Speed - Slow loading speed can be detrimental for SEO and your search engine ranking, which can impact the amount of visitors you get. If someone visits your page and it takes too long to load, your bounce rate will skyrocket.
When you decide to switch a platform, you have to be aware that this is a big task that requires a lot of work. It can also be risky when it comes to your search engine ranking. However, it’s important to see how this can work for you and what you need to do in terms of SEO before starting the project.
Conversion Rate Audit
Your website needs to convert traffic. If it doesn’t, then there is no point in sending traffic to it. It would be a waste of money, effort, and time, especially when you’re running a PPC campaign.
You can use conversion rates to maximizing the percentage of users that end up converting. To get more conversions, you need to improve several aspects of your website to improve the action and sales. Several factors impact the conversion rates and here are some that you should focus on:
- Review your CTAs - Your conversion rates can be poor because of the ineffective CTAs, or calls to action, on your site. Take some time to inspect them and make them more desirable.
- Homepage and Landing Pages - Your bounce rates may be high because of these two types of pages. Your customers will most likely land here, so these pages need to be top notch if you want them to lead to conversions. Third party ads should be removed as well.
- Opt-In Forms - Review your opt-in forms to see if you’re asking for any unnecessary information. Is your lead magnet or reward good enough? Is it described properly?
- Audit Category and Product Pages - Your page should be easy to buy from. But, there shouldn’t be too many choices out there because your customers may become overwhelmed and lose interest.
- Registering - You shouldn’t force your users to sign up if they don’t want to. This can cause a loss of conversions and you can easily replace it with a simpler process.
- Checkout Process - This is an essential part of CRO because so many people abandon their carts. Your checkout process should be seamless and quick to decrease cart abandonment rates.
When you have a better understanding of how you need to improve your eCommerce store, and when you have a cohesive plan that you can use, it’ll be easier to know what to pay attention to.
Things that Are Measured Are Things that Are Improved
When you go through the audit process, you can use Google Analytics to measure all of your improvements. You will also be able to understand your customers better.
“It’s critical in your marketing efforts and a vast majority of platforms you can join can provide you with an integrated Google Analytics platform where you can track things easily. You should take some time to understand how this works first. There are various online resources that can teach you what Google Analytics can do for you and how you can use it,” says Olive Areto, a marketing manager.
This way, you can adopt a data-led approach which will ensure your eCommerce success. Here’s what you can do with proper analytics:
- Understand what works and what doesn’t so you can avoid wasting time on ineffective strategies.
- Know how your customers behave in the market.
- Increase your conversions by optimizing your website based on good information.
Using Google Analytics can increase the success of your eCommerce business. Here’s how it can do that:
- You can see your traffic by source to find out which sources of traffic give you the best return. This helps you focus on them and improve other channels.
- You can get segmentation data which can help you find out how valuable your returning customers are.
- Conversion rates help you to test various things on your site to see what works and what doesn’t.
- You can see custom demographics and see which groups visit your website.
- You can see the number of unique purchases on your website.
- You can see why people are buying some things more and some things less.
Before starting any campaign, you need to be clear about what your goals are. This means that you need to know the reason for the audit and what you want to achieve by it. So, do you want to increase conversions? Do you want to increase the number of visitors on your website? Is your goal to improve some of your processes?
A content audit can help you in all of these cases, but the elements you focus on will be different. When you want to increase traffic, your focus will be on your SEO and marketing methods like social media or PPC. But, if you want to increase conversions once your users are on your website, you will have to work there directly by improving its processes and elements.
So, before you start with your content audit, you should start thinking about your goals first before you start to come up with a plan to execute it.
Website audits are crucial for many different industries. You can use them to fix some of your mistakes, repeat what was good, and update what can be better. Hopefully, this guide will help you in that process.