How To Conduct a Comprehensive Website Audit

How To Conduct a Comprehensive Website Audit

Completing a regular website audit is among the best investments you can make in your online business.

Done quarterly, you get to monitor what’s working and what’s not. With this knowledge, you can continually improve your processes, services, and products.

Why wait to do a review once a year? No telling what insights you may miss in that amount of time! Not to mention the overwhelming chore the task becomes if left unattended for so long.

Reviewing your site’s performance regularly gives you the data you need to serve your audience exactly what they crave. You can be ready with answers to their pressing questions and solutions for their demanding problems.

You’ll be in a better position to reap the best results from your online business with every audit performed.

Is it Really That Important?

A comprehensive website audit is an examination of your website’s marketing performance. In addition to the technical aspects, such as SEO visibility and page speed, you’ll evaluate the impact your promotional campaigns are having on your target audience.

To optimize for overall performance, analyze both your site’s design and content strategy. Seek to uncover gaps where you can deliver a better user experience as well as more focused materials. Take a look at your website from different angles to see where it might be improved.

A comprehensive audit is not so difficult or time-consuming that you can’t do one at least every quarter. The time is well spent because you’ll check your traffic plus emerging trends in your sector. That information is required for you to stay on top of the needs of your audience.

Start With a Plan

Having a strategic plan of action before you begin makes it much easier to evaluate your website.

Review the goals you set for the period when you did your last assessment. Hopefully, you decided at that time which metrics you would measure to gauge their success.

Improved SEO results, increased audience engagement, and better conversion rates are all common business objectives that can be refined using information from this exercise.

You may need to use different key performance indicators (KPIs) every quarter, so don’t feel these must be set in stone.

Let’s begin with your content.

Conduct a Content Audit

It isn’t so overwhelming to conduct a comprehensive content audit if it’s broken down into phases. Try these suggestions.

Set up a simple spreadsheet with the information you’ll need to inventory and assess all your content. Your up-to-date editorial calendar is an invaluable tool when looking into your content’s metrics. It should provide you with all the details for each piece available through your site.

Along with the title, type and format of each piece of content, note its URL, buyer’s journey stage, author if you have more than one contributor, and the date of publication/last modification.

For auditing purposes, also collect the three metrics you’ve decided to analyze, along with columns for rating each item and recording notes or comments about that piece. Download our Content Asset Worksheet to get a head start.

With this information compiled, analyze your content assets from the point of your last audit to date. (Another reason to do this quarterly!) Notice any trends uncovered by the data, and make notes for future action.

For example, should a piece be repurposed or retired? Which articles would benefit from a stronger call-to-action (CTA)? Could your well-performing webinars be promoted and offered for another viewing? Can you plan upcoming initiatives around the best-performing topics? Are there broken or misdirected links that need updating?

Document your evaluation once completed. Use insights from this project to refine your content marketing.

Rejuvenate Your Content Strategy

Use your blog wisely. A blog is the centerpiece of every successful website. Readers continually demand fresh content and your blog is the best way to serve it to them.

Think of your postings as the specials on a restaurant menu. Serve assets for readers at every stage of the sales cycle. Some visitors want only an appetizer, but others are ready for your full course meal.

These are the ideal clients who have visited and developed a taste for your offerings over time. Don’t forget to add a couple of sweet enticements to keep them satisfied.

Deliver fresh content. Readers hunger for new and better information with every search request. Be alert to seasonal trends and use the freshest ingredients when designing your content.

Regularly providing resources that rely on the most trustworthy references in your niche is the best way to satisfy audience cravings.

You may need some help, so consider outsourcing some of your content creation to a ghostwriter competent in your market.

Even better is to keep your ears open to issues of concern in your industry. Use these insights to create enriching content that caters to your readers.

More Content Tips

Conduct a comprehensive website audit with these essential tips.

Conduct a comprehensive website audit with these essential tips.

Offer your content in several formats. Don’t forget to present your “specials” in different ways. Not every visitor has the taste for a 1,000-word blog post, so offer a podcast, short video or on-demand webinar for immediate consumption.

Check out your competitors. You don’t need to steal their recipes to get an idea of ways you might present your offerings that will appeal to your audience and give them a taste of something new.

Interact with your guests. Ever notice that the owners of the best restaurants get to know their regulars and make themselves available to all their clientele? They help their patrons feel welcome and comfortable, and you have to do the same.

In addition to analyzing your metrics, ask your visitors for their opinions on new initiatives. Customers will gladly share their ideas and let you know their feelings if given the chance.

And you’ll want to know about any glitches right away so you can eliminate them and keep your readers happy.

Conduct a Website Audit

A comprehensive audit also gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your website optimization activities. The information it reveals will guide you in enhancing your site for maximum performance, SEO, and conversion rates.

User experience is a foundation of high-performing websites. To maintain visitor enjoyment and comprehension, look at how well your site functions from a user’s standpoint. A little tweaking here and there can do wonders for your online business.

Strive to make it easy for your visitors to find what they’re searching for. Guide them with clear navigation and an intuitive flow from page to page.

Review your website as a visitor would to reveal small details that might be putting them off. Notice areas that could be improved to help your readers gain the most value from your offerings.

Have a trusted friend take a look and give you an honest review. They might see something you’ve overlooked.

Feed Your Audience’s Needs

How to know what to serve your visitors? It’s a lot harder to satisfy their cravings if you have no idea what they have a taste for.

When internet pickings were slim, people were happy with whatever crumbs of information or entertainment they found online. But these days, your visitors have access to websites from all over the world featuring a multitude of flavors. Stay in touch with your customer base to give your guests exactly what they’re hungry for.

Improve User Experience

Your website should be as easy to understand and as nice to look at as you can make it. Just like a fine meal, it should be a feast for the eyes as well as a satisfying experience.

Format your content with readers in mind. It’s difficult to read long pieces of content presented without breaks. Large blocks of words are overwhelming to the eye and put readers off. Use short paragraphs, subheadings, bolding, numbered lists, and other visual aids to keep the flow of your content attractive and easy to read.

Reduce the clutter. Go easy on your guest’s eyes. Don’t try to crowd everything onto a single page. Your images and designs can’t convey the desired effect if they’re crowding out your posts. Spread your content out to give your visitors a chance to digest it.

Use colors and placement to highlight information. Without contrast to break things up and draw the eye to certain areas of the page, your readers can easily gloss over important points in your presentation.

Review for typos. Nothing is more distracting than a website with spelling mistakes and missing words. Not only are such errors annoying, but they can also reduce your visitor’s understanding of the information you’re trying to convey.

Some readers will never come back if they sense you don’t care enough to give them a professional experience on your website. Thought leaders generally take more care and are rewarded with loyal followers as a result.

Presentation Is Key

When dining in a fine restaurant, the presentation is just as important as the flavors of the meal. And fast food takeout is packaged for quick and easy consumption, even on the road. The delivery is appropriate to the user’s needs. Make sure your website does the same.

It’s up to you to decide the type of brand you represent and your website must follow suit. The smallest details are those that can make or break your business.

Imagine what your visitors would think if they found your website riddled with spelling errors and broken links. The only recommendations they might give would be for laughs at your expense.

Whatever your product or service, the presentation must be appealing and inviting to entice visitors and keep them coming back.

Final Thoughts

Periodic website audits can uncover weaknesses in your online recipe. They’re your best insurance against driving your ideal clients to abandon your site in search of more appetizing selections.

Presenting your audience with valuable information served in a beautiful setting shows them you care enough to pay attention to detail. They’ll appreciate the time you’ve taken to give them what they’re looking for delivered in a way they can appreciate.

Carve out some time to conduct a comprehensive website audit with these essential tips in mind. Download our Content Audit Worksheet and adapt it for your use. Then let us know what you think in the Comments!

References: Content Marketing Institute, SEMrush Blog, HubSpot Blog

5 Simple Tips That Will Upgrade Your Content Marketing Plan

5 Simple Tips That Will Upgrade Your Content Marketing Plan

What, you don’t even have a content marketing plan? Someone told you that you don’t need one because you’re “just” a blogger. You might think you don’t “do” content marketing. Or you feel “marketing” means self-promotion (yikes!). Maybe you don’t know how to begin.

In truth, any online business can gain from using content marketing these days. It’s a cost-effective method of responding to the habits we’ve developed thanks to our digital world.

Shoppers today use online resources to inform them of the best products and services available. Providing the information your audience searches for is a major key to business success. Having a content marketing plan is the starting point.

It’s important to stick to proven techniques when developing and using a successful strategy. Here are five tips to remember that will deliver consistent results when creating your content marketing plan.

Set Up a Secure Foundation

These content marketing tips are a basic foundation to build your strategy on. Start here, and you’ll lay the groundwork for developing a winning marketing plan.

Have a mission statement. Knowing who you are as a business and the audience your business serves is the essence of success. Be clear on what you offer and understand those you wish to attract. Define what makes you different from your competitors. Boil that down into a concise message. Use it as your guide to steer your entire content marketing strategy.

Be authentic. Present your true self to your audience. Speak to your readers naturally, as if in conversation. Record yourself giving your message, and be sure you write in that same voice. But avoid using slang and bad grammar. That’s sure to turn even interested visitors away.

Remember these basic pointers to design an unbeatable content marketing plan.

Remember these basic pointers to design an unbeatable content marketing plan.

Solve problems. Make yourself invaluable! Give a steady stream of reliable information to help your ideal clients solve their problems. Direct your content toward your target market’s issues and concerns. Know what their needs and questions are, and discuss them fully. You then become a trusted resource they can rely on.

Do your research. Present the most insightful nuggets of information. Your audience has already heard the usual buzz in other blogs and marketing materials. To stand out and produce exceptional content, be able to bring something new to the table.

Repurpose and republish. Not everyone noticed the information the first time you presented it. Others prefer a different format than your original delivery. So feel free to reuse and promote your content in different ways. Turn blog posts into eBooks, podcasts, or webinars. Let people know about your new product on your social media channels. Tweet quotables from past posts to attract new readers. Maximizing your content gains new visitors.

Have a Guide

It’s helpful to have your marketing plan written out where you can review and update it as needed. Our SMART Content Marketing Strategy Workbook will help you put your ideas into action!

This easy-to-follow guidebook leads you through five simple steps to develop an unbeatable content marketing plan. Download yours here!

Once your content marketing plan is specified, the real fun begins! Following your guide makes it easier to create unique, inspiring, educational blog posts, infographics, and more.

Summing Up

Having a mission statement, being authentic, solving problems based on solid research, and providing your content in a variety of formats make up a solid foundation for developing every piece of material you produce.

VAWW Online empowers solopreneurs and small businesses by providing profitable online marketing strategies without breaking their budgets. Explore all the ways you will gain from having a thoughtful process behind all your marketing efforts.

Let’s develop a strategy to propel you ahead that meets your needs and budget. Contact me here!

How to Unlock the Secrets of SMART Content Marketing Goals

How to Unlock the Secrets of SMART Content Marketing Goals

Having SMART content marketing goals is vital to promote your services and products on the web. If you think that’s simple “blogging,” you might want to think again.

These days you need to do more than post a random series of articles whenever the mood strikes.

When your business has no audience and no inquiries, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Understanding why and how to set SMART content marketing goals produces proven results. Develop a content marketing strategy to attract new visitors. Engage a loyal audience, and convert prospects into your delighted clients.

Why Set SMART Content Marketing Goals?

Because 72% of content marketers who increased their level of success over the past year credit their strategy as a major contributor. Follow their example! Document your own content marketing strategy. Review it often, and update it as needed.

The SMART framework is especially useful for planning content marketing goals. Deliver materials to give potential customers the solutions to their problems. You’ll keep them coming back for more.

Produce content that will stimulate your ideal clients. Expect to do a little more than blogging, though. Attract and hold interested readers with useful information in a variety of formats.

A Quick Review of SMART Goals

SMART goals are specific, measurable, actionable, results-based, and time-bound. Breaking that down produces a foolproof content marketing strategy.

SPECIFIC: Set goals for each piece of content relating to your business objectives. Also consider the stage of development you’re in. A startup would likely have very different priorities than an established business.

Common reasons to produce content include increasing website traffic. You might want to attract more email subscribers or move up in Google’s search rankings.

To attract website visitors, one tactic is to create great headlines. Although 8 out of 10 people read headlines, only 2 out of 10 read the rest. Craft golden headlines followed up with useful, interesting information. Producing clickbait risks losing the authority and goodwill you’re hoping to build.

Everyone has divulged an email contact in exchange for a compelling lead magnet. That’s a common strategy for collecting information to expand a marketing list. Develop useful content that your audience finds valuable. It’s worth the effort if encouraging subscribers is a priority.

Rising to the top in search rankings is a long game. Hacks to make it happen overnight are unreliable at best. That makes it especially important to publish exceptional content. It’s the best way to attract searchers in your target market.

MEASURABLE: Analyze the results of your efforts to make well-informed decisions. Determine what content best serves your readers, and thus your SPECIFIC objectives. Tie those objectives to key performance indicators, or KPIs. This shows the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.

Google Analytics tracks and reports website traffic and marketing analytics. Use this information when planning your content. Produce more of the format types and topics that engage your visitors the most.

Your email marketing platform of choice provides statistics. These can help you generate meaningful offerings. Follow the results of your campaigns to develop suitable content.

Google Search Console checks your site’s indexing status. Integrating it with Google Analytics helps you generate appropriate content. Keep track of how it performs. Focus on developing material that drives impressive search engine results.

Develop SMART content marketing goals to power-up your content strategy.

Develop SMART content marketing goals to power-up your content strategy.

ACTIONABLE: Taking SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE actions leads to achieving your goals. This is where a comprehensive editorial calendar comes in. It’s a vital tool to help guide your way. Nothing fancy, a simple spreadsheet documenting your strategy will do.

Attracting targeted traffic to your website requires a variety of techniques. Chief among those is the tactical use of diverse content. Plot out what you will publish and when. This is the first step to developing your editorial calendar.

Optimize the landing pages for your lead magnets to increase email subscribers. Inventory assets on hand and upcoming content. Then make it easy for readers to sign up for the amazing information you provide!

Search engine optimization is key to climbing to the top of the results pages. Research relevant keywords and develop content featuring them. Knowing your audience helps drive search results.

RESULTS-BASED: Of course, you have an aim for each of the SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE ACTIONS you’ll be taking. Decide in advance how to determine success. Keep in mind that it’s important to set reasonable growth objectives.

No matter the goal, planning to go from zero to one hundred overnight will only gain you undue pressure. Be realistic when setting expectations.

Develop a mix of content formats to spark interest from a wider audience. Analyze your metrics to assess how much growth you can actually foresee in a given period. Which brings us to the final piece of the SMART goal framework.

TIME-BOUND: Have a predetermined ending point to your goals, whether long- or short-term. Be adaptable within yearly, quarterly, monthly, and even weekly sprints. But always have your ultimate goal in mind.

When preparing to take action, be sure you can sustain it for the most effective time frame. Don’t skip from action to action! Have specific, measurable, relevant initiatives at every stage.

Always Be Flexible

Direct all your efforts toward achieving your fundamental goals. Just don’t try to get there all at once. Break your strategies into smaller segments. That way you can make course corrections on the fly.

And don’t try to increase every single metric at the same time. Focus on what makes the most sense for your business at the current stage you’re in. Take the actions that will be most effective for your level of business development.

Create content that answers the questions your customers are asking. That’s a powerful foundation for building trust and rapport with your audience.

Final Thoughts

Before jumping in, think through and write down your plan of action. Clarify the SMART content marketing goals that best serve your business priorities. Establish a realistic time frame. And build in frequent checkpoints to review your progress.

Decide which metrics support your desired outcome and analyze them often. Update your content marketing strategy to incorporate things you learn from each challenge. Your rewards will be greater satisfaction and return on your investment.

Consistently provide useful information that matches the needs of your audience. The tribe you grow will learn to know, like and trust you. That overcomes the first hurdle toward converting them into satisfied customers.

Has SMART goal setting improved your content marketing strategy? Let us know in the COMMENTS!