“Opinions are like boats on the sea of knowledge; while they can guide us, it is important to navigate with caution and consider multiple perspectives.”
Are you in the process of evaluating or updating your current website? If so, you’ll soon be drowning in stakeholder feedback.
When conducting a site evaluation and content review, it’s best to gather stakeholder feedback early in the process and build your solution around an informed, agreed-upon strategy. However, gathering those perspectives can be overwhelming and an administrative nightmare.
Fear not. In this article, we will help you navigate the turbulent waters of conducting a website audit, helping you bring order to the wave of opinions and make your next go-live smooth sailing.
What Are the Benefits of Conducting a Website Audit?
First, let’s start with a quick overview of why you should conduct a website audit before putting pen to paper or mouse to monitor:
1. Identify and fix technical issues: A website audit helps uncover any technical issues affecting your site’s performance, such as broken links, slow loading times, or mobile responsiveness problems. Addressing these issues can improve the user experience and ensure your site functions at its best.
2. Enhance SEO performance: An evaluation also allows you to identify areas where your site can be optimized for better visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), such as improving keyword targeting, optimizing meta tags, or enhancing site structure. By optimizing your site for SEO, you can attract more organic traffic and improve your search rankings.
3. Analyze content effectiveness: A website audit helps you evaluate the quality and effectiveness of your website content. You can assess whether your content aligns with your target audience’s needs and preferences, identify gaps or areas for improvement, and ensure consistency across your site. This analysis can help you create a content strategy that resonates with your audience and drives engagement.
4. Assess user experience: In an audit, you can evaluate the site’s navigation, layout, and overall usability to identify any pain points or barriers hindering visitors from engaging with your site. Improving the UX can enhance user satisfaction, increase conversions, and encourage repeat visits.
5. Benchmark against competitors: Another great benefit of a website audit is that it enables you to compare your site’s performance and features against your competitors. You can identify areas where you may be falling behind or where you excel. This benchmarking analysis can help you uncover opportunities for differentiation and improvement to stay ahead in the competitive landscape.
By conducting a website audit, you can gain valuable insights into your site’s strengths and weaknesses and take actionable steps to improve its overall performance and user experience.
Who Are the Key Stakeholders in a Website Audit?
Websites can become an “all hands on deck” approach. When conducting a website audit, it’s critical that you involve the right stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive evaluation and that you get the most valuable intel as it relates to strategy, usability, style, content, and SEO.
Participants may vary depending on the size and nature of your company or organization, but here are some key roles to consider:
- Management or Leadership: It is essential to involve management or leadership in the website audit process. They can provide guidance, align the audit goals with the organization’s objectives, and make decisions based on the findings. Their involvement ensures that the audit results are effectively communicated and implemented.
- Sales Team: Given their direct interactions with clients and a deep understanding of the product or service offerings, the sales team possesses a wealth of knowledge. As subject matter experts (SMEs), their insights can aid in identifying gaps in content, ensuring that product descriptions are accurate, compelling, and tailored to the target audience, and pinpointing frequently asked questions or common misconceptions that the website can address. Leveraging the Sales Team’s expertise can result in a website that is not only technically optimized but also rich in content that resonates with potential customers and addresses their needs and concerns.
- Marketing Team: As the captain of the website initiative, the marketing team can provide valuable insights into the website’s goals, target audience, and overall marketing strategy. They can contribute to evaluating the website’s effectiveness in achieving marketing objectives and provide feedback on its messaging, branding, and conversion optimization.
- SEO Specialist: An SEO specialist can analyze the website’s search engine optimization performance. They can provide insights on keyword targeting, meta tags, site structure, and other SEO factors. Like a beacon, their expertise can help improve the website’s visibility in search engine results and drive organic traffic.
- Content Team: The content team can assess the quality and relevance of the website’s content. They can identify gaps, inconsistencies, or outdated information and suggest improvements or updates. They can also ensure the content aligns with the organization’s brand voice and tone. The content team will also be responsible for writing for humans and search engines.
- Design and UX Team: The design and user experience team can evaluate the website’s visual appeal, layout, and usability. They can identify design issues, navigation problems, or user experience barriers. Their expertise can help improve the overall look and feel of the website and enhance user satisfaction.
- Development Team: The development team can assess the technical aspects of the website, such as website speed, mobile responsiveness, and compatibility across different browsers and devices. They can identify any coding errors, broken links, or performance issues that may affect the website’s functionality. Their feedback can help optimize the website’s performance and ensure a smooth user experience.
- Users: And last but certainly not least are users — the ones you want to attract to your site. The primary aim of a website is to serve its users; thus, understanding their experiences, needs, and pain points is essential. By incorporating user feedback through surveys, user testing, or analytics data, you can gain insights into navigational challenges, content relevance, and overall user satisfaction.
By involving these stakeholders, you can gather diverse perspectives and expertise, ensuring a comprehensive website evaluation and enabling you to effectively address any issues and make improvements.
How to Capture and Organize Stakeholder Feedback During a Website Audit?
All captains need a logbook. When gathering, managing, and implementing stakeholder feedback, you can use several tools and methods to streamline the process and make your life much easier. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Hotjar: Hotjar is a behavior analysis tool that provides heatmaps, session recordings, and feedback polls. Just add a simple code to your website, and you’ll get a real-time suggestion box on your site. Users can then pinpoint areas of content or imagery where they want to leave a comment of frustration or delight. They can leave an email address for follow-up, and each log captures user details such as country, device, browser, and operating system for optimal troubleshooting.
2. Google Sheets: Creating a Google Sheet can be an effective way to organize stakeholder feedback. You can create a column for all the URLs of the website pages being audited. Then, you can add columns for the feedback links with descriptions, the point person responsible for making the change, and due dates. You can also include a column with a drop-down multiple-choice for the status, such as “Active,” “Pending Approval,” or “Live.” This will help you track the progress of each feedback item.
3. Project or Content Management Tools: Various project management tools can help you capture and organize stakeholder feedback. Tools like Wrike, Asana, Airtable, or Monday allow you to create tasks and assign them to specific team members. You can use these tools to create tasks for each feedback item, set deadlines, and track the status of each task.
4. Collaboration tools: Collaboration tools like Google Docs or Microsoft Teams can also capture and organize stakeholder feedback. You can create a shared document or folder where stakeholders can directly provide feedback. This allows real-time collaboration and easy access to all feedback in one centralized location.
Your choice of tools and methods will depend on how your team communicates best, your budget, and your current tech stack. Test out a few options first to ensure they will help versus hinder the process.
Captaining a website audit has its challenges. But with the right process, people, and tools in place, you’ll be in ship-shape.
If you need assistance conducting a website audit or developing your digital marketing strategy, please contact us at www.incitecmo.com or 410-366-9479.
About Incite Creative, Inc.: Incite Creative is a marketing advisory firm that provides outsourced CMO services. In short, we become your company’s chief marketing officer and do so virtually and efficiently — saving you time and money. Since 1999, we’ve enjoyed building and boosting brands for a core set of industries. Our thoughtful process, experienced team, and vested interest in our client’s success have positioned us as one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most sought-after marketing partners for those looking to grow their brand awareness and bottom line. Stop paying for digital and traditional services you may not need. Our retainer, no markup model means our recommendations don’t come with any catch or commission. Our advice aligns with what you need and what fits within your budget. For more information, contact us at 410-366-9479 or email@example.com.