Site audits are an excellent way to generate new ideas for your brand online. A site audit is when professionals from different disciplines review your existing website and suggest improvements. They will discuss topics which could help your brand marketing, and ultimately your business growth and return on investment. They’ll also focus on solutions and creative ideas to fulfill a company brief, meet customer goals and generate leads for your business.
Moreover, having a team of professionals come together to perform a full website audit is an excellent way to establish how your site is performing. It will check whether your benefits and features are at the forefront of your website, as well as making it clear whether your customers’ wants, needs and expectations are being met.
Brand image is important. It is how your business is judged by audiences online and in the real world. When we conduct a site audit at Adtrak, we collaborate as a group and ask ourselves a whole host of questions. Is the brand empowering? Is it smooth and sophisticated, or laid back yet professional? Simplicity, authenticity and customer service are also a consideration. Everyone participating in the audit may view a client in a different way, and offer a unique perspective on what the brand looks like.
As well as the site itself, at Adtrak we regularly audit our marketing of it, too. SEO will be analysed, ensuring it’s effective and will give you the best possible chance of climbing search engine results pages, and therefore boosting traffic to your site.
Another area we look at during a site audit is the site’s existing and potential content – things like articles or guides giving advice and information about your area of business. This kind of content can boost your site’s authority, which can help you achieve better search engine results. And once that information is in place, it’s also valuable as a resource if you want to take on board other services later down the line such as PPC or social marketing.
What topics should be discussed during a site audit?
Many topics are discussed in a site audit meeting to find improvements for an existing website, or new site design.
These include :
- What is the purpose of the website?
- Who is the target audience/customer for the new site?
- Based on the data we have, who is the current audience/customer for the existing site?
- What messages do we want to convey?
- What calls to action do we need around the website?
- What features/content is there on the existing site/competitors’ sites?
- How can we utilise the branding?
- What are the needs of the customers and how can we create a simple user journey that helps them meet these needs?
- Do we have similar clients at Adtrak already? Can we utilise our knowledge and data collection for other clients in similar industries?
Tools used to research information may include:
- Google Alerts research, demonstrating what’s in the news or what's trending on topics related to your brand, service or products
- Google Trends for what’s trending for your service, product or market share
- Data analysis tools such as Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Search Console, Ahrefs
- Keyword research tools
- Search engine manual searches for analysing competitors
- Google has announced that from 2021 Core Web Vitals will be an SEO ranking factor for websites. Google’s Core Web Vitals are used to measure the technical performance of your website, and particularly how your webpages load. Therefore, site speed and performance are brought into the discussion, too.
Site audit Q&A with the Adtrak team
Having recently got together for a meeting to talk about a new website design, we spoke to our team to find out why they think collaborative site audits are beneficial. Laura Archer is a senior digital marketing consultant, and Luke Vials is a copywriter.
Q: What do you think are the benefits of having people in different disciplines coming together to talk about a new project?
Laura: In a full service agency, brainstorming together in the initial stages of a new project is highly important. Team members from different disciplines may have different priorities and ideas about the project and can often provide a different perspective for others in the group. A meeting allows for collaboration of research and ideas, for a plan to be formulated and ensures everyone is working towards the same goal.
Luke: New projects always provide unique challenges, and having a collaborative meeting with people from different disciplines is a great way to identify what obstacles need to be overcome, as well as establish what needs to be achieved. Discussing ideas and ambitions for the project in a group setting will help ensure everyone is on the same page, while making clear what the core objectives are to everyone involved.
Q: At Adtrak, all meetings start with a shared document. Why is a document needed in advance of a collaboration meeting? How can it best be used?
Laura: Documenting the research conducted prior to the meeting allows all team members to refer to each other's ideas and discipline priorities.
Luke: With several different disciplines in a site audit meeting, a document helps people to focus on their specialisms and deliver their information or the results of their research to the group in a constructive and organised way. Plus, while a document can be a good starting point to establish knowledge about a project, it’s also a great tool when it comes to idea generation. It provides prompts and questions that allow participants to start thinking creatively about how they see the project.
Q: What preparation do you carry out before a meeting to fully come up with the best ideas for branding and customer expectations?
Laura: As an Internet Marketer, I usually research the client, their sector and any data we have to support the website development. I usually compile a list of questions I need answering in order to make the decisions on the strategy of the new website and attempt to get the answers prior to the meeting.
Luke: From a copywriting perspective, I review the existing website, highlight where it can be improved and generate my own ideas surrounding this improvement.
Q: Do you think the user would gain more creative and thoroughly researched end results if a collaboration meeting didn’t take place?
Laura: Whilst all disciplines would have a level of involvement in the website development, a meeting to collaborate at the start of the project does result in more creative, researched results that achieve project goals for the client and each discipline.
Luke: Without a group meeting I don’t think the final product would be as successful. These meetings provide a platform for everyone to share their thoughts and perspectives, and a number of innovative and creative ideas come out of them which can be put into action - meaning better results for the client and overall project.
Whether you want help making sure that your website is ready for the best possible user experience, or are looking for a completely new website design, we have a full service professional team here to help you. Get in touch with Adtrak today.