Annatto offers website audits to those looking to improve their website. It is a thorough assessment of a website with respect to content, structure, and branding. Once we evaluate a site, we can make thoughtful recommendations for enhancement based on the goals of your company. These can range from general usability and user experience to search engine optimization (SEO).
What deliverable should I expect to see?
Once we gather all of the information and recommendations, Annatto provides a comprehensive report that covers each aspect of the audit. This could include a revised site map/structure, recommendations for content strategy, ideas for stronger calls to action, etc. Within each section of the audit, you’ll see a general definition, our review, and why it is important to your website.
Below are some common items that often show up in our site audit reports.
A site map shows the structure of your site in flow chart format. It is a visual representation of the pages in your site and how they link together. There are often tweaks that can be made to page positioning that will aid in user experience and/or SEO.
We assess the complete layout of the site including navigation options, section and page groupings, and on-page linking. Site map development is based on content strategy derived from brand messaging, keyword research, competitor research, industry trends, user experience, competitor analysis, local reach, and SEO.
On the surface, how does the site look? It’s important that your site reflects your brand accurately. Consistent use of fonts, colors, and other visual elements is a must. User experience is also factored in. Are the visuals supporting the flow of the site? Is navigation throughout the site intuitive for the user?
A user-friendly and cohesive look in mobile device views is also important. If your site is not responsive to a mobile user, you are eliminating a large section of potential customers.
There are ways to create and implement content so that it works effectively for your company. Focus is often lost when a site has been live for a length of time. Over months or years, more and more content is added and it can often blur lines and confuse the viewer, not to mention hinder search results.
- Messaging and Keywords: We look at the overall messaging of the site as well as keyword/ranking term usage in order to see how the content is working across the pages. Ranking terms are keywords or phrases that a site is ranking for in organic search results (i.e., a user typing in a search bar instead of going straight to your website).
- Duplicate Content: Search engines generally like to see unique content across pages. A strategy that reuses the same content several times is usually not effective.
- Calls to Action: We assess CTA’s with respect to positioning, verbiage, and visual appeal. Who is your audience? Are you asking the right question to get the action you desire?
This is information that is stored “behind the scenes” in a website and gives search engines like Google important insights about the content of each page. It helps to determine whether a website is relevant enough to display in search results and also indicates what to show the viewer.
- H1 and H2 Tags: Annatto looks at consistent H1 and H2 tags – these are header tags that are set in the back end of a site and they are important for SEO. Just because a phrase visually looks like a head or subhead to the viewer does NOT mean that it is noted as such in the back end of your site. Search engines use these tags to indicate what a page is about and how to categorize it. Improper tagging is doing your site a disservice.
- Titles and Descriptions: Page titles and descriptions appear in search results as the page name and a summary of what the page is about. If there is no description, Google pulls a summary from the first content it can find on the page and this isn’t always accurate. Missing, too lengthy, or inaccurate titles/descriptions can result in lower click-through rates to your website from search results.
A website’s linking profile is built on both outside domains that are linking to your site and links within a site (i.e., linking between pages of a site). Having outside sites link to your site shows search engines that you are trustworthy and builds authority.
Be careful – it takes time and effort to build a solid linking strategy. It requires a company to build relationships and partners to enhance their linking strategy. Stay away from “quick fix” sites that promise links for a price. These sites do not offer legitimate value with search engines like Google as they come across as “spammy.”
Recommendations and Action Items
All of the information included in a thorough website audit can be overwhelming. To help focus energy, we include a simple, bulleted list of recommendations and action items to tackle. Depending on the depth of changes needed, these can be prioritized or worked into several phases.
No matter what the next steps look like for your company, you will have a practical, useable website audit document that can help keep your site in the best shape moving forward.