How a Website Audit works
What is auditing, and how can it help improve business results?
A website audit may sound un-necessary, but it has been shown that over time standards change, staff are replaced and some webmaster jobs just don't get done. The greater problem is that in general, senior management don't understand or know enough about the company website, this is mostly delegated to the IT department. If you don't ask, they don't tell.
If you own a bricks and mortar store, shop, hotel, garage or any business workplace, you may have heard of services call mystery shoppers. These are people recruited by a specialised company, to visit your business in an under-cover roll, and create a report based on various aspects of your business, For example, are the staff friendly, are the premises clean and tidy, are the toilets clean, do the staff react to problems, and are knowledgeable about the company and it's products etc. With this type of report you would take action if necessary.
Website Audits. How to audit a website.
Think of an audit of your company or business website in the same way. Is the purpose of your website clear, and does it comply with your business branding in all aspects? There are a number of technical aspects to a website audit, but the end result is knowledge of how your site performs for the visitor and potential customer, can they find what they seek with a maximum of 2 to 3 clicks? Keywords for an audit could be website analysis, website check, auditing, website optimisation, website maker, website evaluation, website survey or website assessment. It just depends on your search terms.
A modern business website is not cheap to design and operate. The general maintenance and updates are possibly the lower cost part of being on-line. It is ok having a report with details of problems, but if you are on a tight budget you might like to consider myself doing the changes for you. Have you ever researched the results of your main competitors and wondered why they are always nearer to the top of search results than your own company?
Some of this has to do with SEO (search engine optimisation) , but in many cases the knowledge is easily available and quick to implement. Sitemaps are another often forgotten area, and one that should not be left undone. Your business website needs to be prepared for Google, Bing and Yahoo indexing and kept up to date.
Different parts of your business may have a requirement to be on-line, are there meetings to discuss if marketing, sales, customer support, accounts etc are represented on the company website? Do you use forms to prevent spammers sending unwanted and time wasting emails? Do you have local, national agents and are they all linked together in a sales/marketing network? Lot's of opportunities to benefit from an audit. Many questions, but I can provide many of the answers.
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There are no articles on Wikipedia about website reviews, the nearest we could find was on Mystery Shopping. I did make a contribution to the existing article.