WEBSITE SELF-AUDIT KIT
Questions, Audits, Videos, and Checklists Designed to Give You a Website That Will Make You Money
If you are reading this guide, you probably feel you need to change something about your website. You wanted help to know what you should look for.
Considering your website is the digital face of your company, it’s crucial to get it right. If you’re trying to ensure you have a website that can deliver leads, sales conversations, and new deals, you’re doing the right things for your company.
Not every website will need an entire overhaul. Some will just need a few new pages or some backend optimization. As you continue through this guide, you will find a checklist that will help guide you through if you need a website overhaul or if you need just a few minor modifications.
After reading this site audit guide, you will have a far better understanding of what you should expect from your website, if you need to launch a website project, and how to move forward to generate the largest return on your investment.
Submit your email to get a PDF version, a free technical audit, and two weeks of daily video content.
You need to think through why people are coming to your website. This question will determine how you view your entire website.
A website with an E-Commerce aspect will function differently than a website for a complex manufacturing piece of equipment. You need to know what people are trying to accomplish by visiting your website and what you want them to accomplish.
The reasons people could come to your website will vary slightly based on your industry, but it will likely come down to these five reasons.
1. A potential customer is looking to speak with sales
2. A customer is looking to receive support
3. Someone is looking to learn more about your business
4. Someone is looking to learn more about your industry
5. A potential applicant is looking to apply for a job
Almost everything on your website can likely map to one of these five categories.
As a rule, every B2B website should have pages to cover these five categories, especially a page for potential customers looking to speak with sales. The depth at which you cover each of these five areas will vary depending on your business.
For example, a software company may have a robust knowledge base full of articles and tutorial videos, whereas a consultant will likely only have a Contact Us page. However, both of these pages suit the needs of offering existing customers support.
Once you have identified how you want to leverage your website to help with the growth of your business, you will have a better understanding of the potential needs and scope associated with a website redesign.
Now that you have identified why people are coming to your website, you need to ensure your website visitors can find the information they are looking for. You need a website that’s incredibly easy to navigate and intuitive.
The last thing you need is a website that frustrates prospective buyers so much they end up going to a competitor.
There are three steps to developing a website that’s easy to navigate.1. Site Mapping
To create effective website navigation, start by mapping out the various pages on your website. Then, you can create a logical grouping that will allow your website visitors to have a pleasant experience.
As you look at the potential webpage groupings you could have on your website, you will want to group your web pages by the purpose they are serving. For example, all of your blog content should live in a content hub that can organize your content.
If you start from scratch, taking the time to meet with your team and work through page groupings on a whiteboard will save you countless hours and money as you look to completely recreate your website.
If you have a more robust website, you may not want to map out every single page. You want to have a general idea of the web pages that should typically cluster together. For example, if you have numerous products, you would likely want to create one centralized products page that lists your products with links to more in-depth pages on your products.
Once you have your general website mapped out, develop a strategy for your internal linking. This internal linking strategy is especially important in your blog content. You will have a higher search volume by linking your content into specific clusters.
Additionally, with a logical and helpful internal linking strategy, you can direct your website visitors toward more content similar to the content they are currently looking at.
The goal of creating easy website navigation is to ensure your website visitors can find what they are looking for.
Lastly, you want to ensure you have logical and easily accessible menu navigation for your website. Like mentioned above, you will want to group all of your product pages, your more educational content together, your support pages together, and any other pages that are of similar searcher intent.
With easy-to-navigate menus, your website visitors will be able to ensure they are getting the information they need without any frustration.
You will likely want to place your full menu navigation in the footer. For example, your company likely uses its website to direct its visitors towards becoming buyers. If your menu navigation is too cluttered at the top of the page, it could distract from the goal you are trying to direct your customers towards.
You want your website found on Google. If your website doesn’t appear in Google search results, you are losing easy opportunities for revenue.
Your website health and technical optimization dramatically impact your ability to appear in search. Yet, many companies don’t have a healthy website.
According to SEMRush, the average website has a website health of 74% to 80%. However, the top 10% of websites have an average website health of 92%.
That means if you have an average website with an overall 77% health and you cleaned it up, you would see an increase in your search ranking. Better search rankings will result in revenue.
The health of your website is a non-starter. If your website has a slow loading speed, your amazing brand message won’t mean a thing. People will disengage before your website ever loads.
Most marketers don’t code. As a result, they don’t know how to ensure they have a technically optimized website.
If you don’t have a developer on staff, you should likely use a website template or theme that has a team of developers behind it. A good website theme should have developers that ensure the foundation of your website is technically optimized.
From there, ensure you are implementing on-page SEO best practices like your heading tags and alt-text on your images.
With that said, this area is more difficult to identify than something like your website navigation. Here is a free technical audit to help you identify some of the potential SEO issues you may have. This technical SEO audit will crawl the first 25 pages on your website to give you a general idea of your website’s health today. Submit the form below and get access to a free technical SEO scan.
Submit your email to get a free technical audit, an interactive PDF version, and two weeks of daily video content.
Your website should provide you with templates you can use to streamline your production process. A library of page templates helps you easily create new pages for anything on your website and can create a more cohesive customer experience that encourages content binging.
To help your marketing team streamline their product process, start by identifying the pages you would need to have templates for.
These are some of the most common pages you would need to create templates for, so all you need to do is change the copy and publish the page.
Templates also create a better experience for the website visitor. When your similar pages have a similar page layout, your website visitors won’t think much about the transition from page to page.
When you have pages that look entirely different, the change to a new web page pulls the website visitor out of their exploration of your website.
If you want to encourage website visitors to binge your content, ensure your website has templates built to create a cohesive website experience for the visitor.
Most internal marketing teams don’t have a developer on staff. A lack of a developer can often cause a problem for internal marketing teams.
Many websites are completely custom built and significantly limit the abilities of a marketing team to change their website.
Unfortunately, some marketing agencies will intentionally sell completely custom websites to ensure you need to keep going back to them to make any changes.
This causes two significant problems:
Even if you have a developer on staff, a marketing team that produces a high volume of content will experience a bottleneck every time they need a blog uploaded. Blogs should be able to be uploaded without the help of a developer.
With the technology available today, most companies won’t need the help of a developer to custom code their website. Most companies will only need a website theme to create a website they love. Your website theme should provide the flexibility you need to have a developer work in it for some very specific use-cases but provide the functionality that your marketing team can accomplish their day-to-day activities without the need for a developer.
Some websites will need the help of a developer at some point. If you are hiring development talent or have an in-house developer, you want to maximize their time. You need a website with logically organized and clean code. You also want a website with the least amount of code needed to get the job done—the heavier the code on your website, the more detrimental to your page speed.
For example, you may sell a service that has a complex pricing structure due to numerous variables. You want to help people understand their costs should they move forward with your product, so you want to create a pricing calculator.
This pricing calculator is such a specific use case you aren’t likely going to find a website theme with the right calculator module already in place. This calculator concept is a prime example of when you would need a developer to help you develop your website. If your website theme is restrictive to developers because it was designed with strict guardrails for non-technical marketers, your development talent can’t build the digital assets you need.
Your website needs seamless integrations with your entire technology stack for two main reasons.
You want to create as seamless a customer experience as possible and you need to leverage your website to collect data for marketing and sales.
When website visitors land on your website, you want to serve them exactly what they are looking for as quickly as possible. With the appropriate integrations, you can create a completely seamless customer experience to sell to potential customers and serve your existing customer more efficiently.
When your website isn’t integrated with your sales CRM or your customer support ticketing system, you have wasted time and lost opportunities. Potential buyers that don’t connect with your salespeople quickly will go with your competitor.
Additionally, your website has the potential to collect more marketing and sales data than any other marketing source you use. If you don’t have a website seamlessly integrated with your CRM, or Marketing Automation, you are leaving money on the table.
You need a website that seamlessly delivers real time information on your website visitors to your marketing and sales teams. The modern marketing and sales team needs more actionable data than google analytics can provide.
How much more successful would your sales team be if they knew what pages a prospect has been looking at?
How much better could your marketing team personalize messaging if they knew what a specific account was looking for?
Now that you have a high-level understanding of the questions you need to consider, here’s a checklist that will help you turn these concepts into actionable steps toward improving your website and growing your business.
Structural Quality (SEO)
Submit your email to get a PDF version, a free technical audit, and two weeks of daily video content.
After reviewing a technical audit, understanding the high-level questions you should consider with your website, and walking through the checklist above, you may have come to the point where you realize you need to make a few changes to the website. If you are looking at a few simple changes on your website, fantastic. Make those changes internally and start cashing the checks.
If you are looking at a complete overhaul of your website, you need to have a serious conversation with your team about which approach you should take. You have a total of four options.
This approach will be the most budget-friendly. This option is a viable option if you have the right internal team to support this effort.
To take the DIY approach that will accomplish everything outlined above, you will need:
If you are looking to build a website internally, you will likely want to look at using the HubSpot CMS or a WordPress website. A Wix or Squarespace website isn’t advisable to build the enterprise website you need, as you don’t truly own your website. You are building your website on a platform you can’t transition away from unless you build a new website from scratch. Like mentioned above, your website is the digital face of your company, and you need complete control over it.
Once you have decided what platform you will build your website on, you need to ensure you walk through the questions and checklist above. Please use the audit tool to ensure your new website is healthy. Again, building a website on your own is completely a viable option. You just need to ensure you have the internal staff to support the endeavor.
If you aren’t interested in taking an entirely DIY approach but would still like a website for a more budget-friendly price range, you might be tempted to explore a freelancer. There are plenty of freelance marketers and web designers that will happily help you create a new website.
Many of the online freelance options will provide you with a genuinely beautiful website. Unfortunately, most freelancers focus specifically on designing a website with little thought to lead generation and generating sales opportunities.
If you are going to try to hire freelancers to help your website project, you should almost think about this project as a DIY project. The freelance help you hire should fill a specific role of strategist, content writer, designer, or developer. This option works well if you are confident you have the right people on your team and really just need to hire a specialist for a specific piece of the project.
You may run into a problem with freelancers following the project. Many freelancers want to get through the project and move on to the next. Most solo freelancers don’t have the capacity to provide ongoing support. If you don’t have someone internally that can own the maintenance of your website, a solo freelancer may not be the best option for you.
With a traditional website project, you will partner with an agency to build an entire website before launch. Upon finishing the build of every aspect of the website, the project typically ends, and the website is left alone until it’s time to launch a new website project.
Most website development agencies will offer some level of ongoing hosting and maintenance support, but any major updates to the website will require an additional website project of some kind.
With traditional website projects, you can expect to spend anywhere from roughly $10,000 to $35,000 for a website focusing on lead generation depending on the amount of content. If you have a highly complex company that needs to serve multiple purposes in-depth (Marketing, sales, service, and recruiting), you will likely see your website cost anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000.
You will still have involvement in the project, but your involvement moves less towards tactical implementation and more towards advising the direction and ensuring your internal team provides the outsourced agency what it needs to move the project forward and meet your deadlines.
These projects tend to have a higher up-front cost but have a limited cost following the completion of the project.
An Agile website project approach takes a more long-term engagement with a marketing agency. The idea of the agile approach is to launch a website with the most critical aspects of your website and start to build out more of the website in chunks. Once you have built out every section of the website, you will have data that has come through your website to start making improvements. Then you move into a cycle of identifying areas of improvement and continuing to improve.
This approach typically costs more than a traditional website project, but the costs are a bit more spread out as it’s a more long-term engagement. Additionally, this approach builds upon and improves the website after the initial launch, whereas a traditional website is built in isolation and then launched.
Companies that implement an agile approach to their website projects have seen dramatic improvement to their website and typically generate a higher ROI from their website. On average, agencies report a 14% increase in traffic and 16.9% more leads after 6-months.
Traditional Website Redesign
Based on what you know to be the case for your business, you may need to persuade your CEO or CMO to launch the project officially.
As you start this conversation to get approval for a website project, here are three tips to help you secure the budget and launch the project.
1. Understand You are in a Sales Negotiation
2. Bring Hard Data
3. Know What You Need
Understand that you are entering a sales negotiation and selling a business result of a new website. If you ask for $75,000 to make a new website, you won’t get the budget. You will likely be told that the website is fine, and you need to focus your efforts on something else.
If you ask for $75,000 to optimize your website for lead generation to increase the number of qualified leads by 30% resulting in a projected increase in year-over-year revenue of 20%, you are likely to get the budget.
No one wants to go through the process of overhauling their website.
Everyone wants more leads and revenue.
When you pitch the outcome, people listen.
Bring hard facts and reports to show that your website isn’t delivering as it should. In some cases, the person you are trying to persuade into approving a new website had a large hand in developing the current website. They are likely proud of the work they did.
By coming with data and facts, you can steer the conversation away from subjective opinions.
You likely have some analytics tools implemented on your website. Using the analytics tools on your website, you can compare your data with industry benchmarks to demonstrate you aren’t where you need to be. If you can collect competitor research, showing the effectiveness of your website against your competitors will likely help you secure additional budget.
This concept goes back to the fact you are negotiating. You can’t negotiate well if you don’t know what you’re asking for.
If you need time, you need to communicate clear expectations of your timeline. If you need additional budget, bring a dollar amount and tie it back to projected ROI. If you need to outsource pieces or the entire project, bring a shortlist of potential partners.
Having a shortlist of partners helps you in a few ways.
You know your leadership. You are far more likely to succeed if you are able to come with a time frame, anticipated results, and request budget amount.
The more information you have going into this conversation, the more likely you are to succeed.
Be prepared that the project could face rejection.
Almost every marketer looks at the website and says it needs an overhaul.
The website is the most crucial marketing asset your business has, and most websites fall short of their potential. It makes sense why marketers want to fix them, but your leadership has probably heard they need to fix the website countless times.
Know that if you have clear evidence that your website is underperforming, keep referencing the data. When you are asked to report on data, show the facts that the site isn’t working. When asked why leads are down, reference the website. When asked to improve your marketing efforts, say you can’t because your website isn’t working. It may take some time, but eventually, it will click, and you will be off to the races.
Your website is the most critical marketing and sales asset you have.
You are losing money every day your website doesn’t match this guide.
If you realize you need a new website, schedule a website review meeting with some of your internal team to get a pulse of what everyone thinks about your website. Start to assess your internal capabilities and the potential need to outsource.
If you realize a need to outsource or simply want to discuss your website needs, please schedule a call with our growth consultant today. We would be happy to help you walk through the process of building a website designed to grow your business.
Submit your email to get an interactive PDF version, a free technical audit, and two weeks of daily video content.