Atlantic Draft

Website Content Audits: Do I Need One?

Nina Cudney

The answer for the majority of us is, YES.

Now, don't go hyperventilating about the word 'audit' - it's not the audit that many of us fear. The word audit, in this case, is referring to a voluntary (not "required") review of your current website that can truly only result in improvement. Not so bad, right?

Being a strategy-minded person, I love tackling website audits - it keeps my creative juices flowing! I look at website content audits as a way to problem solve and fine tune your reputation and brand. I like to use the same philosophy that I once used as a Career Placement Director when dealing with graduates seeking employment...

If you are getting interviews, your resume is doing its job. If you're not getting the job, then your interviewing needs work. 

The same rationale can be applied to your website. If you are getting traffic to your website, but not converting, then your website needs improvement. Think about a time (or hundreds of times) when you went to a website for a product or service, and within milliseconds you had closed out and searched for a new one. Do you remember why? Perhaps some of the following reasons will trigger your memory...

1) Aesthetics: Humans, by nature, are very visual. Is your site modern and aesthetically pleasing? This goes for font type, colors, overcrowded screens, etc.

2) Spelling and Grammar: Look, nobody is perfect. We all mispell misspell words at times and we can't all be grammar Queens/Kings (wait...are those supposed to be capitalized?). However, keep in mind that this can, and usually is, something that can be a deterrent for a potential customer. So, aside from using the traditional spellcheck, it's always helpful to have one or two people review the content. Do I think this is a valid reason to close out of a website? Of course not - but the reality is, your brand is being judged the moment someone is taken to your website. 

3) Updated Information: This is particularly important if your site has a blog. When is the last time you published an article? Ideally, try not to go longer than one month for a blog update. Again, we all get busy and sometimes we do not view our blog as an income producing aspect of our site, so it falls to the bottom of the priority list. (FYI - A blog actually is an income producing aspect of your site - indirectly.). Update the "About Us" section if you have new staff, new location(s), new services, etc. If you are in an industry where important information changes fairly regularly, this will be even more important to stay on top of.

4) "Dead" or "Misrouted" Links: This can be extremely frustrating as a potential customer. Make sure that every link on your site takes you not only to a working page but to the intended page. This can be a real let down for the reader. Imagine this: Someone lands on your site because it is so amazingly optimized. The reader is impressed with your content, can relate to it, and thinks your site is modern and up to date. They see a link to a video of your services and click on it...and nothing happens. They are taken to a video that they are unable to play. Or worse, they are taken to the "About Us" section by accident. Not only is this insanely deflating for the reader, but they most likely will not take the time to call you and let you know, nor will they ask you how to actually view the video. They will click off your site and move onto the next. 

These are just a few of the more common reasons people "click and ditch" your site. Granted, you cannot please everyone all the time, nor can you appeal to every single person who clicks on your site. However, if you can try to tackle these up front, you're more likely to get the "click and stay" folks.