As a business, your website needs to deliver value, be easy to use, and most importantly, convert your audience.
However, if your website health is not maintained, or improved on, it may just be a very costly liability. You want your website to be an asset to your business and generate leads.
There are a wide array of factors such as site speed, navigation, onsite optimisation, design and user experience to name a few.
If you’re having trouble identifying whether your website is up to scratch, needs improvement, or needs a complete overhaul, you’re in the right place.
We’ve worked with our website, branding, and content specialists at Distl to create a website health checklist to help you make that decision.
We’ve broken down our checklist into key audit categories including:
We’ve broken the checklist below into three different categories to help you identify how important your website fixes are. These are:
If, as you are working through this website health checklist, your response is “Yes, my site has that”, it may be time to get a new website!
Does your website design sit only within the margins? To the extent that not even your background images or colours extend to full width. This is the definition of a “Cereal Box Design”, because it looks like a cereal box.
Often these designs are quite old, tired, and busy. The use of high contrasting or clashing colours was commonplace to “grab attention”.
Fast websites are the bedrock of a good SEO campaign. At Distl, one of our focuses are websites that load quickly.
A slow-loading website can frustrate your users and most likely lead to them navigating away from your site.
There may be pages on your site that aren’t loading. This may be some sections on the page, or the entire page itself.
There could be links within your site that link to other pages internally, this is something that needs to be fixed as it creates a navigation issue.
As a rule of thumb, if a website is older than 2 or 3 years, it could need an update. This does depend on a few factors though:
If your site is older than 4-5 years, it’s time.
Does your website design respond nicely to a mobile screen?
If you look at your website on a mobile device and the design isn’t adapting and folding nicely, it’s not mobile responsive.
In this day and age, if a website wasn’t built with mobile in mind, it’s time.
Ensuring the navigational menu is structured correctly is extremely important. If not, users often can not find the information that they want, and may leave your site with a bad experience.
This one seems obvious, but you would be surprised how often it can happen. Website elements can break, and require fixing, this is a part of a website maintenance package.
However, if your site is not managed and your forms aren’t working, if users are trying to enquire and can’t submit a form, they may just give up and go to a competitor.
Another simple one, but so incredibly important.
Is your website HTTPS secure? Have you had an SSL certificate installed?
You will be able to tell by the small padlock icon on the left-hand side of the URL search bar.
Can your users find the information they are looking for?
Sometimes, websites have great content onsite, but no structure to the content.
The best example of this is a website with one or two giant blocks of text that are hard to read.
The flow of information is important, as is easily digestible content. Your content needs to be broken down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to consume and don’t make the user work hard.
Image quality, relevance, and optimisation have a big impact on things like SEO, Conversion Rate, Page Load Speed, and User Experience.
Your images need to be appropriately sized for the design, not too in your face, compressed to load quickly, and relevant to the content.
In a perfect world, they would be professionally taken photography which includes your team, clients, and workplace/site.
Sometimes this is the only issue with a website. While it’s not a functionality issue, it can still create a disconnected experience if what your users are seeing online is different to your current brand.
As a rule of thumb, if your business is refreshing or redoing your brand, your website should factor into your thinking.
If your CMS system, like WordPress, Magento, Shopify, or WooCommerce, for example are outdated, there can be quite a few issues that come from this.
Trying to make changes and updates to content and products can become quite difficult, speed can become an issue, as well as loss of new features which could improve your site.
A lack of CTA’s can be quite common with old sites.
Clean, well-placed, and written call-to-actions can be crucial to converting your users into leads.
If your site is lacking, your users may find it hard to enquire or call should they want to reach out about your services or purchase your products.
This isn’t a requirement of a website, which is why we’ve categorised it as low priority.
However, including elements such as hover animations on buttons or service/icon boxes can be a nice touch to give a modern feel. It may also help to improve engagement.
Are the Logo and brand colours and fonts visible? If I removed the logo from the site would you still be able to tell who’s site it is.
Am I selling to myself or the target audience? It might make sense to you but if the target audience doesn’t understand then you need to change.
Can I quickly skim the text to get the information I need? People are inheritably lazy. Ensuring that both the font as well as the content itself is easily readable and digestible.
Can I navigate the site easily? Is the menu design suitable for the target audience. Can I find my way around the site without getting lost?
If I need to buy a product, is it easy to add to cart and complete checkout? If I need to fill out a contact form is the form accessible? If I need to contact the company, can I find their contact details easily?
Good quality content is such an integral part of a website. Whether you’re talking about SEO, PPC or Conversion Rate Optimisation, how your content comes together and informs the user is vital.
Auditing your content is just as important as a website health check.
We recommend you take time to work through your content and answer the following questions. This will help guide you to how much work needs to be done to improve or even overhaul your existing website content.
When was your content written? And is it still relevant in your industry?
Industries, much like websites, can evolve quickly. If your content becomes outdated because your industry is changing, or a new methodology is being introduced, you need to do so also.
If your competitors are diligent and updating their content to industry standards, your business may look behind the times even if that may not be the case.
Staying ahead and making content updates as your industry moves will give you the appearance of being fast-moving and adaptable.
Bad grammar and spelling mistakes can be detrimental to a website’s performance as users lose trust in your company, you lose your credibility, and they leave your website.
This immediate loss of visitors has a harmful impact on SEO. With users leaving immediately, search engines view your site as unreliable and low quality, pushing your website even further down the rankings.
Sloppy grammar and spelling don’t just impact your website’s traffic but is also damaging to a company’s brand and image.
It might sound stupid, but are users visiting the page? If not, why not?
Is the page too hard to find? Is the page hard to read? There are a number of factors why people aren’t visiting certain pages. Think in the mind of the user. What am I trying to find? Will I find it on this page?
As aforementioned, older sites usually lack clear CTA’s that are easy to navigate and make the user journey seamless. Design your page in such a way that makes the conversion process easy for your user.
Content is king. Make sure that there’s no content missing on your site. Not will a half-empty site have a negative impact on your SEO but the impact it has on the perception of your brand and the impact on the user’s experience.
This is ultimately the purpose of your website, to give your users the information that they want.
If users can’t find the information they need on your website easily, they will leave. Simple as that.
Does your content seem too short? All the content on your website should be structured around providing value for your audience.
Regardless of the length of your content, if your content is answering your users search queries and providing value, you’re golden.
For SEO purposes, it is commonly known that long-form content reigns supreme. However, how long is too long?
Ensure your content isn’t just long for the sake of being long. Ensure that you’re still providing quality and value for your consumers. As a rule of thumb, if your content is solving your consumer’s problem and answering their questions, your long content is valuable.
Consider adding things like photos, videos, infographics, and maps to provide further information to the user and improve their experience.
There are several great tools that can be used to check the health of your website. Here are a few to get you started.
This tool gives you an insight into how your website speed performs both on desktop and mobile along with suggestions on how to improve your page speed.
This tool does exactly what it’s called – checks your website for broken links. This tool not only tells you if you have any broken links, but also tells you the location of these links so you are able to fix them.
While not a website health check tool, this tool is great for compressing images to improve the speed of your website. This tool creates an optimally compressed JPEG file while maintaining the valuable quality of your images.
Google Analytics provides an in-depth analysis into your website’s performance. Google Analytics works by pulling data from your website allowing you to build a complete picture of the users of your website and the way they behave while on your website. From this data you are able to analyse how to better optimise your website for your users.
You want your website to be an asset to your business and generate leads. If you’ve been working on your website and not getting the results that you want or have worked through our checklist and feel like you need some further support, get in touch today and let us take care of all of your website needs.