Does your website load in under three seconds? Is your homepage providing the information on your latest sales and promotions? Can users easily search the site via your homepage? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you are pretty much in a safe position.
However, if your answer is either ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’, you need to figure out these details as soon as possible. A website audit can help you do just that, so you can devise solutions to increase conversion rate.
Your ecommerce store needs regular audits just like a brick and mortar store needs regular checks and follow-ups. Website audits help you understand your website in depth, and enable you to find the trouble areas where existing or potential customers might be facing difficulties.
Audit is a vital part of an ecommerce business. You can perform it a few times every year, or at least twice a year, for a deep understanding. Audits are also helpful before you decide to make a major change on your store, like a refresh or an overhaul.
Your ecommerce store needs an audit because everything on the internet, from search engine algorithms to customer concentration spans, are changing. The idea of a website audit is very simple. It helps you peek into every corner of your website and find out how to:
“79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and ~44% will tell a friend if they had a poor experience”-Kissmetrics
Your website should be running perfectly and none of these elements should be lagging.
From February 2015 till today, Google had seven major updates:
It is high time that you check your store for SEO glitches and fix them to be able to improve site ranks in the SERPs.
The funnel matters the most for your ecommerce business. If people are not buying products or are cancelling orders, you need to find out why they are doing so. An audit report can be that first step to help you find out the reasons behind a lower conversion rate.
Customers should find the shopping experience on your website extremely pleasing. More instant purchases are made when the site is a treat to the eyes.
It depends on the type of audit you are performing. Basic audits are complete in a few hours, whereas complex audits of larger websites with more than 160 checkpoints may take around 3 weeks to complete. Audits for ecommerce stores with fewer pages can take up to 3 days to 1 Week.
The cost of a website audit depends totally on the type of website. In the case of ecommerce sites, the size and complexity matters the most. You can either pay an auditor to do the job for you in which case, they will use all the tools to analyze your website and report the result at the end of the audit. Or you can perform the audit yourself.
Website auditors are usually paid for their expertise and problem-solving skills. You must allocate a portion of your yearly ecommerce budget for audits, because it is a worthy investment.
For a small or medium-sized website, it could be an investment of $600-$4500. Remember, that your audit is going to be as good as the person conducting it.
Whether it is the end of the year or mid-year, a website audit will improve your conversion and sales. You can look at the data from your analytics reports, review your targeted keywords, identify domain issues and look at link issues and tags. Moreover, this is how you can breakdown the audit:
The most general number of conversions that ecommerce sites get is from 2% to 5% of all visitors. So even if you are sending more traffic to the landing page of such a poorly converting website, you are wasting money. Look at the following parameters:
Strong SEO can lead to greater sales on ecommerce websites. This is why it is better to start with SEO when conducting an audit. Some basic on-site SEO points can be followed when doing this. You will get more customers if the pages are visible to both the customers and the search engines.
Look into the following:
You need to choose the right ecommerce platform for your business. In the auditing process, it is necessary to spend some time figuring out if a platform switch is appropriate or not.
With sales going down or drastically increasing, it is good if you check the platform and whether or not it is suitable for your business. Needless to say, a well-executed platform will lead to higher sales.
Grade each page:
Data gathered from these aspects and from a close look at the aesthetics and usability of your product pages will help you grade each page on the basis of content, design, lead generation and social media.
Taking this data-led approach, you can determine your ecommerce success. Understand what works and what doesn’t, notice how customer behavior is shifting due to the changes on your website, and optimize the website based on this data.
Some popular website audit tools:
We have established this fact by now that performing an audit is a job that has to be done with extra caution. It’s a time-consuming and complex process that demands patience as you go through and analyze each page.
The internet is a wonderful place and is full of tools to help you perform an audit on your ecommerce site. However, you should remember that a tool is not enough. You need a highly competitive team and adequate resources to make the auditing work perfectly. Here are some popular website audit tools that you can use;
DeepCrawl is very popular for its in-depth reports and flexible nature. It can crawl millions of web pages. If you run large marketing projects, it can provide competitor reports on site structure, content and social media, etc.
This tool can give you a detailed and quick overview of your website. It is less of an auditing tool and more of a website crawling tool. It provides you with insights and possible SEO errors.
Screaming Frog can check an entire site in one go and report over 30 different parameters such as; meta descriptions, outlinks, load time, anchor text, etc.
Seoptimer is a free auditing tool that can identify critical errors instantly and report them along with recommendations on what you should do to avoid those errors in future. A Google Chrome extension of the tool is also available for improved site audit.
You can work on your website audit by looking at the parameters one by one and make changes accordingly. You can save reports in a PDF format after the audits.
MySiteAuditor is a popular tool for a variety of reasons. This tool is great for large agencies. You can simply integrate the tool on multiple websites to generate more leads. The tool is also directly compatible with Google’s rank algorithm. The results can be downloaded in a PDF format or received via email.
Site Analyzer is another free SEO audit tool that offers 20 analyses every month or an unlimited number of analyses if you upgrade to its paid version. This tool will check your website based on 50 parameters and lists all the problem areas to fix.
It also highlights SEO-related flaws. The unique thing about this tool is that it provides you with a global score on levels of accessibility, design, text, multimedia and networking. Site Analyzer can also encounter conflicts in multiple languages with the help of its multi-lingual capability.
The conversion rate of an ecommerce website is one of the most important areas that needs improvement. An ecommerce retailer works hard to make people stay on the site and spend more. Therefore, it is important to conduct site audits. Because unless you know what isn’t working, how will you fix it?
Moosa Hemani stands out for many reasons, but one is simply for his exceptional desire to contribute to the SEO community through his writing and participation in social media. You would be hard pressed to find a highly-visible SEO site that he has not contributed to in way. He is also a truly nice guy, which always impresses me. There’s no ego, but there is confidence. I’d be honoured to have the chance to work with Moosa.