Is it time to audit your website? Here’s how…

Easy Weddings
Updated on: April 24, 2015

website audit

Websites are like babies; they’re a lot of fun to make and the first few months involve some serious trial and error until you figure out what you’re actually doing. Then, just when you think you’ve got it under control, they grow and develop into something far more advanced than you could have ever imagined, and all of a sudden it’s embarrassing to be seen with Times New Roman and Flash is SO last year!

If you’ve been neglecting your digital duties, use this nine-point checklist to review your website and ensure it’s keeping up with evolving online and design trends:

1. Check your SEO

Are your titles 50-65 characters in length and unique for each page? Are your page URLs under 255 characters including domain name, and do they tell readers what the page is about? If not, it’s time to create some keyword-rich and descriptive URLs, using dashes in place of spaces to separate words. Images can also positively affect SEO if filenames are keyword-dense and directly reference the image content. Alt text should also be entered, along with keyword-focused captions added where possible.

2. Mobile friendliness

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, “more than half of Australia’s biggest companies will “disappear” from Google on mobile devices as the US technology giant changes the way it ranks searches.” This means that if you website is mobile friendly from April 21, it’s your time to shine, while competitors with desktop-only websites will be ranked lower on mobile devices until they succumb to the mobile-friendly trend. Adversely, if your website is not mobile friendly, you’re going to the naughty corner with the rest. Here’s how to fix it.

3. Image rights

Why would people put their pretty pictures on Pinterest if they didn’t want to world to share them? Possibly because they are promoting their own business; be it photography, a personal blog or a florist, that person went to the trouble of creating that image and unless specifically stated that you have the rights to use it for commercial purposes without attribution, you legally cannot and morally should not be using it for your own financial gain (and if you’re a business, that’s exactly what you’re doing). You then have two options: learn how to make your products shine online with DIY photography, or brush up on the ins and outs of using images online from free stock websites.

4. Download speed

Slow loading pages are conversion’s worst enemy. Customers wants things right here, right now, and if your website can’t keep up with these demands, it will fall victim to the Back Button, or be searched straight over the top of. To help businesses combat lazy load times, Google Developers have created the PageSpeed tool family which optimises website performance with insights products that highlight best practices for speedy delivery. Put your website to the test using PageSpeed Insights and receive a score out of 100, as well as suggestions on how to fix your slow-load problems.

5. Google Analytics

How can you expect to get better at something if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong? And how can you do more of what you’re doing right, if you don’t know what it is that’s working? Google Analytics can tell you this information. It’s quick and easy to setup and will return valuable insights into your website within hours of installation. Not sure what you’re looking for? Check out this Google 101 video produced by one of Easy Wedding’s very own Digital Strategists to show you what you metrics to watch out for as a wedding business.

6. Links

There is nothing worse than clicking a link on a website to be greeted with an error message. Whether it’s inbound links pointing to pages on your own website to increase organic ratings and enhance viewers’ visit, or outbound links directing readers to other wedding-related sites, partners or places of inspiration, check that all your hyperlinks still work from right back when you first created them. Ensure these links open in a new tab to give visitors an opportunity to finish what they were reading, and anchor text where possible to take readers to the exact information they seek. Around 2-10 internal links per page should appear seamless to readers, while still grabbing the attention of search engine algorithms.

7. Noise cancelling CTAs

Autoplaying content, popups on every page and flashy banner ads are out, while clear call to actions (CTA) are totally in this season. If people land on your homepage and don’t know what to do next, how can you expect them to take that action? Do you want them to Shop Now, Book an Appointment or Sign up for Free Trial? Make it overtly obvious what visitors should do and increase their chances of taking that action. Keep it simple with one clear call to action per page and refer to your Google Analytics to see where your visitors are ending up. If they’re bouncing from the homepage, your CTAs need some serious revision!

8. Check your availability

Think you’re being generous with a Contact Us form? Think again. It’s great that people can send you messages directly from your website, but what happens if they want to actually call you and speak to a human? Give people as many channels as possible for getting in contact with you, including social media, phone number and email address. If they’re going to invite you to take part in their wedding day planning, they need to know they can contact you in times of need – don’t play hard to get!

9. Ger personal

As Corey Eridon from HubSpot puts it, your “About Us page is like your personality at a job interview, and your blog is your personality after a few drinks.” People want to get to know the people behind the brand; they want to know what makes you so passionate about your business and clients and what differentiates you from the rest. The copy you put on your About Us page will tell them this, but what you reveal on your blog will show them. Ensure you have social buttons activated on blog posts to encourage readers to share content and add a Pin It Button to allow visitors to add your beautiful images to their Pinterest boards.

For more must-have website features, take a look at the 10 must-have features on your business website in 2015 and review our Easy Weddings website design portfolio for examples of how a wedding business website should look and feel. Not sure where to start improving your wedding website? Leave the URL in the comments and our design team will be in touch with some ideas!

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