Whether the target is local or international, website audits are essential tools that provide you with an exceptional opportunity for online growth. They help you to first measure, then improve, the efficiency and visibility of your website. In a very real way, they are the baseline of optimization in its purest form; they provide actionable data on the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing campaigns and how to make them stronger.
People have asked us how to come up with ideas to write, and I must confess, ideas can come from the oddest places. Today’s post is due, in part, to a crazy round of several comprehensive website audits all at once. Doing those site audits made us think about our own website, which brought us around to realizing one very important thing. For a company that uses audits with literally almost every client, and believes strongly in the good they do, we… well, we don’t really write all that much about them.
Oh, sure, we might write an article here or there. We posted two of them in the same year (wow!) a few years ago. I’m sure that was exciting for our readership. -But I’d imagine that, were you to just look through our content offerings, you might miss the fact that we really believe in the value of website audits.
Website Audits are the Foundation of Every Strong, Successful Marketing Campaign
In 2018, Gabriella wrote an article titled, Why Do I Need an Audit of My Website, in which she shared five important, top-level points. At its base, a website audit (or website analysis, online marketing analysis, SEO audit, etc. – it goes under many names) can:
- Uncover hidden technical issues
- Find on-page SEO issues
- Locate and spy on the competition
- Help identify useful backlinks
- Help build an effective content strategy
But what does that mean, really?
Well, really, what that means is that a comprehensive audit – a full, in depth, looking for the Holy Grail scale website analysis – gets to the very essence of every marketing campaign you will do for the next year. Or even the next several years.
That is a lot of pressure on a five-letter word, which is why so much work goes into it, and why we require our first-time clients with established sites to go through a website audit.
And it all turns into a single four-letter word with a huge amount of weight to it. Data.
International vs. Local Site Audits
Let me take a moment for a nod to the difference between local and international site audits. In short, we look at the same areas. We look at, among other things:
- website code
- website content
- targeted keywords
- on site call to actions
- social media account activity
- analytics setup and tracking
- incoming traffic
- off site activities
- online reputation
We are looking for three things:
- Anything that can stop your marketing and SEO campaigns from succeeding
- Anywhere the dots can be connected for a more seamless brand experience
- Any brand related reputation issue that may reduce campaign effectiveness
However, with international audits, it becomes more complex with each additional location and/or language. Besides the above, you must also consider things such as:
- The idioms of the target country
- The language of the target country
- Product use (some products just don’t do as well in some countries as they do in others)
- How to build your site structure for the best navigation between locations and languages
So, international website audits take more time to work through than local, but the end result is still the same – a massive amount of data you can use to turn your so-so marketing campaign into a powerhouse of selling potential.
Data: The True Value of a Website Audit
If the benefit of an audit is a strong, successful marketing campaign, it is easy to think the value is simply a healthy bottom line. However, it goes way beyond that. The real value of a comprehensive website audit is timely, actionable data.
For example, an ecommerce client came to us a few years ago. One of their points of concern was over half of their traffic was from mobile devices, but they had very few, if any, mobile conversions. During the audit, we uncovered that the mobile version didn’t work right. Whenever anyone tried to click to learn more about the product, an issue with the code wouldn’t allow the click to actually happen.
The data (mobile traffic; no mobile conversions) brought about the action (fixing the technical issue), which brought about an immediate change to the bottom line – an additional $240,000 to the company that year, strictly through mobile.
I could fill at least a few pages with example after example of how the data uncovered made all the difference to the clients. Uncovering keywords with enough low-hanging fruit that it helped a company rank for over 40 terms, with an overall potential targeted traffic of 50,000 a month. Discovering broken navigation that had frustrated visitors leaving the site before a sale. Pinpointing calls-to-action that had no action simply because of the wrong placement.
-And it all came about from the data derived from in depth website audits.
We Believe So Strongly in Website Audits That We Stake Our Clientele on Them
I mentioned earlier in passing that we very seldom have a client where a website analysis isn’t part of the package. In general, if we aren’t doing an audit it is because:
- the site is less than 15 pages (in which case we do a very small, modified one)
- the site is new or
- an audit was done shortly before by another reputable SEO company.
We believe so strongly that we have turned clients away who weren’t willing to have an audit performed.
Why? Well, this is the point where Jessie J comes out on stage and starts singing, “It’s not about the money, money, money…” We’re not simply padding the bill. Believe me when I say that a website audit takes a lot of effort.
The first reason is this: if you aren’t willing to do what it takes to find out what needs to be fixed – on your website and in your marketing strategies -, experience has shown us that you also won’t take our recommendations seriously. Our reputation suffers because you still expect results, even though we’re working at half power with no data.
The second reason is that we’d be working with no data. Without the audit, we’re shooting in the dark. With the data from the audit, it doesn’t matter if we’re in the dark because we have infrared scopes. You get the best results from your marketing campaigns, and our reputation continues to strengthen. It’s a win-win situation.
Don’t Cut Corners; Get the Data You Need to Succeed
At the beginning of this post, I said that website audits are essential tools. After a comprehensive audit, where every bit of your online presence is gone through with a fine-toothed comb, you should be able to refer to that data – for at least a year – for every marketing campaign you’re thinking about implementing. You’ll have the right metrics (which is one of a big reasons marketing campaigns fail) and the right information at the right time.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
If you’re ready to take your website and marketing campaigns to the next level, contact Level343 With over 20 years’ experience in creating successful, converting campaigns, we have the know-how to get the job done. Let us boost your bottom line.