Anyone interested in growing a business online needs a website. As the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy, your website must align with your overall business and marketing goals. A well-designed website also makes the right first impression with potential customers, builds trust, and increases your visibility online. It enables you to provide 24/7 support for your customers. You cannot understate the importance of a website for any modern business.
An effective website must load quickly, be responsive and mobile-optimized, be user friendly and easy to navigate, be secure, contain good quality content, and be search engine optimized. The lack of these characteristics constitutes a weakness in your website. However, several tools and techniques make it easy for you to identify and address your website’s shortcomings.
1. Perform a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT Analysis is a strategic technique that examines a business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This tool can also apply to your website. A SWOT Analysis of your website starts with determining specific goals and objectives. For instance, you may want to increase website sales by 5%, increase click-through rates by 10%, or decrease your abandoned cart rate by 15%. The ‘weaknesses’ quadrant of a website SWOT Analysis refers to any characteristic that will prevent you from achieving your objectives. So, you need to identify any technical or design attribute that will reduce the effectiveness of your website.
You may want to examine your website’s speed and performance as they can contribute to your bounce rate (the percentage of people who visit your site and leave without either visiting a second page or taking any other action). Tools such as GTmetrix, Google PageSpeed Insights, and Pingdom Website Speed Test are excellent resources for identifying performance issues and suggesting technical fixes that will improve your website’s performance. You can also review your competitors’ website to determine if they perform better than you. If they do, then you need to improve your site’s performance.
Interviewing some of your top clients and customers can provide you with an abundance of information for a SWOT analysis. They may identify design flaws and content issues that can be responsible for your website’s inefficient performance.
2. Use Website Analytics
Your analytics can tell you a lot about where your website is falling short. Google Analytics allows you to evaluate a wide range of data that impact your marketing goals. For instance, a bounce rate of over 70% may indicate that your website has weak content that is not grabbing the user’s attention. It can also reveal that your site has user experience issues that are driving prospective customers away. It’s important to examine the pages with the highest bounce rates to figure out exactly what may drive customers away.
Another important metric that can reveal your website’s deficiencies is the percentage of users who return to your website after an initial visit. This statistic shows that you are offering valuable content that engages your users, retains them, and even motivates them to convert. So, if you are promoting your website to your target market yet observe a low returning user rate, it is a sign that something is wrong.
3. Perform Website Usability Testing
Usability testing is a strategy that examines the functionality of a website by observing actual users as they navigate the site and attempt to complete tasks. Its goal is to ensure that a website is well-designed, user-friendly and that participants can complete all actions successfully. Usability testing also allows you to ensure that your website is efficient so that users complete tasks quickly. It also highlights any issues, errors, and bugs. The feedback from participants in any usability testing exercise enables you to understand how your website needs to improve to ensure that it satisfies your visitors. You can use resources such as User Zoom, UserTesting, and UsabilityHub to perform your usability testing.
4. Conduct an SEO Audit
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website to receive higher rankings in organic search results. Some of your website’s deficiencies are the result of a weak SEO ranking. Good SEO is not just about having well-written content. It also improves your website’s usability and overall user experience. SEO can also give your brand a competitive advantage as your website becomes easier to find and can outsell rivals as a result. A poor SEO ranking is detrimental to your website’s overall goals and objectives. Fortunately, some tools can help you determine your website’s SEO ranking. Ubersuggest, SEOptimer, and SEO Site Checkup all provide SEO audit tools that help you understand where your website stands.
Having a website is non-negotiable for business growth in today’s digital era. However, it must provide users with an invaluable experience. You must continuously assess your site to ensure that it not only meets your customers’ expectations but also helps achieve your overall business goals.