The word ‘audit’ brings up all sorts of negative feelings about tax, finances etc. and sounds (let's be honest here) incredibly boring! However, it is a word you should get used to when you run a creative business. A branding and website audit can be a great tool to use to assess and improve your website which can in turn improve your business.
You know when you go to the doctor’s every year or so just for a check-up? An audit is basically a check-up for your website which you can perform whenever you feel like you haven’t checked in on everything in a while!
An audit can progress your business and give you the areas you need to improve without having to rebrand or create a whole new design – perfect!
Why Should I Audit My Website?
The purpose of the audit is to keep on top of your website and make sure it is performing well for your brand and your business. Over time, our creative business can go through gradual changes and it is important that every part moves with us. We don’t want to leave our little websites behind!
There are several things we can include in the audit which can be any aspect of your website from design to content. Spending a good amount of time looking through each aspect on a regular basis can save you time and money in the future trying to get things fixed which have been overlooked.
How to Perform a Website Audit
Firstly, put aside a good amount of time to go through your website. If possible, spend a full day on the initial audit and then either set yourself time to perform the changes you want to make or find someone you want to hire to complete the changes for you.
Write down on paper or on your computer (however you prefer to work) the full site map of your site. This is all the pages you have and how they flow. For example, list all your main pages such as About, Services, Blog etc. first and then all the pages they lead to underneath.
Then go through each page one by one and check every element of the page to make sure they are up to date and performing as well as they can for your brand. Here are the areas you can consider when you perform your audit:
The content on your website is one of the most important elements. It can be used to sell your services and give your readers an insight into you as a person. With so many pages to look through, content can quickly become outdated and stop serving its purpose over time.
Whilst going through the pages, have a read through all your written content and update any information or take out anything which doesn’t feel like it fits your brand. You can also add in any experience you have gained since writing the page e.g. new expertise or latest clients.
A huge part of visual branding is your images, they are generally the first thing that catches the eye of your reader and convey what your business is all about. If the images currently on your website do not fit the brand you have built, you can replace them with either your own photos or stock photos which are more relevant.
Your website design is a huge part of your branding and can give people a good or bad impression of your business straight away. I recently heard of a woman who got a client just by scrolling through her website at a coffee shop!
The world of design moves along very quickly and if your design is looking a bit tired, you can add in features which will bring it right back up to date. If you use an easy to manage content system such as Squarespace, it is easy to make little tweaks to your design without doing anything too drastic.
Such an important area which you will most likely have updated whenever necessary. However, you may not realise the number of places you have added your contact information and it is essential that you update every section that can be accessed by potential clients.
Some areas you may have missed are your footer section, blog posts or even unused pages which can still be accessed via a search engine.
I recently performed a complete overhaul on my design process and services which has streamlined my business and made my life so much easier! Have a look through your services and make sure everything you offer is still the work you want to do and check that your prices line up with your expectations.
If you want to perform a quick audit of your branding and website, I have made a worksheet just for you which is completely free! I am good to you. Just click on the link below to get access to the FREE WORKSHEET