Why You Need a Website Audit?

Why You Need a Website Audit?

Why are Website Audits Important?

Websites have become a vital part of every business’s marketing and sales strategy, especially now with the importance of online shopping and booking through the pandemic. Recent events have pushed people to online shopping, services and discovering what they need either at home or on their phone.  The  gravitation to online will only increase rather than retreat to traditional thinking and businesses need to be prepared.  Not having an online presence will limit your market but having a bad website can be as detrimental.

Websites have become a vital part of every business’s marketing and sales strategy, especially now with the importance of online shopping and booking through the pandemic. Recent events have pushed people to online shopping, services and discovering what they need either at home or on their phone.  The  gravitation to online will only increase rather than retreat to traditional thinking and businesses need to be prepared.  Not having an online presence will limit your market but having a bad website can be as detrimental.

“75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design.”(source)

The problem is that many websites aren’t performing well enough to get businesses noticed or enticing customers to spend enough time on the site to find what they want.  Your website may be the only way customers find you so you need to make sure it’s maximizing your exposure and holding onto viewers  

There are four common problems found on websites that aren’t producing the results business owners are expecting:

Low traffic to Your Site

Searching the internet is now the most common way people try to find businesses and if you aren’t showing up in the top 3 -5 results in Google, people won’t be finding you.  Low traffic to your website is a direct result of where you show up in a Google search.  People don’t want to hunt for a business, they always try the first few results.  Try searching for your company and see where you sit in the search ranking. If you’re not at the top of the list, you need a site audit to determine how to raise your ranking.

“93% of online experiences begin with a search engine“. (source)

“75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines”. (source)

Common Causes of Low Traffic

  • Content SEO isn’t driving Google ranking a
  • No new content
  • No backlinks
  • Site isn’t mobile friendly
  • Poor website performance and load times

Good Traffic with a High Bounce

Rate or Low Sales Leads

Now if you’re at the top of the rankings and you people are finding you but they just aren’t sticking around you’ve still got a big problem.  People are talking about your services or products, but when they get to your site, they just don’t stay long enough to find out more about you.  

“It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.”(source)

You’ve worked to get them to your site so make sure your site is providing exactly what the customer is looking for.  Don’t forget that how your site looks can be as important as to what it says.  A site with brilliant content but looks like it’s 20 years old won’t keep people.  The same can be said if you have a great site with poor content.   

Common Causes of High Bounce Rate or Low Leads

  • Too many ads
  • Content isn’t customer focused
  • Site is hard to navigate
  • Call to action is not prominent 
  • Incentives aren’t enticing to customers
  • Site isn’t mobile friendly

Sales Leads but Low Conversions

Leads are coming through your site but customer’s just aren’t taking the next step to buy your product or service.   Your marketing is working but if they aren’t moving to the next step and becoming paid customers there’s a problem somewhere.  To entice potential customers into the purchasing process you need to make sure it’s easy to buy your products or services.  Maybe your incentive isn’t working or the call to action isn’t clear. Many sites don’t have an easy path to you purchasing or onboarding which discourages customers.  The

fastest way to lose a customer is make the purchasing process difficult or do something that makes them lose confidence in you.  

“28% of US shoppers abandon their orders due to a complicated or drawn-out checkout process.” (source)

Common Causes of  Low Conversions

  • Navigation is clear for customers
  • Sales pages and processes aren’t clean and efficient
  • Onboarding sequence is poor
  • Transaction emails non-existent or ineffective

Low Sales Retention and High Return Rates

Lastly, you may find that you’re getting sales and things are ok, but you have a high number of people that return their items, cancel their order or appointment.  The fact that you’re getting sales is great but if you’re having a high number of returns or people aren’t returning to buy more products you’re failing to grow your business.  

Providing customers with expectations for what they are getting goes a long way to ensuring they get exactly what they want and guaranteeing they’ll be back or tell others about your site. 

“Approximately 22 percent of returns are due to the product appearance being different than what the website displayed”. (source)

Common Causes of Low Retention and High Returns

  • Promises and expectations aren’t what customer is experiencing
  • Fulfillment sequences aren’t supporting the customer
  • Online support not providing customers the information they need
  • Not keeping in touch with the customer

One side effect of all of these issues is that your phone may ring and your customer service staff could be extremely busy. If people can’t find what they want or get the help they need from your website they will pick up the phone and call you. That is if they still want to do business with you.

The importance of a really good website with great content is an asset your business needs to make a priority.  

A site  audit will ensure you know the problems with your website and how they can be fixed.  Without a site audit you may continue to have the same issue and never truly understand why your site just isn’t working for you.  

Audit Process

The process begins with a meeting to determine which of the problems outlined above your business is experiencing as a starting point.  The conversation will root out the issues and help provide a path forward for the audit.  The audit process will include the use of analytics and other tools to determine if there other issues to be resolved. 

A Site Audit includes a thorough review of your site, measuring it against web best practices.  The criteria for the audit is outlined below and covers topics that encompass navigation, content and technical items to ensure the entire site is reviewed and solutions are provided.

User engagement 

  • Is the site customer or company focused?  This is very important to customer engagement.
  • Examine the content on your website and determine if your content is engaging your audience or just stating information.  Has it been updated lately?  New content is a great way to keep your customers engaged.
  • Can customers easily scan your pages or are they a long and difficult read?  Your customers want to easily scan the information and find what they want.
  • Does your site look current or does it look like it was built in the 90s?  You need to make sure it looks current, professional.  Give your customer confidence they want to do business with you.
  • Do your offers engage your customers and entice them to spend more time on your site?  Your customers need to find something that draws them to your site.  The audit will rate your offers and determine their strength.

User experience 

  • Is your site easy to navigate and is the information your clients are looking for easy to find, whether they are new or returning customers?
  • A review of the site navigation will include the menu and organization of pages.
  • Look at the customer onboarding and ordering process and see if the customer feels secure and confident in your company.
  • Is your site built for mobile browsing?  Mobile use has become vitally important and ease of use on a phone or tablet must be a part of an audit.

Traffic 

  • How are potential customers finding you?
  • Review where the traffic is coming from and how they are finding your site using analytics.
  • Determine how long they are spending on your site and if views are turning into leads and actually converting the leads.
  • Review competitors and compare them to your site ranking and review keywords in your business niche.

Website Performance and Health

  • Is your site loading fast enough?  
  • How big is the file size of your images?
  • The site will need a review of how your site performs both functionally and technically for your customers to ensure it isn’t causing them to leave your site.
  • A review to ensure your site is your site secure and protects your clients data. 

What can you expect after the website

audit is completed?

Advanced Site Exposure website audits provide customers with a summary report containing a list of issues that need to be addressed.  We will include the solutions to the issues as part of the audit. 

 A website audit will provide improved Google search rankings and increase site traffic and performance. Implementing the results of a website audit presents opportunities for online growth for your business.  

Advanced Site Exposure provides a service to implement the solutions to the issues identified in the site audit.  Our team are experts in User Experience, Content Creation and SEO to ensure your site rises to the top of the rankings, generates leads and converts those leads to sales.

What Is a Listing and Why Do I Need One?

What Is a Listing and Why Do I Need One?

What is a business listing?

Remember the Yellow Pages?  Well for those of us that don’t, it was the first real business listing that was widely used.  The Yellow Pages was a phone book with ads and a list of phone numbers and addresses that people used to find businesses.  The ads would provide information such as hours of operation and details about the business, as well contact information and location address. Since the Yellow Pages was only published once a year, business owners would not be able to make changes to their listing until the next year. They stopped publishing the Yellow Pages years ago because people were turning to the internet to find businesses.  Just try and find a Yellow Pages book now!

The number of business listings on the internet has grown to the point where there are general listings and industry specific ones.  You can use a general search with google that will build a list of businesses matching your criteria.  The list is often made up of information from specific listings such as Yelp, Tripadivisor and RateMD.

Searching using the criteria you provide will produce the most likely candidates for your criteria, focusing on the top matches.  The matches will provide information about their business and if you’re specific enough it will find the exact business you are looking for. You can even use simple things to narrow your search, such as “near me”, city name or even neighbourhood.

If we were to a search for “chiropractors near me” we would get a list like the one shown here.

Being a member of a listing requires some work, more than the old yellow pages, but it is becoming vitally important in a competitive market.

 

What’s usually in a business listing?

So now that we know what a listing is and how important it is, let’s see what we need in our listing.  Your listing needs to answer the questions your customers are asking when they are looking for you.

    1. Where is business located?
    2. How do I contact them?
    3. When are they open for business?
    4. What was the experience others have had with the business?
    5. What are their social media links?
    6. How do I get to their website?

To answer these questions, we need to ensure as much information is available in the listing have the proper information and that it’s accurate and up to date. So, to answer the above questions we need the listing the following:

    1. Physical Address
    2. Contact Information
    3. Hours of Operation
    4. Website
    5. Social Media links
    6. Reviews

The most important pieces of information are the physical address, contact information and hours of operation but having, photos, links to your website and social media are very helpful for potential customers.  Reviews will be collected by the listing and they will add value to your listing.

 

Why are listings important?

The value of creating a listing has grown greatly over the years to the point where “90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 33% looking every day” – BrightLocal. 

That statistic alone shows how important accurate listings are to your business.  If 90% of consumers are using the internet to find you and you aren’t there or your information is incorrect, just think how much business you may be losing!

Your listing is very important because it increases your presence on the internet and allows people to find you.

Let’s go through the importance of your listing and the key items that help your customers find you.

1. Accurate and Up-to-Date contact Information

Consider this: “It’s estimated that $10.3 billion worth of sales are lost every year because of wrong, missing, or incomplete local listing information.” – Bright Local

The importance of a listing is easy to understand especially when you think of the times you’ve looked up a business and the information is incorrect.

You look up a local business for their business hours and see you can still make the store before it closes, excellent! You head down to the store and then discover it’s closed and the hours on the site are incorrect, not so excellent.

Are you going to go there again?  Will you trust their information online?

Probably not according to these survey results:

“80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent information” – Bright Local

“68% of people even said they would stop using a local business altogether if they found incorrect information online.” – Bright Local

“41% would abandon their search for the business or turn to an alternative if they couldn’t find the location of a local business because the information was incorrect.” – BrightLocal

You don’t want your business to be included in these statistics with incorrect information.

Customers view the internet as the source that should provide them the correct information they need and rely on businesses to keep their information to date.  Adding correct holiday hours to your listing is a simple thing that can bring more business in or turn people away.

 

 

 

In the chart above you can see how important each piece of information you have in a listing if it’s incorrect.

Updating your listing information should be the first thing you do after you make a decision that will affect your listing.  Keep customers informed and your business will grow.

Difficult times can have a big effect on how important our listings can be.  Today with Covid-19 affecting our businesses it more important than ever to keep customers up to date. People still need to shop but they often don’t know how, when and where they can get what they need.

Do you offer curbside pickup?  Have your hours changed?  Have you moved?  Are you a take-out only restaurant now?

We can’t assume our customers know what’s happening just through the news or what people are saying.  You are the source of information for your business so keep customers up to date.

2. Search Ranking

Your listing will directly affect your search ranking when customers are looking for a business.  You want to be in the top 3 if possible and no worse that 5-10 in the search results to be considered by potential customers.

Make it easy to find you!

Consider that “Listings are responsible for 45% of how local search sites determine their local search rankings.”  – BrighhtLocal.

Google and other search sites rely on the accuracy of information in listings and it has become so important to rankings that local listing data is the most important factor in their rankings.

The need for accurate information becomes more important when you consider the perception of customers and the weighting in a search.  Leaving incorrect information can hurt your business in many ways without you evening knowing it.

Now that you know how important the accuracy of information is to your listing, what can you add to your listing that will make you stand out from your competitors?

You could simply put your contact information and hours of operation on the listing but will that get you noticed?

The more information you provide the customer, the better chance they will understand you’re the one they need to buy from.  After all, people searching for your business may not know anything about you, and every small bit of information helps them to become more comfortable with giving you a call or visiting your location.

In fact, simply adding photos can boost the search results and attraction to your business.

“Businesses with this additional visual content receive a whopping 416% more interaction. Optimizing your listing with as much helpful information as you can possibly think of is crucial.” – BrightLocal

Remember, more is always better when it comes to search rankings. Every bit of information you can provide will give a better picture of your business as long as it’s accurate and up to date.

3. Advantage of listing management software

We’ve covered a lot of ground on listings, but we haven’t looked at how much work there is to managing listings and the best way to keep them up to date.  Let’s take a look at that now.

Managing and keeping your listing information accurate and up to date can be a time intensive process and require an extreme amount of time.  Even if you are just starting out, you must be prepared to put in hours of work to setup your listings and keep them current.  You want to have your listing in multiple locations and every time you make a change to one, all locations need to be updated.

What happens when you make a mistake trying to update all of your listing locations?  Was only one wrong?  Do you need to go back and fix them all? This will become a lot of work.

What’s the alternative?

There are ways to automate your listing management that allow you to update the information once and all your listing locations are updated, sound better?  Reducing the work required and getting all the benefits of accurate listing information is what you need.

We know you still have a business to run so, don’t make updating your listings a full-time job.  Get listing management so you can edit once and update all your listings at the same time.

To find out how you can take advantage of the Listing Builder tool, book a FREE Discovery Call and we can discuss your needs further.