Guest Blog By: Kevin Cooper, Founder of Broad Band Search
How do you make decisions relating to branding, marketing, SEO, and content direction? While some may try to get by with their intuition, the most successful websites use data to drive their decision making in most cases.
Yet data just doesn’t come out of anywhere. It would be wise to consider performing an audit of your web presence to now only know where your website is headed but where it could head, and what potential isn’t being used to the fullest. A full audit will give you knowledge as to your position in the market, what strategies are and are not working, and provide new perspectives on how you run your site and how it is viewed by the public.
While there’s no particular order you will want to do these in (you will want to look over the combined data at the need anyhow) and there are additional measures you can take, you will want to at least take the following steps when auditing your web presence:
Perform SEO and Local SEO Analysis
SEO is the bread and butter of a solid web presence, so it’s only natural that checking your SEO metrics (things such as your bounce rate, number of referring domains, and the amount of organic traffic) is vital when performing your audit.
You will almost certainly want to use SEO analysis tools to do this, so you’ll want to make sure that you are looking at the right metrics. This will require some additional research on your part if you aren’t familiar with the terminology, but it will be a skill that is essential for proper site management.
At the same time check your page rankings and how they might have changed (positively or negatively) over time.
If your website or business is focused on a local area, you’ll want to check your local SEO metrics instead and based your decisions off them.
See How Your Marketing Strategies Are Performing
While you are looking at your SEO statistics, try to line them up with your marketing methods (whether you are doing that yourself or outsourcing it) and see what you can do to get a full overview of how those strategies are working. A/B testing might be a good tool in this case, and you should try to be quick with any changes you might make to your strategies.
Audit Your Social Media Metrics
This one, fortunately, isn’t a difficult step at all. You’ll want to check your pages and pull the data on what gets share most, and on what platforms your content seems to be the most successful. You will want to choose your own engagement metrics and goals based on your site’s needs, but social media presence is web presence for some brands, so see where you are trending.
Review Your Overall Brand
Your brand recognition and how your brand is perceived are both important parts of your web presence. You might want to ask yourself the following about your site:
- What are people saying about the brand in comments sections?
- Does the web site work to enhance the brand, or is there noticeable dissonance that needs to be addressed?
- What values does your brand portray, and does your web presence work with that?
You will want to see what your brand looks like from the outside as much as possible, and then take measures to adjust. If you’re very concerned or want to focus on other matters, Brand Fiend’s services might be great for your site
Perform a Content and General Site Audit
You will want to look at your site not just from the point of view as a site administrator and editor but as someone potentially looking at the site for the first time. Is the content interesting to you or would it at least be to your target audience? Can you read everything easily, and is the site visually pleasing to the eye? Is there anything that would annoy you?
While analytics are a fantastic tool, sometimes looking at the site like this is one of the only ways to determine why content is or is not working. You will also want to make sure the landing pages and the general information presented on the site is up to date and accurate.
See that Your Services Are Performing Adequately
As part of your web presence audit, you should check to see what your services are doing for you. See what you are using and what you might need, and consider the following:
- How do you feel about your web hosting services? Are you getting the technical support you need, or is it holding your site back?
- Are there marketing tools and services that you still use, or are there alternatives that would work much better for your needs?
- How about the basic services you need to run your blog? Is your internet connection dropping to the detriment of your blog? Do you think a better office or setup on your end will allow for better web presence administration? Consider everything that could be a factor.
Review the Competition
Your site’s web presence isn’t just about your site, it’s about your site’s place in the great online ecosystem online, especially within the industries or niches your site operates in. Check the following for your competitors when it doesn’t go too far out of the way of your own analysis and searches:
- How do their page rankings stand up?
- What social media platforms are they most successful on and what content is performing well?
- What marketing tactics are your competitors using?
A full web presence audit is quite an undertaking and can take you a few days, but it is a necessary one. With the right steps and tools at your disposal, you will be able to make sure that your website grows at a better rate in the future and avoid many of the problems your competitors might face in the coming years. Just remember to perform one at least every six months (and you might want to perform other checks more frequently).
Have you ever performed an audit for your web presence in the past? Was it a dedicated effort, or part of a larger initiative? Are there any other steps you think should be included? Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the subject.
Kevin’s Bio: Kevin Conner is the brains behind Broadbandsearch.net. He has been a digital entrepreneur for several years and fully understands the importance of keeping on top of your web presence, both business and personal