“Whoever best describes the problem is the one most likely to solve it.”
— Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin
Learn How Your Website Is Performing with a Content Audit
Your web content is an important business asset. The performance of web content can make or break your online business. Yes, it’s that important.
Is your web content performing well or badly? Are you getting the website traffic you need? Are your web pages converting like they should? Is your website at risk for a Google Panda or Penguin penalty?
A web clinic for your “sick” website
Like a physician examining a patient to find the cause of an illness, you can examine your ailing website to find out what is wrong. That is the nature and purpose of a web content audit.
But a content audit can do more than diagnose existing content problems. It can also be used to identify potential risks and prevent them from occurring.
That’s why I recommend regular content audits. Systematic audits can be compared to regular checkups or an annual physical exam.
Web content audits are part of a wellness program for your website. Keep your website at optimal performance, and your online business will grow up big and strong.
Procedure for diagnosing web content “illnesses”
Imagine your website as a patient in need of medical attention, and you are the parent or guardian. You bring your dependent to my web clinic for help. The procedure I use is as follows.
1. Background information (medical history)
The first step in a web content audit is to gather background information. This is done through a combination of an interview and questionnaire.
Like a medical history, information gathered at this stage focuses on the chief complaint (traffic or conversion). A review of systems reveals symptoms of website problems as reported by the website owner.
2. Content review (physical examination)
Once I have the relevant background material, I observe the website with an expert eye for signs that will clue me in on what is wrong.
Then I focus on three criteria of web content that works:
During the expert review, I make detailed notes in preparation for the next stage – reporting my findings.
3. Content report (medical record)
A detailed report is written explaining what was found. This is followed by specific recommendations on what needs to be done to improve your web content performance.
The report may include screenshots to illustrate rankings in search results or to highlight problem areas on a web page.
4. Usability testing and A/B testing (diagnostic tests)
Just like lab tests are conducted to determine the cause of an illness, testing can be conducted on your website to determine the source of a problem from the visitor’s perspective.
Usability testing is a qualitative procedure that uses observation of what users actually do on a website to find out what’s working and what isn’t.
A/B split testing is a quantitative approach that uses statistics and the scientific method to evaluate a website’s performance.
5. Content audit tools (diagnostic tools)
To make your job easier, there are numerous tools available to help you diagnose website problems. Here are a select few.
- Google Analytics: gathers website usage statistics and can be used for A/B split testing
- Google Search Console: a free service for monitoring the performance of your site in search results
- Crazy Egg: a heatmap tool that acts like an x-ray to examine how visitors engage with your content
- SEMrush: good for competitive research, this service also includes a site audit tool that conducts an SEO checkup for your site
- Optimizely: an enterprise-level A/B testing platform for optimizing your website
- UserTesting: an online usability testing service for improving the user experience
There are many other useful tools available. Use your favorite search engine to find more.
If you need professional help, who are you going to call?
If all this seems a bit overwhelming, never fear. Help is near. The Web Content Doctor offers consulting services that includes a site audit.
Contact the Web Content Doctor today to schedule a free consultation.