It’s hard to run a thriving business if you’re not online these days, but it’s not just about having a presence. You have to build a website that invites visitors into your brand experience and guides them through your sales funnel. In order to do so effectively, you must consider your user experience (UX). If your website makes purchasing seem too cumbersome or unclear, clients will drop off and you won’t see the conversions that drive your business growth.
Thus, a streamlined UX is vital for turning inquiries into booked (and paying) clients. Note that “streamlined” doesn’t necessarily mean reducing the number of steps in your client’s journey. Instead, the idea is about making each step in the experience as seamless and frictionless as possible for the consumer so they aren’t left wondering where to go or what to do next because your website is intuitive and user-friendly.
If you’re looking at your website and think it could use some improvement, you’re likely correct. Most websites need a regular tune-up to keep users happy and interested in your products or services. To kick off the change, you need to start with a website audit.
Follow these eight steps to evaluate your website’s strengths and identify room for growth:
1. Identify Your Ideal Client
Before you start making any changes on your website, make sure you know exactly who you are aiming to attract. Understanding your ideal client is valuable not only for your website, but so many other areas of your business, so putting in the time to figure this out goes a long way. Ask yourself:
Who is your website intended to reach?
Put yourself in their shoes and consider what their goals may be when visiting your website.
Are they one-time customers looking for a quick fix or repeat clients who need ongoing support?
Are there different audiences that use your site differently?
Understanding the “who” behind your website will help you clarify your messaging and create a guided experience that helps them reach their goal easily and efficiently.
2. Map Out Your Client Journey
Your brand experience is about far more than your website, so take a moment to consider a prospective client’s big-picture goal. What are they looking for and how can you help them solve that through your website? For example, perhaps you need a robust blogging presence to provide educational content that helps your ideal clients understand the value of your services or maybe you just need some powerful calls to action (CTAs) because they’re already warmed up for the purchase.
3. Create A Site Map
Begin mapping out the pages for your site, understanding how many pages your average visitor goes through before taking action. Consult your website analytics to learn more about your client’s behavior and adjust as needed. Consider how to connect the pages logically to ensure prospects get exactly what they need in the time allotted for their visit. For example, you might find that guiding people to your portfolio is an unnecessary detour if most of your visitors find you through social media, which is already filled with photos of your work.
4. Review Your Homepage
Your homepage serves as the gateway to your site, so it’s your prime real estate! It’s often the first page your ideal client sees; even if it’s not (like if they found you through a landing page or blog promo), they will likely click through to your homepage after you’ve caught their interest. Consider whether your homepage clearly defines what your business does and how you can help them solve their problems. Then, make sure their next steps are clear with bold CATs throughout the page.
5. Review Your Content
Now, it’s time to turn your attention to the internal pages of your website. With your site map in mind, look at all of the content on your site to determine whether it all meshes seamlessly. Ask yourself:
Does it answer the questions your clients are bringing to your site?
Does it create a conversion point to guide them to take action?
Is it formatted in a way that is scannable and easy to read?
Every page on your website should ultimately drive your visitors to take action, whether it’s another step in your sales funnel (like downloading a lead magnet) or starting the purchasing process by adding a product to their cart or scheduling a consultation.
6. Review Conversion Points On Your Website
Evaluate all of the areas on our website that encourage visitors to convert. This includes buttons to schedule a call, links to your contact page, email opt-ins and other CTAs. Confirm that there are no broken links and that they all send users to the right destination. If applicable, are you gathering all of the necessary details you need from an inquiry? If not, maybe you should add some questions to your intake form. Are there multiple ways a visitor can get in touch with you and, if so, is it clear which step they should take? If you want a website that converts, you need to have strong, working conversion points.
7. Confirm Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
People access your website from various devices, so you need to ensure it shows up consistently no matter the interface. Review your website on both mobile devices and a desktop or laptop computer. Make sure it’s easy to navigate in both instances especially on mobile. You don’t want your ideal client to drop off just because they found your website while on their phone instead of their desktop.
8. Assess Competitors’ Websites
Competitive research is not intended for copying anyone else’s ideas but rather for informational purposes to see how your website fits in the market. For example, review competitors’ websites to see how they market themselves and what works well on their site and what doesn’t.
Believe it or not, website audits can be a lot of fun and may uncover some unique opportunities for your business to stand out in the market. In some cases, you may find some new products or services to offer or even formalize ones that you offer but haven’t promoted.
Plus, you don’t have to do it alone! I recommend having each member of your team audit the website separately and bring their findings together. Everyone has a unique perspective when browsing a site, so you’ll be surprised at the gaps you didn’t notice. If you’re a solopreneur, you can ask trusted industry peers to review your site and provide feedback. You may even offer an audit exchange, just be sure to discuss ideal clients and their needs so they know what their looking for and how to provide valuable feedback!
After your initial audit, set time aside to revisit your website’s content every six months and see if it needs to be changed. Regular check-ins allow you to update the client journey if you’ve adjusted your business in any way. As time goes on, these reviews will become faster and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a conversion machine!
Ready to conduct a year-end retrospective for your business? Get our Year-End Ultimate Guide.