It’s no secret that better customer engagement leads to higher retention from loyal buyers. One of the biggest weapons at your disposal is the strength of your eCommerce website. You have one centralized location capable of delivering a personalized customer experience to every visitor. Surprisingly, many furniture retailers have sites not fully optimized to delivering on this promise. They’re not aware of weak points in their website depriving them of opportunities to provide the type of customer engagement expected from today’s digitally-savvy audiences. One way to get a proper assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your website is by learning how to conduct a website audit. You can do a website content audit checklist in-house or hire an outside firm like MicroD, who have years of experience recognizing where improvements can be made to improve the customer experience.
What is a Website Audit?
Most people think of a website audit regarding how well it ranks based on SEO-optimization throughout your site. While this is an essential factor, learning how to conduct a website audit means looking beyond basic statistics. A thorough website audit can shine a light on many different aspects of your site.
- The strength of your technical platform
- How well your SEO performs in searches
- How easy it is for users to navigate
- Whether visitors can immediately find relevant information when they hit a landing page
- How often your customers link back to your site through other media
- The responsiveness of your website on mobile devices
You’ll notice that most of these things tie directly back to your customers and how they interact with your site. Things like easily visible product data, fast loading, and the ability to make purchases without technical issues all play a big part in giving users a great experience.
How Regular Website Audits Help Retailers
It’s easier for businesses established from the onset as an online company to see the value in conducting regular website audits. Many traditional retailers like furniture businesses can struggle to understand the importance of them in making customers happy, which in turn keeps them loyal and helps drive more sales. So how does a furniture retailer benefit from knowledge on how to conduct a website audit? If you’re still getting most of your business from customers walking into your store, why should you shift more financial resources to your website?
It’s true that furniture stores have been hit more slowly by the rise of online shopping. But the success of sites like Wayfair shows that consumers are getting more comfortable with buying larger items like furniture over the internet.
Why wait until it’s too late to catch up to your competitors before making this investment? Learning what they’re up to is one of the advantages a website audit gives you.
The Benefits of a Website Audit
There are many different types of website audits you can conduct. Some will give you an insight on how the content works for your website, others will be more technical in nature. The beauty of conducting your own website audit is that you can tailor it to meet your requirements. If you know there’s a lack in onsite SEO for your website this year, you can avoid the technical SEO website audits. It is best practice to do a holistic view of your brand online. That includes everything from your website to how your brand is represented on social media and directories in the web. Why should you go through the trouble to figure out how to conduct a website audit?
Competitive Landscape Analysis – A website audit can let you know who the top competitors are in your business and how they’re drawing in traffic. It can also tell you which of their landing pages attract the most backlinks from outside sources. You can use this information to refine and improve your website.
User Experience Analysis – Can users easily find a page on your site using the breadcrumb menu at the top of your page? Is it just as easy to view your landing pages on a mobile device as it is from a desktop? Performing a website audit provides you with answers to these and many more questions about how well your website performs when it comes to user experience.
Brand Story – What do people say about your company online whenever your name comes up? Doing a brand audit lets you know how well your company’s doing communicating your mission and ideals to visitors. It can let you know where to make needed improvements when it comes to making your brand story clear through your website.
Locating Your Business – How easy is it for a customer to find you when searching online for offerings carried in your furniture store? Do searches for sofa sales in your local area immediately put you at the top of a user’s search engine results pages (SERPs)? A website audit can tell you how well you’re doing or where you need to close these gaps through improvements in keywords used on your landing pages.
How to Conduct a Website Audit
We touched on a few points back at the beginning on what’s involved in conducting a website audit. A thorough site audit tends to be much more detailed, with a lot of information to parse through. Here’s a checklist of some important points to focus on when reviewing your site.
- How well does your site perform on different browsers?
- Are you using a retail management system (RMS) for streamlined updates?
- How much information are you collecting about website visitors?
- Do all your contact forms function the way they should?
- Is this contact information easily visible from any page on your website?
- Are you making use of keywords in your title and meta descriptions?
- Have you filled your site with rich, relevant, search-engine friendly content?
- How easy is it to share your landing pages on social media? Do you have button readily available for this purpose?
- Are descriptions of your product images available through alt-text?
- How many backlinks does your site consistently receive that are relevant to your business?
- Does your content reflect terms familiar to your users?
- Are you using eye-catching visuals or customizable content for visitor experimentation?
Understanding the Audit Results
Your willingness to learn and improve from the information gained from website audit helps improve your online customer engagement. 80% of customers are more likely to respond to personalization attempts with purchases and loyalty to your brand. Newer visitors also like seeing effort from businesses to learn about them and make them feel important.
Catching and analyzing all these details can be a daunting task for furniture retailers. Hiring a certified digital marketing firm or an eCommerce website platform for retailers like MicroD to conduct routine website audits frees you up from trying to learn how to conduct a website audit on your own. You’ll have experts willing to do deep dives into every aspect of your contact and provide you with valuable feedback.
You can turn all this data into improvements in customer engagement and delivering a quality user experience. Interested in learning how well your site holds up under an audit?