Website Audits – Look AND taste good

Does your business have a website that’s not getting the job done? Maybe it’s not showing up in search results. Or people are finding it (according to your stats) but not taking action. Or customers tell you they can’t find what they’re looking for on your site. We can conduct a review of your website to help determine the problem(s).

A site must be beautiful AND usable

I baked a peach pie once that was the picture of perfection, appearance-wise. It had a beautiful lattice-top crust, all golden brown and delicious-looking. Problem is, it didn’t taste all that good. I didn’t have enough flour in the filling to thicken the juices from the peaches, so the pie was too liquid inside and the bottom crust didn’t cook through. Even the peaches themselves weren’t as tasty as they could have been.

A website can be like that. It can look all slick and professional, pretty as a picture. But when you dig into it, you’re disappointed – or worse, frustrated.

What are we measuring?

When we do an audit of your website, we go through it, page by page, with a fine-toothed comb. Here are a few things we consider:

  • Does every page have a page title that contains the company name and important keywords?
  • Is company contact information easily accessible?
  • Does the site look the same or similar in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and other browsers?
  • Do all the links work?
  • Does each page load quickly?
  • Are there missing or broken pictures?
  • Do product pages contain all the vital information – ingredients, dimensions, materials, care instructions, colors, sizes, etc.?
  • Can customers get to every page within a few clicks?
  • Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?

You get actionable results

After our review, we present the results to your company in a report, along with recommended changes. Sometimes the results aren’t pretty. For one customer, we pointed out that as soon as a visitor reached the product shopping pages, they lost all other navigation. That by itself wouldn’t have been a big deal, except the product information was on those other pages. The shopping pages just had the product and price. The company suddenly understood why no one was buying. Another client’s site wasn’t showing up in search results. We explained that all of the text on the entire site was embedded in images, which search engines can’t read.

The preceding examples require substantial redesigns to correct. But often if you make small changes you can see a big payoff in terms of search results or customer feedback. For instance, many times pages are missing titles. If you bookmark or favorite a page, the title is what’s displayed in your bookmarks. It’s often what search engines display as the heading of each listing in their search results. Doesn’t it make more sense to have “Website Audits by Pixel & Paper Designs” than “Untitled Document”? This is a minor change with major effects.

What you do with our report and its suggestions is up to you. Of course, we’d love it if you hired us to implement all the changes, or some of them, or a selected few based on severity and your budget. But you can also make the changes in-house. You can even go to another designer to make the changes happen (though we would be devastated!). What’s important is that your company learns something from the report. After all, what’s the point in my baking another peach pie if I don’t change the recipe?

 

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