Is your website performing to achieve your business goals?
Many businesses often look at a website as an expense. However, a high ranking website can actually bring
in business and pay for itself. Some of the common issues we see with websites not ranking or performing come down to the following factors:
Lack of investment in the website and free website builders:
In order to save money, businesses often use a free website builder / company. One of the main issues with this approach is you really do
get what you pay for,
and if you have paid zero, then in general, that is about what you can expect from your website.
Providers of free websites generally host your site on what is called ‘shared hosting’. What this means is that the company that hosts your
website will stuff as
many of these ‘free’ websites onto a single server which effectively means that your site is starved of resources. Think of it like a pipe -tha the
more taps that are
on, the less water pressure gets to the end tap. It is fair enough too, they are a business after all ‘like you’, and they need to make money.
So they make money
from value adds like adding a blog, or even e-commerce functionality - some even give you the option to pay for ‘better’ hosting.
Another common issue I have found with other web companies that charge a monthly ongoing subscription is that they too host your website on
hosting - what, you're
paying for that! Depending on the ratios, this can have a crippling effect on your site load speed. In general terms,
any website that takes more than 2 seconds
to load is considered a poor user experience and thus is likely to have more trouble ranking on a search engine such as Google.
Insufficient Technical Knowledge:
Quite often we audit a site created by the customer. More often than not, the site is created using Wordpress as there is a lower barrier to
entry with Wordpress
than coding yourself. I want to say upfront that there is nothing wrong with using Wordpress (although it is not my preferred platform). It does however
take a little work to
optimise Wordpress in order to be SEO friendly, and also fast. And this my friends is outside the technical scope of most Mumprenuers, small
business owners, and
even the children and or grandchildren that are just trying to help out the parents / grandparents by building them a website.
The Web Developer did not have an SEO focus:
Some people have even spend a little bit of money and got a real web developer to build the website for them. This is all good, but then they
realise that the
site is still not ranking on Google.
The cause of this is varied, but you need to understand that web developers are goal driven people and just that - their job title is ‘web
developer’ - many are
not across SEO, nor do many care about SEO in the slightest - not all though! So you can make the most beautiful site in the whole world, and
you can spend loads of
money on your site, but if you don’t have a focus on SEO as part of the process, then no one will ever see your masterful website.
So what do we do with the website audit?
The website audit focuses on three factors:
The technical structure of your website is very important and will contribute to the overall speed of your site as well as what experience a
user has when using
your site. We also look at the user experience as a whole and ensure a person is able to navigate around the site properly and that there are no
dead links and code
that is throwing errors. You can be assured that if a human cannot navigate your site, then search engine robots won’t be able to as well.
This check is performed to look at the markup structure of your site and whether you have all the things in place for a search engine to crawl
and index your site.
Quite often these checks turn up a lot of things that are easily fixed and really do return a lot of bang for buck in terms of getting your site
As mentioned before, the goal of a website is to load in as close to two seconds as possible - the faster the better. However, many shared
hosting arrangements just
will not be capable of achieving this - ever. What is worse here is a lot of hosting providers charge for good hosting but end up putting you on
hosting. The truth is, most people never notice. But after this audit you will know better.
After I have completed this audit, you get a pdf (often lengthy) detailing what was uncovered, what was working well, and what was not. I will
attention to the severity of issues and rank them in order of most important to fix to least and also some costings to do so.