We often stress the importance of a content audit to make sure your assets are fresh, diverse and targeted and don’t leave major gaps along the buyer’s journey. A website experience audit can be just as important. While the typical website audit focuses primarily on SEO matters, those search experts can often overlook the factors at play to make the content itself as valuable as it should be.
What Is a Website Experience Audit?
We recommend auditing your website content as carefully as you would your content library to make sure everything on your website aligns with your marketing strategy. View your web pages as content, serving many of the same functions as your individual assets:
- Messaging needs to address the specific needs and pain points of your target personas; i.e., they need to be buyer-centric.
- Copy needs to fit within specific stages of the buyer’s journey and lead the buyer along the path to a purchase decision.
- They should include links to other pages, assets or embedded content that provides more information.
What Should You Evaluate?
As with a content audit, you can achieve many different goals with a website experience audit.
Customer experience. When a prospect or customer visits the site, is it easy to find information? Does it provide easy navigation to additional information? Is the content focused on the customer’s problems or simply laying out how wonderful your products and services are?
Brand messaging. Brand messaging evolves. Have your web pages evolved along with it? Does the copy on the page align with your value proposition and brand/value pillars?
Buyer’s journey. When a buyer visits the site, does the content lead along a logical path from awareness/education through consideration/evaluation to preference/purchase? Are there links to other content, or content embedded on the site, that’s totally irrelevant to the product or what the buyer might want to know at that point?
Buyer-centricity. Do headlines and page copy focus on buyer needs and pain points? Or do they focus on your products or services and the features without addressing why a buyer might find these capabilities valuable? If the latter, it’s like saying, “Here’s how wonderful our product is and all the cool things it can do, but we don’t really know or care about what you need or want.”
Pathways. Are there links to additional information on the products and services or related solutions, or does the journey end on the web page? Is it easy or frustrating to navigate to additional information?
Evergreen messaging/content. Is the content still relevant, or has it become outdated? Do you have registration pages for live webinars that have long since passed, and the webinar is now available only on demand? Is there thought leadership content that discusses topics that are no longer timely? If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past year, it’s that circumstances can change and content can age rapidly.
Page organization. Even if your content is up to date, buyer-centric and follows the buyer’s journey, your page organization could still benefit from some changes. You may have a great video that’s hiding at the bottom and can be moved to the top. Or you may have a “contact us” link at the top when it may make more sense to offer a link to additional content or another page to get more information.
Customize a Website Experience Audit
I’ve addressed just some of the criteria you can evaluate with a website experience audit, but this is definitely not an exhaustive list. The beauty of an audit—whether it’s of your content library or your website—is that you can tailor it to whatever your goals are.
With a new year, now is a great time to take stock of your website. Is it working as hard for you as it could? Maybe it just needs a little fine-tuning, or maybe it’s time to consider a major overhaul.
You may find it valuable to have fresh eyes perform the audit, whether that means enlisting someone who has recently joined your team or having an outside agency do the work for you—one that understands the B2B buyer’s journey and buyer-centric content.
Brenda Caine is a senior content strategist at Content4Demand. She works with B2B clients on content marketing strategy, personas, messaging and ideation; content audits, gap analysis and content mapping; blogs; content development and more. Brenda has a black belt in karate, and when she’s not immersed in technology, you can find her dancing in the ballet studio, lifting weights at the gym or strolling down the avenue in a 1930s dress with a smart hat to match.