Communications Audit: Your Website [Part 2 of 4]
While social media has become a large focus for marketing and content, websites remain vital to a solid communications plan. As the anchor to a brand’s business, identity and story, the need for an optimized and functional website is imperative.
Still, website optimization is fraught with "who cares? They just work, right?" That's an unfortunate perspective as only well-optimized sites "just work."
So, what does optimization look like? There are many factors to consider but Paul Konrardy, vice president of content and client strategy, suggests keeping these top of mind as they are the factors you will not want to overlook.
Are you easy to find through search?
Optimizing for search means your website will be easy to find using a search engine. Google, Ask, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo - there are dozens out there. Search optimizations that are the most valuable for all have a few simple items in common:
Meta Title and Description are the most helpful backend website features when it comes to optimizing for search. Are you using words that are actually on your website? Don't try to be clever and use keywords that don't have anything to do with your website. Search engines usually ignore keywords anyway and will relegate your website to page 1,245 if you try to game the system. (Seriously, it will really harm your results if you're not honest about what your website is about).
Search is trending towards voice. Think about it - how many devices do you have in your life where you now talk directly to technology? We (consumers) are becoming more comfortable with, and reliant on, voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, etc. Because of this, you should use natural language copy on your website that emulates the searcher's question and provides a better answer.
Are you optimized for all devices?
How is your audience viewing your website? On desktop? On their tablet or phone? Mobile is now the primary vehicle to view websites so it's critical to find out how your customers are viewing/interacting with yours. Loads of people say "mobile first always" but until you know how YOUR customers behave, you're shooting in the dark by making that assumption. Know before you optimize. To help both your mobile and desktop websites perform best requires responsive design and quick and efficient load times. These are absolute must-haves.
Is it easy to share your website?
Your website and social platforms need to communicate and work together. Creating an easy-to-share website is critical to reaching people. You can have the best optimized site - one that has great search results and loads quickly - but if it can't be shared, it's not going to be very successful. Has your developer taken the steps on the backend, using your web pages’ meta tags, to make your content easily shareable?
There are a myriad of ways to optimize a website beyond these basics. It starts with knowing how and why people are using your website – from what devices they log on with and what they are searching for. Answers to these questions will help navigate the next steps in optimizing your website.
Interested in hearing more about an effective communications audit? Stay tuned for next week’s write-up on why your social campaigns are an essential part of a communications audit.
If interested in being notified when each part of the series is released, email us at Hello@EvansLarson.com with subject line “Communications Audit” and we’ll drop in your inbox with an alert.