Your Essential e-commerce Website Audit Checklist for 2019

For a lot of people, audit is a scary, intimidating word. In
reality, conducting a business audit just means gaining a better
understanding of your business’ money.

In fact, the definition of an audit according to Merriam-Webster
is, “a formal examination of an organization’s or
individual’s accounts or financial situation.” Regardless of
the industry you’re in, or the years of experience your company
has, an audit is essential to the fiscal success of your
business.

In the same way you’d create a business plan to identify brand
objectives and tactics, an audit helps you analyze key operations
within your business that could contribute to accounting
irregularities or even fraud.

For e-commerce businesses, this is especially important because
everything is done online. While some auditing operations may prove
mystifying, the e-commerce website audit checklist we will cover
today will help you understand the steps you need to take to
perform an effective audit so you can increase your conversion
rate.

What should be in your e-commerce website audit checklist this
year?

As an online business owner, there are certain tasks that need
to be completed in order to set your company up for long-term
success. Below we’ll go over some preparation work that needs to
go on your e-commerce internal audit checklist.

E-commerce analytics

An audit is virtually the same as reviewing website analytics,
which is important because these metrics reveal trends and shifts
in customer behavior. Especially with Google, analytics can reveal
how long users spend browsing your website, the pages they visit,
conversions, and how well your site is doing compared to
competitors.

With analytics tools, you can also audit e-commerce transactions
to gain better understanding of your best-performing products and
why they perform so well.

All in all, your website’s analytics reveal crucial
information every business leader needs to improve an e-commerce
business. These reports are also done in real-time, so you always
know the state of your site.

Market research

With any internet business, data is powerful. Market research is
important because understanding your audience and how they interact
with your business will help you understand how you can
improve.

You can use Google’s
Keyword Planner
to uncover how many people are searching for
specific items in your industry and what keywords they’re using
to do it. Google
Trends
is another way to see what users are interested in based
on geographic location. Use this information to correctly position
your e-commerce business online.
Alexandra Sheehan
, writer for Shopify, says:

When you conduct market research, you’ll gain an understanding
of the cultural, societal, socioeconomic, geographic, and personal
makeup of your target customers. You’ll understand whether
there’s a demand for your product, how big that demand is, and
who is generating the demand. It’ll also help you understand the
competitive landscape.

Essentially, market research will help you understand how you
can better service your audience and increase your ROI.

User experience (UX)

For e-businesses, UX is essential for success. Think of UX as a
digital variation of customer service. If you’re at a restaurant
and the service is exceptional, you’re more likely to visit that
establishment again.

However, if you dine and your server is rude, you probably
wouldn’t want to experience that again. All of this is true of UX
as well. In fact, more than 9 out of 10 users surveyed agreed with
the
statement
, “good user experience just makes sense.”

In a study done by
Forrester
, a “well-designed user interface” was discovered
to increase conversion rates by as much as 200%, and “better UX
design” could increase conversion rates by 400%. User experience
is at the top of this e-commerce launch checklist because it can
determine customer retention.

For a better understanding, we’ve included the different
aspects of UX your should audit should review:

Usability

Usability is at the center of UX—if a user can’t navigate or
is confused by the order of your website, you could be discarding
revenue. Some of the main factors that affect usability are design,
navigation elements, and the organization of your website.

To address these types of issues, set aside design funding, as
well as consultations with your web developers. With this
additional time and budget, come up with a visually appealing
design that also makes sense organizationally.

Accessibility

A user’s ability to access your content, whether via desktop
or mobile, is crucial. This is especially true now, since average
users spend more than
5 hours a day
on their mobile devices.


Neil Patel
, Co-Founder of Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics says,
“[A] third of all online sales come from mobile devices. Mobile
users convert.” This is why it’s imperative that your content
is available for users on all devices. For your e-commerce website
audit checklist, ensure your website is mobile friendly by
employing web developers who understand responsive design for
flexible layouts.

Page speed

Issues with page speed or loading speed also affect your
conversion rate because long loading times may deter users from
visiting your website or coming back. In fact, if a website takes
more than
3 seconds
to load, 53% of users will exit the page.

Some of the main factors that affect page speed are images,
videos, fonts, and server issues. To address these issues, sit down
with your developers to see what can be done.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is important because how you rank on search engines can
determine the amount of traffic your website receives, which can
affect your conversion rate. In essence, SEO is about optimizing
your content so your website shows up in relevant search queries on
SERPs (search engine response pages).

Below we’ve listed elements that will need to be covered for
your e-commerce SEO audit.

Written content

For many e-commerce businesses, digital, written content is just
another way of saying, “blog posts.” Blogs are essential to any
digital strategy because they’re important for raising brand
awareness. As a matter of fact, 70%
of consumers
learn about a company through their blogs rather
than ads.

To audit your blogs, consider your written content and how it
aligns with your keyword strategy. Are your writers using the
correct keywords throughout their content? Are they backlinking
correctly? Go over best practices with your creative team for
content so you can
receive higher ROI on your investment
.

Imagery

It may not seem like a huge factor, but having relevant imagery
to supplement your content is important for SEO. Post pictures and
videos that coincide with your messaging to improve your SEO and

visual search in e-commerce
(make sure to also use proper alt
tags).

This tactic will help users and website crawlers alike as
they’re searching for content relevant to specific queries. One
way to enhance your SEO strategy and generate more leads is through

open graph tags
on your pictures and images for cohesive
branding.

Wrap up

Conducting an audit in an e-commerce environment may sound
strange, but hopefully this post has helped you gain a better
understanding of what an e-commerce audit program will look like
for you. Let’s sum up the main points of this e-commerce website
audit checklist so you can start checking those boxes sooner rather
than later:

✔  E-commerce essentials

  • E-commerce analytics
  • Market research

✔ User Experience (UX)

  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Page speed

✔ Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Written content
  • Imagery

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to
write them in the comments!

Author Bio: Therese Palmere is a content
writer for Aumcore, a
digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO and all things
digital. She writes about everything, from e-commerce web
development to emerging marketing trends.

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Your Essential e-commerce Website Audit Checklist for 2019

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Your Essential e-commerce Website Audit Checklist for 2019