Five Eye-Opening Audit Takeaways That Made CEOs… | Nuscreen Inc.

Five Eye-Opening Audit Takeaways That Made CEOs Rethink Online Efforts

I enjoy doing audits. More than I probably should. Rolling up my sleeves, digging deep and figuring out how we got where we are today – that’s what an audit is all about. What I like most about a good audit is that it’s honest. A lot of what I do as a marketer is about creating an experience for a brand based on the wants and needs of customers. With an audit, it’s internal, it’s raw and it’s real. It’s not about what we want customers to think about us, it’s about where we’re at today. I like clients to think of me like a (digital) doctor. I look at and diagnose with no judgment – and even if you think your situation is bad. You’re embarrassed. You’ve let your site go. I’m telling you, I’ve most likely seen worse. A lot worse.

Here are a few questions I like to put on the table with my clients when we get started with an audit:

  • What potential opportunities do we miss out on due to the current online experience? 

  • What do we (as a company) know we could do better today? 

  • What do our site visitors know we could do better today? 

  • What is stopping us from offering an exceptional user experience 

After interviewing key people in the organization, we get into the data.

Over the last few months, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting to some amazing companies and CXO teams that have been able to make some incredible improvements and changes since the findings of their audit.

Some started the audit process because they really didn’t have full clarity on the current state of their online efforts. Others were because of lack of data, time, resources or eye on the competition. Regardless of the why, it was time to determine what’s working and what’s not working to move ahead.

Here are the top 5 items uncovered during an audit that got CEOs to open their eyes to online efforts and make impactful changes to the digital strategy within the organization:

1. Growth in Number of Mobile Users

In many cases, mobile users have SURPASSED desktop users in the last year and nobody paid attention to what this means for business. Not only will your site visitors hate you for making it painful for them to navigate your site and find what they are looking for – you’ll also be penalized by Google.

As of April 2015, Google starting penalizing non-mobile sites in search results. Meaning, if you never got around to making your site responsive and mobile-friendly, your search engine results have paid for it.

2. High Bounce Rate

A healthy bounce rate should be kept around 40-50%. (There are always exceptions to the rule, this one too – I’ll do a follow-up post for more detail)

I was in a meeting once where the person responsible for reporting actually told me that they were happy the bounce rate had been increasing month over month. Nodding heads in the room agreed – increasing the bounce rate? That sounds good. Numbers go up, not down, right? No.

Your bounce rate is a metric that identifies people that come to your site and leave in less than 5 seconds. If your bounce rate is over 90%, you’ve got an issue that will have a real impact on your business.

3. Sketchy Referral Traffic

Reporting on general numbers can be misleading to the overall success of the site. For many companies, an audit will reveal toxic links or spam sources sending traffic, which will result in inflated numbers and can hurt your ranking.

4. Operational Inefficiencies

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. There are many digital teams within organizations that are doing the best with what they’ve got – but because they are dealing with outdated legacy systems or clunky workflow processes, a task that should take 10 minutes is taking 2 hours. Add that up every day, every week for the year – it’s worth looking into and fixing.

5. Goal Tracking

Tracking goals is important, but equally so, looking at your site’s messaging hierarchy, content and placement of call to action links and buttons is important in getting your site visitors to get them to do what you want them to do. I’ve been in meetings with designers who want to know why nobody is booking a private personal styling session with them, but after reviewing the site it was obvious that it wasn’t presented as the lead offer and wasn’t clear to users that this was the path we wanted them to take. After we made the improvements, the leads starting coming in the next day. It’s important to keep your action points clear, easy to identify and easy to understand. Goal tracking should be set up with your analytics to ensure you’re measuring what matters.

Have you sat down with your team lately and talked about what the goal of your website is? What you are trying to achieve through your content marketing efforts? What metrics matter when reporting on social?

Remember to align your online goals with your business goals. If you feel like you’re in the dark about your current site performance and how it ties into your business growth, think about conducting an audit. Figure out where you’re at today. Audits don’t have to be as painful as they sound – think of it as team bonding over data and shared goals! Don’t have a team full of nerds like me? Bring donuts.