Why do a Website UX Audit at all?
- You want to beat your competitors
- You want to win more business
- You want to retain more customers
You want to retire earlier*, put your feet up and enjoy the view.
This guide will help you maximise cost-effectiveness from your website UX audit. With the right preliminary steps that you can complete yourself before handing over to your UX agency.
*Early retirement not guaranteed
Avoid Performing a Website UX Audit In-House
Unless you have a dedicated in-house UX function, doing a website optimisation audit yourself isn’t generally a great idea. And we’re not just saying that because website UX audits are part of what we do for clients.
The trouble is, it’s a bit like asking your sales team to do their own end-of-quarter appraisals. They likely won’t view their own performance fairly because:
Your sales team won’t have full visibility of their own performance issues. Nor will they fully grasp exactly what they need to do to optimise their performance. It’s exactly the same with a website UX audit. Which is why it’s best to have an impartial 3rd party take a look.
Having a UX agency step in to perform a website UX audit will improve cost effectiveness in the long run because they’ll view what needs to be done objectively and without bias.
Run your own website UX audit and your own bias risks making the whole exercise little more than a visual redesign based on your own subjective preferences about your own website.
Not great for cost-effectiveness and conversion optimisation.
Prep Properly for the Website Optimisation Audit
Any UX agency worth its salt should treat each website UX audit as a unique case because each client circumstance and ambition is different.
If you sense your UX agency is just applying a cookie-cutter template for your UX audit, then it’s time to shop around for an alternative—one that will help you do the following:
- Set SMART goals
- Measure current website performance
- Identify High Value Customers (HVC)
- Conduct customer interviews
- Understand how buyers move through the buyer journey
Having these figured out will ensure your website UX audit is performed against a backdrop of clearly defined intentions and purposes so that you get the traction and conversion optimisation you’re aiming for.
Define, Shortlist & Audit Core Competitors
It’s easy to assume we know exactly who our competitors are and miss the opportunity to survey the competitor landscape in more detail.
Approaching competitor analysis with assumptions will lead to false conclusions or an incomplete picture that will compromise the effectiveness and value of your website UX audit.
Don’t ‘assume’ your competitors are the same as last year
Do ask prospects & customers about competitors
Do squeeze insight from Sales & Accounts on competitors they encounter
Do take newcomers seriously. Check what they’re up to
Do keep competitor profile documentations & side-by-side comparisons
Shortlist Your Most Relevant Competitors
Once you’ve mapped out all competitors, it’s time to shortlist which competitors most closely align with what you offer customers and how you attract them.
The resulting shortlist will be the ones most fiercely competing for the same audience and prospects, and so they’re the ones most likely to impact your own website’s performance.
Don’t Assume Your Competitors Do it Better
Too many businesses look over the fence and assume their competitors have it all worked out. Sure, the market leader is doing something right but it doesn’t mean carbon copying the website design and user experience they’ve created will bring you the same success.
Do your own homework and optimise your website UX journey independently, using an objective, insight-let approach that’s relevant to your own objectives and audience.
A UX agency that appreciates these points will help you assess the effectiveness of the user experience strengths and weaknesses of competitor websites, without the envy mindset.
Website SWOT Analysis
If you haven’t come across SWOT analysis, it’s a really useful method of assessing a number of varying business scenarios to decide on strategy.
SWOT simply stands:
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
For example, your SWOT analysis might look something like this:
Example SWOT analysis of search presence
S: “Our website appears on the 1st page of Google for key phrases.”
W: “Our bounce rate just on the home page is higher than average.”
O: “We have high traffic volume from which to source lead conversion.”
T: “3 competitors compete for that same traffic for exactly the same search phrase.”
Other website Strengths may include:
- Useful, regularly published content
- Intuitive site navigation
- Fast page load times
- Adaptive design for mobile browsing
Other website Weaknesses may include:
- Dated design aesthetic
- Dead, disused and error pages that reduce SEO presence
- Confusing website structure
- No support for mobile
Other website Opportunities may include:
- Migration to a faster, more flexible, more SEO friendly CRM
- Revised proposition and CTA copy
- Simplification of site structure
- Better use UX psychology to promote user journey
Other website Threats may include:
- New, emergent competitors
- Changes in Google’s SEO algorithms
- Shifting user behaviour patterns
- Lack of website maintenance
Once your UX agency has delivered their own insights off the back of your website UX audit, you can compare your own SWOT analysis against the recommendations they made.
Providing them with your own SWOT insights will also help the UX agency understand where the focus of the website UX audit should be.
Now Hand Over to Your UX Agency for the Final Website UX Audit
Having done the following things, you’re ready to get your UX agency involved to run the full website UX audit:
- Set SMART website goals
- Measured current website performance
- Identified High Value Customers (HVC)
- Conducted your own customer interviews
When you’re in per-audit discussion, have these details with you and make them part of your briefing conversation.
UX agencies can work magic in terms of helping you optimise your user experience and buyer journey to maximise optimisation, like doctors, however, they’ll appreciate it if you’re able to arrive with ready-made insight about the website performance problems and challenges you think you’re facing.
The more preliminary insight you can gather to fuel your UX agency and the website UX audit they perform for you, the more impact and cost effectiveness the final outcome will have.
If you haven’t yet found a suitable UX agency to partner with and you’d like to discuss exactly what Insightful UX website audits include, we’re here to listen to you.