Conducting a Front-End Website Audit

By August 17, 2016Web Design

For any business owner, there inevitably comes a point in time where you begin to question the performance of different facets of your website. Doubts can be brought by any number of happenings. Maybe you’ve noticed a drop in your website conversions. Perhaps your site seems too cumbersome to keep updated in an efficient manner. Worse yet, maybe you’ve gotten some negative feedback from a client or customer.

Before immediately deciding to redesign your entire website, it’s helpful to scrutinize your website in smaller portions. My recommendation is to start with the front end of your site.

Auditing Your Website’s Front-End

Consider Calls-To-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is any type of text, graphic, or button that instructs a user to complete a task on your site. Common examples include “Contact Me” or “Request a Quote.” When analyzing your website, make sure that your primary calls-to-action fall above the fold of your website. Don’t word a CTA in simple terms like “Click Here” or “Learn More.” Instead, give the user a descriptive idea of where they’re going. A good example might be “Learn more about our financial services” or “View our virtual catalog.”

Balance Graphics And Text

For those of us that are more graphic design savvy, this is a hard one to follow. Remember, every graphic on a page should serve a purpose. Imagery should always support text. When creating graphics, consider your user types. Certain users choose to read, certain users respond to imagery, and others prefer a combination of the two.

Also, as you step through your site, replace outdated graphical elements in your navigation bar with SEO-friendly CSS elements.

Consider Readability

Just like how some websites are too graphics heavy, other websites may be too word heavy. Keep introductory text brief and to the point. If you have an especially large block of text, add headlines and subheadlines to improve readability. At this point, it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t be afraid of whitespace. Open space will stop users from feeling overwhelmed by text. Typically speaking, you should use a readable font at a readable size (i.e. 12 or 11 pt. Arial).

Consider Your Layout

A good website has a distinguishable header, content area, and footer. Layouts should be constant, so keep basic elements in specific areas at all times. This is especially applicable to navigation areas, which should be clear and easily accessible. When a user arrives at the bottom of a page on your site, be sure the footer is clean, readable, and easily distinguishable as the end of the page. A good footer tells the user he or she can stop scrolling.

Once You’re All Done

Once you’ve thoroughly completed auditing your website’s front-end, it’s time to move onto the back-end. Check back soon for a follow-up blog post detailing this process.