Why you should audit your existing site before getting a redesign

Michael Gabrian

by Michael Gabrian on 05/25/2017

There comes a time when your website needs to be updated. Maybe you're attempting to boost conversions, update your design, etc. Regardless of why you're redesigning your site, before breaking out the wrecking ball to demolish your existing site, it's smart to do a site audit. Here's why.

"Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start."

- Nido Qubein

Why do I need a site audit?

The most important reason is that if you know where you went wrong in your existing site, you'll know exactly what to change in your next site. Maybe your SEO is suffering for some reason which is then cutting down the traffic that finds it's way to your site. With an audit, at least you'll know where the bottleneck is so you can make sure to tackle it in the redesign.

Through understanding where your current site stands, you may realize that you don't actually need a redesign. If making simple changes to your existing page's layouts is all you need, you'd save a lot of money instead of tearing it all down to rebuild. The point is really just gain as much knowledge you can so what ever decision you do decide to make can be educated. 

What should I look for in my audit?

Marketing efforts

You'll want to understand how you're team is doing with all marketing efforts. This way when you move forward, you'll head towards the right direction. Do you have gated content on your site now? Are you creating enough content each week and are your visitors responding well?

If your marketing efforts are on the weaker side with your existing site, you can make sure to develop a marketing plan parallel to the redesign and arm yourself with tools to keep your team on track.

Some general area to look at include:

  • Top of funnel activities (SEO, blogging, PPC, etc.)
  • Middle of funnel activities (gated content like ebooks, white papers, case studies, etc.)
  • Bottom of funnel activities (free evaluations, quotes, trials, etc.)

Page Structure

It's important to check the quality of your current site in terms of structure and speed. Unoptimized titles and descriptions could turn people off when you're trying to get your content out there. You'll also want to know what the status is on your site's speed. Is this an area you need to improve?

Some things to consider:

  • Are your titles and descriptions an appropriate length and keyword rich?
  • How is the quality of your content? Do you include internal links where necessary?
  • Check your site's speed for desktop and mobile

On-page SEO

Heading tags and structure has an impact on your on-page SEO. If you don't have a brand book now, your designer will be able to provide you with one with your color palette, typography, and styles. 

Some pieces to look at:

  • Do you have a clear page structure with unique heading tags?
  • Is your URL structure optimized?

Off-page SEO

You'll want to know how you fare compared to all of your competitors. What are you doing right and wrong at this point so you can continue with your personal best practices.

Some of the items include:

  • How your website is performing in search and through social channels
  • Your highest ranking keywords

To conclude:

Before kicking off a redesign, you should audit your existing site. In order to figure out what kind of place you want to be in after the project is complete, you need to know where you are now. Maybe you'll realize that your site is doing a lot better than you thought or you'll determine where you really need to focus when making the changes.

If you'd like to learn more about making the most out of your redesign, check out our free ebook below.

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