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Grab your free Website Audit Checklist from The Content Alchemist

Unhappy With Your Website? You Need A Website Audit

I’m guessing that you’ve had your website for a while now and are feeling rather discontented with what you have. Or perhaps you’ve just had your website built, and you’re not too happy with the results. Maybe you and your business has evolved, and you feel what you have online no longer reflects where you are now.

Help is at hand.

Just like it can be overwhelming to get started with your website, it can be just as challenging wondering where on earth to start when you want to take a look at it again.

Why do you need to audit your website?

The thing with websites is that they are a living, breathing entity – just like you and your business. Your website needs to reflect these changes. You see, a website is never truly finished.

It’s like a garden and needs to be tended to and maintained to keep it looking fresh and professional.

You need to make sure the content and information you have on there is still up to date and relevant to where you are in your business today. It needs to work and easy for your visitors to navigate to complete the task they set out to do – to buy from you!

How does a website audit help you?

Auditing your website enables you to take a holistic overview of where you are online and in your business. Your website will more than likely have grown since you’ve last taken a good look at it. Pages will have been added, information and content may no longer be relevant.

An audit helps you figure out if you need a website redesign or if you need a content refresh. Taking the time to conduct an audit will provide you with the momentum needed to get those niggly little bits that have been annoying you sorted, to helping you decide if your website needs a complete overhaul.

How often should you review your website?

Checking in on your website needs to be one of those regular business tasks, like doing your books and updating your social media.

This ensures that content is kept current and potential customers aren’t left scratching their heads wondering if you’re still in business. This could be because you haven’t written a blog post for 6 months, or say, your contact details are out of date.

Regular reviews need to take place on a monthly basis. However, the auditing side of your website needs to take place roughly every 6 to 12 months. This will help you keep track of how well you feel your website reflects your business.

Who Conducts A Website Audit

There are two ways you can conduct a website audit.  Firstly, you can hire a professional (cough, ahem, me) to do the website audit for you. Secondly, you can do the task yourself.  To help guide you through the audit process, I’ve created a handy website audit checklist for you to use.

Grab your free website audit checklist from The Content Alchemist

How to use the Website Audit Checklist

Firstly you need to download, print off, and familiarise yourself with the checklist. Next book yourself an hour in your diary, grab a cuppa and the checklist, your favourite pen, breathe …and begin.

Over to You – Any Good?

Once you have used the Website Audit Checklist, I’d love to hear if it has helped you. Leave a comment below or let us know over on our Facebook Page or on LinkedIn.

Also, make sure you visit The Content Alchemist blog for tips and guidance on maintaining and making the most of your website for your business.

Wishing you the very best on your website journey.

Steph

Blog Post: Are you suffering from bright shiny solution syndrome?

Are you suffering from Bright Shiny Solution Syndrome

Does this sound familiar?   An online coach encourages you to use a particular tool or service because they do, only for them to change it a few months down the line and you’re a good few money pounds lighter and their bank accounts fuller from affiliate ch-ching?!?

Where are the results?

No wonder you feel peeved off and wondering where are the results that were promised.

What you need to realise is that they are recommending tools and solutions on what works for their business – not yours. It might be the right tool for you now, or it might not. A particular tool might work for you when your business has developed to where they are in your business in 6 months time, or it may not.

I understand there is an element of risk when you commit to a new tool, solution or service. No one can predict the future so to speak, but what if you have not got the budget?  Or placing all your hopes and business dreams on a particular solution? You need to make savvy decisions that yes, will build your business, but will not break it or your bank balance in the process.

So how can you minimise a potential fall against the backdrop of wanting to expand your business?

Discernment, My Dear, Discernment

When you’re presented with a solution you need to come to your decision-making process with an air of discernment. Ask yourself the following questions…

  1. What other solutions are available to me that are within my budget and do what I need to them to do?
  2. Am I scared of missing out?
  3. Will this tool, solution or service really help me move my business forward or streamline an aspect of my business?
  4. Do I have the client or customer capacity that justifies the price tag?
  5. Does this tool or solution align with the business goals  I want to achieve within the next 6 to 12 months?
  6. Can I afford it now?
  7. Will I be able to afford it in six months time?

You need to be really clear what you want to achieve in your business rather than hoping the latest shiny object will deliver the results you think you are after.

To give coaches and internet experts their due, they are keeping up with what works for business and I imagine most do this with a genuine desire to help.

However, it is incredibly easy to get swept away with the hype and excitement.

Don’t.

When you are really clear what business goals you want to achieve for your business – now and what you want to implement in the next 6 months or so, your decision making about the latest shiny solution will be a lot easier and most importantly, informed.

Blog post: How to create great photos for your business website with your mobile phone

How to create great photos for your business website with your mobile phone

 

I often dream of having a proper DSLR camera. I think it’s the inner photographer wishing to emerge.   Alas, the budget has never permitted. While I’m no professional photographer, I have managed to pick up and learn a few handy tips along the way when it comes to creating great photos for business websites.

We all want to include photographs that look attractive to our customers, gain admiration and put our best feet forward as businesses.  I can’t reiterate enough how incredibly important to have good photographs for your business website.  I completely understand though – how many of us little businesses have a spare £100+ to hire a professional photographer for a headshot or product photo shoot.

You can make a decent job of it yourself and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. The main aim is to strive for consistency of colour and theme across all the photographs you include on your website.

In fact, with a little practice, imagination, creativity and using the tips below will help the professional look and feel of your website no ends.

Concept

For this tip, you need to think about what image do you want to portray?  Friendly, warm, professional, quirky?  Think about how you want to present yourself to your customers. You can do this by adding props (like flowers for instance) that will resonate and tell the story of your business and the products you want to sell. Don’t forget to also think about your website branding too.  What colours do you use? How can you incorporate these into your photos to create a consistent look and feel across all the elements of your website?

Use a plain, light, background

Busy backgrounds detract from the main object of the photograph – either yourself or the product you’re looking to sell.  Having a minimal background works for both headshots and product photographs.  Don’t have a plain desk surface to hand?  I found a fabulous trick about buying a piece of wood (my husband would know the proper term), about a 50cm-1metre square (depending on the size of your products) and you then paint the wood white or the light-colour that you use as part of your business branding. Genius!  You could also invest in a lightbox. Again, this will create a consistent look and feel across all your photos on your website and social media channels.

Grab the best light

Decent lighting can be the difference between a great photograph and a rubbish one. If you don’t have the fancy camera lighting equipment to hand,  there are a couple of tricks you can use.  The best time to take photographs using natural light is either first thing in the morning or at dusk.

Be conscious of where the shadows fall that will make the subject of your photograph look dark, and also where there is too much light that will give you a fabulous, but not very professional-looking halo. If you’re taking photos at the laptop, you can also invest in a selfie ring light.

Tell a story – it’s all about angles!

This relates to the first point of this list, but I also wanted to mention that your photos need to tell a story.   If you work in your own studio, can you include artefacts or tools that you use on a daily basis to show visually what you do?  If you make a product, such as soap or gifts, can you include a few photos? One of the individual product being made, the finished product and a close-up to showcase the detail?

Thinking about the ways you can share your message and story about what you do in your business will make your photographs much more attractive and it will also be easier to sell your services and products.

Share your suggestions

That’s my two pennies worth of advice to creating great photographs for your business website.  Do you have any of suggestions from your own experience?   What tips can you share with us all?