How often do you really look at your website? Even if you’re publishing content frequently, it’s easy to focus on the job at hand and not notice problems unless someone else mentions them. This is the reason cars have warning lights and the DMV makes you get emissions tests every other year.
If you’re expanding your business, launching a new initiative, have big plans for 2018, or just haven’t done it for a while, it’s a good time to check up on your website. I already wrote about conducting a website health check earlier in this series. Now I want to tackle the Annual Performance Reveiw.
When we talk about a website’s performance, we usually mean how fast it loads on your device. Speed matters, especially for mobile, so it’s always worth checking what you can do to shorten load times and reduce page weight.
That kind of performance is something to evaluate in an SEO audit. I’m talking about something else: how well your website is doing the job it was built for. As Alan Berg asked in his 2011 book, “If your website was an employee, would you fire it?”
Employee performance reviews take many forms, but almost any example will give you a useful basis for evaluating your website. How does your website score for
- Quality of work?
- Customer service?
- Administrative support?
Is it a good salesperson, fundraiser, educator? How well does it represent you to the world? Is it ready to take on more responsibility? How do its abilities stack up against those of comparable websites in your industry vertical?
Sometimes the pain points are obvious: you can identify exactly what’s frustrating you (or your customers), even if you aren’t sure how to fix it. At that point you can sit down with your developer and find ways to make your website more productive and more profitable.
If you don’t have the answers to your employee performance review questions and aren’t sure how to get them, you might need to hire a specialist. There are people who can help you with website evaluation and benchmarking, or with interpreting and refining the analytics you do have. I know some terrific people who work in this area and would be happy to refer you.
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