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How (and why) You Should Conduct an Ecommerce Site Audit

An ecommerce site audit isn't an average audit process. It’s an opportunity to examine your online store, improve, and find opportunities to boost conversions. 

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The word “audit” doesn’t typically spark feelings of excitement. There is one exception to this rule: the ecommerce site audit. An ecommerce site audit isn’t an average audit process. It’s an opportunity to examine your online store, improve, and find opportunities to boost conversions. 

As Black Friday / Cyber Monday approaches, it’s time to make sure your site is in the best shape possible so you can provide the ultimate shopper experience. 

 

What is an Ecommerce Site Audit?

An ecommerce site audit is a review of your site and the shopper journey. It will reveal gaps in the user experience and pinpoint improvements to make. The first step of the ecommerce site audit process is to create a checklist of common website issues. 

This shouldn’t be viewed as a box-checking exercise – site audits deserve dedicated attention and place on your marketing calendar. Conclude with a plan to fix issues – findings are only useful if they are acted upon.

Why You Should do an Ecommerce Site Audit

Doing an ecommerce site audit highlights obstacles in the path to purchase. Set aside time to review the checklist and focus attention on user experience gaps. Even better, factor some user testing into the process to see how shoppers interact with the store. 

Benefits of an Ecommerce Site Audit

To sum it up, the benefits of an ecommerce site audit include:

  • Fix bugs, glitches, and errors
  • Provide a better user experience
  • Streamline the path to purchase
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Happier customers

What to Review

Site Search 

  • Review search reports for common queries. Are they accurate? Can shoppers find what they’re looking for? Does the no results found page lead to a dead end? Shoppers who search are more likely to convert so this part of the shopper experience is crucial.

Merchandising

  • Click through category pages and assess that the right products are on display. Are boost rules being taken advantage of? Banners? Badges? Geo-targeting? Check out this merchandising strategy guide for more.  

Recommendations

  • Intelligent product recommendations drive up average order value if they’re used effectively. Review products suggested to shoppers at each step of the journey. Also sssess cross-selling and unsold relevant items versus displaying unrelated products at random.

SEO

  • Realistically, a site’s performance on search engines deserves an audit of its own. From reviewing current rankings and identifying keyword gaps, to fixing issues with technical SEO. Give plenty of time for this step. 

Site Speed

  • Page load times affect everything from user experience to SEO. This step is easy to check thanks to free online tools, but fixing issues takes time. Run speed tests regularly to stay on top of technical problems that can slow down your site. 

Broken Links

  • As with site speed, broken links are a big no-no from both a shopper and search engine perspective. They are also common in ecommerce because of discontinued products or restructured categories. Luckily, it’s very easy to find any broken links that have cropped up since the last audit using online tools and Google Analytics.  

Mobile

  • Don’t confine an ecommerce site audit to desktop. Many retailers treat the mobile experience as a set-and-forget aspect of a site redesign or upgrade. However, as stores evolve, or as new lines are added, check for unexpected impacts on the mobile version of the store. 

 

Make Time for Regular Ecommerce Site Audits

If you’ve been putting off an ecommerce site audit, consider this a sign to pencil it in. The first step? Stop thinking of an “audit” as a painful-but-necessary task. Look at it as a chance to revamp the shopper experience to get your site in tip-top-shape for Black Friday / Cyber Monday. 

If gaps are found, get in touchIf you’d like to learn more about ecommerce site audits, check out Searchspring’s Site Audit webinar

Get more Black Friday / Cyber Monday tips by visiting the Searchspring Black Friday Content Hub and attend our Black Friday / Cyber Monday Webinar Series.