Here's what we look for when we audit a site so you can check yours yourself.

At Empower Ideas, we regularly run audits for prospective clients to help them understand how they can improve the experience of their website and thereby increase conversion. But we also recognize that many more people view the idea of a live audit with us like going to the dentist and being upsold on new treatments that aren't needed, or like sitting through a timeshare presentation where the entire meeting becomes an exercise in saying no.

We try to base our audits on reality. Most folks who ask us for an audit recognize that there’s probably room for improvement--that's why they requested it in the first place--and for that reason it’s true that we almost always have quite a few recommendations. But from time to time we do run into a site that we think checks about all the boxes, and in that case we are happy to share that information.

But what boxes are we checking, exactly? It turns out there is a literal checklist we go through during a user experience audit. Today, we’re going to share our checklist for a homepage UX audit. Your homepage can educate prospects and get them the information they need to know. It can convert leads. But is it? By following this checklist, you’ll help your homepage better for you than ever before.

Conversion and Experience

  • SINGLE primary CTA near the top of the page
  • Primary CTA is always located above the fold on all screen sizes
  • Content has clear action available to the visitor outside of primary navigation
  • Content is focused on guiding users towards a "next step" or a specific action
  • Layout makes it easy to read, interpret, and interact with content
  • Navigation is clearly and logically organized
  • All content is accessible on all screen sizes and device types
  • Links in the body of the homepage go to the most important first-level pages

Website Performance

  • Images are compressed
  • Site speed is optimized
  • If page is excessively long (and can’t be shortened or shortening would diminish the user experience) use lazy loading
  • Server response time is fast
  • Site is served securely (https)

Search Engine Optimization

  • Title is roughly 20-50 characters (Does not exceed 70 characters)
  • Title is descriptive and contains your primary keyword
  • Title, Meta Description, and H1 Tags are present and properly populated
  • Meta Description is 145-185 characters
  • All images include alt tags; at least some use primary keywords
  • Homepage text is crawlable

Reporting

  • Site is verified in Google
  • Google Analytics installed
  • AdWords tracking installed (if applicable)
  • Facebook Pixel installed
  • Heatmap is generated

Technical

  • No broken links exist
  • All http:// variants redirect to https://
  • Hreflang tangs are configured properly for international languages
  • Corporate schema is located on homepage or primary contact page
  • Content URLs are canonicalized
  • XML sitemap exists
  • Robots.txt file exists

Hopefully it’s helpful to see exactly what we’re looking for when we do a user experience audit. With this checklist, you can run your own audit, which will help you focus your efforts on updating your site and get the most from it.

One note: "Conversion" as a goal doesn’t have to mean a purchase. If your site doesn’t directly sell something, you can define conversion however you want. For instance, setting an appointment, making a call to your sales team, or merely finding the information a user is seeking can all be conversions. If you don’t know what your conversion goal is, I urge you to begin by considering that question. Remember, your users have a reason for clicking through to your site. Your goal is to understand what that reason is and make it as easy as possible for the user to accomplish that reason.

Let's create a strategy to grow your online brand.

We offer complimentary one-on-one strategy calls. No hard sales pitch and no obligation to buy. Just a half hour conversation about your business where we will discuss your pain points and consider how we can help your business overcome those challenges, increase conversions, and thrive.
Empower Ideas is a digital marketing agency focused on building custom websites and e-commerce stores. We also offer branding development, logo design, growth marketing services, and more.

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New York City:
276 5th Ave, Suite 704-3006, New York, NY 10001

Minneapolis:
957 Summit Ave, South Saint Paul, MN 55075

(920) 412-7265