[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ll too often we hear unsettling news stories about businesses going broke for failing to keep watch over their own financials. Think back to the story about country singer Willie Nelson being on the road again making money with his friends while his accountant sent a fortune up in smoke. We hear tragedies of hard workers craving early retirement, yet finishing with little to show for decades of toil. Had they sought the guidance of a financial planner early in their career their golden years would have remained untarnished. Failing to plan, monitor, and take calculated action spawns unplanned, undesirable results. The same principle applies to monitoring the performance of your website.
Companies with successful online marketing campaigns rarely take traffic for granted. They set goals, install analytics and monitoring tools, and comb the reports to track progress and catch things that break. Through responsible diligence, they pinpoint problems and grasp opportunities.
Website audit reports are so crucial that you should make using them become a keystone habit — a consistent part of your scheduled routine.
Sooner is better, but it’s not too late. As with bookkeeping, beginning internal audits early in the life of the business ensures that “best practices” are being followed throughout the life of the business, rather than allowing decades slip away only to discover blunders that cost a fortune once viewed from a past-tense perspective.
Are errors lurking behind your site’s veil of pretty graphics? Are important pieces of your content invisible to search engines? Can search engines read and rank the information you consider most important to enable buyers to find you? Do you get reports about your competitors’ websites? If not, why? You may have competitors running reports about yours.
The impact of taking informed action in a business compounds itself over time. Know the best practices. Putting site health and performance reports into regular use tops the list of best practices. That which you measure, you can improve.
You get the point.
[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=”100%”]Now do a DIY website audit at