Did you know that digital marketing jobs these days require new employees to take time on their first day to audit and critique the website of the company for which they’ve been hired? Over the past decade, companies all over the world that I’ve worked for have asked me to do this on day 1.
Day 1. As in, I get set up with payroll, maybe take a quick tour, and immediately audit the website.
There’s a highly strategic reason for this.
Before I’m told the mission, the vision, the story, the roots, the company’s reason for being, and its goals… I get one chance to honestly describe how the world sees their website.
Why can’t I audit it a couple days or a week later? Because it takes a matter of hours to develop apathy towards change that ought to be done by someone saying:
“It is what it is.”
“That’s just the way we do it.”
“That’s the way it’s always been done.”
“It’s worked fine, no need to change it.”
“It’s not your job to worry about this.”
It literally takes hours to morph from an external perspective to an inside perspective. It’s a matter of minutes before the comment, “Wait, why is this image on the website?” changes to “It’s not up to me to change it so I’ll let leadership worry about that.”
External perspective is gold.
An honest analysis from an outside source means someone who has no skin in the game, no political affiliations within the company, no toes getting stepped on, no sides being taken, no feelings getting hurt. Someone who can say, “What you’re communicating on your website is X but you’re trying to shift to Y. Why is that?” Or “I actually have no idea what your home page is trying to tell me,” which is a more common problem than you’d think.
Perspective = Investment.
Investing in an outside perspective translates to real dollars and cents. This outside perspective can save you months or years of declined revenue and wasted ad dollars because you’re missing a glaring issue that no one can see anymore because of fear (fear from your employees to speak up, fear of not being listened to, fear of criticism), apathy (it is what it is, etc.), or simply lack of knowledge.
You may not have an entire creative team, marketing team, or tech team. You may not have a Chief Marketing Officer or Marketing Managers at your disposal. Even if you do, if they’ve been there for more than a day, they’ve already fallen prone to the inside perspective.
Take Off the Blindfold
My genius friend and I, Lisa Gale, have started auditing websites for fun. Granted, these audits are rapid-fire, 5-minutes-or-less audits but they’ve already been highly impactful to the website owners.
After giving an audit to a brave volunteer’s site, she said:
“Your feedback was so helpful. Thanks so much for the easy-to-implement practical application! We were blinded by the familiarity of our mission.”
Most of you are blind to what you’re actually communicating to guests, prospects, and clients. You’ve spent so long pouring over each word to make sure people understand you, but you’re forgetting how your product or service is going to benefit them. Or maybe you’re so focused on doing the actual work in your business that tweaking your website is simply not on your priority list.
This is All Part of Digital Maintenance
You’ve got to remember that websites are living, breathing marketing machines. They need maintenance and continual tweaking and optimization to make sure they’re up to snuff with ever-changing trends and algorithms.
If you’ve got a team and having your employees audit the website on the first day isn’t part of your protocol, now’s the time to change that. Even if you hire a new receptionist, Finance Director, or janitor, have them audit the site on day 1! It’s a great start.
And whether you’ve got a company of 5,000 employees or you’re a solopreneur, it is an invaluable task to hire a company like GrowFly to do a full assessment of your website, your social media, your creative look and feel, and your analytics.
It’s one thing to have continual feedback from your employees, and it’s another thing altogether to have professionals provide a critical eye. Think of this as an annual tune-up for your car. You need to get your oil changed regularly (continual feedback) but once in a while, you need an overhaul (a GrowFly audit).
As Lisa said, “When you are too close to your own material, it becomes impossible to lend a critical eye. That’s what Ande and I are here for. We will analyze the flow on your website, overall branding, and general user experience.”
Ready to get started? Give us a call for an estimate and we’ll get to work.