The Power of Conducting a Website Audit

Posted By Troy Dean on

Welcome to another episode of Silence is Golden where Troy and Simon give away invaluable tips for your business. 

Today we’ll be looking at how you can offer a website audit as a value-add to your clients and also to generate leads for your business. We’ll also take a look at what’s been happening lately, including Yoast having a bit of a mishap with one of their latest updates, WordPress developer code of honour and how the race to the bottom is killing your business’ bottom line as well.

Watch the Video

Stuff That Happened

Yoast Mess Up with Media Attachment

In the Yoast SEO 7.0 update, there was a bug concerning attachment URLs. They quickly resolved the bug, but some people updated the plugin and have suffered. This post from Yoast shows you how to check whether your settings for the redirect of the attachment URLs are correct. And, if you suffered from a decrease in rankings because of incorrect settings, there is a solution here too.

The Small-Business WordPress Developer Code of Honour

Simon is a fan of this article because it’s not just about the developer but about the clients. It talks about how WordPress is a wonderful technology, but most small business website owners are not having wonderful experiences with it. The author explains why and presents some solutions to the issue.

Troy doesn’t agree with one of the points made in this article where the author says that if you’re outsourcing work you have to be transparent about it with the client.

Troy's view is that you don’t owe it to anyone to tell them how you’re running your business. You have the right to find the right people for the jobs and then run a profitable business. Troy explains that WP Elevation wouldn’t be where it is today without their team in the Philippines because they wouldn’t have been able to afford staff in Australia. The remote team is paid well and they do a great job. So the main thing is to just be honourable with how you outsource.

Pippin Williamson – Keynote: The Art of Juggling Many Roles in a Bootstrapped Business

Most small businesses begin with just one or two people at the start, which inevitably means the founders or owners constantly juggle dozens of different tasks each day. In this video from WordCamp Kansas, Pippin Williamson from AffiliateWP shares some insights from his own experiences as a founder of a bootstrapped business. Definitely worth a watch.

How a Race to the Bottom Hurts Your Business' Bottom Line

This article from Kinsta talks about how a race to the bottom hurts your Business’ bottom line. It’s about becoming a commodity when your main focus is price. You have to position your company so that it isn’t just another commodity - find a way to differentiate.

This Pisses Me Off

This week Simon is pissed off that people have this notion that selling is dirty. He feels frustrated that even he struggles to get past this idea because it makes it harder to generate business when you hold this belief.

Simons asks - if you are delivering a lot of value then why is it selling? All you should be doing is trying to get that value in front of as many people as possible.

Some take away points on this topic:

  • If you have to convince someone about your services, that’s when it becomes selling. However, if you’re delivering the facts about the value of your service in a genuine way then it is not a sales pitch.
  • People buy from people they like and trust, so forming relationships and delivering value are key.
  • The minute you start doing work for a client for free, then they start expecting it. Value your time enough to know that it's worth charging for.

Let’s Get Unstuck

This week's question from our Facebook group came from Róbey:
When you inherit a site from another developer with a custom theme, what do you need to check for in terms of quality/stability? What potential surprises may pop up in the future resulting from updates? Let's assume I'm a PHP beginner.

Simon says that it is important to conduct an investigation when you get started. Not just the theme, but you want to look at how the hosting and email is set up and how you can give value back to the client.

It isn't just about auditing the PHP code and thinking about how you can protect yourself - You also need also to deliver some sort of report to give value to the client. So think about where their search rankings are and how their marketing is looking.

When you’re checking quality and stability:

  • Look at the theme developers and make sure they have been around for a while
  • Check that it is a popular theme with good reviews
  • Look at the code to see if it has been tweaked or changed. This is because if a theme is updated then you lose the customisations. The client needs to be using a child theme and putting the customisations within the functions.php file

The Golden Nugget

Website Auditing

If a client says to you that they want someone to maintain the website. You need to start with an investigation before you dive in. This will protect you and you can also offer this as a value-add to your client and get paid for it.

You can set this up as a systemised process with a set price and even teach people in your team to conduct the audits.

Troy talks about a website audit being a wedge product, whereby you give the client something small so that you then have the foot in the door. You then earn their trust and build the relationship by over-delivering and then ask them what else they need and how you can help their business.

One of the issues is the mindset around sales that “I’m taking something from the client”. You need to reframe it to “how much value can I give my client?”.

You can offer this as part of your care plan package once every six months or can be something you sell to the client to get them onto the care plan.

What’s in a Website Audit?

  • One time maintenance and tune ups for websites
  • Theme check
  • Plugin check
  • Hosting check (perhaps they need a host to improve their speed)
  • Whatever other checks will give value

We have a check list that can help you with this. Which brings us to....

Tool of the Week

This week we're giving away a Website Audit Template. 

Troy points out that Simon is so dedicated to helping people that he always creates a template for us all to use. He says these are just small snippets of what you receive when you join the Blueprint course. Speaking which, the next intake is now open!

Ok, so back to the template. Basically, you can take this report, tweak it and make it your own. Simon puts it into Better Proposals but you can put it into Word if you want.

It's hard to sell someone on a problem that they don’t realise they have. So the audit leads them to the point that they don’t have a backup plan because perhaps they didn’t know they needed to pay attention to this stuff.

Shout out to one of our members Clifford who has an awesome tool My Web Audit is a tool that does it all for you. This is a great time saver.

Wrap Up

If you're stuck with anything, let us know in the comments below so that we can help you out on the show.

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