When it comes to evaluating your current website, there is no panacea but there are best-practice guidelines that you can use to make sure you have considered all the important aspects. This evaluation should also form part of your organization's development plan so the results feedforward, the brass-tacks of this from your website's point of view means making the good stuff even better and fixing the not so good bits, but it is always beneficial to have a wider perspective here.
For the evaluation itself it is simply a matter of looking at your website through the eyes of your target audience and objectively answering the following questions:
- How friendly is the website?
- Does it communicate everything it needs to?
- How relevant is the content?
- What about navigation?
- Design quality?
- Copy quality and readability?
- How good is the marketing?
How friendly is the website?
Does the site feel welcoming? Are the benefits of visiting made immediately clear? Is the content written using an informal, conversational style and tone? Is white space used through the site to make it seem less busy and easier to scan?
Does it communicate everything it needs to?
Is it clear what purpose the site serves? Is it immediately clear who the site's intended audience is? Are you communicating what your audience is interested in? Is the site consistent in design (color, layout, fonts)?
How relevant is the content?
Is the copy focused on what your audience wants to know? Does the site quickly convince the visitor that they have come to the right place and give good reason to stay? Is it obvious what actions you want the audience to take?
What about navigation?
Does the website have a logical structure? Is navigation intuitive, easy, clear and trouble free? Does every page link back to the home page? Are the links visible? Can you get to any other page in no more than three clicks? Is there a search option (important for large and ecommerce websites)?
Is the design simple, attractive, invited and customer orientated? Does it deliver the correct emotional tone? Can you immediately tell where you are (Clear title, description, images, captions, etc.)? Does it grab and hold your attention? Have you used the top of the page for navigation and brand identity?
Copy quality and readability?
Is the content clear, relevant, concise and grammatically correct? Does it deliver the right emotional tone? Have you deleted one font size? are you using a sans-serif typeface? Is all information up to date? Are all mandatory requirements included?
How good is the marketing?
Is the site's proposal crystal clear? Is the message simple, concise and customer focused? Has the site been checked for search engine optimization? Is a clear and consistent brand identity projected?
Has the site been checked on the most common browsers? Has it been checked on older versions of the browsers? Has it been checked on a range of screen sizes? What does it look like on a tablet or a mobile phone? Does the homepage load instantly?
After answering yes or no to the above questions you will have some indication of the health of your current website. Hopefully this will give you some indications of areas you could look at to make improvements.