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Auditing isn’t just a term you should get concerned about hearing during tax season; it’s a way to make sure your company is functioning properly, both internally and externally.
Successful businesses frequently conduct various types of business audits to locate their mistakes and weak spots, as well as to create crucial reports for current and future reference.
What’s interesting is that there aren’t just financial business audits to keep in line. If you want to indicate to shareholders and investors that your company is operating truthfully and efficiently, then you need to conduct regular audits. Here are the four different types of business audits you should conduct to keep your business healthy and happy.
1. SEO audit
SEO is an impossible beast to tame. Maybe that’s why, every year, companies spend more than $613 billion trying to improve their digital presence. With constant innovations, changes to search engine algorithms, and general website growth, it’s vital that you consistently check on your strategies to make sure you’re getting the optimal results. The best way to do that? Conduct an SEO audit.
Before beginning your audit, understand that these take multiple days – sometimes weeks – to complete. You’ll check for big problems that prevent your site from gaining visitors, as well as problems with your organic search traffic, backlinks, and content. Fortunately, you don’t have to do all that work on your own – there are SEO site audit tools that can do the heavy lifting for you. Services like SEOMATER, Zadroweb, and SEOptimer allow you to pull an analysis report and identify your errors quickly.
Image Source: Zadroweb
Although you might think your website is easy to use and your content is valuable, a comprehensive look into your SEO results might determine otherwise. That’s a good thing! A technical audit helps point out the areas where things can be fixed, improved, and made clearer. This practically guarantees better search engine indexing. Plus, you’ll learn more about what your online users actually want from your business.
This audit isn’t one you’ll want to conduct every few years. Google makes at least 500 changes to its search engine algorithm every year, which means that your SEO strategy needs to constantly adapt to fit the new trends. Schedule an annual (or semi-annual) SEO audit to ensure you’re keeping up with the latest changes.
2. Website audits for better UX
Your website is the online face of your business. If it’s broken, unappealing, or hard-to-navigate, then customers will quickly lose faith in your company altogether. That’s why regular website audits are essential – you need to determine where the site’s weak points are and how you can fix them.
A website audit is a multi-layered process that dives into everything from data analytics to performance enhancements. Not only will it point out the problems with your business website, but it will also dig deeper to find the core issues at the heart of your UX. This business audit does this by collecting information on your target audience, your competitors’ websites, and of course, your own website.
Besides identifying broken links and out-of-date features, one of the main things a website audit will do is determine if your platform is optimized for mobile devices. Quartz has reported that about 80 percent of internet access will be on mobile phones by the end of 2019, which means it’s more pressing than ever before for websites to be mobile-friendly.
Image Source: Stone Temple
Improving your website’s interface and usability can assist dramatically with your digital business transformation, and in turn, increase conversion rates significantly. Identify your pitfalls with an audit today to prevent your site from suffering in the future, especially as technology trends continue to evolve.
3. Operational audit
Let’s step away from your website and online traffic to talk about the efficiency of your team.
An operational business audit can give you a clear picture of how your organization works, where your productivity is lagging, and how you can continue to improve. Through a series of in-depth reviews, the process will determine what your companies’ team members need to achieve their tasks and future goals.
Operational audits aren’t just conducted to see if everyone’s pulling their weight or where you can cut employees. In reality, these audits are more commonly used to figure out where your company is failing to be efficient and effective. If you can’t find these weaknesses, you can’t put an end to them before they drive down your sales and cause serious problems.
Think of an operational audit as a series of performance improvement plans – rather than something negative. As you discover where the problems lie within your company, you can come up with plans to speed up productivity and resolve outstanding issues. This will lead to healthier processes and happier employees in the long-run.
One of the biggest inefficiencies in companies is often a poor use of technology. As mentioned earlier, mobile is becoming an increasingly important aspect of any company’s technology, and employees who believe their workplace effectively uses mobile tech are actually more creative, satisfied, and productive. Additionally, most companies benefit from using project management software and other tools to engage employees and increase productivity.
With the help of an operational audit, your company can determine if it’s adopting the right digital tools for its industry and procedures. Evaluate your current systems to make sure they’re a good fit, and if they’re not, determine how other organizational changes could contribute to improved efficiency.
4. Compliance audits
The last business audit we have to talk about is arguably the least “fun” – but also the most important. Compliance audits conduct an intense look at a company’s adherence to guidelines, both within legal matters and within their specific industry. An auditor will go through every security policy and regulation to ensure that your company is behaving as it should.
There are many aspects to an in-depth compliance audit. Everything from employee performance to IT procedures will be evaluated to determine any gray areas where there could be complications. Although this can certainly be a tedious, drawn-out procedure, compliance audits can save your business money by helping you avoid big fines and sanctions.
If your company is in violation of an important law or regulation, don’t you want to know? An audit like this could save you from embarrassment and loss, so reduce your risk by conducting one annually. That way, you can make improvements before you’re potentially fined or otherwise punished.
Keep in mind that your compliance audit report will eventually be released publically by your auditors. Information such as your company’s level of adherence to regulations and violations may be exposed, but at least you’ll have the opportunity to nip problems in the bud before things get really serious.
To sum it all up
Auditing shouldn’t just be a part of your business taxes. Any successful business continually tries to find problems and fix them before they can impact their sales and public image – you should, too. Use these four business audits to cover all of your bases and maximize your company’s potential. The sooner you can identify issues; the sooner you can develop great solutions.
Guest author: Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.