As a business owner, you may have already head of the SWOT analysis. This acronym stands for: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But did you know that you should also perform the SWOT analysis for the website, as well?
As one of the most important parts of your business, your site needs to be evaluated and improved using the findings of a thorough SWOT analysis for website. It is even more critical if you are running an online business and the website is your primary source of sales.
The Importance of the SWOT Analysis for Website
Now, you may ask yourself: “why should I perform a SWOT analysis for my website”? We understand that you are busy, but you need to know whether your website is a strong asset for your business or not.
The SWOT analysis, in a nutshell, shows you what you do better than your competition, what they do better than you, and what you need to change to adapt to customer demands. Thus, it you will know exactly what you need to change/update in your website to keep it in line with the latest best practices and benchmarks in your niche.
What Exactly Involves Performing a SWOT Analysis for Website?
The SWOT analysis for website covers two main areas: internal elements and external elements. Let us go a little in depth with these two aspects.
Internal elements are the elements under your control. They include:
- Web design
- Content creation
- Who has access to the backend of your website
- Frequency of website maintenance
- SEO strategy
- Monitoring analytics data.
External elements are not under your control. The most important ones are:
- Changes in technologies
- Market trends
- Customer demands
- What your competitors do
- Changes in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Preparing for the SWOT Analysis for Website
Before you start the analysis on your website, you need to have some data readily available. You will need it during the analysis to compare numbers and make deductions.
The most important elements for the SWOT analysis for website are:
- Google Analytics data for the last 2-3 months
- Customer journey map
- Customer persona characterisation
- Website maintenance checklist.
Next, create a table, similar for the example below:
This is your blueprint for all the future SWOT analyses for your website. Now you are ready to actually start the process.
We will go through all the four elements of the analysis to show you what you need to do in order to fully complete it. For each element, we will include both the external and the internal aspects you need to evaluate.
The strengths represent the competitive advantages and plus points your website has compared to your competitors. Consider them as the unique selling point of your website – the elements that make you stand out from the other websites.
The internal strengths of your websites are those within your control. They include aspects, such as:
- Responsive web design
- Useful, SEO optimised content
- Chatbot for instant chat with website visitors
- Effective calls to action
- Quick and simple checkout process
- Simple and easy navigation
- Good SEO strategy (keyword research and optimisation, internal linking)
This should be the easiest part of the SWOT analysis for website, because it involves data and elements that you create, monitor and optimise.
External strengths are mostly connected with how customers react to your website and promote it through word of mouth.
Elements of external strengths are:
- Number and quality of backlinks
- Social sharing of your website content
- Ratings and reviews for your website.
Weaknesses are things that you are not doing as well as your competitors. These are the elements you need to work on with top priority, if you want to keep your customers loyal and get new ones. In
Internal weaknesses are related to the way you administer and maintain your website. The top issues you need to identify are:
- Outdated web design
- Content that is not focused on the customer persona
- Difficult navigation
- Slow page load
- Broken links
- Unsolved bugs in the code
- Website security issues
- Former employees who may have access to the website backend.
While these issues are not fully under your control, you can still work on improving them. In some cases, internal weaknesses lead to external weaknesses. For example, website security issue may get your domain name blacklisted by various online services.
Other external weaknesses include:
- No strategy to gain backlinks through guest posting
- Failure to share your content on your social media pages
- Failure to create barter deals with other small business websites that are not your direct competitors.
Opportunities are various circumstances that help you stay one step ahead of your competitors. The thing about opportunities is that you need to take them as quickly as possible, before others identify them and act on them.
Internal opportunities are connected with your own strategy to develop your business and your website.
They may involve:
- Hiring talent for web design, content creation and SEO
- Finding a better hosting package, with more bandwidth
- Upgrading the security for the shopping cart.
External opportunities take more work to identify. They involve being always up to date with the latest developments in your industry and in online technologies.
Such opportunities can be:
- Implementing new technologies for superior user experience
- Identifying new customer personas from the traffic and sales data
- Adopting the latest best practices in web design
- Tapping into new digital marketing channels.
Threats are everywhere in business, not just in the SWOT analysis for website. However, if you are aware of them, you can fend them off or, at least, minimise their negative impact.
Internal threats come from various aspects you may not even be aware of. The good news is, you are in full control in terms of putting a stop to them. Thus, by acting in a timely manner, the negative impact of these threats can be zero or minimal.
Some of these threats are:
- Failure to update website security
- Keeping outdated/incompatible plugins
- Failure to moderate comments on your blog posts
- Disgruntled former employees who may try to sabotage your website.
External threats are beyond your control. What you can do is make sure that your cumulated strengths have a positive impact that exceeds the negative impact of these threats.
The most common external threats appearing in a SWOT analysis for website should include:
- New technology standards requiring a full website refurbishing
- New laws or regulations concerning online sales and/or your specific niche
- Competitors spying on your marketing tactics and copying them
- Changes in your customers’ lives leading to new needs and demands.
Completing the SWOT Analysis for Website
Now that you have filled the four quadrants of the SWOT diagram (see our template above) it is time to start the analysis. You should involve all the relevant positions in your company or the outsourced service providers:
- Web design
- Digital marketing
- Content creation
At a first glance, you may notice a lot of things that need changing and improving. However, you should always prioritise these tasks in accordance with your business needs.
For example, if you are looking for new customers, you should pay more attention to external opportunities. Or, if your top goal is to keep your existing customers loyal, focus on solving internal weaknesses as top priority.
Finally, if this is your first SWOT analysis for website, store it carefully. When you perform the next one, compare its findings with this one. This will help you analyse whether you effectively solved the existing problems before you start working on new ones. Good luck!