Website SWOT Analysis: Getting Ahead in the Digital Race

Learn the essentials of SWOT analysis for websites and take your online strategy to the next level with detailed analysis and expert insights.

March 20, 2023

Website SWOT Analysis


Have you ever wondered why some websites outperform others despite having similar features and content?

To improve their sites, many businesses focus on updating blog posts, graphics, and SEO. But there are countless other factors that have a direct impact on a website’s performance.

Brands can use a SWOT analysis to identify these key factors. The findings from a SWOT help companies determine their website’s positioning in the online space.

Many organizations aren’t sure that a SWOT is worth the time and effort required. But this process remains one of the most effective ways to figure out which internal and external factors influence a company’s website. The final analysis enables brands to develop an actionable roadmap to align their websites with their business goals and digital strategy.

SWOT Analysis Graph
IMAGE: SWOT Analysis Graph

An Overview of Website SWOT Analysis: Purpose and Relevance

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is most often used to assess a company or brand. But organizations can also apply the process to determine whether a website meets its business objectives.

A thorough assessment includes a review of internal factors, such as operations and processes. It should also consider external elements like competitors, trends, and innovations in technology.

Comparing your company’s website to direct competitors will help you and your team identify unique selling points or gaps in service that differentiate your brand. For example, you’ll see the strategies competitors use, their messaging, customer experience design elements, product features, navigation, and more. As a result, you can use what you learn to improve your brand’s website.

Before you conduct an internal website SWOT analysis, create a list of questions that will generate conversations among internal teams.

Here are some examples:

In what areas do competitors excel?

How does their content marketing strategy differ from ours?

Are competitor sites easier to navigate than ours? If so, why?

Keep in mind that the customer journey and user experience play a significant role in a website’s ability to connect with the target audience. The findings from a SWOT should help your team improve the customer journey and experience.

To get the most from your SWOT analysis, it may be helpful to partner with a conversion rate optimization consultant who can identify the granular details that affect performance. Calls to action, ineffective design elements, or responsive design issues are examples.

We recommend brands include customer feedback throughout the entire process. Customers can give companies different perspectives on performance and usability. As a result, brands can get a clear picture of what it’s like for customers to interact with the website. Further, performing a SWOT analysis periodically will help the company stay up-to-date on customer needs and competitor strategies.

What Is a Brand Audit?

A brand audit helps organizations uncover strengths and weaknesses, improve target audience quality, become more competitive, and reduce marketing expenses.

Website SWOT Analysis vs. Website Audit

There is often some confusion about the differences between a website SWOT analysis and a website audit.

A SWOT helps a company improve a site’s ability to compete. It helps you prioritize improvements for the site itself and its role in your brand’s digital strategy. A SWOT can also reveal the potential for developing new market segments and content opportunities.

A website audit dives deeper than a SWOT. An audit involves intensive research and mapping of all site components and possible technical issues. Here are some examples of areas that may be covered in an audit:

  • Duplicate content
  • Load speed
  • Backlink profile
  • Plugins and security issues
  • Website accessibility

An audit provides a detailed review of deficiencies in customer-centric design technical performance. They are especially useful when multiple parties must be involved—i.e., management, developers, designers, and marketers.

How to Perform a SWOT Analysis for a Website: A Step-by-Step Guide

Before you begin, it’s important to define goals for the SWOT. With clear goals, you can then decide the specific website elements to review.

For example, your goals may be to determine how effective calls to action are, look for untapped markets, and evaluate shopping cart design. Other goals may be to assess the content marketing strategy, lead generation rates per page, and customer service ratings. To really get an accurate impression of a site’s performance, it’s beneficial to combine qualitative and quantitative metrics.

Organizations will also need website analytics data to perform the SWOT. Without access to this data, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to draw any meaningful conclusions about the business’s current online presence or to determine steps for improvement. Metrics such as website visits, time spent on each page, organic search rankings, bounce rates, referral sources, social media engagements are examples of data you’ll need.

Be sure to rank each goal on a priority scale from low to high importance based on how much influence it could have on the site’s performance. Prioritizing these makes it easier to identify and target high-impact areas that align with company goals.

Internal and External Factors

Several factors affect a website. Some are within the company’s control, many are not. Regardless, we must consider both to get an accurate SWOT analysis result.

The internal environment typically considers things the brand can control, such as design and user experience, content strategy, and marketing campaigns.

The external factors relate to circumstances that are out of the company’s control. The most common external factors are:

  • Competitor activity
  • Consumer behavior
  • The political landscape
  • Global economic trends
  • Technological advancement
  • New entrants

By exploring both internal and external factors, companies can figure out what changes they can put into action that will make a real difference. Likewise, they will be able to identify those things they cannot change and develop a plan to mitigate them.

Internal vs. External Website SWOT Factors
IMAGE: Internal vs. External Website SWOT Factors


Identifying a website’s strengths consists of exploring the resources and capabilities the company can leverage to gain a competitive advantage. Strengths might include brand perception, innovative services, well-known products, exceptional customer service, and sound financial standing.

It’s critical to make sure the website clearly communicates the positive aspects of the brand. For example, an established brand may attract additional customers because it is trustworthy. Effective online marketing campaigns focused on the trust component could increase the quality of the website’s organic traffic.

An innovative product line gives the website wider appeal among customers and niche markets, while having sound financial standing gives the brand an opportunity to invest in customer engagement campaigns.

Most businesses are aware of their strengths. But, in our experience, there are almost always positives that have been overlooked. So, don’t assume you know what your brand does well—explore your values, messaging, products, and marketing to make sure no stone is left unturned.


Unlike strengths, companies have a difficult time identifying their weaknesses. We’ve found that the way companies aren’t perceive their brand, products, or services does not align with the market’s perception. The same is true for websites.

Your website has about one-tenth (1/10) of a second to make an impression. At that point, users will decide what they think of it. So, it’s imperative to develop a website that aligns with the target audience’s preferences.

Often, companies create their websites based on the project team’s preferences or the latest design trends. But just because the color red is popular right now doesn’t mean it should be plastered all over your website.

To identify a website’s weaknesses, start by evaluating the user interface, navigation structure, quality of content, design, and features. Combined, these factors determine if visitors can easily access and interact with the website. Also, be sure to review page layout and design elements to discover those that aren’t engaging users or that might be too complex. Responsive design features should be in place to accommodate different devices displays (e.g., mobile phone usability, search engine ranking, and visibility).

These are the components that make or break a website’s performance.

To confirm your findings, review user behavior analytics to identify performance issues. Look for low bounce rates or significant drop-offs at specific points of the customer journey. These metrics might suggest changes are needed in the design approach or other elements of the website.

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To explore potential opportunities, a company must have a deep understanding of the market environment. Analyzing innovative products, technology trends, customer needs, and competitors provides clues for the next steps you need to take.

As you study the market, make a list of external opportunities. In time, these may help you uncover ways to improve competitive positioning. With new technologies and design trends, you can provide your users with a better experience and improve messaging. Expanding into new niches or market segments can increase profits and organic search authority ranking.

Positive changes are also seen in social factors. Adopting new methods of customer engagement, understanding customer needs better, and using that knowledge to improve your content strategy can lead to higher site traffic, improved conversion rates, and reliable outcomes.


External threats can affect every aspect of a company’s operations. Some examples include economic downturns, government regulations, and changing consumer trends. Technological advances or world events, such as natural disasters, are other potential threats. Knowing how to plan for and respond to these external forces is essential for any business strategy.

For websites, external threats come from outside influences that a site may not always be aware of or prepared for. Websites are vulnerable to a myriad of issues, ranging from fraudulent activity, viruses or malware to cyber-attacks like identity theft and data mining.

Changes in search engine algorithms pose another threat because they can cause significant losses in website traffic. The recent Google core update is one example. These events can diminish revenue and cause reputational damage (i.e., negative reviews online).

Web hosting servers are another potential problem for brand websites. When servers go offline, website service is interrupted, which often results in lost customers.

Legal action regarding copyright infringement or privacy violations could have far-reaching implications. By preparing for these unpredictable external threats, companies show their commitment to staying competitive despite the dangers posed by cyber criminals, unexpected events, and changes in technology.

SWOT Analysis template example
IMAGE: SWOT Analysis template example

How to Populate SWOT Quadrants and Create an Action Plan

Populating the website SWOT quadrants illustrates how a website can leverage its capabilities and value while mitigating potential areas of vulnerability.

List each finding under the appropriate category. Include any related data or information as an attachment. Once action steps have been assigned, teams or individuals can refer to this information to help them carry out the tasks. This data might include competitive benchmarks, consumer research, and customer feedback on your product or service.

Next, assess your team’s skill set and capabilities to make sure you have the personnel who can effectively execute tasks developed from the analysis. Consider any gaps that need to be filled—areas where existing staff may need additional training or support tools.

Finally, list any potential services or partners that may help support growth objectives or provide the frameworks or technology improvements required. CRM software integrations, design platforms, or conversion rate optimization consultants are examples.

By taking these steps, you can create an effective strategic plan for optimizing your company’s website–from product information to maintenance.


Most businesses rely on guesswork when it comes to improving their websites. Despite their best intentions, it is easy to get distracted by design trends, individual preferences, and SEO without realizing that these aren’t always the keys to successful website performance.

The Brand Auditors can provide organizations with the information they need to make informed decisions about their websites and develop plans to take their online presence to the next level.

If you have questions or would like to find out how The Brand Auditors can help you with website SWOT analysis, email me personally at [email protected].

Until next time,


Chris Fulmer

Chris Fulmer

Brand Strategist | Managing Director

Are you ready to find out how a brand audit can transform your business?

Our brand audit process is a comprehensive analysis designed to help companies increase ROI and reduce marketing expenses.

  • Increase ROI on lead generation and sales conversions.
  • Reduce marketing expenses.
  • Strengthen brand positioning to become more competitive.

We guarantee satisfaction or get your money back! Schedule a discovery call with a brand auditor to find out more.

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