One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal at assessing current performance and effectiveness of your website is for you to perform frequent SEO Audits. The importance of regular (and comprehensive) reviews of your current SEO rankings is often overlooked but a crucial process you must undertake. An SEO Audit can be performed by yourself or you can have this done independently as long as it’s performed effectively you’ll benefit greatly either way. Here’s what you need to know about getting it right the first time.
Why do you need an SEO Audit?
Whether you perform this task yourself or you have a third party do so, an SEO Audit is a non-negotiable must if you are to keep your site ranking high in the search engines. It’s no longer enough to effectively ‘SEO’ a page, blog or site at the point of creation and then move on, never to return to it. What was a ranking factor last year, or even last week may not be so today.
An SEO Audit will identify and bring to your attention potential issues which are keeping your site from ranking high in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
To put it very simply an SEO Audit is measuring the overall performance of your site. It will cover important components of a website such as site architecture, content-related issues, indexing, backlink analysis and social-media engagement. With the potential a good and thorough SEO Audit can give you, it’ll be foolish to overlook or worse, rush it.
Benefits of an SEO Audit
- Checking your progress – You may have made changes to the site, but are unsure if this has helped drive your rankings forward. An SEO Audit will help with understanding this.
- See how algorithm updates affect your rankings – Google updates these on a regular basis and so with each update, you need to check the effect this is having on your site.
- Comparing your site to your competitors so you can always stay ahead of them – See what keywords they are ranking for as well as learn from their SEO practices to better yours.
- See how the blog content you have written has helped your page rankings and domain authority.
- If you are adding in extra pages, make sure these pages are helping you not hindering you.
- Understand how you are performing against your SEO strategy and how this is helping your business move forward.
- Ensuring that the search engines are crawling your site effectively and that you are only serving them pages that you want them to see.
- External links come and go. An Audit identifies and alerts you to any links which may be problematic and thus hindering your rankings and domain authority.
Start with the basics
Before things get technical, which unfortunately they will have to a little bit, you will want to have a good look at your site as it stands. Is your home page selling your business in the way you wanted it to? Do you have enough information, or god-forbid, too much? Does your content and copy showcase what you have to offer while offering the customer an easy and smooth journey? If any of these aren’t doing what they are supposed to then you should change them.
It’s all well and good having someone click onto your site but to convert that click to a sale will require them to trust your brand and feel like it offers them what they have been searching for. Going back to the basics sometimes will pay off as it may only require small tweaks but you’ll find it can bring everything else together once again.
Compare your site
The goal is to increase rankings while giving your site a little spring clean. You can run a few online searches yourself to see if your site is showing up under keywords/phrases you expect your customers to find you on. You might find a competitor or two is ranking higher than you and stealing potential visitors to your site.
Study what they are taking advantage of that you haven’t considered, see if they are using social media to drive traffic to the site; in other words, treat a review of their site as you would your own. If there’s anything they do better, adopt it, tweak it and improve it. It might sound underhanded but it’s almost guaranteed they are doing the same.
With SEO primarily about beating the competition to the top of the organic search lists, having a few tricks like that up your sleeve will help you along the way.
The technical part
You’ve cleaned up some of the minor problems you have been able to identify. You’ve probably sat and wondered to yourself how are you going to spot problems if you can’t even identify them. Everything probably looks fine and nobody has reported to you any big issues with your site.
Now you need to look at things such as how your site is constructed. Does your site link together well? Do you have any orphaned pages? (Pages which don’t link back anywhere). You’ll need to remove any links identified as spam or broken links. Failing to do this will not just be a nuisance for your users but it will negatively impact your domain authority.
When search engines crawl your site to determine relevance and importance they aren’t just looking at the content of the site but everything from links, pages, indexes and the overall architecture of the site. Search engines use an automated algorithm to do this in a matter of seconds but getting your hands on a report of this crawl will bring to light many problems hidden beneath the surface you can fix. Sites like SEMrush and Deepcrawl can undertake a crawl for you and provide you with a breakdown of its findings.
This is a massively beneficial component of an SEO Audit which really can’t be skipped if you are to do it properly. While it’s no understatement that an SEO Audit is going to take it’s time, especially if it’s been a while since the last you can have a third party perform the audit for you. A second, external opinion will give you a critical and objective approach to the audit as well as giving you a full and detailed professional audit to maximise results.
If you’d like a free 19 point Independent SEO Audit you can get in touch with our team below. Our SEO experts can help you understand and reach your full potential, while optimising your site for a higher and more frequent flow of organic traffic.
What do you do after the audit?
So you’ve crawled the site, received the report, perhaps fixed a few broken links and connected pages to one another with more links. You may have amended some of the meta descriptions and better optimised your keywording. Is that everything?
Well, the truth is that you could spend every hour of every day updating and optimising your site, and even then it’ll never be complete. The task is to give yourself the best possible standing in searches while keeping everything in tip-top shape. Over time things may need altering again but this is why it’s crucial to plan and undertake this process regularly. Just like doing your housework, the more you keep on top of it, the less of a chore it becomes.
There is no right amount of time to leave between audits. It really just depends on your type of business, site and current rankings. Just whatever you do, don’t neglect to do an SEO Audit as you are only hurting your own business at the end of the day.
Remember that with anything related to SEO any changes made, be it improvements or not, they will take some time to take full effect and show results. Completing your SEO Audit on a Monday doesn’t guarantee instant results on the Tuesday. Give it time, monitor any changes and review your effectiveness for future audits or improvements. And remember that social media is a free resource that can aide your rankings. Use it to support and bluster organic traffic to your site while also building your brand trust and awareness.
If you enjoyed this article or have anything further to add please let us know in the comments below. To find out what we can do to help you get in touch with our highly skilled team of SEO experts below.