Without search engine optimization (SEO), your website is lost in a sea of websites that internet users have no idea exists which is why SEO audits are essential for digital marketing success. An SEO audit is a systematic examination of your website to identify issues that require fixing and optimization opportunities you can capitalize on. After all, you can’t fix or improve your website if you don’t have any data on it. Your online presence should be approached with the same level of care and attention as other parts of your business, regardless of what industry you’re in. Often times, however, business owners have no idea what’s going on with their website.
Search engines are constantly evolving how they rank websites and display search results. In the early days, all you needed to do was add keywords to your website and get some backlinks to show up in search results. Now, there are numerous ranking factors used by search engines like security (HTTPs vs HTTP), site speed, mobile-friendliness, content quality, and more. SEO has changed a lot but most business owners haven’t been able to keep up.
As a business owner, it’s crucial that you know what’s going on with your website to get tangible benefits from it like sales or lead generation. Be honest, how many of these questions are you able to answer?
How many backlinks do you have?
Are any of your backlinks low quality?
Do you have any broken links on your website?
Do you have Schema markup implemented?
Is your site speed too slow?
Is your URL structure helping or hurting you?
Does your website have a responsive design?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you need an SEO audit.
Pre-Audit: SEO Discovery
Before an SEO audit is performed, a discovery session should take place to get insights into the current state of your business and website. Without this background research, an SEO audit won’t be as organized, detailed, or effective.
Basic elements of a pre-audit SEO discovery session:
Client interview: We want to know more about your business, industry, and products/services. Who are your customers and how do you talk and connect with them? In essence, we want to see what makes your business ‘tick.’
Goal planning: It’s important to be explicit with what it is you want to achieve with your website to give the SEO audit a direction. We’ll also help you pin down how the compiled data should be measured in order to determine the audit’s progress and success later on.
Keywords: Tell us which keywords you think are most relevant to your business as well as keywords people use to search online for your type of products or service. If you need help coming up with keywords, check out your competitors to see what they’re using.
Content quality: Keyword stuffing, grammatical errors, and more affect the quality of your website’s content. We’ll review your content’s quality to see if there are ways to lower “bounce” rates (i.e. users coming to your website and leaving soon after) and increase user engagement.
A good SEO audit is about asking the right questions to figure out why you’re not getting the kind of results you want from your website. After laying the groundwork in the discovery session, your SEO audit is ready to take place.
SEO Audit Process
How long an SEO audit will take depends on the size and number of your web properties. For example, an SEO audit for a local business with one website will take less time than a Fortune 500 company with multiple websites for different brands. Although SEO audits vary, they all include a thorough review, analysis, reporting, and strategic recommendations for that company's unique needs.
SEO audits typically consist of:
Strategic Objectives: Define clear SEO goals that are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely).
Keyword Analysis: Determine whether your keyword strategy is working and find keyword opportunities.
Competitor Analysis: Examine keyword competition, new keyword opportunities, content performance, page authority, domain authority, and link opportunities.
Technical Analysis: Identify technical issues that hurt the user’s experience and website performance.
Page Level Analysis: Review each keyword-targeted landing page to see whether it’s been optimized effectively and satisfy the user’s search intent.
Content Analysis: Determine if the current content strategy works and how it can be improved to increase user engagement and conversions
User Experience Analysis: Examine how well users are interacting with your content and website as a whole (e.g. bounce rate, average time spent).
Link Analysis: Identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in your internal and external links.
Citation Analysis: Check to see if there are consistent listings of the business’s name, address, phone, and website address across the website as well as other places like Google My Business listing, online business directories, social media, etc.
An SEO audit is an invaluable tool for getting a deeper insight into where your website currently stands in terms of getting ranked and found online. Not only does it reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your site, but the recommendations you receive also give you a path forward based on real data.
Denver SEO Audit Services
Find out what actually resonates with your customers and improve your website’s performance with a professional SEO audit. Lau Marketing offers SEO discovery and audit services to help you get more out of your digital marketing plan by thoroughly examining your website and providing highly personalized recommendations. Contact us today to see how we can help you increase your organic search traffic to achieve your business goals.