An SEO audit is an analysis of your website’s performance with regards to its position in search engine rankings, the structure of the site and user experience, among others.
It all seems like something that every business should be doing regularly, yet, many times this process is put on the backburner.
It can be hard to measure the results and know what worked because of the audit and what would have happened without it. Many marketing teams fail to put enough stock in performing these audits at least once per year.
An audit is something every business with a web presence should be doing. In this article, I will outline the reasons that it is important.
Who should do your audit?
I firmly believe that it is always helpful to have a different set of eyes look into any kind of audit. If an audit were to be done by the same people working on the SEO or UX of a website emotion can obscure things that might be obvious to somebody not as invested in the project.
Hiring an agency is the first start. Web design and marketing agencies like Ichor Studios can break down aspects of your SEO that you probably aren’t seeing since that is their specialty.
Not only can an agency identify areas for improvement that are holding your site and business back, but they can give you a comprehensive SEO strategy to use going forward.
What does an SEO audit do?
An audit is meant to cover content and structural problems with your site that are affecting your visibility.
The audit will identify areas in which there are missing pieces, missed opportunities, and give a big picture idea of what the site is capable of. All of these things will give you an idea of how SEO is impacting your goals and revenue.
Here are some areas in which an audit will focus:
- Technical audit – This is the phase that identifies your site speed, how the site is structured, and how the pages are crawled.
- On-page audit – Analysing the interlinking between pages, keyword usage and research, and things like the meta data will shine some light on how the site performs.
- Off-page audit – Backlinks are extremely important but they have to be quality and relevant so an analysis of your backlink profile is very important.
- User experience – If your site is hard to navigate, or the scope is unclear when a user arrives then the site is costing you money.
Once an analysis is done, then a strategy can be implemented. There will be the low hanging fruit which can be done easily, such as interlinking or submitting an XML sitemap.
A bad UX will likely mean a website redesign which is more complex.
How often should an audit be done?
There are so many moving parts when it comes to best SEO practices that frequent audits should be part of your to-do list. Once a year is a good start.
The reasons why they should be done frequently is that there are so many changes to SEO that what works today won’t work in a year, or even less.
Changes to algorithms happen every few months. Finding yourself on the wrong side of an update could mean losing most of your search traffic overnight.
Content on the site can also be outdated and need to be updated or even added to. Content also gets stale so new posts and pages should be added in addition to cleaning up older content.
Also, backlinks can be lost, website errors can crop up and new strategies can be formulated in between your audits.
Keeping a frequent auditing schedule can make sure your site doesn’t fall behind.
What to expect after an audit
It can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to perform an audit. It depends on the scope of your site, business and goals as to how long it will take.
Once it is completed, an SEO specialist will give a presentation to your team so everybody understands what the issues were. A strategy moving forward will be suggested during the briefing, so everybody knows what is expected of them.
Then, a formal report will be given to the team so each department knows what they need to do and how to get it done.
Some of the changes will take only a few days to see the benefits, while others may take months.