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Updated: March 17, 2022

SEO Audit: A Great Tool When Used Right!

Imagine this: You’ve designed the most amazing website with beautiful visuals, and copy that captures your company’s ethos and sells its products, except no one can find you online. By now, most online businesses have heard of or come across the terms Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which optimizes a website’s visibility and search performance.

Yet, many with existing websites that yield poor results don’t think about conducting an SEO audit. When used correctly, this powerful tool can diagnose website problems and point to areas for improvement and suggest appropriate fixes. This blog explains the value of an SEO audit, what it entails, and why hiring SEO experts is a worthwhile investment.

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What Is An SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is a process of evaluating various website elements that impact its performance in organic searches. Performing a site audit is the first step in creating a plan to improve search engine page ranking and Google traffic. SEO audits provide valuable insight into a website’s performance, the structure and topics of individual pages, and overall traffic.

Internet marketing guru Neil Patel describes it as “a report card of your site’s Googleability”. A thorough SEO audit should analyze a website’s:

  • Core Web Vitals performance (site speed, responsiveness, and visual stability)
  • Quality of current backlinks and referring pages pointing to your website
  • On-page elements like title tags and meta tags
  • Assess current conversion opportunities and site aspects that disrupt users’ experience
  • Crawl waste and crawl budget*

*Crawl budget is the maximum number of pages a search engine can and wants to crawl on any website. This is determined by the search engine’s crawl rate limit and demand. Crawl waste is when search engines can’t crawl a website efficiently, which hurts a site’s SEO performance.

Why is An SEO Audit Important?

An SEO audit is a bit like scheduling an annual physical for your website’s health. The purpose of an audit is to identify issues that affect your website’s search engine results. Using an appropriate SEO audit tool like Google Search Console can reveal:

  • Technical and on-page SEO issues
  • Website structure issues
  • Potential off-site problems
  • User experience challenges
  • Content gaps and opportunities
  • Competitive marketplace insights

Any website is a living digital property; as it changes, so should its strategy. Without regular SEO audits, you won’t achieve the right organic traffic or know whether your marketing efforts are yielding results. It keeps your website strategy up to date, exposes errors, and helps recover lost traffic.

Creating An SEO Strategy

Keeping your SEO strategy up to date requires regular auditing. Good SEO audits alert businesses to trends, so they can optimize their content strategies to retain and improve traffic levels. Search engines understand the best websites offer users what they are looking for.

So, if you want to be accessible, relevant, and easy to find online, you need to optimize your website and marketing content. Be it with an external agency or in-house SEO specialist; the cost will always pay off.

A solid SEO strategy is built on keyword rankings and research, backlink analysis, good website design, and valuable content. This develops brand trust and credibility needed to increase leads and drive users further down the marketing funnel.

Improving Your SEO

In recent years, SEO has drastically changed. Search engines, especially Google, make hundreds of updates to their algorithm each year. Thus, what strategies work now will likely be different from what works next year.

Search engines prefer ranking up quality websites. With an SEO audit, your SEO will be evaluated to find out how it affects your website’s user experience. You can then determine the best strategies that will both improve your search engine ranking and make your visitors happy.

Good SEO for your website should focus on providing the best user experience first and increasing search engine results second. When you focus on the experience of your website’s visitors, you won’t have to constantly analyze each detail of your SEO.

Following Up On A Google Update

Google updates its algorithms several times a year. For example, in June 2021, it rolled out “The Page Experience Update,” intended to bring a better experience to users by prioritizing pages that offer a quality experience.

Major updates can impact organic search results and significantly increase or decrease Google rankings, especially if you haven’t made any major changes to it, but experience a sudden decline in traffic.

When Google announces an update, auditing is a must to ensure web page compliance with new ranking factors. Currently, Google gives preference to sites that load and appear correctly on Chrome and other search engines like Bing, Firefox, etc.

After A Sudden Loss in Positions or Traffic

A sudden loss of search traffic could be because of a variety of reasons. Besides a Google update, it may be due to a change in the market, shifting seasonal demand, a server overload, or competitors improving.

Implementing website changes can also influence performance. Most of the time, design pages affect load times and page speed. Sometimes after a website migration, not all elements are intact. For example, some images may not load properly, an inbound link structure could be faulty, and 301 directs may be incorrectly mapped out.

It’s advisable to use Google Analytics frequently to track traffic changes and Google Page Speed Insights to check for specific onsite errors.

What is Included in SEO Audit?

SEO audits evaluate factors that impact the ability to rank on search engine result pages. These elements include on-and off-page SEO, as well as technical SEO performance.

Technical SEO Audit

A technical SEO audit assesses a website’s technical aspects, including on-page elements, URL structure, website structure, and indexability. It is often done before backlink and content audits because it focuses on resolving issues that prevent search engines from indexing or creating your site correctly. Common aspects covered in a technical SEO audit include:

  • Unoptimized pages for mobile
  • Slow loading pages
  • Invalid structured data items
  • Backlink profile
  • Metadata issues (missing title tag and meta descriptions)
  • H1 tag issues
  • ‘Non-indexed’ pages
  • Broken links
  • 404 error pages
  • Uncompressed code

Remember, while it’s tempting to get ahead of the competition, engaging in any black hat SEO techniques that go against Google’s guidelines will result in a Google penalty. This may downgrade a website’s search engine results ranking, or in worst-case scenarios, delist it from the search engine.

On-page SEO Audit

An on-page SEO audit provides an in-depth look at a website’s indexable content. This type of analysis reveals which web and landing pages are attracting the most organic traffic, which needs to be removed (if there’s duplicated content) or updated. It focuses on how each piece of your website’s content engages your target audience and delivers quality SEO to improve your website’s traffic.

On-page SEO audits are not the same as conducting content inventory audits. An on-page SEO audit is a qualitative evaluation of a website’s content, while an inventory audit examines a company’s repository of existing content assets, including blog posts, videos, and any other content marketing materials produced for lead generation.

What Should I Expect From an Audit?

An SEO audit process can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks, depending on the size of your website. For instance, a simple website with a few external links will take quicker than a large eCommerce platform with thousands of products and internal pages.

At Comrade Web, when a company contacts us, we conduct a comprehensive audit that does the following:

  • Measure your website loading speed
  • Evaluate all the backlinks
  • Analyze current search engine rankings (SERPs)
  • Evaluate your web-design
  • Look at website conversion rates
  • Assess the quality of your website’s content

This forms part of a 20-point SEO performance evaluation checklist. Once we have a detailed overview, we suggest several ways to optimize your SEO content strategy. As a leading digital marketing company, we present all clients with the full scope of their current situation and prospective work. We don’t take shortcuts and explain every step of the process, so our clients remain informed and understand why what we do guarantees results.

An SEO audit is the starting point of all digital marketing. Whether it’s optimizing site architecture or a site audit needs to be done first to ensure SEO best practices are followed and digital marketing campaigns strategies are a success.

Can I do An SEO Audit by Myself?

Truthfully, as a business owner, you have access to tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush, and Ahrefs, which can help you conduct an SEO audit of your site. However, there are innumerable benefits to hiring a professional SEO expert. They have the knowledge and expertise to conduct it properly and offer solutions to improve your SEO efforts.

Ask yourself: Once you’ve conducted an SEO audit, do you know how to best leverage the findings? And do you have the time and expertise to follow through with fixing broken pages updating a meta description, among countless other improvements, to boost your site’s ranking in an organic search?

As it is, 61% of marketers consider SEO efforts and boosting organic presence their top marketing priority. So, it makes sense to hire a professional because they’re dedicated to SEO, unlike business owners who would probably prefer to focus on other things. In the same way that most people hire mechanics to fix their cars, most successful businesses seek professional SEO help.

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Conclusion

To keep your website ranking high on SERPs, it’s crucial to habitually conduct a site audit for broken internal links, duplicate content, inactive content publishing, and off-site SEO that results in poor user experience.

When you improve your website’s health, you improve its overall performance. At Comrade Web, we offer a free SEO service for our clients. As a committed digital marketing company, we deliver a 2.5x increase in organic traffic on average. Why not start your SEO audit today?

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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