How is your SEO performance these days? Do you know? Many business owners with websites can tell you one of two things: “Yes, I find my site in search engine results, or “No, I don’t.” Few can tell you why or know how to address this problem. An SEO audit is a great place to start. You can do it yourself or hire a full-service SEO firm. So, do you need an SEO audit? Absolutely. Let’s talk about why and what you’ll get from it to improve your web presence and SERP rankings.
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is the means of examining how your web presence performs against the competition and industry best practices. When creating a plan for your website that will have measurable results, an SEO audit is the first step. The objective of the audit is to highlight as many issues affecting organic search performance as possible. The SEO audit will reveal:
- Technical SEO issues
- On-page SEO issues
- Potential off-site problems
- User experience questions
- Opportunities to improve content
- Website structure issues
- Backlink opportunities from referrals
- Custom results from specific queries and metrics
An audit is a regular procedure that should occur on a consistent basis – it is actually a “health check” for your website.
How often should I audit my website?
Well, it depends. You probably know by now that SEO is a process that requires patience. Even the best SEO doesn’t yield overnight results and is best observed over time. For this reason, it is wise to audit the performance of your website on a quarterly or semi-annual basis depending on the size of your site. If you operate a large site with regularly-driven content, then a check-up every quarter will attentively guide your writers and content creators. You will also be learning more about the patterns of your users. For example, are they using their mobile devices mostly or laptop? This type of information effectively drives your innovation for positive user experience. Likewise, if your online operation is functioning at a smaller scale, checking every six months is perfect to observe the performance of your content marketing objectives online.
What should I focus on after the audit?
Great question. You should focus heavily on user experience for two reasons. Though it hasn’t been explicitly stated, it appears as though Google rewards websites with low bounce rates. If a user arrives at your site and it looks unprofessional, or the page loads slowly, then they’re going to “bounce” and go to a better website that will meet their intent. When focusing on implementation, think about appearance and engagement. When trying to work on how engaging your site is, consider adding more video content. This, along with a regular flow of fresh content that users can come to expect, will generate quality traffic and loyalty among digital patrons.
It’s wise to invest resources into hiring an SEO agency to help you with your site audit, especially if you have little hands-on experience with SEO. Or, perhaps you have experience with search-driven content, but not the technical, back-end work (or vice-versa). A best in class SEO agency like Linkgraph will spearhead your site’s audit, ensuring a clear foundation and runway for site growth through search optimization. If you’re deciding on which SEO agencies to with, look into case study examples to see how that particular agency helped other companies. Linkgraph shows previous clients’ results (i.e. what percentage of growth the company saw after Linkgraph implemented their SEO strategy, how they took an e-commerce client to page 1 of Google, etc.). Definitely do your homework before deciding on an SEO agency to help with your audit (or any other needs you have).
Keyword research results
Keywords are also important and you will learn what keywords people are using when they search for your business as well as your competition. There are two strategies at your disposal here. The long-tail keyword approach and the short-tail approach. A long-tail keyword is a detailed search query and is generally less competitive and less costly to a marketing campaign. Oppositely, short-tail keywords are short, one-word, or two-word searches that are competitive and expensive when vying for high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). While keywords are important to SERP statistics, the overall quality of your website is still more important. In order to ensure success in your SEO approach and web presence, you will need a well-balanced strategy. One that is attentive to keywords, user experience, Google Analytics, and Google algorithm updates as well as your own goals and metrics.