What is a Website SEO Audit?
When you hear the word audit, do you automatically start thinking about your tax returns? Website SEO Audits are basically an objective examination or review of any given set of records to ensure compliance with given guidelines. In the tax world, an audit involves looking at personal or business financial records. In the world of online marketing, a Website SEO audit involves examining how well a website and its individual pages scores in search engine optimisation.
A Website SEO audit is a very powerful tool that establishes how well your website is doing and identifies areas where you need to improve.
Why Perform a Website SEO Audit?
You have a working website and you get a good deal of traffic. It seems that your Website SEO efforts are paying off. The idea of having a Website SEO audit performed doesn’t make sense if things are looking so good.
Audits are actually a great way to make sure your Website SEO is working the way it should. It helps identify what is working and what needs work. Here are a few things to consider:
- Humans make mistakes. It is very easy to forget to remove internal links to deleted pages or to put an incorrect URL into a link, causing an error. These types of issues can downgrade your SEO quality.
- Search engine algorithms change. Periodically, Google and the other major search engines will make updates to their algorithms. You need to keep up with those changes to retain or improve your search engine ranking.
- Titles and meta data are important. For optimal search engine ranking, a web page must have a title and meta data that reflects its true content. If your titles or meta data are not clear and focused, it can lower the page’s ranking.
- Content must be relevant and current. Search engines need a reason to keep returning to your website. Fresh content, updated pages are just a couple of ways to make this happen. A stale website is a turn-off to visitors as well as search engine crawlers.
A Website SEO audit is much like an engine check up. You may not think you need it, but if you don’t do it, your SEO engine will suffer and start to degrade. Routine maintenance will keep it tuned and working as good as or even better than it was before.
What Happens During an SEO Audit?
When you go forward with a Website SEO audit, you will learn a lot of things about your website. Things you never knew anything about. Things that are so important you need to know them. Here are a few of the items you will learn about:
- How authoritative is your website. Several years ago, search engine optimisation leader Moz.com developed the Domain Authority scale. They rank websites based on its quality and authority. The scale goes from 0 to 100. The higher the number, the more authoritative the website is. As your domain authority scale go higher, so do your web pages on search engine ranks.
- Where do each of your web pages rank. You need a baseline on where your current web pages rank for keywords on major search engines. This information will help you identify where you are doing good and where you need to do more work. This part of the report may also identify places where you can move forward quickly.
- How good is your on-page SEO. When you are building a foundation for your search engine optimisation, it all starts on the page. You need to have high quality content, well-researched keywords, and other elements that make it easy for the search engine crawlers to find and index the site. You need regular updates to bring the crawlers back and to attract a building audience for the content.
- Who is backlinking to your website. When people consider your content of sufficient authority, they will offer links from their websites to yours. As long as those websites are of at least average quality, these backlinks are critical for gaining high rankings in the search engines and high domain authority from Moz. You get a first level analysis and have the option of a deeper level dive.
When Should You Have an SEO Audit?
Okay. A Website SEO audit is sounding like a good idea. But, when should you have one performed?
- When your marketing performance is lower than expected. You just got done with a major marketing campaign and, while you got some results, you didn’t meet your basic goals. It is important to understand why your marketing didn’t work. A Website SEO audit may reveal that your website did not giving you the power your marketing campaign needed.
- When you are doing a website redesign. If you are going to put the time and resources into a website redesign, it is a good time to have a Website SEO audit done. That way, you know where your current design is working and where it is not. That information is invaluable when you restructure and redesign your site.
- When you want to take your marketing in a new direction. Your company may be growing and adding new products/services. That often means revamping your marketing strategy. If your website has not been able to keep up with those changes, you need to know where to improve before you launch your new marketing. A Website SEO audit can do that for you.
- At least once a year. SEO requirements are constantly evolving. What worked last year may not work so well this year. The problem is, the changes may not be highly visible. An audit will give you a measure of where your SEO currently is. When you have regular audits, you can see where you have improved and where you have slipped.
A Website SEO audit provides critical information showing where your website currently is and where you make changes to take it forward. With this information in hand, you can start powering up your website in strategic ways to draw new traffic and build your brand. That is just the beginning of the power of the Website SEO audit.