If you’ve owned a website for any length of time, you know that SEO should be your focus. Without effective SEO, your website won’t rank higher, users won’t find your site, and the ones who do won’t stay for very long.
Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm to determine the relevancy and value of a website.
How do you know what changes you need to make and which would be the most effective?
Read on to learn how a comprehensive SEO audit is necessary for the growth of your business!
What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is the process of determining the search engine friendliness of your website. It’s a deep dive into discovering aspects of your website that could be worked on to improve your SEO.
It’s also necessary for discovering issues that are interfering with your organic search performance. You can think of it as a “health check” for your website that needs to be done routinely to ensure your website is performing optimally.
A proper SEO audit can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks to complete. This is because it’s a comprehensive overview that studies several website elements.
Identifying Technical Issues
By studying several technical SEO elements, an audit can identify underlying problems that directly affect the way search engines crawl your website.
Google takes into account how long your website takes to load because it values UX, which is user experience, above everything else. If a website doesn’t load fast enough, your users will bounce, no matter how compelling and informative your content is.
Large images, server response times, and redundant coding all contribute to website speed.
Redirects and Errors
Redirects are a way to send users and search engines to a different URL than the one they requested. You want to keep redirects to a minimum because search engine bots take time to crawl them again. However, you should eliminate any 404 errors.
Architecture and Structure
Creating a clear site architecture and URL structure makes it easy for new users to navigate your website. Likewise, it also helps Googlebot crawl your site and determine the value of your content.
Identifying On-Page Issues
On-page SEO refers to changes and optimizations you can make to your content that improves your SEO. Some of those elements are:
- Content – The quality of your content should be your main concern and focus. Here, you want to make sure that you’re using relevant keywords while ensuring that they fit naturally into sentences.
- Headers – Ensure your headers have H1 tags and are keyword optimized.
- Meta Titles and Descriptions – Much like the header, these should also contain the chosen keyword while remaining succinct and informative.
- Internal Linking – Internal links are placed within your content that directs users to different areas of your site. This lets Googlebot know what content ranks higher on your website.
A good SEO audit will determine the number of backlinks that are pointing back to your site, whether those backlinks are spam, and how many your competitors have in comparison. Backlinks are links to your website from different sites.
The more backlinks you have and the more reputable the sites that link to you, the more Googlebot determines that your site is relevant and valuable.
An SEO audit will be able to identify the main competitors in your particular niche or vertical. This is necessary because it affects the strategy you use going forward to optimize your content.
For instance, if the audit reveals many of your competitors are ranking higher using more backlinks than you, you’ll know to focus on building your backlinks. Through keyword expansion, you can target keywords they aren’t ranking for that you can take advantage of.
Building a Content Strategy
All of this data gives you the ability to come up with a comprehensive strategy to rank your website higher than competitors. Without a content strategy, your content won’t be working as efficiently as it could to gain organic leads and rank you higher on SERPs. Here are some examples of content strategies that may arise after an SEO audit:
- Guest blogging – You want to increase the number of valuable backlinks to your site while providing value to another audience.
- Email marketing – You find that while the audience is there, there’s not a lot of engagement. Email marketing is a great way to connect with your current audience.
- Images – Your content is lacking optimized images that load fast and draw interest to the subject.
- Restructuring – You find that your site structure is confusing and redundant.
Grow Your Business with SEO
As you can see, a proper SEO audit is necessary to ensure your website is working optimally. With more users finding your site through organic search, your buyer funnel will increase, and so will the number of people you engage and convert.
Your website should work for your business instead of against it. Not only does a poorly optimized website look bad to Googlebot, it also has the potential of diminishing your brand’s reputation.
When users find your pages too long to load, your site structure confusing, or your content stuffed with keywords, they’ll make assumptions that your business is just as disordered as your site. Conversely, a well-optimized site with good UX increases the trustworthiness of your brand.
Ready to see how your website SEO scores? Contact us today and get expert consultation, on the house