There are perhaps few words that strike fear into the eyes and ears of website and online business owners to quite the same extent as ‘SEO audit’.
However, this does not need to be the case anymore, and although at one point in the past an SEO audit might have been a messy, drawn-out, overly technical task, the process is notably simpler these days.
If you are running a website or a business online and are hoping to maximise your exposure and outreach online, an SEO audit is an unavoidable task. Just because it is unavoidable and should be conducted regularly, however, does not mean that it has to be time-consuming or difficult. In this article, we will give you a quick rundown of what an SEO audit is and how to complete it.
Regardless of whether you are trying to ensure that an article you have crafted will have the maximum impact, or are just looking to boost your presence in the Google search rankings, this article is for you!
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is essentially the process of analysing how effectively your website meets SEO best practices. An SEO audit seeks to identify any issues or technical inefficiencies that are harming your performance in search engine rankings.
Some of the typical issues that will get identified in the course of an SEO audit include:
- Insights on the competitive marketplace
- Gaps and opportunities in your content
- Issues with user experience on the website
- Off-site problems
- Technical problems and inefficiencies with on-page SEO
- Issues relating to website structure and organisation
- More technical SEO issues
As you can see, there is quite a range of potential issues that can be thrown up by an SEO audit! While some of these might be fairly quick fixes, we can also see that some of them are much bigger ‘structural’ issues related to the website itself. In this sense, an SEO audit involves not only looking in detail at the content hosted on your website but also requires you to take a ‘bigger picture’ approach.
What tools do I need?
Exactly what kinds of tools you will need to conduct an SEO audit will depend on the kind of audit you want to complete. More comprehensive SEO audits will, as you might expect, require a more extensive set of tools. On the other hand, a more superficial one will require fewer technical tools.
With that said, some of the tools you may need, depending on how comprehensive you want it to be, might include:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Page Speed Insights
- Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
- SERP Simulator
- A webpage word counter
- A plagiarism checker
While the majority of these are relatively easy to access, there are premium packages you can get access to. These will usually bundle together some advanced tools in a one-stop-shop package, which saves you the hassle of running multiple software programs and tools.
Considerations when designing an SEO audit
There are a number of considerations you need to bear in mind when you are designing an SEO audit. These include:
- Determining the scope of the audit: How deep do you need to go? Is it a full website audit, or are you only concerned with one section of the website?
- Determine a date range: How far back in time do you need to audit? Are you intending to cover everything hosted on your website since it was first launched, or is the date range more recent?
- Choose your metrics: What metrics do you need to measure and track? These might include organic traffic, organic keywords, traffic value, backlinks, or domain rating.
- Choose your tools: Based on the previous considerations, what tools will you need? Will you need a full suite of SEO audit tools, or do you only need one or two?
- Consider your insights: What insights are you hoping to achieve, and how will you display or measure them? This could cover organic search traffic, domain rating, or site health score.
- Follow up on your insights: With these insights in mind, how do you intend to follow up on them? If organic traffic is down, how will you address this? Make sure that you use these insights to develop a prioritised plan.
How often should I undertake an SEO audit?
As your website is essentially the central hub for everything to do with your business, you must undertake regular SEO audits to ensure that it is in good health.
How often you need to undertake a full SEO audit will ultimately depend on a number of factors. Perhaps the most obvious of these is how large your website is and how often you upload content. If you are regularly posting written content on your website, such as blogs or articles, this will mean that these will need to get audited more regularly.
Additionally, if you run a business that strongly correlates with online search trends, this may also increase the need to undertake a regular SEO audit.
If you want to figure out how often you need to undertake one, the easiest thing to do is to get in contact with an SEO professional who will be able to advise you and draft up a strategy.
Knowing when to outsource
While many of the basic SEO auditing processes can be conducted with relative ease and a little bit of know-how, if you are intending to conduct a comprehensive audit of your website, it might be worth reaching out to a specialist.
The benefit of reaching out to an SEO specialist is that you can not only conduct the audit more efficiently, but it will also likely be more effective.
While there is obviously a cost associated with a professional audit, if there is a chance that it will result in better website analytics and engagement, in the long run, this cost will likely be offset by a boost in website revenue.
Additionally, if it has been some time since you have conducted an audit and there is more work to be done, it might be worth getting professional help to conduct a deep clean! This is particularly true if you have a big website with hundreds of unique pages.
With that said, if you have read all this and are curious about how you might put this together into an action plan, why not reach out to a member of the Purecontent team today? Book a free consultation today and get started on your journey to creating content that has an impact!