Search engine optimization (SEO) determines the quantity and the quality of organic traffic you receive from search engines. To gain the incredible competitive advantage of high ranking on the search engine results page (SERP), you should start with a SEO audit of your website – a detailed analysis showing why search engines might have problems crawling your website and what should be done to improve its visibility and conversion.
Why Do You Need A SEO Audit?
It is important to understand that an SEO audit is done not only to identify shortcoming as such, but to suggest ways to improve relevant areas and address current issues preventing the website from ranking high on relevant SERPs.
Specifically, a full SEO audit allows to:
- Compare your performance against the performance of your competitors;
- Get a clear picture of SEO efficiency of your site;
- Assess the effectiveness of past and ongoing SEO efforts;
- Develop a technical task detailing on the necesary changes;
- Identify the weaknesses of your website and adress them;
- Establish futher goals for your website.
All this information helps to achieve the ultimate goals of SEO audit, which are the growth in organic targeted traffic, higher conversions, and increased revenue. This is why a good website audit is often a tipping point for businesses capitalising on online presence.
In addition, once the website owner invests into search engine optimisation, it is a SEO audit that allows to see what difference it has made for the website.
What Does SEO Audit Consist Of?
A SEO auditor should necessarily deal with these three areas:
Technical analysis entails checking the accessibility and indexability of your site. Analysis of accessibility includes looking into your website’s meta tags, robots.txt file, an XML sitemap, website load speed, mobile friendliness and overall website architecture – factors, which determine how well crawlers can access the pages or your site. Another step in a technical analysis is checking whether all the pages are indexed by Google (appear in SERPs). If some pages are not displayed to the users, an auditor should look for the possible Google penalties and identify the reasons for them.
On-page analysis refers to the identification of content and keyword use issues. Specifically, an auditor needs to make sure the website does not cover different conflicting topics, there is no duplicate content (if several articles with the similar content are written, crawlers get confused and indexation issues arise) and keyword cannibalization (if several articles promote the same keyword, crawlers choose only the strongest one to display). Additional parameters auditor has to check are structure, length, and originality of the website articles, the use of keywords in all the relevant areas (content, H1-H6, title tags, meta descriptions, etc.), optimisation of images, and outbound and internal links.
Off-page analysis is meant to show how trustworthy search engines believe your website is. Trustworthiness of your website depends on the time visitors spend on your website, bounce rates, and links to your website from other trusted sources and social media. An auditor will help you make sense of all these metrics and learn to affect them to your advantage.
How Often Should You Perform A SEO Audit?
It is recommended to perform a SEO audit regularly to ensure the increased site visibility and high number of targeted visitors. There are no compulsory timeframes: while small websites might find frequent SEO audits overwhelming, bigger ones will definitely benefit from the timely identification of issues with SEO and may perform audits more often.
The general recommendation is to perform a SEO audit:
- at an early stage of a new project;
- at the start of a new quarter;
- at any stage of website promotions (to assess website’s readiness or to evaluate the achieved results).
VAfromEurope team appreciates all the work and ideas you invest into your website and would love to help you identify and effectively address all the issues, which does not allow search engines to see all the value you can provide. SEO is a long process, but it is well worth it, so be sure to start early!