Do you cringe when someone says SEO?
I think we all have at one point, and some of us still do.
SEO can be hard to understand. You have all this technical jargon to try and get your head around, plus you also need to work out how to implement the changes required.
An SEO audit will help you better understand where your website’s SEO is at, and what you can do to improve your search ranking.
SEO audits are a health check-up for your website
An audit, as defined by Oxford Dictionaries is “an official inspection of an organization’s accounts, typically by an independent body.”
It’s use has broadened from a pure financial meaning to be defined as
“A systematic review or assessment of something.”
Therefore, an SEO audit is
“a health check of your website. It looks at the technical infrastructure, plus on-page and off-page elements to optimise visibility, usability, and conversion.”
In my opinion, it isn’t just a marking system of how your site ranks, it needs to explain what you can do to your site to further optimise it.
The key benefit of an audit is you become aware of where to best invest your money to make your site SEO-friendly. After all, there’s no point investing in content marketing if your site has some key technical issues that stop people from hanging around.
There’s lots of SEO factors to consider
A lot of SEO is technical. There’s your site’s page structure, navigational elements, URL structure, mobile responsiveness, site speed and accessibility.
Then there’s an XML sitemap to be submitted to search engines, a user sitemap, and you need to find out if you have a robots.txt file too. Plus heaps of other things to be aware of.
Any new content, such as blogs or additional pages, needs to be optimised. Each page is optimised for one keyword/keyword phrase only. And optimisation doesn’t mean stuffing your content full of keywords either.
The keywords you use also need to be carefully researched to determine whether people are searching for that phrase. Plus you need to determine if you have a good chance of ranking for those words. That’s why an audit of your website should also include a content audit too.
SEO is not static
SEO is not a one-fix wonder. You don’t set it and forget it. Some of the above technical aspects may have been set up when your developer created your website.
This is great, but depending on when your site was created, it may not be optimised for current search engine algorithms.
At the end of the day, you could be putting all your time creating content that’s not optimised. Or you could be optimising your content but the technical SEO factors may be letting you site down.
Or worse, you could have a few dodgy backlinks that are harming your SEO.
What are the key factors of Google’s algorithm?
No one knows what the algorithm is. Even those working at Google. The algorithm also goes through updates so you need to be on top of these changes.
Have a look at the Google search engine recommendations for optimising your site. You can read about the key factors that they use in their algorithm.
What’s covered in an SEO audit?
What’s included in an audit of your website can vary between companies conducting them. A great SEO checklist from MOZ highlights the key factors. Other companies may do an audit of just your content or just look at the technical side.
Here’s what my audit reports on
- Accessibility and indexing
- Googlebot access
- URL Redirects / WWW resolve
- Server IP Redirects / IP canonicalisation
- Broken links
- XML sitemap
- W3C validation
- Site speed analysis
- Mobile responsiveness and load time
- Authority – both domain and page authority
- Shareability – social media accounts, social icons, blogs and Google authorship
- Usability and site architecture
- Local SEO
- On-page SEO such as primary keyword, titles, meta-description, images, internal link, navigation
- Analytics such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools
- I cover technical, local SEO and content auditing
What do I do once my audit is complete?
I guide you through your report via a phone debriefing session. Here I explain the report’s findings and give you tips for what requires action.
From here on it’s up to you how you want to take it forward. For technical issues, I recommend a web developer to address speed issues, CSS or JS issues and the like.
I can provide the following services:
- Keyword research so you know which primary and secondary keywords to target
- Optimising your existing content (headings, anchor texts and links)
- SEO strategy to improve your SEO
- SEO-friendly blog content writing