An SEO audit should be the first step in any SEO plan
Many businesses spend a lot of time, money and effort on their website. Despite the effort and expense many website fail to get the kind of traffic that they expect. An SEO audit of the website can provide answers to why the website is not generating traffic or business for the company. What is an SEO audit and what are the critical issues evaluated as a part of an audit?
What is SEO audit anyway?
An SEO audit is the process of analyzing and evaluating the various components of a website that impact its position on an organic search page. The purpose of an audit is to identify important issues affecting organic search. In simple terms, it is a report card of a website’s searchability on Google. Essentially, the website should be well-designed, clean and wonderful.
The audit provides an overview of the SEO effectiveness of the website and what changes are required to make it better. A good audit uncovers content issues, technical SEO issues, on-page SEO issues, structure and design issues, and user experience issues.
Key elements evaluated in an audit
During your website’s audit, it’s essential to check the site uptime. That is the time the website is available to view by your users. If your website has frequent downtime, it can affect traffic and your site’s ranking. Most hosting companies guarantee an uptime of 99.9%. To make sure your site meets that threshold use one of the tools available to measure uptime. Many of them will notify you when your site is down. Some of the popular ones include Uptrends, UptimeRobot and Dotcom-Monitor.
It is important that your website is easy to use. Users like websites that can be easily navigated. While usability features are primarily focused on end users, keep in mind the search engine robots come to visit your website in order to index its pages. You need to make your website friendly to your users as well as to the search engines. With that in mind, the site should be easy to navigate. Google measures the number of internal links in a website. The thinking being that the more links to a page the easier it is to find it. There are tools and testing services available to help determine your user’s experience. Among them are Optimizely and Qualaroo. and several others, which can help you determine how users react when they use your website.
Crawling and Indexing
Crawling is when the search engines scour the Internet for content and look over the code for each URL they find. Basically, it is how the website is read by search engines. Indexing is how search engines store and organize the content found. Once the web page is indexed, it is then ready to be displayed as a response to relevant search queries. For efficient performance, it is critical to determine if the website is being correctly crawled and indexed. In an SEO audit, the robots.txt file is checked to identify the resources that are being blocked from crawlers. The sitemap is also checked to determine if it meets all the necessary protocols.
Some of the factors that can adversely affect the accessibility of the website include slow page load speeds, long server response times and 404 errors. In an SEO audit will determine if your website has accessibility issues. If there are, you need to fix the errors in your website.
The Google Algorithm has evolved over the years. The willy nilly linking that worked 10 years ago is poison to your website now. You need to get rid of the bad links and have a healthy link profile. An SEO audit helps to identify any links that can harm your traffic and devalue your site.
Keyword analysis uncovers the keywords that can bring in search traffic and how your website ranks for these keywords. It also reveals the keywords that are bringing in the search traffic and whether or not this traffic is converting into paying customers. There are several tools available such as the Google Search Console, which tell you how your keyword search positions affect the SEO performance.
This process involves evaluating content (new and existing) for factors that can improve or deter organic performance. The content is evaluated from both the user and search engine perspective. The factors that are looked into include whether or not the content is optimized for targeted keywords, the amount of time users spend on the content, and duplicate content issues and more.
The ultimate aim of content evaluation is to find out what your content is doing to help drive traffic and business. An SEO audit will help you create a sound SEO content strategy.
On-Page Optimization refers to all measures taken within the website in order to improve its search rankings. In an SEO audit, analysis includes elements such as ALT tags, header tags, URLs and others. It helps identify pages that lack any of these elements.
Google started indexing the mobile version of websites in 2019 rather than the desktop version when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s search query. Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile. An SEO audit will check whether your site is mobile friendly.
Many business owners aren’t interested in the technicalities of an SEO audit. But it’s important take necessary corrective actions. Make sure you have the right professional help to carry out the SEO audit and use the results to improve your online visibility.