What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is when a search professional reviews your website for specific SEO best practices and identifies opportunities to improve the website’s organic search rankings. A search audit will take into consideration “on-page” and “off-page” variables that will impact a website’s search visibility. A thorough technical analysis is needed to understand how your website is being indexed by the search engines and what is needed to improve search performance.
Conducting an extensive SEO Audit is the first step in understanding the areas of improvement for your website. Our SEO analysis look at both on-page and off-page components of SEO. From your link footprint to your title tags, every variable is assessed which will shed light on why your website is ranking the way it is.
A Complex Manual Process
Anyone can look online and use “Free SEO Report” software to get a bird’s eye view of their website’s pain points. But this is where most companies fail to realize that just because there is text in the title tag field (as an example), doesn’t mean that the keywords are search descriptive or even relevant to that page. Another common mistake is when a company tests their mobile page speed and receive a score of 50 /100. Sometimes compressing images can get their score up in the 70s. Other times, a deeper understanding of 3rd party APIs and how that impacts the page speed is needed. A website needs to be analyzed by a skilled search professional that their sole purpose is search engine optimization.
SEO Competitive Analysis
When assessing the SEO viability of a website, we must also understand the competitive landscape of your industry. Whether your intended audience has a local reach or even a global reach, understanding the competitive landscape will help us determine the overall strategy that is needed to compete organically.
What is Delivered in the SEO Audit?
At the end of our analysis, our SEO team will deliver a technical document in excel outlining the issues with the website that need to be mitigated. This document can be quite extensive so we usually engage our client’s technical team to review the findings with them (Yes, we will outline every broken link). We will also deliver a high level “executive-facing” document translating the technical terminology into human-speak. It is important for all levels within an organization to understand what the audit uncovered and the impact to organic search. These two documents will not only outline the issues but also give recommendations on what needs to be implemented to improve search performance.
This extensive SEO Audit looks at both on-page and off-page components of SEO. We’ll provide:
- Manual review of the website and if necessary we’ll make recommendations for content above the fold, benefit oriented messaging, and Call To Action placements.
- Current organic keyword rankings, search impressions and clicks.
- Ensure all pages are properly indexed and crawlable by search engines.
- Crawlability issues: e.g., some pages returned 5xx status code.
- Redirect issues: e.g., some of your redirects are looped.
- Sitemap issues: e.g., some incorrect pages were found in your sitemap.
- Issues with HTTPS: e.g., HTTPS pages link to HTTP pages.
- Internal links issues: e.g., you have broken (non-functional) internal links.
- On-page SEO issues: e.g., you don’t have title tags for some pages.
- Markup issues: e.g., some structured data markup doesn’t comply to Google’s guidelines.
- Ensure there aren’t any manual actions against the site. We’ll also review and make necessary recommendations for all Warnings and Errors we find.
- Research and make recommendations on new organic keywords that could be used within their website or in a backlinking campaign.
- Run a backlink audit to ensure their aren’t any toxic links pointing at their site. We’ll also provide the number of backlinks to their website, as well as what anchor text was used.
- Metrics that show how they rank against their competition online. This will review the number of backlinks, domain ranking, traffic, keyword rankings, etc.
- An audit of their website’s speed and performance (Core Web Vitals). If there are issues we’ll provide recommendations on how to improve.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures how long it takes to load the largest piece of the page.
- First Input Delay (FID): measures the delay between the user’s first interaction with a page and the browser’s response to it.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures how much the layout of the page shifts for the user, as well as visual stability across screen resolutions.
- Title tags, Meta Descriptions, and Alt text will be reviewed. We’ll let you know if any of these elements are missing and if there should be additions or changes made.
- Check for duplicate versions of the website. It is essential to ensure that Google is indexing only one version of their website. We’ll make sure the site isn’t sitting on various versions of a URL (depending on whether there’s WWW in the domain and whether the site uses HTTPS). To a search engine, these are all different versions of the site: (http://www.yoursite.com, http://yoursite.com, https://www.yoursite.com, https://yoursite.com)