Yes, SEO can deliver long term success provided you see it as an evolving process, and not just some tasks to be ticked off your list. Just like your favourite car needs maintenance and regular inspections, your SEO strategy also requires some fine-tuning to keep delivering high-yielding results in the long run. This practice of keeping your SEO strategies unbeatable and evaluating your website’s capability to rank high on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) is known as an SEO audit.
From analysing the website architecture to looking into the off-page and on-page elements, an SEO audit makes sure that your website is optimised for enhanced visibility and better conversions. Do you think it is going to be complex and time-consuming? If you are aware of the SEO related nitty-gritty, an SEO audit doesn’t have to be an intimidating a job for you. In this blog, we have got you covered with the basics, so let’s start.
SEO Audit – A Thorough “Health Check-up” For Your Website
Curious to know why an SEO audit is considered to be a “health check-up” for your website? Well because, by conducting an SEO audit, you can identify the foundational issues such as user experience problems, technical SEO issues, and content gaps that may impact your organic search performance adversely. Given its role in analysing your website and enhancing the overall web presence, an SEO audit is essentially and rightly called the “health checkup” for your business website.
Wondering which are the areas that SEO audits can help you cover? Here is a quick brief.
Fixing Website Errors – No matter how much traffic you drive for your website, broken links can ruin it all and spoil the reputation of your business. So, to deliver a higher user experience, you must make sure there is no broken link on your website. Have you seen a drop in your organic search ranking of late? We suggest you perform an SEO audit to detect the website errors, make the right changes, and give your business a new boost. And if it deems necessary, you can always hire a top SEO agency and rely on the experts to handle it all.
Updating Meta Titles & Descriptions – Cannot remember the last time you updated the Meta descriptions of your website? It’s time to dive into SEO audit right now! Short overviews of your web pages, meta titles and descriptions are the HTML elements that must be updated with targeted and relevant keywords to increase the click-through rate of the organic search results. SEO audits allow you to check, optimise, and ensure the relevancy of Meta tags to the website content.
Content Quality & Relevance – According to Moz, content freshness plays a key role in improving the ranking of your website on the SERP. To put it simply, you will be far from catering to the users as well as the search engines if you are not keeping your content up to date. Still, want to take a chance? No more, we guess. By performing an SEO audit, you can identify and update your old content for keeping it relevant to the current search queries and spiking your organic traffic.
Keeping up with Algorithmic Changes – Do you know Google’s algorithm uses more than 200 factors for ranking websites (impactbnd.com)? Of course, not all of them hold equal weightage, but that does not make pacing up with algorithmic changes any easier. To secure higher rankings on the SERP, you must do an SEO audit to align your strategy with the latest algorithmic updates. Whether it is about updating the content, building quality links, or making website changes, audits can help you modify your SEO plan and boost your organic search result.
What are the main steps in an SEO audit strategy?
Now that you have realised the importance of conducting an SEO audit, we will tell you how to get started. See, with several auditing and analytic tools available out there, auditing is not that challenging as you might have thought. However, if you want deep insights and quality outcome, you may need to engage professional SEO services. For now, let us discuss the main steps of an SEO audit.
Step 1 – Conduct a Deep Technical Analysis
Get your hands on one of the effective SEO audit tools to understand the technical errors that are perhaps affecting your website’s usability and visibility. When you allow the chosen tool to run a crawl on the site, it can show you errors like
-Slow page load speed
-Duplicate title tags
-Broken external links
-Broken internal links
-Non-optimised URL structure
-HTTP encryption not used
-Sitemap.xml not found
Not only will you have to fix and optimise the elements mentioned above, but there are a few things you must check manually to get the right results.
So, here’s what you should do.
Check the robots.txt files manually because these inform Google which pages to crawl and index on your website. So, do not take a risk of relying heavily on tools, at least in this instance.
Along with that, you must make sure your XML sitemaps are formatted and included in the robots.txt file as that would allow Google to crawl your website with ease. And to check whether your website pages have been indexed or not, you can use Google Search Console.
Step 2 – Conduct Extensive Keyword Research
The whole purpose behind conducting keyword research is to understand what your audience seeks and how your website could help in answering their queries, and in the process, boost your search ranking. The keyword research is to SEO what oxygen is to human lives. And no, we are not exaggerating here, for Google alone processes over 40k keyword searches each second (internetlivestats.com). No wonder, you have to focus on this area to show up higher on the SERP.
So, begin by evaluating impressions, average rank positions, and clicks of the existing keywords by using Google Search Console. Next, you can use tools like Ahref, Moz or SEMRush to analyse the competition and search volume of the related or LSI keywords that are worth targeting. Also, pay attention to long-tail keywords as these are less competitive (that means, less pricey) yet more effective in driving quality leads – hit two birds with one stone!
Step 3 – Check, Update, and Revise Your Content
Google has been a proponent of unique, fresh, relevant, and optimised content for quite some time. Rand Fishkin, the founder of SEOmoz has rightly pointed out that “Better content is outweighing more content” in the world of SEO today (mainstreetroi.com). As a result, you should make sure that your website content is relevant to the queries of the audience. Here’s a thorough guide on developing a data-driven content strategy that drives quality traffic.
Remember the keywords you have researched? It is now time to optimise your website content with those valuable terms. From the headings and Meta descriptions to the body content, you must blend in the keywords smartly and organically into the information you are providing to the target audience. And as far as the freshness of the content is concerned, we have already highlighted how important is updated content to achieve a higher ranking on the SERP.
Once you have taken care of the on-page content, you must remain consistent with generating and marketing content like blogs, videos, and infographics to engage the audience and spread brand awareness. Does it sound too much? Engaging reliable digital marketing services can be handy for you then! The experts will take care of it all.
Step 4 – Audit your Back-link Strategy
According to a study conducted by Ahref, over 90% of web pages do not get traffic from Google because of committing SEO mistakes, one of them being a weak link-building strategy. When it comes to back-linking, quality overtakes quantity once again. Since Google determines the credibility of your website based on the quality of links from other sites, you must assess the link equity using any of the backlink audit tools. Here’s an extensive study on non-spammy link building practices. Take a quick look.
Check the Domain Rating or Domain Authority of every link to know if it is adding value to your website. However, do not remove a link in a rush because it has got a lower Domain Rating. In such an instance, you must find answers to a few questions such as – Is this site irrelevant to your business? Have you detected suspicious domains? Are there a lot of ads that affect user experience? We hope you already know the importance of user experience in winning SEO. It’s huge!
We found two more interesting blogs for you. If you are interested in improving your web traffic, give these a read and implement the ideas.
Conclusion – An effective SEO strategy is a forever-moving goal post, and if you are subscribing to the ‘set-and-forget’ idea, you are making a blunder. Be it content, keywords, backlinks, or website architecture, all of them play a crucial role in delivering the right information at the right time thereby maximising the user experience. Only then can you get the best results out of your SEO efforts, not to speak of an improved organic search ranking.