When carrying out an SEO audit we’re not just looking at the ‘effectiveness of implementation’ or ‘established procedures’, instead we want to provide practical solutions and recommendations to clients that, if actioned will help the site gain more visibility in search engines. We want to turn performance barriers into opportunities that we can target.
It is important to note here that whilst the SEO audit mentioned here examines contributing factors to SEO it is by no means an exhaustive audit. Instead we use this to create strategy and focus for our future attention by highlighting where further investigation and analysis may be required.
So Why should i do this?
SEO is a dynamic, fast moving and constantly changing industry – we need to future proof our strategies and platforms in line with constantly evolving search engine algorithms. An audit is also a great way of uncovering performance barriers – or opportunities as we are now calling them.
An audit will also:
- Ensure your website is still relevant
- Allow you to benchmark against competitors
- Help to create achievable objectives
- Analyse reasons behind decreasing website traffic
- Slow growth or progression
- Gain ground on competitors
What I actually want to convey today is that I believe we don’t need a reason to do an audit, instead we should be asking why shouldn’t we? Hopefully by the end of this you will agree with me.
An SEO audit is the foundation of your online strategy
In the same way that you wouldn’t build a house without looking at the ground it is built on, the neighbourhood, your neighbours, other people’s houses, I don’t believe you should create an online strategy without doing the same.
An SEO audit can help provide you with the above information and should be used to shape an entire online strategy. As we have already mentioned it can help you identify possible performance barriers (opportunities), but it can also:
- Make sure your business objectives are achievable
- Understand the teams you will need to work with
- Understand budgets that will be required to achieve your goals.
A common experience for us is clients wanting to increase their market share, organic traffic or their conversions by x% in the next 6 months, but having no research into whether this is achievable. Our job is to establish how we are going to get clients where they want to be and how we can facilitate that journey. This is where the SEO audit comes in.
Instead of trying to run before you can walk, we use the SEO audit to channel our efforts and focus on aspects that will provide you with the most ROI in line with your business objectives and online goals.
Before we go any further it is important to emphasise that it’s never too late to do an SEO audit. Whether you have been working with an agency or in house team for years and never carried one out, or if you already have your online strategy and business objectives set out it doesn’t matter, you can begin whenever. This is especially important for those who do already have objectives outlined for the next year, we want to establish if they are achievable? Or are there other areas where you should focus your efforts, perhaps areas which if left alone may result in poorer performance this time next year.
It’s also important to highlight how often SEO audits should be carried out. A quarterly audit is the ideal timeframe to aim for if the audits are being used to benchmark progress and performance, however if you are using them to uncover performance opportunities then every six months is acceptable. Carrying audits out on a quarterly basis can also help with forecasting or showing us areas that have made little/no progress thus establishing the reasons why.
At the very least we recommend you audit once a year, but this is a very reactive approach. To be more successful and aggressive in your performance auditing needs to be happen more regularly.
Similar to how your overall Online and SEO Strategy should be constantly evolving: so should your process of auditing. The biggest mistake we see is clients either not implementing recommendations, or implementing them and then sitting back waiting for results to appear. One of the most crucial aspects of an audit is the implementation and analysis phase where changes are scrutinised for their impact.
You may end up with an overwhelming list of actions after an SEO audit, but by working efficiently with agencies and internal teams to prioritise actions and delegate tasks they can quickly be knocked off the list.
We would recommend that when prioritising actions you consider the following points:
- Quick Wins vs Long Term Benefits
- Simple solutions
- Impact of leaving certain actions
- What can you do, what can your agency do and what do you need a specialist for
We would recommend discussing the audit outcomes and priorities with external agencies and internal teams to ensure you are all working from the same page.
Running your own mini SEO audit
- This is not the be all and end all of an audit, however this will give you quick insight into areas of opportunity that should be examined as priority.
- These suggestions are particularly useful if you don’t have access to or knowledge of crawling and analysis tools
- It is imperative that you see the website as a user, as opposed to a business owner or marketing director/ manager to ensure you are as objective as possible.
4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how SEO and advertising are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user interaction and technology, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels.