When SEO experts perform an SEO audit of a website, in 99% of the cases they will find some technical issues.
This can be a real problem in terms of search engine optimization.
Because it can have a negative impact on your rankings and traffic over time without you even realizing.
This is precisely why regular SEO audits should be performed.
Website audits will help your overall performance by keeping your site problems free.
In this comprehensive article I will:
- Explain how SEO audit service can help your online business
- Give some advice as to how often you should do it
- Share my professional experience by providing you with a few additional recommendations
Let’s dig in!
SEO audit service basics
There are several main reasons why every webmaster and business owner should perform an audit:
Check for red flags and remove Google penalties
This is the most common reason why people perform an audit or pay for an SEO audit service.
In order to get better results, businesses are prepared to do everything in their power even if it goes against search engine’s policy.
Needless to say, Google does not react well to such behavior and are likely to penalize your site after a while.
In a website audit service, SEO experts need to perform the following actions:
- Review all the backlinks in site’s link profile structure
- Check the quality of site’s content and find problems with it or unutilized opportunities
- Look for anything fishy that has been done by the webmaster or the previous SEO company and fix the issues
To deal with a negative SEO attack
Negative SEO attacks are a common black hat SEO practice. Here a competitor would build numerous backlinks from low quality, deindexed or spammy domains.
This will work against you and might get you in trouble with Google.
More often than now, negative SEO can lead to a domain penalty or other very unfavorable results for your digital marketing efforts.
In this case, the company management needs to react immediately and call a professional SEO expert.
Ideally, they should look for SEO specialists with vast experience in Penguin penalty removal and penalty prevention.
Due to sheer volume of links, such an attack can easily overwhelm your site and literally kill it.
This is especially true if your website is still not authoritative enough.
The less backlinks and authority a site has, the easier it can become a victim of a negative SEO campaign.
Negative campaigns do not work so well against powerful websites but can still have an impact.
Improve site speed and responsiveness
Today website speed and responsive web design are among the most important factors for any website.
SEO expert needs to check whether the site HTML code is good enough, to perform speed tests, to check if the pages open properly on different mobile and desktop devices, etc.
Google is placing more emphasis on technical aspects of and user experience metrics in 2017.
In many cases by improving your site just a bit you can achieve a nice boost in rankings.
For example, by reducing your site loading speed with a few seconds or getting rid of some duplicate content, your organic traffic can increase significantly.
Needless to say, such changes can also affect user experience in a positive way.
Analyse your SEO competitors
Analyzing your competition is something that needs to be done even before you start a company.
Competition research can tell you whether or not you can even compete within a specific online niche.
Regardless, it is a process that should be done periodically so you can tell where you stand in comparison to your closest competitors, how much you progressed and what can be done better.
The consulting expert needs to provide a full SEO audit report including:
- Keyword difficulty analysis of the main search terms
- Content quantity and quality analysis (number of articles and their length and usefulness)
- Analysis of the domain authority, quality of the competitors links and their numbers
- Current ranking positions, traffic and overall state of your top competition
Search for converting keywords
During the SEO audit service, expert’s job is to identify the most lucrative keywords.
These are not only keywords with high search volume but also such with low or medium competition.
In addition to this, these search phrases should have a decent buyers intent and help client sell more of their products.
This will give you a huge competitive advantage over your opponents.
A great idea is to start optimizing the website for the so-called “low hanging fruits”. These are words and phrases the site already ranks on page 1-3 for.
By analyzing data together with website owner, SEO specialist can find phrases that have low difficulty, high traffic and good conversion potential.
Very often, the owner of the business might wish to prioritize keywords that will bring him the most profit.
I highly recommend every owner to have a thorough discussion with the chosen SEO expert or a team in which to discuss the priority sales terms for their business.
After all, owners know their industry very well and their knowledge might turn out being invaluable asset to the SEO campaign.
Check individual web pages
In certain cases, website owners might have worked on ranking their site for certain keywords.
They might have created great content and might have even have built some links to particular pages.
However, for some reason, these pages are unable to rank among top 10 results in Google.
If your pages are not ranking on first page of Google you’re practically impossible to be found by your clients.
This is when you have to employ services of an SEO audit specialist.
During a well executed SEO audit service, the expert will try to find any errors that might be pulling you down, check your link profile for toxic links and try to improve your on-page SEO by adjusting word corpus.
Analyze social media presence and online reputation
Although we often say SMM and SEO are two totally separate entities, it is obvious that they are slowly becoming more and more intertwined.
In that regard, SEO expert should also have a good control over social media and to be able to improve Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn strategy.
By using different social media tools, they can also analyze all the mentions of your company, what people are saying about you and how they’re reacting to your products and services.
Why periodical SEO audits are so important?
This is very important yet a lot of business owners don’t get it!
The SEO audits I mentioned so far are usually done based on a particular need.
What do I mean by that?
Well, if something bad happens of if you want to implement a new strategic plan, you will do it.
Nevertheless, it is also recommended that every online company performs periodical SEO audits.
They should include:
- Link analysis (assessing quality and number of links that were received during the last period, disavowing spammy backlinks)
- Checking meta tags (improving meta tags and avoiding over optimization issues)
- Checking for errors (301, 302, 404 and other server errors)
- See how pages are presented on various devices and how quickly they load
- Optimizing anchor texts of the acquired backlinks
- Checking the overall quality of content (analysis of type, form, word usage and general appearance of a page)
By ordering regular SEO audit services you can prevent most of the issues from ever happening.
Unfortunately, given that people prefer doing things when something bad happens, they will likely opt for one of the previous 7 options.
Don’t be like them. Your business deserves better.
How often you perform a complete technical SEO audit also depends on the size of your website.
Smaller sites can do it once in a year or every six months. However, bigger, more authoritative websites should do it each month.
Is SEO audit really necessary?
I am sure there are those who still aren’t persuaded after all these arguments.
So, let’s see you need to consider when it comes to ordering an SEO audit service:
Occasional audit is something that keeps you out of trouble
I always recommend that people do occasional audits of their websites.
As I mentioned, number of audits will depend on the size of your website and activity.
Smaller bloggers who rarely write and do link building can do it once in a year or perhaps even less.
Popular websites are much more threatened however. Not only because of the large amount of links they are getting or content they’re creating but also due to much higher risk of negative SEO attacks.
Due to the fact that a lot of SEOs don’t really distinguish right from wrong, there is a good chance that the previous SEO agency already made some risky moves.
When the next Google update rolls out, this can be very costly and even lead to a Google penalty on your domain.
Are you ready to put your company to such risk?
SEO audit service is one of the most important ones
In reality, most sites decide to order an audit when it’s too late and there are some serious issues plaguing their website.
Reacting in such a way is wrong.
Even if you’re able to quickly remove a penalty or a fix a problem, you will lose a lot of traffic and thus profit.
If you know a trustworthy agency or professional, send them and email or call them from time to time.
Spare some of your budget for a regular website audit service.
Have in mind that you should be prepared to pay something extra for such audits given that they are perhaps the most important SEO service out there.
While content creation and link building can be great for boosting your rankings, you can still be losing money if your site is not performing at 100%.
Or if your site gets penalized… God forbid!
It is much better to have a one agency for auditing your site and another which does the rest of the job.
Thus you make sure you’re getting the proper information during the SEO audit service and are aware of the real situation.
In a way, this is your safety net.
SEO audits improve user experience
Website owners tend to be preoccupied with their Google Analytics traffic stats and rankings.
They completely neglect the fact that real people are visiting their website.
If you are building your website too aggressively, there is a good chance that there are some errors along the way.
In fact, even if you’re cautious, errors are to be expected. This can be disastrous for your conversion.
If you are a regular blog that wishes to build a brand by first attracting readers and later on, selling products, this is even more important.
Among other, your site speed, mobile friendliness, content and backlinks will be checked during an audit and you will know where you stand.
You will know how your pages look to readers and search engines and whether they are satisfied with them.
Google is becoming smarter and smarter by the day.
RankBrain already shows this tendency where readers are those who are judging content and based on that impression, rankings are formed.
So make sure to cater to those readers and provide the best experience for them.
Due to the fact that I am an SEO, I constantly analyze my pages looking for errors and trying to improve things that look strange or under performing.
Although I mostly talked about website audit as a correction tool, it is something that can also be used during the planning phase.
Simply put, it is a process during which you give reigns of your website to an SEO expert.
By following their professional instructions, the same way you would listen to your financial or legal advisor, you can improve your business tenfold.
Do you pay for website audit services? How often do you perform audits? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!