What is an SEO Audit? The search engine optimization or SEO Audit is a way for search engine optimization professionals to examine the existing website, analyze how it is performing in terms of search engine results, and make necessary changes that will improve its performance. SEO audits are very important to professional and business websites as these web sites often contain information about the owners and the employees of that website. Such personal information can be used for purposes such as identity theft, or even for obtaining business over the internet. Thus, such personal details must be protected.
Search engine optimization, on the other hand, is the method of enhancing the quantity and quality of site traffic from search engines by optimizing the website’s content, keywords, links, structure, and more. SEO aims to increase the number of visitors to a particular website by using different online marketing strategies such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and other methods. SEO aims to provide genuine and organic traffic to websites by making sure that the site has competitive keywords that are used by online visitors when they perform searches. SEO audits are conducted to check if the website is currently performing at its maximum potential; otherwise, it is an indication that much needed changes are needed. SEO aims to improve site competitiveness by conducting an evaluation and research on how a particular site is performing against competitors.
An on-page audit is basically an audit conducted on the website’s physical structure, including layout design and development, content development and editing, URL and title tags, page titles and descriptions, navigation system, user experience and search engine compatibility. The purpose of this audit is to analyze each of these components of the website and identify areas which may need improvement. An on-page audit also involves conducting research to see if keywords and key phrases used in generating web pages are being used effectively by internet surfers in finding the websites. Aside from this, there is also an off-page analysis which analyzes the social media profiles of the site’s visitors, such as their age, location, gender and interests.
When you are doing an audit, make sure that you have enough time to conduct each step thoroughly. You should also make sure that you have all the tools and resources that you need, including preferably a website viewer or user history analyzer, and an SEO tool such as Google Analytics. These tools will help you conduct a thorough audit and identify any areas that may need improvement.
The first thing to identify during an SEO audit is your current SEO strategies. This includes the content management system, duplicate content and search engine optimization, link popularity and off-page factors. For example, in conducting a site audit, you will need to determine what best practices your company is following in optimizing websites for organic search results. Best practices can range from keyword research to link building, to directory submission and to on-page optimization. It is important that you have these all covered when conducting an audit, so you can focus on them specifically.
A common issue that many companies face is duplicate content. Duplication is seen as a major problem by many search engines and one that significantly hurts your ranking. One way you can fix this is to conduct an audit of your keyword analysis data, which would show you which keywords are performing well and which ones are not. This allows you to pinpoint certain keywords that you should be focusing on, in order to help boost your rankings. Another option is to conduct an audit of your URL structure, and check to see that each URL is unique, which will allow you to maximize your SEO strategy by using anchor text links that are only related to one page.
Another useful task that you can do during an audit is conducting a technical audit. A technical audit usually involves analyzing your code, database and web platform. If you are unable to understand the code, you are at a disadvantage to optimize your website because you cannot make technical changes manually. Another problem that can occur is if your code base changes, but the server does not update, you will experience problems with all of your website’s pages. This is also why you need to do an audit of your XML sitemap and file system, to make sure that all of your website’s code and server are functioning correctly.
While most of these tasks are relatively simple, they are a must for you to complete for each site that you are optimizing. If you fail to do these audits, you can have major consequences on your ranking, and you could even be blacklisted by the major search engines, because you will have broken optimization rules. Therefore, it is always smart to conduct at least one technical audit for each site that you are in the process of optimizing, to make sure that everything is fine.