An SEO audit is the process of evaluating the effectiveness of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, looking to see what areas it is weak in and how to improve it. It is a comprehensive review of your current SEO efforts and can be used to give you a realistic overview of where you currently stand. The report includes recommendations about improving the design and structure of your website, identifying the main keywords for which your site receives traffic, checking the effectiveness of your on-page and off-page SEO, identifying the key competitors for your chosen keywords, identifying ways to improve your competitor’s website performance, reviewing your site’s meta data to identify any competitor activity, reviewing your website visitor demographics, reviewing your competitor’s click through rates and page rank, reviewing the link building and reputation management aspects of your SEO strategy, and comparing your SEO to the competition.
During an SEO audit you should expect to learn about several topics. First, you should learn what type of organic search results your company is submitting to the major search engines, which search engines you are submitting to, how much traffic your site receives from each search engine, what keywords your pages are ranking for, what type of back links your site has, and what your competitors are doing to improve their search engine optimization (SEO). Next, you should learn how to analyze these organic results to see if there are any obvious errors, such as duplicate content or black Hat strategies. Finally, you should learn how to compare your SEO strategy to the competitors. This requires you to perform a Google crawl and index comparison between your pages and the pages of your competitors and to conduct a competitor analysis using data from the Google webmaster tools and competitor forums.
An SEO audit will reveal your keyword ranking, positions in organic search results, organic ranking trend, the minimum amount of time required to achieve a top ranked page, and the number of pages that are in the first page of search results. It will also show you where you are falling short in optimizing your pages and how to correct those deficiencies. You should also be able to identify the best places to focus your SEO efforts. As you implement SEO audits into your strategy, you should expect to discover gaps in your strategy that may result in you missing opportunities for improvement. These gaps can result in you losing significant organic search traffic and ranking.
The main goal of an SEO audit is to determine what, if anything, your company is doing wrong. The SEO team will perform a search on the keywords or phrases in your URL and title tags, and check competitor websites for user intent. The user intent refers to the intent of a human user when they click on a link. This means that you will need to focus on what a human user is searching for, rather than what search engine algorithm or software wants them to find.
For example, if your organic SEO strategies tell you that your webpages should have an about page with detailed information about the company, then you should ensure that this information is present on each of your webpages. If you do not provide a good description of who you are and what your company does, then no one will be compelled to click on your links. If a user is searching for “mills in New York” but finds nothing on your about page, they will simply move on to another company. SEO audits should not focus solely on first page rankings, however, as other important organic SEO factors such as meta tags and keyword density play an important role in the search engine ranking factors.
Another important SEO factor is the use of anchor text links. Anchor text links are hyperlinked words within your page content that directs a user to a particular page or website. Unfortunately, many SEO teams do not understand how important this aspect of optimization is. They often cut anchor text links when optimizing for specific keywords or use anchor text in ways that do not relate to the page content. Cutting keywords and cutting anchor text is only partially effective and can actually hurt your ranking.
A comprehensive SEO audit should also include organic search engine rank analysis and optimization. Organic search engines place a high importance on organic search results, as these rankings are derived from user activity. A complete SEO audit should involve an analysis of the organic search results as well as an examination of the links on your pages, the keywords that are used most frequently, and the anchor text links that link to these pages.
A good SEO audit should also focus on user experience and usability. If a user is unhappy with the way that the website functions, or unable to find what they are looking for, they will immediately de-activate their browser and permanently deactivate their account. Similarly, if a user finds the website to be extremely user-friendly and comfortable to use, then they will likely remain on the website for a much longer period of time, which can lead to higher ranking success.