An SEO audit is the procedure of examining how well your website corresponds to best online practices. The SEO audit will uncover:
On-Page Audit If you have conducted a keyword research then you probably already have some idea what an on-page audit looks like. Generally there will be some sort of indicator on the home page telling the user which keywords their pages are optimized for. This is generally found at the top of the home page or often at the bottom. A good method of doing an on-page audit would be to look for any problems in the coding.
Using A Keyword Research tool In addition to the indicator above, many companies also perform their own keyword research using a specific program like Google’s AdWords or Yahoo! Search Marketing. This is a good practice. In using a program like these, you can look for things like competitor activity, recent changes to search terms and algorithms, adherence to search engine guidelines and the number of pages that are being indexed monthly. Sometimes this information can be gleaned from internal reports, but many times it can be more difficult to obtain.
Competition Analysis Once you’ve taken the step of performing an on-page audit and found the issues affecting organic search engine traffic, you’ll want to look at the competition analysis. Search engines will list any website that displays specific content based on a keyword. For example, if someone searches “puppy names” in Google, the website that appears on the first page (and is relevant to the keyword “puppy names”) is likely to show up in a competitive position. Organic traffic might not convert (but that’s a topic for another article), but website owners must be aware of what their competition is doing to stay atop the lists.
Keyword Research Tool Whether you use a keyword research tool to find out competitors, average search results and organic search results’ positions or not, you should still perform an SEO audit. A keyword research tool can return some valuable data about your website’s optimization. If the keyword research tool indicates that you’re behind other sites in terms of search volume, page rank or organic search results, then you should take action! Otherwise, you may have a problem.
On-Page SEO Audit If you don’t already know how to do an SEO audit, here are a few quick tips to get you started. First, write out a list of SEO strategies that you’ve implemented and whether or not they’re yielding good results. Next, take each strategy, write down its main benefits as well as its main drawbacks. Ask yourself the following questions: Does my strategy produce targeted traffic? Does it generate enough targeted traffic to justify my costs?
Once you’ve identified the problems with your strategies, set about creating solutions by doing some deep SEO analysis. The main goal of this analysis is to identify what SEO factors or elements are most critical to your ranking success, as well as those that you could tweak to improve your rankings. One of the most powerful SEO insights that a search engine optimization expert can provide is a checklist. A checklist will help you eliminate unnecessary actions and thus increase your chances of achieving good rankings.
SEO audits aren’t just about fixing internal problems or eliminating weaknesses. Good audits also serve as reminders for you to up your game. Sometimes it’s helpful to take these audits as a challenge, a wake-up call to make sure you’re getting most value from your efforts. Remember that even great SEO audits are no substitute for hard work. However, using effective SEO tools, writing effective meta-tags, analyzing competitor’s positions, and performing regular SEO audits can go a long way towards improving your site’s performance.