What is an SEO Audit and Why is it Important to Conduct One?
What do you do when you haven’t seen in the doctor in a while. You book a doctor’s appointment, of course. Health checkups are a routine part of life, but why aren’t you checking on the health of your website?
If your website is slow to load, frequently crashes, or is filled with error 404 pages, your poor site isn’t in good shape. Add these issues to faulty navigation, hosting problems, and duplicate content, and you have a seriously sick website on your hands!
For reasons like these, you need an SEO audit ASAP. What is an SEO audit? Think of it as a check-up for your website.
You need to evaluate, diagnose the problem, and treat the condition. An audit is the first step in the SEO healing process.
A sick website won’t rank on the first page of Google. Learn more about the nuts and bolts of conducting an audit.
What Is an SEO Audit?
Let’s start with the mysterious term, SEO. If you’re familiar with the process, then it’s not so mysterious. SEO is the acronym of “search engine optimization.”
Search engine optimization has been around since the advent of the internet. Still, the industry itself didn’t get its start until the early 2000s. In short, it’s the practice of getting found in engines.
How do you get found in search engines? You have to “optimize” your website with optimization methods. These methods grab the attention of search crawl spiders, so they can index your site quickly.
It’s not just crawl spiders you have to impress. Search engines routinely release new algorithmic updates to ensure utmost quality in search results.
Why Algorithms Matter
Search algorithms can make or break a website’s search presence, and ranking requirements are becoming stricter with each new update. For example, Google’s Panda algorithm raised the bar for content quality, and down-ranked websites that didn’t adhere to the latest standards.
Websites with poorly-written content, fake news, uncited sources, and duplicate content quickly fell off the first page. Since only 25% of Google users venture from the first page, your business is pretty much non-existent once it falls to page 3, 4, 5 and so forth.
If you think Google isn’t serious about their algorithms, think again. One recent update called “medic” had a devastating impact on health-related sites. Algorithms aimed at link quality have also sent websites plummeting off of page one.
SEO Is Essential for User Experience
As a business owners, there are so many digital marketing concepts to remember. One critical marketing relationship that’s frequently overlooked is the link between SEO and user experience. User experience (UX) is fundamental to SEO and vice versa.
According to the team from The Whit Group “That’s because in many regards, SEO is UX. From the moment there are eyes on your Google listing right through to a buyer action, SEO’s are trying to ensure a smooth and joined-up user experience.”
When business owners think of SEO, they immediately think of link building, SEO content creation, technical SEO, keyword density, and anchor texts. These are important elements, but there’s one glaring omission – UX.
User experience refers to any element that impacts a visitor’s experience on your website. It’s not just looks that matter. A pretty website is just one piece of the puzzle.
Good UX considers the following elements:
- Easy navigation for website visitors
- Clearly visible contact information
- Mobile-responsive design for convenience
- Website speed and load time
- Web host speed
- Online shopping cart experience
- Memorable domain names
- Trustworthy content
- Easy to read text
Customer service elements are also essential to UX. Every website needs a contact page, easily accessible support, and knowledge bases. You’re also seeing a rise in AI-powered chat bots.
UX may not scream “SEO” at first glance, but it’s critical to your strategy. Don’t forget to add user experience to your SEO audit.
What Do Your Backlinks Say About Your Website?
Search engines consider several ranking factors for websites. The amount of clicks, social media signals, shares, updates, internal links, and load times all matter. One crucial factor is backlinks.
Backlinks are websites that link back to your site. These aren’t to be confused with your internal and external link building strategy. Internal links are webpages from your own site, and external links are outside URLs you link to in content.
Backlinks, internal links, and external links are the backbone of every SEO link-building strategy.
It’s easy to check your internal and external links for errors. There are also plugins you can install that will scan your website for you. However, backlink scans require separate tools.
You can run a backlink scan for free, but you won’t get a complete profile. You’ll need to use the best backlink checker from a top SaaS SEO company. These tools will generate a more comprehensive report with additional metric for each backlink.
You can also run a competitor backlink check during your audit. This is a good idea after you’ve fixed errors from the initial audit. Analyzing competitor backlinks will help you identify SEO opportunities and SEO strategies that work in your niche.
Keywords Still Matter in SEO
Keywords have been the backbone of SEO strategies for decades. While keyword research is still needed to rank, search engines are better apt at recognizing intent. This means you don’t have to work around awkward phrasing in your content.
If your content is high-quality, but you’re not ranking in search engines, you may need a little keyword therapy. It’s good to research keywords before launching a website, but you can optimize any website with the right keywords.
If you got an “F” for keywords on your SEO audit, start from scratch. Use a keyword research tool to generate relevant primary and secondary keywords for your niche. You could hire an SEO specialist to help or use free keyword research tools to start.
Google Adwords comes with a great free built-in keyword research tool. Use this tool to generate keyword groups for your blog posts, PPC ads, and promotional content.
Make sure to use a primary keyword in your intro, headings, content body, and conclusion. Keyword positioning helps search spiders as they crawl your content.
SEO Audits to the Rescue
What is an seo audit? It’s your new best friend!
Don’t let your website wither away under bad SEO. Rejuvenate your website with an SEO audit, and optimize right away, so you can bring your website back to life in search engines.
This guide is just the beginning of your marketing journey. Check back often for the latest business tips and trends for digital entrepreneurs.