Did you spend a lot of time and money on your website, but are you not seeing the traffic you want? Or are you wondering why your competitors have higher rankings than you do? The answer to your troubles is most probably an SEO audit. This can give your website a boost in the search engine ranking to attract more leads, revenue, and visitors.
What are SEO audits?
SEO audits are like health checks for your website. Basically, it’s an evaluation of how optimized your website is for search engines. Regularly checking your SEO to ensure that your strategy is up to date and everything is working correctly is very important. Therefore it should be standard procedure for any website.
Why SEO audits really make a difference
These audits are always a good way to evaluate your performance. It reveals the weaknesses in your SEO strategy. Moreover, it will reveal what your direct competitors are doing better than you. Your website might be amazing and well-designed. However, if search engines can’t read it, there’s a big chance the pages may never see the light of day.
10 critical components of a successful SEO audit
#1 Competitor research
Analyzing your competitors is critical. It gives data about which tactics and keywords are working in your industry and what you will need to do to start improving your keyword rankings. When you know where your competitors are strongest and weakest, you can determine how difficult it will be and the number of resources you will need. Determining who your top competitors are is obviously the first thing you need to do. You can use different SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs.
#2 Crawling and indexing
These are the foundation behind a successful approach to SEO. Crawling is the way Google reads your website. Furthermore, you can only receive traffic when your entire website is indexed in Google. So always make sure your entire website is being well-indexed, as this is crucial in a SEO campaign. Furthermore, it is really important that you are only allowing Google to index one version of your site. In this way, different versions of your site should all lead to the primary one.
#3 Keyword analysis
You should make sure your pages are optimized for keywords that will help you show up in organic search. The first step in doing that is conducting keyword research. Search for keywords related to your topic with high intent, high volume (number of monthly searches), and low difficulty (level of competition). In other words, which are the biggest gains in traffic and leads in your SEO campaign?
Next, be sure to include some long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy. These deliver a higher conversion rate. A final tip is to identify regularly asked questions and make sure your site’s content provides an answer to these.
It may be obvious, but it is crucial to check if your website is mobile-friendly or not. Google considers this as a very strong ranking factor and switched predominantly to mobile-first indexing. Anyone using a phone to look for something on the internet is not willing to wait. Therefore the faster your website is, the more likely Google is to reward you with organic rankings. To test, you can simply use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.
In addition, the most common error, the 404 or the ‘page not found’ is often caused by broken links and images within your site. Furthermore, running on https is faster, more secure, and is one of Google’s many ranking signals and making the switch is pretty easy nowadays.
#5 Link analysis
Backlinks can make or break your SEO campaign. When you create a new piece of content, start with a site search. Look for older, related content that has built up some equity. Next, find anchor text within the old content to link to the new one. This is a straightforward way to build internal links. You can create domain authority by earning links from other authoritative domains. An easy way to build these external links is to search for unlinked mentions. Any good SEO audit tool is able to tell you where your brand has been mentioned anywhere on the web.
#6 Page Speed
Site speed is a very important ranking factor for Google and other search engines. People have little patience and prefer websites that work fast. Google wants to offer users a positive user experience and therefore prefers fast sites as well. In fact, Google recently confirmed that it has a page experience update in the pipeline for 2021 that will emphasize user experience as a ranking factor even more than it does now. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to check your pages speed.
#7 Content evaluation
Overall, evaluate your current content from both a search engine and the target audience’s perspective. Did it answer all their questions? Are the resources given relevant to the topic? Do they know what to do next? Which blog posts and landing pages are being created to target keywords and bring in inbound traffic?
Also, take a look at another SEO Campaign, and how we’ve increased organic performance in just three months for one of our customers
#8 On-page optimization
Header tags, alt-tags on images, the length of page titles, meta titles & descriptions, and URLs are just a few examples of on-page elements. They help Google determine the content of the page it’s crawling and is one of the biggest factors Google takes into account when determining the order in which to rank pages. Make sure to use your keywords in the title, meta descriptions, URL,…
#9 Voice search optimization
Voice search is becoming increasingly popular with users to conduct searches. Therefore it is important to check that your site is voice search-friendly. Make use of conversational long-tail keywords and make sure your content is easily readable. Try to provide your audience with relevant and direct information to their questions.
#10 Site architecture and design
Is your site mobile-friendly? Secure with HTTPS? Easy to navigate? The answers to these questions should always be “yes”. An evaluation of your user experience and behaviors is another critical part of your SEO audit.
In the end, SEO audits are no exact science. There is no prescription to a successful SEO audit, therefore ‘best practices’ are often inconsistent. Google changes its algorithm almost daily and rarely tells us why or how. So regular audits are a definite must!