Have you seen a drip in your website traffic? When was the last time you did a full SEO audit?
Online businesses have been doing SEO audits monthly. A quality performance review of a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign is a good indicator of its progress. It tells you the returns you are getting from your marketing efforts and even points to the effectiveness of the campaign.
It will point out your operation’s strengths and weaknesses and assess its overall health by focusing on the structural and content components that affect SEO visibility.
You can use this information to help make the campaign more effective, by addressing the weak areas. To identify the vulnerable areas and evaluate its entire well-being it is essential to conduct an SEO audit.
The audit is like doing an X-ray examination that provides valuable insights about your website that can never be assessed externally. It gives you the ability to look into every individual aspect of the site that contributes to its design and functionalities. The SEO audit is all-encompassing as it covers a wide range of SEO issues.
If you understand what anchor text, organics search, keyword stuffing, meta tags, 301 redirects, backlink profile, link building, targeted keywords, bounce rate, Google Search Console, nice. And if not, it is alright. You’re both in the right place.
Let’s dive in!
Purpose of SEO audit
Conducting an SEO audit helps to address a lot of optimization concerns for your site such as technical, structural and On-Page optimization issues, and off-site problems. It even goes to the extent of covering matters related to user experience, gaps in content and opportunities. The audit provides insights about the competitive market place too.
The audit procedure is standardized, and you must conduct it periodically to have an SEO health check-up done by the experts of Golden Search Advantage Seattle SEO Company. Conducting the audit helps you to see the bigger picture as you can view what is happening in the existing state of the campaign.
It reveals the gaps that might be affecting the performance of the campaign and highlights the deviations regarding the best practices. The audit report gives recommendations with clear timelines for taking action, by highlighting its impact and effort required for implementation.
Expectations from the SEO audit
We recommend having an SEO specialist conduct an SEO audit which should take 2 to 6 weeks to complete. The audit analyzes and uncovers SEO opportunities and paves the path for making improvements with better adherence to the best practices.
The auditor will interact with your SEO team on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to keep them updated about the progress. Every audit discovers some low-hanging opportunities that the auditor shares with the team.
Quick implementation of the recommendations leads to instant improvement in visibility while the audit keeps progressing to create new opportunities and provide more insights about the SEO campaign.
Following are the actions you must take after the SEO audit has been completed.
Create a list of recommendations
The audit report provides details about the SEO items audited and states how those items fare when weighed against the current best practices and regarding the audience and competitors. It provides recommendations for corrections and improvements.
The recommendations are spread across the report at various places and sometimes find mentioned in the conclusion or executive summary. Your first task is to create a list that forms the basis of developing an action plan for implementing the recommendations.
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Prioritize by considering the impact
With the list of recommendations in hand, you are now ready to create a plan of action to implement the insights provided in the report.
To facilitate planning, you must understand the impact of each recommendation of the SEO campaign. This is done by analyzing it and asking questions during the post-audit meeting with the company that conducted the audit.
The recommendations will have a varied level of impact, and the corrective actions will require a varying degree of effort and resources. You must weigh each recommendation considering your marketing objectives and determine its magnitude to create a list of priorities.
The level of impact the recommendation has on your business determines its priority. Understanding the extent of the impact regarding the benchmarks and what you want to achieve will help to measure the actual impact.
For example, if there are recommendations about incorporating structured schema data on the Contact Us page and also about missing title tags and meta descriptions not having keywords inserted in it on every page of your website, the latter should be a priority during implementation because of its higher impact.
Identify the resources needed
Having the action list prepared you are ready to take the next step. Create a budget and the time it will take for implementation of each recommendation together with any resources needed. Some actions are easy to implement with minimal resources.
There are some individuals that can do it in minutes with no training. There may be many other issues that require more resources and specialized expertise for which you must seek professional help.
If there is a recommendation to apply a sophisticated strategy of canonical tags then you need someone with good technical SEO knowledge and experience and a skilled web developer to do it for you.
The implementation process is complex, takes a long time and can be expensive. Thus, you must schedule the work to ensure that there is no interruption of normal activities because you cannot shut down the entire system to implement the recommendations.
When considering the time, it would take for the system application together with the money and resources required, review your current priority list. It may be necessary to change priorities based on the additional information you have.
Create a timeline
Having gone through the above steps, you now have a clearer picture of the task at hand and its sequence of implementation based on its impact. You are now eager to start the work, but before you press the pedal, there is one small thing yet to complete.
You must envisage the constraints you may have to face when implementing the audit recommendations in the long term and plan your short-term activities for proper execution to keep your SEO campaign on the right track.
Now you know the investment required for taking action and the resources required for it, it should be possible to know the amount of it will take to complete the actions. You can then create a list of actions with timelines linked to goals, specific milestones, and reporting cycles to measure the impact of your efforts.
Develop an action plan
You know what you have to do and in which order. You also know how much time, money and what resources it will need.
Now it is time for real action to set the ball rolling by finding the right systems to ensure easy collaboration, scheduling and assigning of tasks with due accountability of the persons responsible for carrying out the tasks.
Taking the right approach with the right attitude by treating the tasks as individual projects, whether it is an SEO tool, workflow program or project management suite, should be good enough to do the job justice.
Allocating tasks to individuals or groups without expectation or accountability can be dangerous as it carries a high risk of failure. Working according to the plan with defined expectation and clarity about roles and accountability with due considerations of timelines and budget is critical for driving the project in the right direction.
Taking all stakeholders on board and helping them understand the importance and impact of the implementation will ensure that everyone does their bit to maintain the pace of the project.
Lack of clarity and understanding can lead to situations when tasks queue up that create uncertainty about its completion. Therefore, education and proper assignment should help to find better acceptance of the assigned tasks by all with a commitment to complete it on time.
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It is important to measure performance to know how much success you can achieve. To do this, you must turn back to the list of action items you had created after the audit by considering the impact of each action and compare it with the goals and expectations you had set.
By isolating the project schedule and comparing the data related to impressions, average position, traffic and conversions you can see the changes that have happened during the project implementation. It should not be difficult to track specific improvements when you have a dedicated plan backed by concerted efforts.
Depending on the time required for implementing all the actions in the list, you must generate weekly or monthly reports by using the annotation feature in Google Analytics.
This should help to measure ongoing performance to track improvement with time and understand the actual impact as compared to the estimated impact that enables ongoing revisions and improvements for better results while sticking to the original schedule.
The website is a dynamic digital asset that experiences frequent additions and alterations, and by performing a periodical SEO audit, you can know its health which helps to improve the optimization to make the campaign more effective.
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Wrap Up on SEO Audits
If your an online business or brand, we want more organic traffic. Google is ranking brands higher over other content providers. So start your SEO audit to help improve your site and get Google bot to start crawling your site.
SEO audits start at $5,000 and go up from there. But, get the best your money can buy. It’s well worth the money.
Sujain Thomas is an experienced blogger who has written articles for several renowned blogs and websites about various uses of social media to engineer more business traffic on business websites.