A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Understanding SEO Audits
SEO is the cornerstone of website visibility and is central to your entire digital marketing strategy. Without website visibility through the SERPs, your other efforts will fall flat. This is one reason why creating keyword-rich content on your site pages and obtaining links to your site from high-ranking websites are some of the first steps taken.
However, SEO is not once and done. It should be an ongoing process, and you’ll need to regularly audit your site’s SEO to ensure that you remain visible and relevant. Not sure why auditing matters? We’ll walk through the process below.
What are SEO Audits?
Before we dive too far into the topic, we need to discuss what an SEO audit is in the first place. It’s nothing more than a health check for your website. If all is well, there’s nothing you need to do. However, if there’s a problem, corrective action needs to be taken.
Why Does SEO Need to Be Audited?
Why would you need to change your SEO over time? SEO Audits are necessary for many reasons, but one of the most important is because Google changes their algorithm quite frequently. Even slight changes can have major repercussions. With an audit, you can determine where your site stands currently, where it needs to be to deliver the results you want, and what needs to change to reach that point.
What Does an SEO Audit Cover?
If you hear the term SEO audit, chances are good you immediately assume the process will cover the content of your site. That’s part of it, but a true, in-depth audit goes much deeper into the situation. Here’s what should be covered, whether you decide to do this in-house, or you hire a partner to handle it on your behalf.
· Site Content – Perhaps the most obvious part of an SEO audit is investigating the content of your site. Here, you should ensure that the right keywords and phrases are being used, that they’re implemented in the right way, and that their use does not detract from readability or content quality. However, it goes deeper than content on the page. It also includes things like meta tags, image alt tags, URL structure, working/not working links, site navigation, and more.
· LSI – Search intent is a critical consideration today. Your content (and keyword-implementation) should be focused on answering the questions your searchers have and delivering information that speaks directly to intent. That’s what LSI, or latent semantic indexing, is all about. Secondary keywords, long-tail keywords, and even tertiary keywords help to boost visibility in the SERPs while ensuring the correct context for your content.
· Competition – An SEO audit will not just cover your site, but will also touch on your primary competitors. This will include the keywords and phrases they’re using, backlinks to the site, meta tags, and a great deal more.
· Ranking in the SERPs – SEO audits should include an analysis of how you stand in organic search results. Good positioning in organic search can allow you to reduce your spending on sponsored ads, while poor positioning is a sign that there’s more work to do with back-linking and keyword/phrase implementation within your site’s content.
· Hidden Issues – An SEO audit is designed to unearth areas that need improvement not just with keywords and links, but also with site-related issues that make Google downgrade your search ranking. Slow page load times, errors in the site’s code, malicious code hidden within your site, and numerous other problems can all result in less than stellar page ranking and limit your site’s visibility to searchers.Every website should be audited periodically. However, it can be challenging to do so in-house. If you lack the time, resources, or know-how to handle your SEO audit, get in touch with us. We can help.