SEO can be a complicated process, especially when there are more than 200 ranking factors involved. But everything starts with an SEO audit. An experienced professional sits down and prepares a detailed report. What is an SEO audit, and what is the report all about? This article discusses the importance of an audit for every SEO project.
SEO audit is the process of analyzing and reviewing the key metrics that are important for ranking a website on SERPs. This highlights the current condition, strengths, and weaknesses of your website. Based on these metrics, you create a project roadmap that guides the employees.
An SEO Audit comprises of reviewing for the following things:
An SEO audit reveals the technical issues a website might be facing. These technical issues include crawlability and indexing of your website. Search engine bots index the internet continues to gather information about the websites and web pages. Then it ranks them for the search keywords based on the algorithm.
With an SEO audit, professionals aim to know whether a website is being indexed properly. Are the bots finding it difficult to crawl through the website? Are they crawling sections of the website they shouldn’t? Get accurate answers on these.
On-page SEO is the foundation of a search-optimized website. An SEO audit tells how well the website and individual pages are optimized for keywords.
The audit checks for the on-page SEO ranking factors. This includes title tag, URL, content on the page, and image tags. Ideally, these should contain the keywords you’re targeting in a natural manner.
Off-page metrics are those metrics that are outside the scope of your website. An SEO audit checks for these metrics too. Metrics like backlinks, hyperlinks, and social media engagement are called off-page ranking factors. The audit not only checks for the number of links but also their quality.
Since they are located outside of a website, it requires specialized tools to gather this information.
SEO audits track your current and past rankings on SERPs. They check which web pages are ranking at what position for a particular keyword. With SEO tools, auditors also reveal the past rankings for those keywords.
If some pages have already secured the prized Rank 0, then it gets recorded into the audit report too.
An auditor also checks if the website has received any kind of penalties from Google. The search engine giant often penalizes websites if they engage in black hat practices. If hit by a penalty, your website will not show up for the keywords. Thus, penalties are critical to check for before moving with SEO.
Depending on the auditor and company, an SEO audit report may have other things listed too. But at the bare minimum, you’ll see statements on technical issues, On-page metrics, off-page metrics, rankings, and penalties.
As already mentioned, SEO starts with an SEO audit report. Many companies offer such a report for free on request. So why is that? Because there are many benefits to offer for both SEO companies and website owners.
SEO can be expensive and requires a lot of effort and man-hours. This is especially true if you’re going after hyper-competitive keywords. But to get started with SEO, you’d need to fix a few things first. And those are technical issues and get rid of penalties. Without these, every tag optimization, content creation, backlink generation would ultimately fail.
An audit reveals if your website has been hit with a Google penalty. An audit will also reveal the reason behind it. Are there unnatural links, are there too many spams, is the website content copied. These things will always impact your rankings. So the efforts you put in will be less effective.
Keyword research and selection is arguably the most daunting task in SEO. Get it right, you’ll start seeing results. Get it wrong, you’ve successfully wasted your money. The right keywords are those keywords that do not have high competition but have a viable commercial interest. These keywords are easier to rank for within a given budget.
With an audit report in hand, you'd be able to see for which keywords you're already ranking. It will also list other websites that are ranking for the same keywords. If there's heavy competition, then it's a sign that the keyword might not be worth it for SEO. This method of keyword selection goes a long way in identifying the correct keywords.
A content strategy is essential for SEO. You need to create comprehensive and educational content to attract an audience and traffic. These types of content also help you secure backlinks from other authoritative websites.
By auditing your website, you’d be able to know which contents are performing better on your website and which are simply not useful for your cause. You can then weed them out before they depreciate your efforts any further.
With correct keyword selection and content strategy, you’ll find it easier to rank and generate leads.
Backlinks are important for any website. But not all backlinks are created equal. Some are good, while others are not. Good backlinks come from authority websites, while bad ones come from shady and spammy websites.
But how do you know which websites link back to you? It’s an SEO audit that makes this revelation.
You can be pleased with the good links, but you need to get rid of the bad ones immediately. Google sees them as unnatural links that were purchased simply for securing a higher rank. By looking at the report, SEO professionals can know if the existing links can be improved.
SEO is ever-evolving, and search engines are getting smarter. You have to keep pace with the changes. An SEO audit kickstarts the journey for you. Irrespective of whether you're starting from scratch or have worked on your website, an SEO audit will help. Since many agencies are offering such a report for free, there's another reason to request one for your website.