What Is An SEO Audit? & Why You Should Do One
If you want to understand your SEO, you need to do an SEO audit. There’s no better way to get to grips with how your strategies are performing.
Not only will an SEO audit show you what’s working and what isn’t, but it’ll also help you identify any glaring errors and give you the lowdown on what your competitors are up to. So, before you dive into making any changes, make sure you know exactly what you need to do and why, by completing a thorough audit that leaves no stone unturned.
In this article, we’ll talk you through what an SEO audit is, so you can see exactly why it matters. We’ll also discuss some of the key benefits of completing an SEO audit, giving you the full picture of what auditing could mean for your business.
So, what is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is a full report into how well your website is doing, in terms of search engine rankings. The best SEO audits are incredibly detailed, evaluating huge amounts of data to give marketers a real idea of how well their strategies are performing.
SEO audits usually begin with a list of actions or questions that the marketing team has identified. During the audit, team members will check through this list to see whether actions have been completed and get the answers to certain questions. As the audit continues, team members can then start to pick up on any areas that could be improved and check for problematic practices that could be having a detrimental effect on SEO.
Once the SEO audit is complete, marketers will have a full list of new ways to improve SEO. They’ll also have a good idea of the results that these improvements might bring, enabling them to easily prioritise actions to get the maximum impact in as short a time as possible.
An SEO audit will:
- Enable you to see how your site ranks against key competitors
- Show you what you need to do to optimise your site
- Give you a real idea of how well your current strategies are working
- Identify any errors or problems that need fixing urgently
- Provide teams with data-driven insights to inform future SEO goals
See this guide on how to perform a basic SEO audit.
The Benefits of an SEO Audit
Great SEO strategies don’t come about by accident. They’re invariably the result of huge amounts of research, much of which can be gathered with the help of a thorough audit.
There are endless benefits to completing SEO audits regularly, particularly if you’re hoping to optimize your site to boost traffic quickly. Here are just a few reasons to prioritise an SEO audit right now.
- Check the keywords your site is ranking for
How well do you know your keywords? Any marketer can easily reel off a list of the keywords they’d like their sites to rank for, but understanding the ones it currently does rank for is a different story.
One of the main objectives of an SEO audit is identifying the keywords that are pushing traffic to your site, to see how well your site ranks for the keywords you’re targeting. As you audit your site, make sure you have a list of chosen keywords in mind and keep checking whether you could make improvements to improve your rankings for these keywords.
It’s also well worth looking into any keywords you might be ranking for that you hadn’t previously identified – there could be new opportunities lurking in the shadows. Use SEO tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs to conduct thorough keyword research.
You can check keywords in different ways, but the actual search data will be found in Google Search Console. For example, here’s a view of where to find your highest-performing keywords.
You can check on different websites like SEMrush or Ahrefs for keywords your website is ranking for in different countries. For example, here are the keywords Google is ranking for in the UK:
Versus which top keywords Google ranks for in Germany:
- Understand which keywords are powering conversions
Once you’ve got to grips with the keywords that are behind improved traffic, it’s time to narrow down on what that traffic actually means for your business.
Huge amounts of traffic is rarely a bad thing, but that massive leap in web traffic might not be quite as profitable as you expect if it’s not having a direct result on conversion rates. So, take the time to look into which keywords are having the best effect in terms of conversions – as well as web traffic.
Identify your company’s most profitable keywords and also how your pages are performing for those keywords as you complete your audit. Then you’ll know exactly where you should be focusing the bulk of your attention when it comes time to start planning your next actions.
Google analytics is the best way to find out the conversions for your whole website.
- See how current strategies are performing
No doubt you have several ongoing SEO strategies that you spend a certain amount of time on every week. But how often do you check back on the results of these strategies? If you don’t have the data to help you understand how these actions are affecting performance, you won’t know whether or not your work is making a difference.
Use your SEO audit to check how ongoing strategies are performing and map the results of these tests in a way to clearly show how your results have changed over time. That way, you’ll know which strategies work and which don’t and you’ll also have a good idea of how long you can expect many actions to take before you start to see the sort of results you’ve been looking for. Based on your findings, set your tasks and deadline to fix the issues your website has.
- Pinpoint problem links and bad practices
Even the best sites tend to produce error messages from time to time. Thankfully, an SEO technical audit can help you avoid these embarrassing problems and keep customers on the buying journey until they reach that all-important checkout page.
As you complete your audit, look out for any broken links or technical errors that could derail all your hard work. Not only are these troublesome in terms of the customer experience, but they can also have a detrimental effect on your SEO, leaving your pages ranking far behind the competition.
Auditing will also enable you to check that your site isn’t suffering the ill effects of any bad or outdated SEO practices. If it is, take quick steps to remove the offending links or content and get your rankings back on the rise.
Why Your Business Needs an SEO Audit
SEO strategies can be complex, with a huge number of different actions all pointing towards the common goal of increasing traffic and boosting your brand’s potential. To really explore the capabilities of great SEO, it’s vital that teams have a clear understanding of what they need to do – and why they need to do it.
An SEO website audit is pivotal in helping to identify new ways of improving a site. And it’s a great way of checking the progress of ongoing tasks too. Look out for new opportunities to optimise pages and think about what you could do to get your site ranking higher for those hotly contested keywords as you complete your audit.
We always recommend that teams complete full SEO audits at regular intervals to give a site the best chance of reaching its true potential. This will give you a good idea of how your site is currently performing and it’ll show you what you need to do next, to make sure your web traffic never stops climbing.
About the author:
Position Digital is a digital marketing agency that’s all about turning content into cash. We do SEO, content marketing and outreach with heart and grit – and we love working with startups and growing brands. Follow us on LinkedIn or Instagram to get in on the action.