Search engine optimisation is one of the essential elements in digital marketing. A well-executed SEO strategy will improve your visibility and ranking in search engines. It will lead to an increase in brand awareness and authority.
An SEO audit is an excellent place to start and put you on track to achieving these results. Site audits are essential for evaluating your website’s performance in search engine results. By conducting an audit, you can identify areas where your SEO strategy is effective and areas where it needs improvement.
This information is essential for improving your SEO strategy and ensuring your website is visible in search engine results.
Table of contents
- What is an SEO audit?
- Benefits of an SEO Audit for websites
- Should you hire an SEO agency for an SEO audit?
- Importance of doing regular website audits
- Frequently Asked Questions
Before diving into the benefits, let’s first understand the definition of an SEO audit.
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is a process that evaluates how well your website is performing in search engines. The audit analyses different website elements and creates an audit report based on this process.
Knowing your site’s performance helps you identify areas that need improvement. When it comes to SEO tools, you can enlist the help of a professional or use software like Semrush.
Now let’s take an in-depth look at the benefits of SEO audits.
The 3 main types of SEO audit
Technical Audit – A technical SEO audit focuses on the technical aspects of a website to ensure that it is in good working order. It also determines whether the website meets the best search engine optimisation practices. A Technical SEO audit will study factors like;
- Website speed
- Schema markup
On-Page Audit – This involves checking site elements you can control and optimise. It is mainly content displayed on your website and pages. These are some of the elements covered;
- Title tags and meta descriptions
- Image Optimisation
- Internal links
- Keyword placement
- Content quality
Off-Page Audit – This checks a website’s search engine rankings through activities and relations outside your website. Here are some of the elements covered;
- Link building
- Social media marketing
- Guest blogging
Local SEO Audit – This audit checks the relevance and authority of a business within a targeted geographic location. Here are some checks covered in this audit.
- Google business profile
- Social media engagement
- Keyword targeting
Benefits of an SEO Audit for websites
If you have never run an audit for your site, you miss many opportunities to optimise and improve your website performance. As a result, you may be losing out on search engine ranking opportunities.
When you run an SEO audit, it crawls your website and identifies different metrics and issues that may affect your site. This provides several benefits to your SEO strategy.
Let’s look at the six main benefits of a site audit.
1. Identifies a website’s technical issues
Recent upgrades or changes may cause technical issues to a website or the server. As such, a technical SEO audit is an excellent option to check into the mechanics behind your site.
There are many technical audit elements; the list below is only some of the main ones.
- Page crawling issues – Search engine crawlers sometimes can’t reach some pages on your site. This could be due to incorrect DNS settings, broken links, or other technical issues. This results in lower rankings and traffic to those URLs.
- Duplicate content – This may be caused by blog posts that have similar content to other web pages on your site.
- Security issues – These may include issues like SSL and malware.
- Mobile responsiveness – Mobile optimisation is a crucial element to consider. This is because most users use a mobile. So, if your site is not mobile responsive, it affects user experience, impacting your SEO rankings.
- Broken links – Links that are not working should be fixed as soon as possible. For one, they affect the user experience, affecting your rankings in search engines.
- Page load time – Google’s algorithm gives priority to fast-loading sites. A slow site won’t rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs).
An SEO audit will highlight these issues so you can fix them.
2. Improve site performance
Search engines favour well-designed, fast and secure websites with excellent user experience. They reward this effort and performance. As a result, visibility improves and increases search engine page rankings.
Audits quickly identify any arising issues enabling you to address them. Therefore, regular audits are essential to ensure that your site is well-maintained and in optimal performance.
We use Semrush to audit our technical score and Gtmetrix to measure page speed. Using these two tools, we can identify ways to make our site load faster worldwide.
Gtmetrix is a free tool and invaluable regarding page speed optimisation.
GES / Cloudflare also gives a big helping hand with its automated page speed tools. If you are less technical, give this a go.
3. Identifies ranking keywords
Before creating your content, you need to know what content ranks and the keywords searched for. Knowing which keywords bring traffic to your site is essential as a website owner.
An audit can help you identify the most effective keywords for your business and industry. This can be beneficial in helping you to focus your marketing efforts and target the right audience.
Our course covers more details on how to do keyword research.
4. Analyses competition
SEO is quite competitive, so any slight advantage can provide an edge. An SEO audit can help you reveal your competitors’ tactics to get good search engine rankings.
Carry out a competitor analysis to identify opportunities you might have missed. These opportunities can be in the form of the following;
- Assessing your online visibility in comparison to others in your industry
- Identifying the keywords and backlinks your competitors use to drive traffic
- Providing other insights into where you should be focusing your SEO efforts
Analysing your competitor’s tactics can provide additional pointers to your SEO strategy.
5. Link Analysis
It is a known fact that search engines value links. They are a stamp of approval from other websites, proving that your content is valuable.
A site audit helps you examine the quantity and quality of your internal and backlinks. It also identifies spammy, low-quality, and broken links pointing to your website. Identifying and removing these links can improve your website’s SEO ranking.
Google algorithms are smarter today than ever before. They will penalise websites that use questionable methods to get backlinks.
6. Enables you to create an action plan.
Improving your site’s current state and performance issues can be challenging without understanding its status.
As such, the analysis from an SEO audit equips you with information to address the performance issues on your site. It can also help you measure your progress in terms of your SEO efforts and identify areas where you may need to make improvements.
It also enables you to develop an action plan for an effective SEO strategy. A good SEO strategy will boost your site’s traffic, leads, and conversions.
Should you hire an SEO agency for an SEO audit?
You may be able to get away with performing a basic SEO audit. However, an in-depth audit requires technical and specialised experience and skills. It is, therefore, advisable to hire an SEO agency.
Here are three benefits of using an SEO professional;
1. Use of advanced tools and technology
An SEO agency has the technical expertise to implement SEO audits. They use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Screaming Frog to thoroughly analyse your website and create a customised plan based on reports generated by the audit.
2. They can provide in-depth analysis and a way forward
An experienced agency will provide you with a detailed analysis of an audit. They will also provide an action plan to implement based on the analysis report.
An in-depth audit and preceding action plan take time. When you hire an experienced professional, they will save you valuable hours.
Importance of doing regular website audits
Doing an SEO audit identifies issues that may be affecting your site it’s ranking in search engines. Remember that websites constantly change with new content, URL redirects, and pages added, changed or removed.
Performing regular audits ensure that these updates and changes don’t negatively affect user experience. Audits also help identify areas where your site can be improved to increase rankings in search engines.
It is without a doubt that an audit for your website is a valuable investment. The initial input may cost you, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
Now may be the time for you to have a website audit. To get started, you can enlist the help of an SEO agency.
Get an SEO audit for your website today with MRK WP, including other SEO services available.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many things to consider when running an SEO audit. But some of the main factors include the following:
– On-page SEO
– Website structure
– Site crawling.
For a pure technical SEO Audit, Screaming Frog Crawler is a great starting place. It has a free version and the premium version allows you to crawl more pages.
Once you have those basics complete, we recommend adding in Semrush. Semrush has great page SEO audit tools. These tools provide great content optimisation tips tailored to your specific pages and keywords.
The majority of SEO tools rely on Google Analytics to draw organic traffic data for their reports. To accomplish a thorough SEO audit checklist, both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are typically utilised. While it’s possible to perform an analysis without the use of Google Analytics, more comprehensive tools tend to incorporate Google’s tools to complete their SEO Audit Checklist.
A technical SEO audit looks at complex components that make up a website. Here are the steps to take when doing one;
1. First, crawl your website
2. Identify indexing issues
3. Check on-page elements
– meta descriptions
– page titles and title tags
– canonical tags
– Duplicate content
4. Image optimisation
5. Check internal and backlinks
6. Site speed and performance
An SEO audit can be done within an hour or so with tools like Semrush.
This depends on the chosen SEO agency, but it can range from as little as $1000 to as high as $30000.
Meta descriptions and title tags play a crucial role in Google’s understanding of your website. While meta keywords are no longer relevant, the importance of descriptions and titles remains. If your website is powered by WordPress, you can leverage SEO tools such as Yoast to effectively manage your meta tags.