The Importance of Website SEO Audits
An SEO audit offers business owners and marketers a tremendous amount of information. After an audit is performed, it’s easy to start assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your brand’s website. Gaps in your marketing or user interface architecture, backlink quality, and keyword density will all become readily apparent over the course of an audit.
If you’re often left scratching your head when it comes to your search engine rankings, an SEO audit could be in order. They’re one of your only lines of defense in a battle with ever-shifting rules and ever-changing competitors. The age-old adage that knowledge is power is true– and you can grow your knowledge through an SEO audit.
In short: if you want your business to be successful, you need to be successful in attracting customers or clients.
Performing a website SEO audit offers you a sneak peek into what’s working and what’s not when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. Beginning a pattern of regular audits as soon as you have the option will ensure that you’re able to keep pace with changes and observe trends as they’re appearing— much better than recognizing missed opportunities after the fact.
How often should I perform website SEO audits?
Anything that you can complete on a regular schedule is best, but shoot to audit around once a month. We think that sounds just right; but if you’re wondering why you should be delving into the details that often, allow us to offer a brief explanation.
The world of digital marketing today is a little like the wild west. There’s little anyone can do to predict which new technologies will influence the way we market online. New keywords, strange niches, and outstanding opportunities are being discovered and leveraged on a daily basis. Growing businesses and booming brands all take their turn dominating space on the web until it’s someone else’s turn.
Keeping pace with the hustle and bustle of digital marketing takes aggressive work. If you perform SEO audits monthly, you’ll be kept abreast of:
- Your site’s general health
- Specific issues on your website
- How consumers are using search to find your content (or not)
- Granular information like bounce rate, conversions, and so on
Each of these pieces of information is key to building and evolving a marketing framework that will propel your brand to success. Without an audit, you’ll be hard-pressed to find this much insight into the results of your marketing efforts.
Free Applications That Can Help
Google’s Webmaster Tools
If you’re a novice to SEO audits, this is likely the best place for you to start. Ranking high on Google is something that every business wants to achieve. We’re going to assume you’re a part of the pack and want to snag a spot on the front page, too; what better way to go about it than asking Google what it thinks of your content?
Google’s Webmaster Tools are easy to use and lay out the basics of Google search engine results. There’s a small selection of tools that allow you to view opportunities for improvement in your URLs, website speed, and more.
HubSpot’s Website Grader
Digital marketing giant HubSpot released their Website Grader back in 2007. Much has changed since then, but the program has grown and evolved into something incredibly useful within the past decade. Website grader will give you personalized reports concerning your website’s:
- SSL certification
- Mobile readiness
- Mobile responsiveness, viewport settings
- Page size, requests, etc.
- Page titles, meta descriptions, etc.
Check My Links
Anybody who understands the value of links in SEO will understand why we listed a tool specifically for them. Whether we’re talking backlinks or generic, unexciting links to and from pages within your site, it’s crucial to stay on top of link optimization.
Web users get aggravated by links that lead them nowhere; those links diminish your authority, ruin the customer journey, and cause you to lose out on opportunities to guide site traffic. Managing your links is key to digital marketing success.
Check My Links makes it easy to spot bad links in the crowd. It’ll highlight healthy links in green and make broken ones bright red. No need to wonder what’s working and what’s not anymore!
Best Practices (and Quick Fixes!)
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best content, products, or services in the world if web users can’t find you. Focus on your site’s discoverability before anything else during audits. Make sure your content is easily accessible to the crawlers that will rank it; keep everything readily available in an easy-to-read HTML form behind the scenes.
Keep your files and pages organized, too. Your site’s architecture and the ease with which web users can find content on it are critical to discoverability.
Check Your URLs
URLs matter. They play heavily into search rankings and have caused trouble for many an experienced marketer.
During your audit, make sure your site’s URLs are short and descriptive. They should clearly illustrate where a web user in on your website and what the page they’re on is for. Well-constructed URLs help potential customers and clients and improve the chances of your content being discovered. Keep these tips in mind:
- Try to include the page’s primary keyword in the URL
- Get rid of tracking parameters
- Implement 301 redirects for links which lead to nonexistent pages
Identify and Remove Low-Quality Content
One of the primary purposes of your SEO audit can be summed up in this single step. Anybody with marketing experience knows that SEO is about more than just content– but if your content is stale or tough to read, top-notch site speed and URLs won’t be able to help you.
Use your audit as an opportunity to improve your content and boost the quality of your on-page SEO. Analyze your copy’s readability and start making changes designed to help you reach your target audience more effectively. Clean up any writing that’s plagued by grammatical or spelling errors and refresh outdated information. If need be, you can always bring in a third-party content creator to ease your workload.