Why You Need a SEO Audit
What is an SEO audit? Is it the same as a content audit or a search engine optimization audit? Let’s differentiate between the two.
A complete SEO audit involves an in-depth examination of your website’s internal structure and algorithms, as well as its relationships to various outside factors. The purpose of this audit is to uncover as many fundamental issues affecting organic search functionality as humanly possible. The SEO audit will uncover: Technical SEO problems. Things like missing sitemaps and other SEO misspelled words that reflect poor workmanship rather than strategic intent.
On-page issues are things like spelling and grammar checks that are typically done by humans but have major impact on ranking. A thorough SEO audit often brings up issues like these. The SEO team will also look for evidence of duplicate content, cookie tracking, cross-site scripting (XSS) and other major problems with on-page user experience. We’re looking for things like broken links, inaccessible pages, broken links inside of the sitemap and other usability defects. Finally, we want to know about any link building efforts that were conducted with improper techniques, such as those that use deceptive linking.
On the other hand, content audits usually involve manually examining the text of your website in hopes of finding coding violations, misspellings, grammatical errors and other obvious flaws. These audits often find coding errors, but may not discover aesthetic flaws. Content audits are less exhaustive than an in depth SEO audit, but they do reveal a lot more about what your site is doing under the hood. This is typically the preferred method, particularly for smaller and newer companies, as major engines like Google and Yahoo don’t really look at the contents in the same way.
The third method is a combination of both technical and content audits, known as a technical audit. With a technical audit, you have to dig deep into the code of the site, as well as into the site’s link structure, sitemaps and other internal structures. You must also check for missing links, missing keywords, broken links and other usability issues. This kind of audit often turns up a lot of problems that your regular on-page SEO audit could have missed.
Another type of SEO audit involves a manual analysis of off-page elements of your site. For example, if you want to optimize images, you’ll probably want to go through the site’s images directory to check for broken links, missing images and other inconsistencies. If you want to optimize color changes or meta tags, you’ll have to do some research on the inner workings of the engines where those things are used. Again, these audits are very detailed and will often reveal issues that your on-page optimization audit may have missed.
The most in-depth SEO audit is one which performs a full search engine ranking audit, looking at the full life cycle of a page’s SEO activity. Generally, this requires contacting several major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) in order to obtain the full list of backlinks, keywords and domains for every page on your site. By performing this audit, you can get a real picture of how much work goes into optimizing each individual page of your site, and what methods are most effective in driving quality traffic to your site. This kind of audit will also provide you with ranking statistics which can give you a clear picture of which keywords are bringing you the most traffic. In addition, performing this audit can help you find gaps in your site which may be costing you valuable traffic.
All of the methods discussed above are useful for helping you perform an SEO audit. Some of them can also help you identify areas where you need to make improvements. Hopefully, now you know how to perform an SEO audit, and what steps to take in order to understand what the various methods are for improving your search engine rankings. By doing this, you will be able to find gaps in your website that search engines can exploit in order to get you more traffic and ultimately sales. A good SEO consultant will be able to give you an understanding of exactly what these gaps are, as well as providing advice on how to fill them to improve your rankings.