If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, so says the adage some people swear by. While this can be true in some situations, being static won’t do organisations good in search engine optimisation.
SEO, which ensures a website’s high search rankings and visibility, involves several techniques. Experts say about 200 search ranking factors influence a site’s performance in the digital realm. While some might bear weight more than others, one thing is clear. Owners can’t just sit idly by if they want consistent results.
So why an SEO audit is important is easy to explain: An SEO audit enables site owners to assess the result of their optimisation strategy. Checking a site’s health can identify its strengths, weaknesses, and gaps, boosting its visibility in the digital realm.
But what is an SEO audit and why should you care? Below are the most compelling reasons why you need to do it regularly.
What is an SEO audit and how does it work?
As of 2021, there were an estimated 1.88 billion websites, a dramatic increase since 1991, when the first website was published. With so many sites being created daily, there could be as high as 2 billion domains, with only about 20% considered active.
It’s crucial to keep a domain healthy through periodic performance monitoring. In essence, this is the primary goal of an SEO audit.
Running regular site checks enables owners to learn many things, including the effectiveness of an SEO campaign. That said, it’s a comprehensive process that involves the following steps:
An SEO audit aims to comprehensively look at all components that impact SEO and your site’s current performance. It can identify the issues affecting online visibility and provide actionable recommendations.
Several SEO audit tools, software, and sites can analyse website performance and provide recommendations. When these results come, a manual SEO audit can be performed to prioritise SEO strategic enhancements based on users’ behaviour and preferences.
Why An SEO Audit Is Important
According to Internet Live Stats, over 3.5 billion worldwide searches happen daily. At the same time, millions of sites compete for the audience’s attention, and showing on top of the organic search results is tough.
As mentioned earlier, there are about 200 factors that influence search rankings, some more vital than others. It’s challenging for companies to succeed at SEO without knowing which SEO techniques to prioritise.
Based on the guidelines from the world’s largest search engine, algorithms focus on the following aspects when ranking a page:
Identifying the best techniques related to the abovementioned factors helps SEO practitioners achieve better results. An SEO audit can further determine whether their practices meet these core qualifications.
That said, entities must periodically conduct an SEO audit for several reasons. Below are some of the most compelling:
An SEO performance review is essential for entities looking to learn and improve a site’s organic search performance. Knowing how your site fares in organic searches can provide valuable insights to assess current SEO performance, identify and continue with effective strategies, and tweak certain methods that don’t drive the desired results.
Moreover, an audit can identify SEO benchmarks for creating a strategy with measurable results. Hence, whether you’ve recently launched a site or have one that’s been active for some time, an SEO audit is vital. It’s also necessary to check site performance before implementing changes or revamping the entire site.
A strategy won’t be effective if you don’t know which tactics work. Without regular site checks, your company can establish the metrics that indicate the effectiveness of any campaign. More importantly, an audit helps address issues that negatively impact search rankings.
Search engines constantly upgrade their algorithms and webmaster guidelines. The best practices from previous years may no longer apply to the current ranking criteria.
In the past, repeating keywords in the content as many times as possible helped rank pages higher. These days, algorithms will flag this as a black hat SEO – the general term for optimisation methods that violate ranking guidelines. Besides finding it irrelevant, the search engine can tell that it doesn’t read well and confuses readers. Consequently, it will penalise the site and pull its rankings lower.
The same holds when creating content. Article spinning was used to achieve SEO success in the past. Such is no longer the case. While crafting SEO-friendly content is crucial, search engines have learned to detect low-quality, outdated, and duplicated content. Site pages must contain unique, fresh, relevant content that readers find valuable, allowing them to keep coming back for more. And as every SEO practitioner knows, frequent site visits increase rankings and site visibility.
Keeping tabs on changes also ensures the site doesn’t violate any rules that could weigh its ranking down. Reviewing site performance is the only way to understand how the updated guidelines affect your pages and what you can do to address such issues.
Numerous factors affect SEO search rankings, as stated before. These are grouped into three primary categories: on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. Web admins must deeply understand these elements and know the updated best practices for an effective SEO audit. Here’s examples of where you may find issues:
Exposing technical SEO errors
Technical SEO encompasses tactics enabling search engines to find, understand, and index your pages better. While these methods are machine-centred, they all enhance user experience.
An SEO audit can detect the following technical SEO issues:
Such problems increase bounce rates, negatively impacting user experience and site traffic.
You can only pinpoint these issues through regular SEO reviews, which guide you in making the necessary improvements as soon as possible.
Identifying on-page SEO issues
On-page optimisation techniques refer to practices that make your content easily understood by humans and search engines. The best on-page SEO methods enable machines and users to comprehend your site better.
By reviewing the site, administrators can identify the following:
Sites with on-page SEO issues will fail to attract site traffic. Reviewing the site can provide insights into your keyword performance and other on-page SEO elements, identifying the reasons for high or low search rankings.
Spotting ineffective off-page SEO techniques
Off-page optimisation lets search engines know that your content is valuable to users and other sites, primarily through backlinks. It sounds like a simple strategy; produce relevant content with authoritative external links, and you’ll find your page ranking higher.
Unfortunately, other things need to be considered, including your anchor text, follow or nofollow links, and meta tags associated with the linked page, to name a few.
An SEO audit can determine where you stand with your efforts and how your competitors are doing, especially with their backlinks.
Implementing an SEO strategy without analysing what your competitors are doing is like going to war unprepared. An SEO audit shows how you stack up against other sites, and this comparison can arm you with the right tools to keep you ahead of the rest.
A site review lets you craft a more effective SEO campaign because it allows you to:
Conversely, knowing which of their uploaded materials get the lowest visits generates an opportunity for you to drive traffic to your site.
SEO is considered one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies. Still, over half of the businesses in the US and Canada don’t have an SEO strategy, according to a recent survey. Companies forego optimisation strategies for various reasons, but it’s unimaginable for a small business to thrive without implementing basic SEO methods, like optimising content.
Nevertheless, for those who are bent on boosting their web presence, an audit is a must to establish effective SEO strategies. By analysing the site review’s results, a company can find and fix problems or identify avenues for SEO campaign enhancements.
For instance, if you’re noticeably getting poor site traffic, you might need to change your keywords, update your meta tags and descriptions, or boost your link-building methods. Depending on the audit results, you might also need to revamp your site structure, minimise plug-ins, or reduce media file sizes to increase page loading speed.
You’re bound to waste money, time, and effort on outdated and ineffective tactics without knowing where to focus your resources. These not only pull your rankings down but reduce your profit opportunities as well.
Understandably, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to a successful SEO campaign. But periodic SEO audits provide you with the necessary tools to grow your audience and revenues.
Additionally, just because you’re running a good campaign doesn’t mean you can forget about it. That’s because the ranking elements and audience preferences are ever-changing, and developers must keep up with these updates to stay on top of organic search results.
Whatever your business size and model, you need an effective SEO strategy to stay competitive. Start by checking your site health and boosting your link-building strategy. If you need advice or have questions, contact us, and we’ll be happy to assist you.
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