9 Factors Of A Successful SEO Audit Process
An SEO Audit analyzes your website’s content, architecture, design, and links to and within your site.
Together, these factors help determine whether your website ranks in the search engines or not. Before we dive into the audit process, let’s examine some of the most common benefits you receive from an SEO Audit.
What Are The Benefits Of An SEO Audit?
An SEO Audit is beneficial in determining things like:
1. If a competitor is link spamming you, which will cause your rankings, traffic and leads to decrease.
2. If your site rankings have dropped because of a Google penalty.
3. If your previous backlink building efforts (through your initiatives or an agency) has caused your SEO rankings to decrease.
4. If you are missing content that prospects and customers expect to find when searching for products, services, and solutions your company provides.
5. If your competitors are implementing SEO strategies and tactics to drive traffic and lead growth (and taking market share away from you).
6. If your existing website design’s technical issues are negatively affecting your ability to rank well in the search engines.
7. Your overall SEO marketing strategy to grow web traffic, increase leads, and drive sales growth.
8. Your digital marketing resources needed to effectively implement an ongoing SEO program (in-house or external resources).
To help understand the full benefits of SEO, read this article: “What Are The Benefits Of SEO And A Website SEO Audit?”
Let’s examine what a professional SEO Audit is and explain what it is not.
An SEO Audit is Not:
A “free” report provided by some online, automated software.
A long list of software-generated SEO “issues” with no interpretation of the severity or complexity of the issues and impacts to your business.
Something your intern, admin, or IT department can do (it requires specialized skillsets to perform successfully).
A defined SEO strategy. (However, the audit does provide the foundation for your company to develop a successful SEO program.)
What Does A Professional SEO Audit Process Look Like?
The main components and processes in an SEO Audit include:
This is where I develop a thorough understanding of your business model, customers, competitors, products, services, solutions, industry, and other relevant factors.
This is a critical first step. Without it, your SEO Audit lacks proper context to make it specific to your company’s challenges and opportunities.
2. Current Baseline.
It is crucial to establish a baseline of organic traffic volumes, search term rankings, average monthly SEO Leads, number of backlinks, and other website and SEO factors.
3. Competitor Analysis.
I examine how you stack up against your top, most relevant competitors for your business and industry.
✔️ What SEO tactics and strategies are your competitors using?
✔️ What search terms and content are likely driving traffic and lead volumes?
✔️ What types of backlinks are beneficial to improve rankings?
4. Executive Summary.
In this section I define SEO issues ranked by the most significant business impact and level of difficulty/resources needed to fix the problems.
✔️ What specific SEO issues should your company fix first to get the most benefits from driving traffic and leads?
✔️ What types and levels of resources do you need to fix the SEO problems?
✔️ If SEO items are corrected, what impact will this have on your website traffic and sales leads?
5. SEO Audit Methodology.
I explain how the audit is performed and what tools are used for the audit. The output of the audit is only as good as the SEO Audit Tools you invest in.
At a minimum, a successful Audit uses 10+ analysis tools with a $1,000+ monthly investment.
6. Prioritized SEO Problems and Recommendations.
Note: Prioritized recommendations should be ranked from high to low rankings impact and low to high implementation difficulty.
This section of the audit includes specific factors that need to be fixed or added to your site for your business to increase rankings, traffic, and leads.
✔️ SEO issues are prioritized by SEO rankings, current traffic levels, and site conversion data.
✔️ Explanation of why issues are important and how they can affect SEO Rankings.
✔️ Website problems are well defined and documented (including screenshots of your website negatively affecting your SEO efforts.)
✔️ Simple, step-by-step action plan on how to fix SEO issues.
✔️ What level of resources are needed to fix the SEO problems?
✔️ Determine the potential (positive impacts) of website traffic if items are fixed. And if not fixed (negative consequences).
7. Final Thoughts and Conclusions.
This section of the audit is where I emphasize the most significant issues and opportunities found in the analysis and the recommended next steps to fix these issues.
8. Client Review of SEO Audit.
The audit review is done in-person or by phone/video conference.
The review takes place with the critical stakeholders and typically lasts from 1.0-2.0 hours.
The outcome of this review is a prioritized list of top SEO issues that need fixing, resources required to fix the SEO problems, and estimated impacts of those fixes towards web traffic, leads, and sales.
9. Next Steps.
Once the national or local SEO Audit review is completed, we determine if it makes sense to form an ongoing partnership, which could involve a monthly SEO retainer.
In this capacity, I’ll work with your team(s) to help fix the prioritized list of SEO issues, provide ongoing SEO consultations, analysis, and other pertinent services to maximize your SEO efforts.
It this article, we discussed the collective benefits of performing an SEO Audit, which range from providing the foundation to a successful SEO Strategy to competitive analysis.
An SEO Audit process includes nine components that build upon one another. It is critical to give the audit context by first understanding your business, industry, challenges, and opportunities. It is followed by establishing your current baseline, so you have a clear picture of where you are starting from.
Last, the result of the analysis is prioritized by specific SEO fixes that yield the highest positive impact on your rankings and leads with the least resources and effort.