2019 wants you to invest more in your SEO strategy. We could say a good reason to do it is your friends are doing it, and your competitors too. However, that is never reason enough for smart and budget-conscious entrepreneurs.
More than 61% of marketing teams state that their prime concern is inbound marketing via SEO. They focus on SEO more than paid advertising and social media ad campaigns. The reason is as simple as it gets – ignoring the SEO of your site is equivalent to ignoring its potential for sales and profits.
To find out how your website can perform better in terms of SEO, the first step is running an all-site SEO audit.
An SEO audit might sound complicated, but it is a simple process that will shed light on the on-site and off-site optimization of your website. During an SEO audit, a set of tools or software programs crawl every accessible page of your site. The aim is to determine the usability, navigation, quality of information, and much more.
What can an SEO audit do for your website?
Long gone are the days when one could stuff the same keyword twenty times in a two-hundred words website content and call the page “optimized.” The recent updates to the Google search engine algorithm ensure that no websites can get past the optimization checkpoints with keyword stuffing, Black Hat SEO, and other old-school hacks that used to work 15-years ago.
An SEO audit report can show you the following –
- How long the users spend on the website
- The number of pages they visit per session
- The bounce rates and dwell time of each session
- The total number of referring domains
- The number of follow-backlinks
- The security level and user-friendliness of your website
- The status of your keyword strategy (anchor, body, meta-content, and title)
- The optimization status of media on-page
- The length and quality of content on-site
- The status of inbound and outbound links (the health of link juice)
Additionally, the SEO auditing team should intimate you about the mobile-readiness of your site. If there’s an element that does not conform to the mobile-responsive nature of your site, the team of SEO professionals should be able to guide you towards better optimization.
A regular SEO audit is an important indicator of your site health. It tells you which parts of your website need sprucing up or a complete overhaul. Your SEO team and complete audit report will tell you exactly what changes you need to implement after a site audit.
How frequently do you need to audit your website?
Businesses can do with one SEO audit every four months. The quarterly audits are smart investments for every company with an active website. These quarterly audits need to be in-depth, considering all ten factors we have mentioned above and a few additional ones.
However, every aspiring entrepreneur should think about investing in an easy-to-use software or a yearly package from an SEO agency to run monthly audits. Visit Social Market Way Branding Agency to learn more about in-depth and monthly SEO audits.
How to perform a website audit in an hour?
Here are a few steps you need to follow to complete a website audit in less than 60 minutes today –
- Website crawling
It is the first step of every website audit. You can either choose free tool suites for it or check out premium packages from your SEO agency. With any tool, remember to double-check the following –
- Images and videos
- External Links
- Internal and external “nofollow” tags
- All subdomains
- Links outside the Start Folder
These are the basics that require attention during every SEO crawl. Log into your Google console to get an idea about your crawl budget.
- Check the browsable “version” of your site
Your website cannot have multiple URLs. If you do, you are confusing the search engine crawlers. They are likely to perceive it as a mistake and not rank important pages.
You will end up losing valuable traffic. If you have migrated to HTTPS recently, ensure that the only version of the site visible to the crawlers and traffic is the HTTPS one.
- On-page SEO check
On-page SEO can contain the following elements –
- Page titles and title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Keyword placement
- Clear hierarchy
To eliminate challenges of duplicate content and plagiarized content, you can use a simple tool like Copyscape. WordPress users have it easy. They can add SEO content plug-ins that can monitor the quality of on-page SEO elements at all times. You can also speak to your SEO agency and add plug-ins or add-ons or install software programs that can take charge of on-site SEO.
- Testing the link juice
Sometimes, old inbound and outbound links can show up errors. Old links expire, websites migrate or shut down.
You need to find a trusty tool that can crawl all the links on your domain and find out which ones need mending or replacement. SEO agencies typically have software programs that run wholesome SEO audits complete with link checks.
Check for links that return a 404 error. Replace the links with high authority ones wherever possible.
- Clock your site speed
Simple tools can tell you how fast or slow your site is right now. People are not patient, and Google does not prefer sites that keep the visitors waiting.
Unless your load time is lesser than 3 seconds, you may be facing 90% chances of your current visitor bouncing from your site.
An in-depth audit can tell you which pages need attention and which on-page elements need some TLC to improve page loading speed.
- Evaluate off-site signals
Off-site is a significant part of any website SEO. It includes backlinks, competitor analysis, social media engagement, PPC campaigns, and a lot more.
While the metrics are easy to track, knowing how much importance you should assign to each one is challenging. Speak with your SEO team to learn more about the importance of off-site SEO.
If you have a website, you need to leverage Google Analytics to unleash its full potential. Making changes for the sake of SEO is never enough. You need to track the metrics after implementing these changes. The KPIs like bounce rate, conversion rate, dwell time, and off-site metrics tell you how well your site is performing in the face of competition. An audit will equip you with actionable data to improve these metrics.