Why is an SEO audit important?
It can tell you how visitors find your website and what they do once there and can highlight any technical issues that are stopping it ranking as well as it could. This wealth of information will then steer the SEO strategy and provide actionable recommendations.
Ideally, an SEO audit should be carried out at least once a year. It will give you regular insight into the performance of your website and how and why your digital marketing strategy needs to evolve with changing circumstances.
If you’re considering a redesign of your website, then an SEO audit is essential to reduce any negative impact on your current rankings and identify opportunities to maximise the positive effects on rankings, visitor engagement and conversions.
What’s involved in a SEO audit?
Our SEO audits are not automated reports, they are a manual and thorough review of your website, keywords rankings and analytics that come with an insightful interpretation of all the relevant data and a series of actionable SEO recommendations. These recommendations can then be implemented completely in-house by yourself or your team, in conjunction with our strategic consultancy services or outsourced to us completely.
Before we begin our audit we’ll first get an understanding of your business, your unique selling points (USPs), your clients and the everyday problems they face. We want to know what expectations you have from your website. This gives us an initial benchmark to analyse your site against and helps us steer our recommendations towards your business goals and the needs of your potential customers.
It’s important that both visitors and Google can navigate to all parts of your website in an intuitive and logical way.
We’ll investigate the construction of your website, identifying barriers to optimal search engine performance and a visitor’s user experience (UX). This can include:
- Poor metadata implementation
- Coding errors
- Poor website architecture
- Poor Image optimisation
- Incorrect implementation of structured data
- Poor internal linking
- Poor mobile and speed optimisation
- Broken links
- Crawl issues
- Low quality or duplicate content
- Keyword cannibalization
It’s important that both visitors and Google’s can navigate to all parts of your website in an intuitive and logical way. The benefit of this from a user perspective will be visitors staying on your site longer and taking more of the actions you want them to take. From a search engine perspective, it means more of your website’s pages in Google’s index, helping you to rank for more keywords and drive relevant traffic to your website.
Search Query Analysis
We’ll perform a deep dive into the search queries your website is currently ranking for and assess which of these are driving traffic to your website. We’ll then consider which of these terms are relevant to your business and the products and services you offer.
These search queries are then split into “brand” related terms (ie. those that contain either your business name or members of staff) and “non-brand” queries (ie. those which relate directly to your products and services).
We’ll then identify opportunities for “quick wins” Where your site is ranking close to, or lower down on page one of the search results already and where, with small amounts of effort, significant benefit can be gained rapidly.
We’ll perform a deep dive into the search queries your website is currently ranking for.
We research relevant search terms and uncover your rankings.
Keyword Ranking Analysis
We’ll also look at keywords from the other side. By understanding your business and customers, we can research the relevant topics and keywords and uncover your rankings for these search terms. We’ll identify where the overlap is between what you’re ranking for already and how these can be exploited.
We can also perform this exercise on your competitors. What keywords are they ranking for and why? What are they doing that we can also use to help your SEO campaign?
Ever wondered what the visitors to your website do? Where do they go? How long do they stay?
Our analysis of your website traffic will lift the lid on your visitors’ behaviour and their engagement with it. We’ll be able to see what content is being viewed and why. Are visitors performing the actions you want? Are they reading your blog posts? Are they downloading your latest whitepaper?
This analysis happens, not just on the website level, but also on a page level.
Understanding where your traffic is coming from is vital to be able to plan and measure any marketing campaign. How does traffic from individual sources engage with your website and how do the sources differ from each other?
This can show you where you’re getting the best response, not just in terms of traffic but also conversions.
What are the most common platforms visitors use to browse your website: Smartphone, Tablet or Desktop? Do pages on your site differ much in how they’re accessed?
If you have an e-commerce website, we can also look at the conversion paths. Do mobile users tend to browse on a mobile device and purchase on a desktop, for instance?
Behaviour flow analysis
Understanding how traffic moves around your website, from one landing page to the next, can give you great insights into where improvements are required. Should you look to invest in more content, video or improving your checkout procedure?
Landing page analysis
A detailed look at how visitors engage, or not, with your landing page. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention and draw them in. Google Analytics can provide us with great insight here, but we’ll also use our knowledge of high-performing landing pages to recommend improvements.
Our analysis of your website traffic will lift the lid on your visitors’ behaviour and their engagement with it.
We’ll audit your backlink data, looking at what sites are linking to you and whether they’re relevant.
Backlinks are so important to your rankings, but they’re the area of SEO that has historically seen the most abuse in terms of spammy link building tactics. We’ll audit your backlink data, looking at what sites are linking to you and whether they’re relevant. How many backlinks do you have? What the percentage split between No-Follow and Follow links? What are the anchor texts of your links?
We look at this on a page by page level to get an understanding of why your website ranks for the keywords it does.
It’s possible we may need to clean up your backlinks if they’re causing a serious issue, or could well do in the future. The best way to deal with a poor link profile, however, is to keep building really high-quality backlinks from great sources.
As part of our thorough website & SEO audit, we’ll review the content on your website, both in terms of quality and relevance. Does it talk more about you and what you do, or is it focused on the problems your clients have and how you can help to solve them?
As an add-on, we’re also able to provide you with an editorial calendar. This content plan will be based on what your potential customers are searching for and will drive additional relevant traffic to your site. You have the option to write this content up yourself or take advantage of using our talented in-house copywriters.
We’ll review the content on your website, in terms of quality and relevance.
We can measure your usage and engagement across all your social media platforms.
Social Media Analysis
As an add-on, we can offer you a Social Media audit, which will measure your usage and engagement across all your social media platforms. We’ll review what your competitors are doing and put together a strategy to make improvements. You can then fulfil this yourself or we can help you through our in-house social media experts.
What do we deliver with the SEO audit?
You’ll receive a comprehensive audit report that doesn’t just contain data, but our insightful interpretation of that data and how you can take advantage of it to make improvements to your website and increase your search engine rankings. We’ll go through your report with you, either face to face or over Skype. This gives you the chance to ask any questions you may have. We want to make sure you understand everything in the document and all the implications of our analysis.
At the end of the report, we’ll give you a series of actionable SEO recommendations and a strategy that you can implement internally, with our support or fully outsourced to our own SEO experts.
What tools do we use to audit your website?
We use many tools to audit your website. Some are freely available, whilst others require a paid subscription. Here are our favourites.
Google Search Console
Search Console (or Webmaster Tools, as it used to be known) is a free tool, which is simple at heart, but also extremely powerful. To use it, all you need is a Google account and to be able to verify ownership of your website in one of several different ways.
At its most basic Search Console tells you what search queries (keywords) your website is being returned for on Google, what the search volume is for each query, your average position over time, how many clicks you receive and what your ‘click through rate’ is.
Another free tool from Google, and the one you’re most likely to be familiar with. Once installed on your website the tool collects data about visitors to your site, such as:
- How did they arrive?
- Where did they arrive from?
- Where did they go?
- What did they do?
- How long did they stay?
This is just a small fraction of what Google Analytics can tell you and the tool is an absolute goldmine if you know where to look and how to properly interpret the data.
Agency analytics is an extremely powerful and versatile piece of SEO software that we use for all our client reporting, rank checking and other campaign management activity. We also use Agency Analytics to audit our client’s websites.
These audits are technical SEO audits which will show up any critical errors or issues on a website that could be affecting its optimal performance and the ability to rank. This includes broken links, broken redirects (301s), missing metadata, site speed, thin content and duplicate content.
Our personal favourite backlink checker (although it’s so much more than that). Ahrefs is great not just for lifting the lid on why your site ranks where it does, but also on why your competitors do. Perfect for seeing their SEO secrets!