SEO can deliver many benefits to a business through traffic, clicks and conversions, but it’s an area that doesn’t always get the attention it needs. Did you know that large companies require an SEO audit four to six times a year, while smaller businesses can get away with doing it once every four months?
With the start of this new financial year, I encourage business owners to prepare for the year ahead by doing an SEO audit of your website to help boost your search rankings. In doing so, you can get a clear understanding of how your website is currently performing, any urgent problems you need to resolve quickly, and other general areas to improve.
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit consists of a series of tests that reviews your website’s performance. It tells you how well your website is optimised for search engines and how it will rank on result pages. It also points out issues that are impacting your website’s ranking and traffic, including technical SEO issues, web design and build issues, issues with user experience, and potential off-site problems.
A thorough SEO audit takes two to six weeks to conduct. However, once all issues are identified and fixed, your website should be optimised to help your business succeed online.
Key benefits of an SEO audit
- Faster speeds = increased engagement and higher ranking. Super-fast websites tend to have a lower bounce rate; that is, the percentage of visitors who leave your site without taking an action. This is because users are less likely to be frustrated and leave. To improve your website speed, run a speed test through a trustworthy website, check your website’s HTML code, and make sure the size of your images and content aren’t too large. The faster your site loads, the higher Google will rank it.
- Gain insight into your competition. It’s a good idea to do competitor analysis as part of your SEO audit to compare your online strategy and approach against businesses you are up against. This involves viewing their content with the highest engagement, their organic traffic rates, and viewing their top-performing pages. Knowing your point of difference can help set your business apart and help you find new opportunities.
- Identify and repair broken links. As a user, there’s nothing more off-putting than clicking a link that no longer exists. It results in poor user experience, decreases your authority, and increases your bounce rate. An SEO audit will highlight any broken links on your page – there are various tools you can use to do this – so you can repair these quickly.
- Find and remove “Zombie” pages. Web pages that don’t gain traffic are called “zombie” pages and are the result of technical problems or poor-quality content. If you type “site:yourwebsite.com”, Google will show your total number of URLs. If it’s on the high side, you’ll need to get rid of them as leaving it is hurting your page ranking.
Should I use a professional to do my SEO audit?
Sure, there are many free tools and guides that help businesses review issues on their website and do their own SEO audit, but it’s a complex area and most people don’t know where to start – or what to look for.
Bringing on a professional auditor such as a digital agency can help you identify the main issues, repair ailing websites and suggest areas for improvement. They can also provide a combination of ongoing strategies to help your business succeed online, and monitor this regularly and update it as needed.