Well into the digital age, the days before Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are a thing of the past. What some believed to be a general buzzword for new marketing strategies a decade ago has now proven itself as a viable asset. Thus, most businesses today embrace SEO and have a firm grasp on its benefits. However, many companies may still be unaware of the mounting importance of an SEO audit. In the ever-changing digital landscape, such introspections can indeed expose serious shortcomings. With this in mind, let us devote this article to exploring the importance of an SEO audit for your business.
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is a review of your website regarding how well it is optimized for search engines. Some businesses choose to conduct internal audits, but many seek the help of professionals and agencies. This review takes into account the changing algorithms of search engines and their SEO criteria and rates your website accordingly. It deals with three fundamental aspects of SEO, which are the following.
On-page SEO gauges the effectiveness of your website’s structure, as well as visible content elements such as text structure and image files.
In contrast, off-page SEO gauges off-site activities, as the name implies. These include such activities as link building, but also such metrics as social media shares and likes.
Lastly, technical SEO focuses on a website’s technical health. This scope includes crawling and indexing efficiency, but also such issues as URL structure and 404 pages.
Thus, it should be understood that those three facets of SEO work harmoniously to ensure maximum efficiency. An SEO audit for your business can highlight individual shortcomings in any of them, as well as how you can begin addressing them.
The importance of an SEO audit for your business
To delve into the specifics, an SEO audit can help ensure that all your SEO strategies are flawless and on-point. In reviewing your SEO strategies, it can guarantee they meet your needs and help create sustained customer relationships. While such fronts are numerous, we should be able to safely identify the five most significant ones among them.
Every sound SEO strategy likely begins with keyword research, and an SEO audit will help ensure you’ve chosen the right option for this goal. It will inform you on how you’re ranking for your keywords of choice and possibly uncover other keywords you may wish to rank for. This is an invaluable asset for any organic traffic strategy that aims to produce excellent search engine result page (SERP) rankings.
By tracking and monitoring your keyword performance, you can continuously inform your content creation strategies. Examining your on-site SEO can ensure your website best facilitates your choice, and keeping an eye on your competition can also produce valuable keyword insights.
Furthermore, an SEO audit can help identify shortcomings in content strategies and practices. While creating content around relevant, valuable keywords is the first step, many on-site and off-site activities are available to help optimize your content for search engines and visitors.
In terms of on-site SEO, consider the following examples:
- Copy structure: titles, headings, paragraphs, length
- Content performance: bounce rates, views, retention
- Images: format, size, alt. tags, captions
All of the above can affect your SEO, both in terms of search engine friendliness and user interaction. Furthermore, consider the following examples of off-site SEO metrics:
- Links: quality, inbound visitors
- Trustworthiness: authority, SSL
- Social media: likes and shares, reputation
Any of the above can drastically affect your content’s performance. By the same token, becoming aware of any such issues can help you optimize your content SEO accordingly. Such simple strategies as disavowing links can offer substantial value, as long as you’re aware of the need for them.
Website structure and usability
Next, an SEO audit can help reveal vulnerabilities in your website structure and usability. Both are vital factors for SEO since they directly affect your website in terms of crawling and user retention.
The most frequent example of such issues is a convoluted, disjointed website structure. A lack of a proper XML and on-site sitemap can cause both slower crawling and indexing, as well as discourage visitors from exploring your site. Therefore, an SEO audit will help reveal whether your website needs technical SEO care, including crawler friendliness and URL structure, and on-page SEO care, including a more straightforward website structure that allures visitors.
Mobile-friendliness and optimization
All of the aforementioned aside, mobile-friendliness is an increasingly valuable SEO metric to consider. As more and more visitors navigate the web through mobile devices, search engines value mobile-friendliness ever more highly. At the same time, mobile users expect easy navigation and quick loading times and will leave if they don’t find them – which in turn affects your visitor engagement metrics.
An SEO audit will review your website’s mobile version, evaluating its optimization. Since Google does so too, and actually does it before reviewing your desktop site, this is an invaluable insight to have.
Traffic insights and conversion rates
Finally, an SEO audit can holistically inform your strategies across the board by providing traffic insights. While you should always monitor such metrics as traffic sources, volume, and quality, an SEO audit will take them into account and potentially uncover valuable insights.
With such information in hand, you can both refine your SEO efforts and adjust your strategies accordingly. For example, underperforming retention rates may hint at a need to switch from display ads to relationship ads, and poor conversion rates may indicate your CTAs need refinement. While such processes take long, identifying the need for them is the crucial first step.
Conclusion: an SEO audit can be invaluable
With all of the above in mind, it should now be clear that you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of an SEO audit for your business. Algorithms change, consumer trends emerge and shift, and oversights may always occur. Thus, identifying SEO shortcomings early on can save you future woes, help you ensure better ROI, and put your mind at ease.