What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is the process of analyzing how well your web presence relates to best practices - it is the first step to creating an implementation plan that will have measurable results.
The purpose of the audit is to identify as many foundational issues affecting organic search performance as possible. The SEO audit will reveal:
- Technical SEO issues
- Website structure issues
- On-page SEO issues
- Potential off-site problems
- User experience issues
- Content gaps and opportunities
- Competitive marketplace insights
An audit is a standard procedure that should occur on a regular basis – It is essentially a “health check” for your website.
What an SEO Audit Should Be:
First and foremost, an audit should be comprehensive. It should cover both structural and content components affecting your SEO visibility. It should provide a “big picture” view of what is happening in your current state. Any missing pieces could result in unnecessary or improper recommendations.
Your audit should be easy to understand. As a business owner, you should be able to connect the dots as to how SEO issues are affecting your online priorities, goals, or revenue. Any and all recommendations should clearly ladder up to your over-arching business objectives.
Finally, your SEO audit recommendations should be actionable. There should be a clear path to completion; prioritized with projected impact and effort associated with each recommendation. The output of any SEO audit should accurately convey an easy to follow roadmap.
What an SEO Audit Should Not Be:
An SEO audit should not be rushed. It simply takes time to uncover root causes of the issues affecting your online health. Depending on the size of your site, a proper audit can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to complete. Due diligence is required when making major changes to any website, and an SEO specialist must conduct a thorough investigation to make accurate, impactful recommendations.
An SEO audit should not be “one size fits all”. While some technical elements are required for all websites, a situational analysis should be performed at the outset of an SEO audit to hone in on areas of focus for that site.
What Is Analyzed in an SEO Audit:
While SEO audits may vary slightly, each one should analyze basic technical SEO “table stakes” such as sitemaps, server errors, and metadata. At a high level, an audit should cover off on accessibility, indexation, and optimization.
In an SEO audit at Three Deep, our experts analyze over 193 different SEO elements across the following categories:
- Technical Audit
- Indexation analysis
- Status Codes
- Page Speed
- URL Structure
- XML Sitemap
- Canonical Tags
- Legacy Domain Issues
- Off-page Analysis
- Mobile SEO analysis
- International SEO analysis
- On-Page Audit
- Site Content Structure
- Keyword Research
- Page Copy Theme Analysis
- Keyword Use
- Meta Data Analysis (Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Heading Tags)
- User Experience
- Images & Video
- Internal Linking & HTML Sitemap
- Server Log Audit
- Crawl Budget Analysis
- User Agent Analysis
The information captured during the auditing process allows our team to make accurate, impactful recommendations for your specific website and situation.
What to Expect During and After an SEO Audit:
As previously mentioned, an SEO audit can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. During this time an SEO specialist is analyzing and uncovering SEO opportunities on your website. However, bi-weekly or weekly check-ins keep you and your team in the loop as to the progress.
In any given website audit, there are a few low-hanging opportunities discovered. When these types of insights are unearthed, our team will pass them along right away. This provides an opportunity to recover visibility while the remainder of the audit is carried out.
After the audit has been completed, your team will be invited to a presentation in which your SEO specialist will talk through the findings and recommendations. The Three Deep SEO team will walk you and your team though the roadmap to completion so you know what to expect and when. In addition, you will receive a comprehensive analysis of your site’s health. All of these are customized to you and your specific situation.
Why It’s Important to Audit Your Website on a Regular Basis:
Your website is the “hub” of your online brand – so, it’s important to have regular checkups to ensure everything is in order. It’s also important to note that your website is a living digital property, it’s typically not stagnant for long periods of time. In any given year, content is added and/or removed from your site. It is for this reason that audits should occur on a regular basis. We recommend that websites be audited at a minimum of once per year. That allows your teams to fix critical issues as they arise.
There are other parts of SEO which you should pay attention to after your audit to make sure you stay competitive. After all, the technical foundation isn't the end of the road for SEO success. It's important to pay attention to your competition's SEO activity, keep an eye on the newest search engine best practices, and maintain local SEO best practices if your business depends on customers visiting a physical address. All of these are elements of a successful SEO strategy and should be corollary to your audit and ongoing SEO maintenance.