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What Should be Included in a SEO Site Audit?

January 13, 2021 No Comments

Featured article by Brad Davidson, Independent Technology Author

A site audit is designed to help discover any issues that are present with your current website. It will help discover any problems with broken files, links, that are friendly to the user and have a high level of content. Regardless of the traffic currently being received a regular audit of the site is essential to maintaining and increasing your traffic and failure to audit can also lead to a decrease in visits to your site which will be detrimental to your online business strategy.

Given that many sites often run into thousands of pages even a professional SEO auditor can struggle, help is at hand. To help with your online SEO marketing strategy there are plenty of options available making the process more streamlined and efficient. Here are some of the current examples available, although there is still a manual element to ensure the most accurate result some of the tools available today will help you greatly.

Making Sure you get the Traffic you Deserve  

Missing out on sales often means you are missing out on traffic, handing the sales to your competitors. This is one of the main reasons for performing a site audit and motivates you to prevent your competitors from gaining extra traffic and conversions. If your site is not audited regularly and professionally it can be easy to lose ground to your rivals and lose growth within your business.

Some of the main reasons you should have a regular site audit include:

- Your SEO audit should be able to quickly find and fix any issues that may be causing you to lose business
- If you have just landed a new client and are putting a growth strategy
- Your business is suffering from a slow growth period or experiencing a loss of organic traffic  
- You have bought a new website and wish to improve its performance

Some of the main tools you may require are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, GooglePage PageSpeed insights, and WordPress. These are very much at the forefront of auditing SEO sites, whilst there are other options these are considered the industry standard.

Understanding Your Competitors and Your Rankings

As with anything competitive you must understand your competitors. In sport, you analyze the opposition, whether it is an individual sport or a team game. Up to date information can be key to winning or losing. Business is exactly the same and often with more at stake. Your strategy is essential when either building a new site or auditing an existing one.

Your rankings are what is most important and boosting them to the top of Google should be a number one priority for your business, a regular audit can help with this and should be done with regularity, quarterly is the preferred time frame for many businesses.

Ensuring Page Loading Times

A very important factor in ensuring a good ranking for your website is the speed at which it loads and can have a very positive or indeed a negative impact on the ranking factor of your site. Slow websites are frustrating and why would a potential customer wait for it to load when there are many other options available. First impressions last is the old expression and it is also true of your website. Improving the customer’s experience should be a high priority of any web-based sales-oriented business, sometimes it is out of your control due to the internet provider but with the fast pace of technology, we enjoy today it is more often than not the site itself.

Aiming to improve the speed on your site will increase business and your rankings on search engines. Mobile devices account for the most searches followed by desktop; your site should be optimized for both.

The Importance of Repairing Backlinks

Whilst not necessarily affecting your Google ranking they are a major concern for the consumer, many people find it a very frustrating experience when using your site and can potentially put off continued use, causing the consumer to look elsewhere. Avoiding having obsolete internal links and external links is something that should be taken seriously.

Checking for 404 links should be done regularly as this can also help determine the potential customer experience but also the SEO performance of your site.

Robot.txt Files 

Googlebots and Bingbots are aware that the robot.txt files are there to regulate permissions for robots checking your site, by blocking certain sections of your site you can ensure that only the pages you have indexed are added you the various search engines you are aiming to help improve your business and customer satisfaction.

When checking the health of your SEO technical health you must make sure important sub-directories are not being excluded by popular search sites. Your SEO audit should also ensure that you are not being blocked or excluded by other bots also.

Importance of Using the Site Command 

The site command can bring very specific results to potential customers searching your site. It is very simple, for example, if you wish to search for Nike sneakers you can simply type site:nike.com sneakers and all the relevant pages from Nike’s website will be displayed, this can save many hours especially on large sites sifting through page after page.

However, the site command should not be treated as 100% accurate. But if the number of returns is low it may point to a problem with your indexing and if it’s too high then you may have a problem also with your canonicalization which may be allowing duplicate URLs to be indexed.

Conclusion

Using an audit tool is essential to maintaining your site for many more reasons listed above. To continue with the growth of your business it should be taken as seriously as a financial audit. For your online presence to grow and prosper an audit should be undertaken regularly by qualified staff and IT professionals. Regardless of the cost the SEO audit will pay for itself and help to continue the growth of your business.

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