Did you know that moving up one spot in Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) will increase your click-through rate by around 30.8%?
Sure, your mileage may vary depending on where you’re moving from and to, but the idea remains: hiring a digital marketing company is crucial for increasing your website’s traffic.
But here’s the thing: No matter how much effort you put into your SEO strategies, you may never know the exact impact they have on your website.
That’s where the SEO audit comes in.
So what is it, and why is it so important?
Let’s take a look.
What Is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is a process of evaluating multiple factors that influence your website’s ranking in the SERP. For example, it is significant to rely on a new york web design company or others during this process.
This is done by covering three parts: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
An on-page SEO audit encompasses the visible elements on your website, like copy and imagery.
Whereas an off-page SEO audit gives you an insight into how certain off-site elements affect your ranking, like the backlinks you generate.
A technical SEO audit checks the mechanical aspects of your website, including its loading speed, security, mobile-friendliness, number of broken links, etc.
To put it differently, think of an SEO audit as a test your website has to take to see how well it scores in terms of its ability to appear in the SERPs.
Although it may not sound like a big deal, performing regular SEO audits should play a critical role in your SEO strategy.
Let’s see why.
Why are SEO Audits Important?
1. Stay Up-To-Date
Have you ever wondered how many times Google updates its search engine algorithms?
The answer is around nine times/day.
In other words, SEO is an ever-changing field. What works for you today may drag you down tomorrow.
To stay on top of the game, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for any new changes. Otherwise, your website is bound to take a hit.
But most of these updates are unannounced, doing the job that much harder.
That’s why you need to perform SEO audits regularly. They’ll give you insight into what has changed since your last evaluation, and thus, you’ll know how to make up for it.
2. Understand Your Keywords
In SEO, keywords are vital. After all, that’s how most users will find your website.
To enhance your website’s visibility, you’ll need to know what users type in the search bar when looking for something related to your business.
What’s more, you’ll have to make sure that the keywords you’re ranking for attract the right kind of traffic, experience high search volumes, and have low competition.
This involves a bit of experimentation, and with SEO audits, you can do just that.
By doing audits periodically, you can test different keyword variations to find out what’s most effective.
After that, update your website’s content with those keywords, and you’ll likely experience an increase in traffic.
3. Analyze Your Competition
While you’re at it, why not do an SEO audit on your leading competitors as well?
This will give you valuable insights regarding their strengths, weaknesses, most popular pages, top-performing keywords, and much more.
You can apply what you’ve learned to your website, and you’ll probably catch up with them or maybe even overtake them.
Also, pay attention to the keywords your competitors are not ranking well for. You could snag these keywords from them, focus your efforts on ranking for the said keywords and gain the upper hand.
4. Improve Website Performance
Google values user experience more than anything else.
That said, even though you provide great content and your keyword optimization is on-point, you’ll still rank poorly if your website lacks in the technical department.
An SEO audit will flag anything wrong with your website’s mechanics, like its loading speed, security, or the number of redirects and 404 Errors.
Some of these issues can be resolved rather quickly, while others may require a little more effort.
For example, security issues may be triggered by the lack of an SSL certificate. This causes the “Not Secure” label to appear next to the URL tab, which is a big no-no for users and Google.
Purchase an SSL certificate, install it using your web host, change the protocol from “HTTP” to “HTTPS,” and you’re done.
Loading speed, on the other hand, can be trickier to fix.
We’ve talked with experts, and they said that the most common causes of slow websites are large image files. In that case, you should compress them and maybe enable lazy loading.
But that’s the best-case scenario.
Even if fixing your loading speeds may give you some headaches, addressing the issue is worth it.
That’s because 53% of users will abandon a web page if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
5. Improve Website Structure
That’s not everything, though.
If your website’s structure doesn’t make sense, users will leave as quickly as they came.
Not to mention that Google’s search engine bots will also have trouble in navigating the website, potentially leaving some web pages unindexed.
SEO audits enable you to test your website’s crawl depth. This represents the number of clicks it takes to reach a specific page, starting from the webpage.
We’ve talked to some experts, and they said that the crawl depth should be under three clicks. This allows search engine bots and users to find important content easily.
6. Analyze Backlinks
The more authoritative websites link back to you, the more seriously Google will take you, and the higher you’ll rank in the SERPs.
But it can also go the other way around. You can get backlinks from spammy or irrelevant websites, and that will impede your SEO efforts.
An SEO audit will help you identify and eliminate these types of backlinks.
Furthermore, auditing your backlink profile will also help you spot new opportunities to get quality links, improve your link-building strategy and outrank your competitors.
7. Craft Better Content
Performing SEO audits will also give you insights into how to improve the quality of your content.
By analyzing data, like meta-titles, meta-descriptions, header tags, content length, etc., you’ll be able to adjust your content so that it will rank higher in the SERPs.
What’s more, you’ll also find out your top-performing pieces of content and what topics your audience is interested in the most.
You could use that information to provide more relevant content to improve your conversion rate, dwell times, and page views.
8. Monitor Performance
And finally, SEO is not a one-and-done process. To make the most out of it, you’ll have to do constant tweaks. And for that, you’ll need to know how previous changes affected your rankings.
By doing regular SEO audits, you’ll get to see what’s working and what’s not, giving you the ability to quickly undo any negative changes while improving on the ones that brought you significant results.
All in all, auditing your website regularly is essential for staying on top of the SEO game. But, what does “regularly” mean?
Although the answer may vary depending on how active your website is, most companies perform audits every three to six months. This way, they make sure that their websites keep up with any significant updates Google rolls out.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.