Boost Your Search Rankings With an SEO Audit

By now, most business owners understand that SEO can deliver serious growth for their brand. But a question we hear a lot is – where do I begin?? SEO is a complex subject – so an effective audit is the perfect place to start. 

An SEO audit will provide a clear overview of how your website is performing currently, urgent problems that need to be resolved asap, and more general areas for improvement looking to the future. 

Source: worldSEOservices.com

It’s one thing to have a simple website that’s showcasing your products and services. But a solid SEO audit will help optimise your site and ACTUALLY start ranking at the top of Google’s search results. And that’s how you’ll win the traffic, clicks, and conversions you need to take your business to the next level!!

So, what’s the best way to conduct an SEO audit and what features should it include? In this article, we’ll give you a handy introduction to SEO audits.

We begin with a clear definition of what an SEO audit is. Then, we break down the top 7 benefits that an audit will offer. And lastly, we discuss how First Page delivers our SEO audits and the way we help our clients achieve an outstanding online experience.

What is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is a series of tests that provide an overview of how your website is performing. It tells you how well your site is optimised for search engine best practice and how effectively it will rank on results pages.

Your audit will point out issues that are negatively affecting your rankings and traffic, including: 

  • Issues with user experience (UX)
  • Technical SEO issues
  • Problems with on-page SEO
  • Contact gaps
  • Website design and build issues
  • Potential off-site problems

How Long Does an SEO Audit Take?

A decent SEO audit is not an immediate process. It’s a comprehensive investigation that will be completed over the course of 2 to 6 weeks. Once all issues are identified, changes will need to be applied to correct problems and optimise performance.

What are the Benefits of an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is crucial for any business looking to succeed online. A professional audit can revive ailing websites and identify serious opportunities for growth. It’s a combination of strategies that provides a holistic approach to SEO health.

Here are the top 7 benefits of an SEO audit…

1) Faster Speed For Increased Engagement

The faster your site loads, the less chance there is that users will get frustrated and leave. A super-fast site will minimise your bounce rate and maximise your conversions

Website speed is an accurate reflection of how fast a website responds to a request. Therefore, Google makes speed site a high priority. The faster your site loads, the higher it will rank. 

Google has shared its best practice on how to speed up your site. The simple steps you can take include…

2) Ensure Your Site Is Optimised For Mobile

As of 2021, 3.8 billion people own smartphones, which equates to 48.33% of the global population!!

It’s important to consider that 60% of all Google searches take place on mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile, you’re missing out on an enormous amount of traffic and potential conversions.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com

Think through your mobile user experience and check your site’s mobile speed on Think With Google.

Users expect all sites to be optimised for mobile. So, explore the design and layout of your web pages to confirm each one delivers exceptional UX on every device.

3) Only One Version of Your Site is Indexing

Google can index different versions of your site – which is not a good thing!

When websites are indexed correctly, it gives search engines the opportunity to crawl the content of your pages. This material helps your site rank higher on the SERPs. 

But, you can have many different versions of the same site. Just look carefully at these hypothetical examples:

  • http://trafficflow.com
  • https://trafficflow.com
  • http://www.trafficflow.com
  • https://www.trafficflow.com

These URLs LOOK very similar. But in fact, there are slight variations in the address. This means multiple versions of your site are indexing and Google will view this as duplicated content – hurting your rankings as a result. 

Check the entirety of your site’s indexing as part of your SEO audit and be sure to remove any duplicates following best practice guidelines.

4) Improve Your On-Page SEO

It’s beneficial to optimise each page of your site to varying degrees.

For example, you should focus on landing pages that are part of advertising campaigns, pages that target important keywords, and pages that rank high – but could rank higher. 

If you want to conduct best practice on-page optimisation, then we recommend you…

  • Conduct keyword research to understand the search queries of your target audience and how your SEO strategy can align with them.
  • Include your keywords in body copy, headers and metadata. 
  • Add at least 5 external links and 5 internal links.
  • Create optimised blog posts that explore relevant content, common questions and trending topics.
  • Keep your copy simple, your sentences succinct, and don’t overuse your keywords. 
  • Use LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords – language which is semantically similar to your chosen keywords.
  • If you’re answering a question for your audience – optimise it to score a valuable featured snippet
Source: ahrefs.com

5) Gain an Insight Into Your Competition

Because you need to create the most successful SEO strategy, it pays to compare your approach with your competitors.

A competitor analysis will help you discover opportunities that similar sites are missing. These include viewing their paid traffic, top-performing pages, content with the highest engagement, and overall organic traffic rates.

6) Find and Kill Zombie Pages

Zombie pages are areas of your site that don’t gain traffic. This is because they’re not indexing on search engines due to technical problems or poor quality content. They must be hunted down and destroyed so they don’t hurt your rankings!!

When you type “site:yourwebsite.com“, Google will show your total number of URLs. You may be shocked to see the amount! If it’s on the high side, you’ll need to get rid of them.

A key benefit of an SEO audit is showing areas of your site that simple aren’t necessary and the kinds of content that you’ll benefit from removing. This will drive traffic to areas of your site you ACTUALLY want visitors to see…

Here are just a few examples of zombie pages you need to delete:

  • Outdated press releases
  • Old advertising campaigns 
  • Thin content pages
  • Archived pages
  • Duplicate content and boilerplate copy

There is nothing more off-putting than clicking on a link that takes you to a page that doesn’t exist anymore and gives you a generic 404 error page!!

Make sure your SEO audit highlights any broken links. They create a terrible user experience, increase your bounce rate and decreasing your authority.

Broken links create a situation where a user may never return to your site, as they feel you don’t keep your content up-to-date and therefore cannot trust you. 

To find broken pages that Google cannot index, use Google’s Search Console’s Index Report. Then work with a software tool to locate broken and internal links.

Conclusion – Audit Your Site To Achieve SEO Excellence!!

These are the top seven benefits that every SEO audit must include! This info offers a great way to develop an optimised, effective and visible website. These are online improvements that deliver real, observable benefits for your business!!

Working with a good digital marketing agency will allow you to keep on top of all the problems highlighted in an SEO audit. At First Page, we not only work to eliminate SEO issues – but develop long term strategies that avoid them occurring in the first place. 

We’re passionate about creating online experiences that your customers love and position you as an industry authority. Time and again, we show that an optimised website is the BEST way to drive unbelievable traffic, engagement and sales!!

First Page offers a Free Website Healthcheck. It’s a great guide towards SEO success and the perfect way to start a thorough SEO audit of your site. So, to begin the journey towards online optimisation and serious business growth, contact our SEO experts today!!