A search engine optimization audit (SEO audit) is a careful and thorough analysis of your site’s performance from a search engine perspective. I offer this as a stand-alone service or as part of an overall SEO package. An audit is always the first step I take when starting with a new client.
The final report should give you two important things:
- A comprehensive picture of your site’s current SEO status.
- Specific recommendations for improvement and increased optimization to the latest SEO standards.
Many “SEO auditors” only run an automated tool against your site and send you the resulting report, which may or may not contain useful data. You won’t get any generic reports from me. I use the latest tools and techniques to perform a personal, in-depth study of your site. You’ll receive a detailed analysis and actionable items you can implement to boost (or repair) your site’s search engine presence.
Many audits focus only on the site itself, but I’ll analyze SEO from both on-site and off-site (incoming links) perspectives to give you the most complete picture possible.
Things can change rapidly in the SEO industry. Even if you’ve had an audit performed before, you should audit your website every 6-12 months.
I Offer Two Types of SEO Audits:
Strategic Audit – A complete and thorough analysis of your site’s SEO status, This will identify existing problems and new opportunities, and provide recommendations that will improve your site’s performance.
Forensic Audit – Usually requested in urgent situations, such as a sudden dramatic traffic or conversion drop-off. I will investigate and identify the cause of the problem, propose a solution, and do it quickly.
My audits are suitable for websites of all types, from local small business sites with a dozen pages to large, complex corporate or e-commerce sites with thousands of pages. The SEO audit will be individually tailored to meet the needs of your particular site and personally performed by me.
Strategic Audit Components
Each audit consists of multiple components covering a variety of things that impact SEO performance. All key aspects, both on-site and off-site, are examined, as follows:
Google and Bing Tools Review
Your Google Analytics set up will be checked and verified to ensure it’s working correctly. I will also confirm that your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts are correctly configured. If you don’t have any of these accounts, I will help you set them up and implement tracking codes.
Proper Google Analytics setup is crucial for tracking site usage and user behavior. With it, I (and you) can see how users are arriving at your site and what they’re doing once they get there.
Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is used to check indexing status and optimize visibility of a site in Google.
Bing Webmaster Tools provide for analyzing your site’s presence in Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
All three of these are invaluable during a search engine audit. It’s important they’re set up correctly.
Content & Indexing Assessment
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools will be used to analyze whether your site is currently indexed correctly. This will determine how many of your site’s pages. If any are missing, I will figure out why and make recommendations that will get them included as needed.
Your sitemap and the robots.txt file will be reviewed to ensure they’re correctly configured. These files tell search engines how to access your site. If you don’t have them, I will help you create them.
Metadata and Content Optimization
For optimal SEO results, it’s important that your site properly and effectively utilizes meta tags and content structuring. Your site’s overall structure will be assessed to ensure it’s clear and well-defined. I will also examine the site’s meta tags. The title, description, and image tags will be proofed for proper formatting and optimal content. The site’s use of heading tags (H1, H2, etc.) will be checked. Keyword Research and its proper implementation will be assessed.
It’s also important that your pages each have unique content. If multiple URLs point to the same page, or there are pages with very little content, that could cause problems. Those pages need to be identified and corrected.
Keyword Ranking Report
I will identify the top keywords and phrases most relevant to your site’s search engine visibility. You’ll receive a report on your site’s ranking for them in key search engines. The report will also show the current search volume for each term. This is an excellent way to find opportunities to expand and improve search presence.
Incoming Link Profile Analysis
Search engines use incoming links (a.k.a. backlinks) to help determine your site’s importance. I will provide a report of incoming links to your domain. It will include the source, destination, and linked text. The report will contain analysis to determine the quantity, quality, and value of your incoming links. Strategies for improvement will be recommended, if necessary.
Online Competitive Analysis
Your site will be benchmarked against online competitors in your industry, so you can see where you stand regarding search engine visibility.
Website Infrastructure Check
Page loading speed, mobile friendliness, URL structure, proper use of 301 and 302 redirects, and other issues that can potentially impact search engine visibility (and usability of your site) will be checked. If I find any issues, I will provide guidance on how to resolve them.
Link Structure Assessment
How you link to things from within your site matters – both internal links to other pages on your site and links to domains outside your site. The audit includes analysis of your site’s current use of internal and external links and suggestions to improve your linking strategy. Often, this is an area that can be enhanced by paying attention to the choice of anchor text (the text that is used to make the link) and making appropriate use of ‘nofollow’ tags.
Once the audit is complete, which usually takes about five business days, you’ll receive a detailed report. It will give you a thorough understanding of your site’s current and potential SEO picture. The report will identify your site’s present strengths, along with areas for improvement.
SEO Forensic Audit
The purpose of a forensic audit is to determine why something has suddenly gone awry with your web site’s traffic. It’s most often requested after a sudden and precipitous drop-off in site visitors, page views, or conversions. Forensic audits are executed on an urgent basis.
There are many factors that can cause this to occur. Site hacking, a denial of service attack (DDOS), programming errors, or even misguided SEO efforts leading to a search engine “penalty” can trigger a traffic drop.
I’ll immediately analyze and assess the problem, identify the most likely cause, and recommend a course of action. Using automated tools and personal investigation, I’ll examine on-site and off-site issues that could be behind the drop and hunt down the most likely culprit. A plan to remedy the problem is developed.
Determining the reason for a sudden drop like this can be tricky and challenging and requires investigating a lot of data and possibilities. I’ll keep in regular contact with you throughout the process until the situation is resolved.
Result-Oriented, Actionable SEO
Whether you need a strategic or a forensic search engine audit, you’ll receive specific recommendations on how to fix problems and take advantage of new opportunities. If you need help implementing any of the steps I recommend, I’m available to help.
Inadequate or incomplete SEO optimization can cripple an otherwise excellent website. Order an SEO audit today to make sure your site achieves maximum visibility.