Achieving top rankings in Google's organic search results for your business requires maintenance and improvements, which is why regular SEO
audits are essential. An audit allows you to better understand what's going on with your website and how to make it more search engine-friendly.
But what does an SEO audit involve, exactly? In this article, you’ll learn about the audit process to see how it can help you grow organic traffic in 2023 and beyond.
How Long Do SEO Audits Take?
The time it takes to perform an SEO audit depends on the size and number of your web properties. An SEO audit for a five-page website will be much quicker than an SEO audit for a large corporation that has multiple websites, and each has hundreds of pages.
Regardless of how long your audit takes, it should provide a thorough review, analysis, reporting, and strategic recommendations.
The SEO Audit Process
An SEO audit reveals the strengths and weaknesses of a website and offers recommendations based on observation and data from paid and/or free tools, such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Screaming Frog.
The audit process typically consists of various SEO analyses to create a comprehensive picture:
Define your SEO objectives which can be to increase organic traffic by a certain amount, move rankings from the second search results page to the first, etc. Whichever goals you set, make them S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely).
Review your keyword list with a fine-tooth comb. Determine which keywords are driving the most traffic and conversions to continue optimizing for those. Also, look for opportunities like keywords you're close to ranking in top positions and long-tail keywords with less competition to increase your online visibility.
See what competitors are doing so you can reverse-engineer tactics that work for them into your own SEO strategy. Check out their keywords, rankings, content, links, and social media.
Google is all about the user experience, so it’s important to identify technical issues that hurt website performance and frustrate users. For example, having a fast page load speed improves user experience
, which can lead to higher rankings.
Page Level Analysis
Examine each landing page to see if it has been optimized effectively for its target keyword and satisfies the user’s search intent. Review the headings, body copy, page format, links, and imagery to see if there are ways to improve optimization and user experience.
Evaluate your current content strategy
to determine if it’s working. Look at which types of content and topics perform well with users (e.g. low bounce rate, high conversion rate) so you can update your strategy to increase user engagement and conversions.
User Experience Analysis
Google Analytics provides a wealth of insights into the user experience. Find out how users interact with your website by looking at the bounce rate, average time spent, conversion rate, and other engagement metrics to identify underperforming pages.
You should review three types of links: internal, external, and backlink. It’s important to review all of your links to identify broken links, improve link quality, and find link opportunities. Internal links point from one page to another on the same website, which helps define the site architecture.
External links are those on your website that point to a separate website. Backlinks
(aka “inbound links”) are all the links from other websites that point to yours. Having quality backlinks shows search engines that your website is trustworthy and credible.
Last but not least, check that the listings of your business’s name, address, phone, and website address are correct and consistent across your website, Google business listing
, social media profiles, directories, and anywhere else online.
Fix SEO Issues to Get More Traffic
Regular SEO audits are crucial for discovering what is and isn’t working. By analyzing real data instead of making guesses, you’ll be able to develop an action plan that will produce the kind of SEO results you want, like increased organic traffic, higher conversion rates, and more.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.