An SEO Audit is an independent and unbiased review of your website from a search engine optimisation perspective. During an SEO Audit the auditor will run a wide range of seo checks on your site and use a variety of proven seo tools, to ensure that your site is continuing to tick all the right boxes to help it rank well in the major search engines.
Some examples of questions an SEO Audit asks include:
- Are there any broken links internal or external
- Is there any thin content, missing H1 tags etc..
- Is the content targeting the right subjects
- Is the site mobile friendly and is it secure
- Are there any duplicate content issues
- Are images optimised correctly
- Does the site load quickly, if not why not.
- Is search console setup and flagging any problems
- What is the link profile like
These are just a small handful of the types of problems a comprehensive SEO audit will cover.
Why is an seo site audit necessary
I guess this same question could be asked about many areas of a business. Whether it's producing annual accounts, servicing company vehicles or pat testing electrical devices we check things, often annually, to ensure they are still working as expected. Your website should be no different. When a website is built, most developers and hosting providers, will include a wide range of SEO best practice in the process by default. This can range from setting up proper redirects and ensuring internal link structure is good, through to more technical aspects such as minifying code, and setting up server side caching.
Things typically start out good, but unfortunately over time different people edit the site, modules and plugins are added and updated, pages are added, content is removed and things slowly deteriorate. Before you know it 12 months have passed and the site now has a range of problems hidden with in it, which can easily weigh it down from an SEO perspective. This is what an Audit is designed to identify.
When should you do an SEO audit
There is no one answer, but we would recommend most people run a website audit at least annually to keep on top of things. One thing that is certain is the longer you leave it the more problem will build up and the more damage you will have to rectify. Some larger organisations that make weekly changes to the site may opt to run an audit quarterly, while for others an annual audit is more than adequate. In either case the goal is the same, to identify issues that have built up over time and may be having a hidden effect on your performance.
Who should do the audit
At this stage you are probably thinking why don't we just do it ourselves. After all you know the website well and work with it regularly. Unfortunately that's the problem and the phrase "can't see the wood for the trees" probably best sums up the situation up here. We recommend you use an external auditor for this, in exactly the same way your accounts dept don't audit their own records. The auditor will look at the site with a fresh pair of eyes and identify problems that you haven't thought about, or in some cases have been staring it but just not seeing (believe me it happens).
What should you get from it
When an SEO Audit is undertaken on your website, the person doing it would typically be crawling the site with a number of professional SEO tools (scream frog, moz etc..) to identify issues from a long potential list. They should then collate any problems they find into a detailed report identifying areas of concern that you need to address. Typically the report will give you a checklist of actionable items that you can go away and address to improve your rankings.