So you’ve checked out your website’s performance in Google Analytics and found that organic traffic is flat or down. You may also have noticed no movement in the number of leads your digital marketing and website are generating. You’ve heard that SEO can help improve your presence in search engine results — but which SEO tactics do you need to deploy?
Before jumping the gun and making random changes to your website, you'll want to complete an SEO audit. An SEO audit is a means to evaluate the search engine friendliness of your website. Every website is different — anSEO auditgives a tailored view of how well your website is doing in Google’s eyes.
After an audit is complete, you're in a much stronger place to devise and implement a clear SEO strategy and improve your inbound marketing.
But how does an audit reveal this, and what can marketers learn from them to improve the reach and accessibility of their digital content?
What are the 6 key benefits of performing an SEO audit?
1). Improve your site’s overall performance
It’s no secret that Google loves a healthy website. In fact, site performance is a key factor in rankings. Running an SEO audit will flag up any issues that your website has, such as low-speed or issues with site-maps. It can also bring up security issues your website may be facing.
Some of these issues can be fixed immediately, however, some will take more time. Don’t be disheartened if you’ve made changes and seen no immediate improvement — in some circumstances, it can take Google weeks to recognise changes.
We recommend performing an SEO audit on a regular basis. External changes can impact the performance of your website, therefore regular maintenance is required.
2). Put an end to any historic SEO practices for which you're now being penalised
Search engine optimisation is an industry that's constantly evolving. A couple of years ago, a common SEO practice was to buy links that direct to your page. Nowadays, although link building is still an important feature of any SEO strategy, these toxic links can be detrimental to your search rankings. An SEO audit can help identify these bad historic practices, which, once removed, will improve your website’s overall SEO.
3). Find out which keywords you are actually ranking for
It often comes as a surprise to clients when we share with them which keywords they’re actually ranking for. An SEO audit offers invaluable information into your organic presence in the search results. Once you know what you’re ranking for (or what you’re not), you can optimise your content accordingly.
You may have written the best content on a topic, but if it’s not optimised properly for the correct keywords, how is your target customer supposed to find it?
4). Understand which keywords are bringing in traffic and converting leads
Ranking well for keywords is great! But if those keywords aren’t generating traffic or the right sort of traffic, it’s almost pointless. If you find that you’re ranking well for a certain keyword, but that keyword is generating little traffic, it could be that your buyer persona is not researching that terminology or it has a low search volume.
Use an SEO audit to understand the search terms and variations that your target customer is using. You can then harness this knowledge in your SEO strategy by creating and optimising content to fill in the gaps.
5). Know where you are with SEO by monitoring your progress
Once you’ve run an SEO audit and implemented the changes, it’s important to repeat this process on a regular basis. This not only helps you track your progress in improving your presence in search engines but also gives you a greater idea of what you can do next. After all, SEO is a continuous digital marketing activity. SEO tools such as SEMrush can help to keep track on progress.
6). See what your competitors are doing SEO-wise
Do you have an annoying competitor who always seems to beat you in search engine rankings? Would you like to find out in more depth the keywords they are ranking for?
As well as running your own SEO audit, run an audit on a competitor or two. It’s a great way to analyse your competition and glean information that you can use in your SEO strategy. Competitive SEO analysis is perfectly acceptable and certainly worth doing.