SEO Audit: Understanding its Value
Have you ever wondering why you’ve been offered an SEO audit? If you’re a business and you have a website presence, odds are at one point in time or another a company like HeartBrain Marketing has offered you an SEO audit. Here we are going to discuss why you need one today (really yesterday), especially if you are serious about your website being found by the right people at the right time. First, though, let’s talk a bit about SEO in general.
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine”. When you search a term in Google, you participate in the search engine process. Google (the search engine) takes the term you search for and ‘crawls’ all of the content of the internet and gathers an index. The index is then fed through an algorithm that matches the data to your search term. Using SEO best practices on your website increases the chance that Google will “find” your website in relation to the relevant term and pull it to the front page.
There are a variety of ways to produce a strong website built upon SEO best practices. The three steps to building a successful website include:
- Build Quality Visitors: SEO best practices attract the correct visitors to your website. By using SEO to use the correct keywords and fix errors on the website, you decrease the chances of ranking high only on topics that aren’t relevant.
- Quantity of Visitors: Now that you have implemented SEO best practices to your website, and you have the correct audience, you should now focus on increasing the number of high-quality visitors to the website.
- Organic Results: Over time you will see the fruit of your efforts in the form of organic traffic! Using SEO best practices, you have built a large enough audience that you are increasing organic traffic. Now you can decrease your paid traffic budget (or keep it steady and continue to watch traffic grow on your site).
In short, if you don’t use SEO best practices, or find an expert to execute an SEO audit to find the gaps, your website may be in trouble. Aside from the inevitable doom, here are 4 more reasons why you should consider having an agency do an SEO audit for your website.
An SEO Audit Saves Valuable Time
A lot of people wonder whether it would be better to have an agency’s SEO expert or in-house marketer execute the task. Realistically, this takes a long time. If you have a busy marketing team, throwing in SEO may not be the best choice, especially if your team is only somewhat familiar with SEO or they don’t have access to quality tools that save time. A lot of the time when this happens, in-house marketers will drop the ball in order to tackle more deadline-driven tasks like content. SEO audits should be conducted externally to see what the damage is, how much time it will take to be fixed, and what should be done to avoid poor SEO practices in the future. Training in-house marketers to create content with SEO in mind will help in the long-term, but an SEO audit really should be done by someone outside of the organization.
There are Multiple Types of SEO Audits
Don’t think you have the budget for an SEO audit? Maybe you don’t want all of the services? Most agencies have several packages available at all price ranges. Here are the usual SEO audit options:
- Keyword Research
- Competitive Reseach
- Current Threats and SEO Rankings
- Full Website Analysis
- SEO Strategic Plan
If you already have competitor research, but maybe would like to know more about the keywords you rank for, you could choose keyword research. Maybe you already know the errors that need to be fixed on the website, but you don’t have the time to fix them all. These reasons and many more are why you should pass the project off to an agency. They have the time and the knowledge to help you.
An SEO Audit Will Identify Outdated Content
If you notice your visits decreasing rapidly over 3-6 months, outdated content could be a reason for this. An SEO audit expert can analyze content for relevancy and measure whether the content is positively or negatively impacting visitors. Too much recycled content (evergreen content) that is actually becoming obsolete can turn visitors away from the website. SEO content specialists will check content for:
- Validity (Is the actual topic no longer relevant?)
- Relevant Keywords
- Keyword Density and Correct Placement
- Broken Links or Images
Sometimes we use a phrase in our everyday language that can be misconstrued in the world of SEO content. An outsider’s perspective will pull these phrases out of content to re-shape it for a more SEO keyword-friendly piece.
Titles and meta descriptions must also stay relevant. For how important these two things are, a lot of website owners will completely forget about this detail even though it’s the first impression for the visitor. (Titles and meta descriptions are what come up on Google when you search for something). An SEO auditor will find these errors and update them for you.
Search Engine Algorithms Change
Remember the algorithms we talked about in the first paragraph? One of the most important jobs of the SEO auditor is to stay updated with search engines as they change their algorithms. Search engines do this to provide better search results for visitors. By staying updated with these changes, the SEO auditor can make changes to your website accordingly. With everything else an in-house marketer has to manage; how could you possibly manage to remember to check with Google every time a change has been made? (If you can, BRAVO!) By performing regular SEO audits, you ensure these important updates don’t fall through the cracks.
A car needs an oil change every 3 months. A lot of us like to push the envelope on that deadline (which is why I blew the engine on my first car when I was 18). Please do not blow the engine on your 1999 Mercury Grand…website. There are plenty of reasons to invest in your website, including scheduling a regular SEO audit. Think of this as your website’s oil change. Regular maintenance is essential to the success of your website and business.
So what are you waiting for?
Contact us for your SEO Audit today!