When you’re looking to improve your website’s position and success, you’ll likely encounter services around SEO audits. Their impact is key for redevelopment projects, but it’s foremost important to shine a light on what an SEO audit is and understand how it’s carried out.
We’re Squarebird, the leading full-stack web agency operating out of Bristol. SEO audits are a daily routine for us; in this article we’ll give a rapid overview of the definition and process, fire off the main benefits, and offer extra insights we’ve uncovered from our in-house SEO experts.
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“If you’ve got a website project like a redesign or a redevelopment, then you’d want to do an audit to make sure all the bases are covered and to check on all the different aspects of the website.
Especially the first two; if there’s a migration, you need to look at things like site structure in particular – a crawler and a scraper help with that.” – Squarebird SEO Team
An Overview of SEO Audits
Here we’ll give you a brief run down on SEO audits.
Defined as a deep dive into all aspects of a website, SEO audits are a way to maintain, enhance, and reveal areas of improvement for your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is the beating heart of your organic online presence; maximising its potential needs an SEO audit.
Let’s crack on with the three pillars of SEO, and thereby an SEO audit, which are called on-page, off-page, and technical SEO:
1. On-Page SEO
If you’ve heard of SEO before, this is likely what you’ll be thinking of. On-page SEO is largely to do with the content and copy that a website has.
This isn’t just the words on the pages. Rather, on-page SEO also involves other aspects of your site like structure, design, and much more. Important elements like keywords, blogs, and unique content are all a part of this pillar of SEO.
An SEO audit analyses your current on-page SEO and outlines ways to improve it, helping your website to claw its way up the rankings on Google and other search engines.
2. Off-Page SEO
Did you know that Google analyses more than just your own site when determining its worth? That’s where off-page SEO comes in, factoring the other metrics that drive your website’s overall performance.
This includes features like:
- Meta information
- Link building
- Social media
- Guest blogging
- Niche edits
An SEO audit analyses your current situation in these regards and builds into a strategy to help you spread your wings across all aspects of website SEO.
3. Technical SEO
Now we’re into the nitty-gritty of a website. This is more related to the development side of things, dealing with the general health of your website.
The technical SEO part of the audit looks at error response codes, site issues, structure, response times, and quite a bit more. These feed in to the user experience on your site; an experience that can be the make-or-break for someone looking to use your services.
The audit analyses your current status, finding places you’re doing well and places that maybe need a bit of a firmer hand. In turn, technical SEO improvements can reduce frustrations and cut down on the bounce rates, convincing users to explore your site before hitting the back button.
How is an SEO Audit Conducted?
An SEO audit involves using a number of advanced, specialised applications to gather key information about your website. SEO experts then grind through this data, sharpening it into a versatile tool for improving your web presence and site performance.
There are two main tools used during this process: a “crawler”, and a “scraper”.
The crawler scans through the site, finding all the available information on it. A scraper extracts the key parts of this information, condensing it down into something a bit more meaningful than just raw data. Experts can then analyse this data, finding insightful ways to action the metrics shown.
In the past, AI-tools have been used by some websites to generate things like blogs. This is rather a cautionary tale, as generating blogs in this way is bad practice for SEO and can result in you being penalised by Google in their search results.
After using the tools, additional research can then be carried out to further provide information. Our audits at Squarebird are a bit more in-depth than others, sparking more actions through competitor research and keyword analysis.
Help your website take flight with an SEO audit from Squarebird – get in touch today!
The Process of an SEO Audit
These are the five main areas that we observe during an SEO audit to help incubate ideas and grow them into remarkable SEO improvements:
- Traffic Acquisition.
This is how a website gets its visitors, including different sources like direct, organic, paid, and social; it provides perspective and context for the rest of the audit.
- Search Engine Visibility.
Going into detail on keywords including how many there are any how well they rank, building into a keyword profile.
- Measure Current Organic Traffic.
While the goal of an SEO audit is to improve and futureproof your website, measuring where it is at gives us the foundation to do so.
- On-Site Elements.
This is where we focus on on-site and technical SEO, analysing response codes, meta info, site speed, images, videos, content, and optimisation opportunities.
- Off-Site Elements.
Two main components of this step are learning about the trust and authority of your site.
The metrics that make up these fundamental aspects can be combined into a single concept known as Domain Authority (DA). Similarly, each page also has its own Page Authority (PA).
By analysing these metrics, we can find out how well Google trusts the information on your site and offer methods to improve it.
It also allows us to find traces of “grey hat SEO” – the process of buying backlinks, which is not best practice due to their quality often being too low to give any authority.
The Benefits of an SEO Audit
With what and how out of the way, we can focus on the fun part – why. That is, why you should do an SEO audit for your website and how will it benefit you.
Why is an SEO Audit Important?
When you’re thinking migrating to a new site – whether it’s a redesign, redevelopment, or even a rebranding – you’ll want to do an SEO audit for your existing site. This will offer several vital benefits to make sure your new web space can take flight:
- They show aspects of your site that you wouldn’t be able to find without a deep dive
- Regular check-ups on your SEO can help see how your site and strategies are performing
- Any technical issues that aren’t immediately or visibly obvious can be identified
- They provide the foundations to build upon with an informed content strategy
Why is an SEO Audit Helpful?
For any website project, performing an SEO audit will make sure you’ve got all your bases covered and help you to check on the different aspects of the website. If there’s a migration, you’ll need to look at things like the site structure in particular – something a crawler and scraper are invaluable for.
An SEO audit provides key considerations for site maps, as for the most part a lot of the structure, top level navigation, and more will change. With a working site map for your new redesign resulting from the data gathered in the SEO audit, you can boost your SEO efforts and retain any of your hard-earned topical authority and existing SEO through methods such as page redirections.
The Impact of an SEO Audit on Your Website
By performing an SEO audit as part of a wider push towards improving your website’s reach and performance, you can:
- Ensure everything operates smoothly
- Practice good housekeeping and maintenance
- Identify opportunities to improve your organic traffic and the growth of your business
- Look at things like advertising costs (ACOS) and return-on-investment (ROI) to evaluate and improve the cost-efficiency of your business practices
SEO Audit FAQ
Before we wrap up, we’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions from our clients about SEO audits and what they contain.
How do I get featured on Google?
There are a lot of special features that Google can offer articles and pages on your website. These are known as Search Engine Results Page features, or just SERP features for short.
Having a trusted and authoritative website that is SEO optimised to answer questions and queries is a good step to snagging a spot on Google’s first page with a featured snippet or other search feature. However, this can be improved further by using a special language called schema markup.
An SEO audit can identify any schema markup currently in use, and identify places for improvement. Thus increasing your chances of receiving a valuable SERP feature for your site’s content.
How Often Should I Do an SEO Audit?
You should ideally receive an SEO audit either every one or two quarters, and definitely before you make any major changes to your site’s design or structure. This ensures your SEO is in the best spot, improving your organic traffic and growth potential.
Why is it Useful to Run Frequent SEO Audits?
By making sure you frequently perform SEO audits, you make sure that your search engine optimisation efforts are taking effect. This prevents wasted effort and allows you to adapt to changes in the field. As well as the other benefits from this article, frequent SEO audits:
- Make sure the website is running smoothly
- Identify weak points in your current content strategy
- Outlines new avenues and opportunities to enhance your web presence
Uplift Your Site with an SEO Audit from Squarebird
That’s pretty much it – an SEO audit in a nutshell. By cracking that shell open, you unlock the potential of your website; ensure your rebrand, redesign, or site evolution goes smoothly; and position yourself to snatch up opportunities as they arise.
As leading full-stack web specialists in Bristol, the team at Squarebird is in a great position to carry out your website SEO Audit. Ready to fly? Get in touch and we’ll talk you through our SEO services and auditing process, helping you to confidently take the next step of your business’ evolution.