Today, the importance of proper SEO optimization is more apparent than ever. Most businesses rely on traffic from search engines for an influx of new customers — and having a good SEO ranking can be the tipping point in your battle with the competition.
However, quality SEO isn’t a sprint — it’s more of a marathon. It can take a while, and it’s important to start from a great jumping-off point; which is why you need to begin with a detailed SEO audit.
Doing this audit before any other search engine optimizations will reveal any weaknesses present in your website. And covering all the bases from this technical standpoint is important; as you may know already, your website is more than just its graphical appearance — and you need to make sure it’s running smoothly if you want to get the most organic traffic possible!
With this in mind, we’ll explore some of the ways an SEO audit helps you with this goal right here!
SEO Audits Reveal Any Technical Problems
As we’ve mentioned above, a proper SEO audit will shine a light on the technical issues that could harm your SEO ranking. And if you want search engine crawlers to find your website more easily, these technical aspects of SEO are crucial.
Indeed, quality technical SEO is the foundation that you’ll build upon when it comes to any other SEO goals. Some of the most important factors of technical SEO are:
- Website speed
- Redirects and 404 errors
- Site structure
An SEO audit will thoroughly examine all of these, and show you if there’s anything to fix to ensure your website has a solid technical foundation. And some of these are major ranking factors according to Google’s algorithm. For instance, website speed is considered one of the most important factors when it comes to a good user experience — and that’s Google’s number one priority when ranking websites.
Experience has shown this to be true, with most users bouncing off a webpage immediately if a website takes more than a couple of seconds to load. All of your content and other SEO efforts would go down the drain
Another crucial piece of data that an SEO audit will provide is the number of 404 errors and redirects on your website; you should keep redirects to a minimum and there shouldn’t be any 404 errors. The latter can severely hamper your user experience, as such errors result in frustration — ultimately increasing your bounce rate. So, an SEO audit will immediately show you whether you have any of these urgent issues to fix.
Also, seamless user navigation is one of the most important prerequisites to a good SEO ranking; search engines like Google want their top results to be pages with a great site structure that allows users to find their way around the website easily.
With that in mind, SEO audits look at the URL structure of your website and point out some of the more glaring mistakes in your website architecture.
SEO Audits Help With Back Linking
Back links are vital to any successful SEO campaign
Backlinks have been a crucial part of Google’s ranking algorithm for years now — and that’s not likely to change any time soon. More reputable links to your original content mean better rankings; it’s as simple as that.
But if you want to improve the number of backlinks you’re getting — you need to know how many you currently have in the first place! That’s where an SEO audit comes in, showing you the number of backlinks, whether they’re spammy, and how many your competition gets in comparison.
An SEO Audit Will Point Out On-Page Problems Too
On-page SEO is any website editing that you can make “easily” — in other words, these are mostly changes to your content. And SEO audits cover these as well!
For instance, an audit will take a look at your meta descriptions and meta titles, and see if they have been structured properly; they need to include the proper keywords and the right number of characters.
Also, you have to structure your content with headings as well — this is a great quality-of-life feature for users, as it makes your content more “skimmable” and easily digestible. People’s attention spans are shorter than ever, and you need to ensure they don’t wander off your page after seeing walls of text.
SEO audits aren’t just about your website; they’re about where your website stands compared to your competition as well. You want to know how much traffic your competitors are getting — and where they stand in SERPs for the same niche keywords!
Build a More Effective Content Strategy
One thing that hasn’t changed about SEO rankings is Google’s preference for original, useful, and engaging content. No matter what other technical machinations you try, someone with consistently good content will win out in terms of organic traffic in the long term.
With that in mind, an SEO audit should be your first stepping stone to a better content strategy down the road. Take all of the data provided by the audit — your backlinks, competition, on-page, and technical SEO information — and use them to improve and inform your future content.
If you’re currently out-performed by the competition for important keywords, take a look at what they’re doing, and remember; this is a long haul. Once you make a dedication to quality content and good SEO practices, traffic will increase — but it all begins with your SEO “state of the union” audit! Backlinko.com has put out a pretty cool 15 step checklist but if you would like us to help, we can run a free audit for you today!
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