What is an SEO Audit and Why Do You Need One?

What is an SEO Audit and Why Do You Need One?

Have you noticed your website isn't ranking as high in the search results as it used to? Or maybe your website isn't ranking at all, and potential customers can't find you. Chances are it has something to do with your SEO (search engine optimization). Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of your website, so it shows up and ranks higher in search engines. SEO best practices are constantly changing, and what worked when you had your website created (or even yesterday!) might not be up to date. This is why it is essential to audit your website regularly to ensure you are utilizing the latest SEO trends and keywords and fix any technical issues that might keep your website low in search results. If you are not conducting regular SEO audits on your website, you're missing out on huge opportunities for improvement. Lucky for you, the SEO experts at Encompass Online Marketing are here to help! In this blog, we will go over what an SEO audit is and five reasons you should perform one on your website. Keep reading to learn more!

What is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit analyzes your website to see how it performs in search engine results. It will look at the content on your site, the structure of your site, and any other factors that play into how Google and other search engines rank websites. Your entire website is analyzed during an SEO audit, both on-page and off-page optimization. An SEO audit will help you identify areas of your website that need improvement to increase visibility, organic search traffic and search engine rankings. There are many free SEO audit tools available. Some popular options are Semrush's Site Audit, Screaming Frog's SEO Spider, Moz's Link Explorer and Google Search Console. These user-friendly tools will help you identify what about your website needs improvement to improve your search engine ranking. You can also hire a professional (like Encompass Online Marketing!) to do an SEO audit. So now that you know what an SEO Audit is, let's look at why you should get one!

An SEO Audit Reveals Technical Issues With Your Website

One of the most important reasons to get an SEO audit is to find any technical SEO issues that might keep your website from climbing higher in SERPs (search engine results pages). There are many technical issues an SEO audit can find. Some of the most common are:

  1. Website Speed- Page speed is an important part of SEO optimization. Website speed is just one of the many metrics Google uses to determine how high to rank your website in the search results. If your website is slow, Google will likely rank it lower than faster websites. Slow website speed also affects the user experience. If your website takes too long to load, users are more likely to leave, increasing your bounce rate. The bounce rate is another metric that Google uses to determine SEO rankings, and if yours is high, Google will rank your website lower.
  2. Image Size- Images are another essential part of SEO. The size of images used on your website can affect your website's technical SEO optimization by affecting page load speed. As we mentioned above, page speed is an important factor Google looks at when ranking your website. If the images on your website are too large, it will cause your website to load slowly, and you may be penalized by Google. Reducing image size can help improve your page load time and SEO.
  3. Website Redirect Issues- Your website should have as few redirects as possible, and any 404 errors should be avoided. Redirects can contribute to a slower user experience, affecting your ranking. Website visitors may also be put off by 404 errors and leave your website completely, increasing your bounce rate. Finding and fixing these issues is important to give your users a quality experience.
  4. Website Architecture Problems- Website architecture refers to how your website organizes and delivers content. It is important to maintain a healthy site structure. Your website should be easy to navigate (no more than 3 clicks to get to a page), have short but informative URLs, have a consistent design, and be mobile-friendly. A well-optimized site architecture will help search engines like Google navigate and index your website more easily.
  5. Coding Problems- An SEO audit can also find coding issues like duplicate javascript, CSS, or HTML code. Website code plays an essential role in SEO because search engine crawlers use it to understand the content and structure of your website. If the code is poorly written or contains errors, it can affect page load speeds and how search engines index and rank your website.

An SEO Audit Identifies On-Page Problems With Your Website

On-page SEO is used to optimize your website's content and structure to help improve its SERP ranking. The goal of on-page SEO is to make it as easy as possible for crawlers to understand what your website is about and index it accordingly. An SEO audit will help you identify on-page issues such as:

  1. Meta Titles and Descriptions- Meta titles and descriptions let Google know what the pages on your website are about and help it index them. Meta titles should be between 35 and 70 characters and contain at least one keyword near the beginning. Meta descriptions should be no more than 160 characters and briefly describe what the page is about. If it makes sense, a CTA (call to action) can also be included in the meta description.
  2. Headers- Headers are an important part of any page on your website. Headers break up your content and make it easier for people and crawlers to read. Using relevant keywords in your headers is recommended to help improve your search engine ranking.
  3. Content- We've said it many times before; content is king! Your website content should be well-written, informative, relevant and optimized with keywords. If the content on your website isn't high-quality and doesn't provide value, Google will not rank it high in the search results. 
  4. Internal Linking-  Internal links help search engines understand your website and find new pages for Google to rank. They can also help users navigate your website more easily. You should link to other pages on your website when it is relevant. If you use internal links strategically, your page authority will be higher, and you have a better chance of ranking higher in search engines.

An SEO Audit Can Help You Identify Competition

Another great benefit of an SEO audit is that it can help you identify your competition and understand their SEO strategy. Knowing your competitor's strengths and weaknesses can help you create an SEO strategy to differentiate you from them and stay ahead in your market. It can also help you identify areas for improvement, find more relevant keywords and give you a better chance to climb higher in the search results.

An SEO Audit Identifies Your Backlinks

Backlinks are still an important part of Google's algorithm, and that is not expected to change. The more reputable backlinks your website has, the higher it will rank. It is essential to know where your backlinks come from. If you don't have any backlinks or a lot of low-quality ones, you should address this issue as soon as possible.  An SEO audit will answer questions like: How many backlinks does my website have, and what is their quality? Where do those backlinks come from? Where do my competitor's backlinks come from? You should never pay for backlinks; you could end up with low-quality ones that affect your search ranking. The best way to get quality backlinks is to create great content people want to link to.  

An SEO Audit Can Help You Build a Better Content Strategy

As we mentioned above, an SEO audit can help you understand your website's weaknesses and strengths and those of your competitors. You can use this information to develop a content strategy that will be more effective in helping you rank higher. An SEO audit can also help you identify opportunities to create new content that will help attract high-quality backlinks and improve your website's authority. A great content strategy will help you attract more website visitors and convert more leads to sales. 

Encompass Online Marketing Can Help You With SEO Audits

We know how important it is for businesses to rank high in search engines. That's why we offer expert SEO services that will help your website climb to the top! At Encompass Online Marketing, we stay up-to-date with the latest SEO practices. We also offer SEO audits and can help you develop an SEO strategy that will help you stand out from your competition. You can visit our website to get your free SEO audit, or contact us today to see how we can help you rank higher! 

Written By: Trenton Ross