The Anatomy of an SEO Audit
Simply put, an SEO Audit is an evaluation of your website’s condition and performance regarding search engine visibility. The audit will first be conducted at the very beginning of an SEO campaign and will highlight things that are done correctly and will help discover the shortcomings and how to address those issues.
Each SEO agency will have their way of conducting an audit; however, most will perform the following as part of the SEO audit.
- Technical Analysis
- On-Page Analysis
- Off-Page Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
- Keyword Analysis
- SERP Analysis
In the technical SEO analysis portion of the SEO audit, we take a look under the hood of a website. Since search engines will have to crawl and then index a web page to rank it, it is crucial for a web page to be both accessible and crawlable. Apart from checking for accessibility and indexability, site architecture, canonical tags, keyword cannibalization, duplicate content, hreflang, HTTP codes, mobile friendliness, website speed are some of the items that need to be checked.
Before starting any campaign, it is also vital to find out what the online property is already ranking for. This is a great way of finding out if there are any “low hanging fruit” that can potentially see quick returns. By diving into the Google Search Console, we can also find out what pages attract the most users through rankings, impressions, and click-through-rate (CTR).
You may be surprised how some people find your pages.
Once we find what is already ranking, we will move on to finding keywords with the correct user intent that has enough search volume. It is crucial to balance, searcher intent, search volume, and ranking difficulty.
The on-page SEO analysis will become the blueprint for the on-page strategy. We will take a look at all the on-page factors like meta tags, header tags, URL permalinks, structured data, and most importantly, content. For the content, we will assess the general quality, length, use of LSI and synonyms, and keyword density. Every niche will have their sweet-spot, and we will compare it to what is expected from web pages on the first page of search engines.
The off-page SEO analysis will take a close look at the backlink profile of the target page as well as any social profiles, and citations owned/related to the target page. We will assess the quality, quantity, anchor text (including ratios), and the relevance of the backlink profile.
In this section of the audit, we will take your top competitors and assess their rankings, on-page optimization,off-page optimization, and compare them to the target web page’s results.
This ties in together with competitor analysis just that we will be taking a look at the results of the whole first page of the SERPs for the target keyword. Will your web page fit in with pages that are on the SERPs? What types of pages are shown on the SERPs (informational, e-commerce, business, local, etc.)?
Once the SEO audit is complete, an SEO strategy and roadmap will be built.