60% of marketers say that their inbound digital marketing strategies, including SEO and blog content, are their best source of quality leads.
But even as many businesses take advantage of it, unfortunately, they don’t take the necessary measures to update their SEO practices. If you’re not optimizing, your competitors can start to outrank you in keywords you used to dominate. That’s why every organization that relies on SEO for lead generation needs to perform an SEO audit.
What Is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is a review process that dives deep into your website and content to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for opportunities.
With an SEO audit, you can discover a plethora of issues that may be affecting your organic search performance, including:
- Technical SEO problems
- On-page SEO issues
- Off-site problems
- User experience issues
- Content and topic gaps
- Website structure issues
What Are the Benefits of Conducting an SEO Audit?
We’ve already talked a little about what audits can reveal, but let’s go more into how those revelations actually help.
The most important reason for getting an SEO audit is to find out where your current SEO weaknesses lie. It will answer questions like:
- How is your local SEO optimization?
- How many keywords are you ranking for?
- How well are you ranking for those keywords?
- Are your visitors turning into conversions, or just navigating away from your site?
- Are there keywords or topics you need to target?
If you’ve never had an SEO audit before, or if you haven’t even worked on SEO optimization before, you’ll probably see a lot of weaknesses in your website. But it’s better to know every possible weakness—this gives you clear direction when making changes to SEO in the future.
Reveals the Competition
Most companies have a pretty good idea of who their main competitors are. But an SEO audit might shed some more light on the competition.
For example, the companies that have higher keyword rankings than you may be companies you didn’t expect. These companies are doing a better job at attracting organic leads—leads that can help improve your bottom line.
Offers Next Steps
Even if you know what the problem is, that doesn’t mean you know how to solve it. A good SEO audit will help you identify what to do about all of your SEO shortcomings.
This could be a checklist of tasks and changes you need to make on your website. Or, it could be a higher concept list of suggestions on how to improve. Regardless of the format, this part of the audit ensures that you’re putting time into the areas that produce the best results.
What Gets Checked in an SEO Audit?
The thoroughness of your SEO audit entirely depends on the company conducting it. To give you an idea of what a full-service audit looks like, we want to share Big Leap’s Enterprise Site audit with you.
In total, our audit consists of 180 checklist items that are split into 20 categories. Here’s a brief overview of those categories and their purpose:
- Content: Ensures each page on a website includes relevant, unique, and fresh content that is optimized to rank for target keywords
- Crawl: Ensures that web crawlers are only crawling and indexing the pages you want them to and no duplicates or any unnecessary pages are wasting your crawl budget
- Sitemap: Analyzes sitemaps to determine if they are optimized for web crawlers and indexers
- Robots.TXT: Checks that all robots.TXT files, which prevent the indexing of chosen pages, are used properly and aren’t limiting the index of inbound-linked pages.
- Canonicalization: Sees if pages that have multiple URLs use the canonical tag to differentiate between canonical and non-canonical pages
- Architecture: Rates the organization and maneuverability of a website by analyzing its levels of directories, subdirectories, and breadcrumb links
- Internal Links: Counts how many outside pages are linking to your webpages and measures the authority of your webpages
- External Links: Checks if your external links are centered on anchor text that targets a keyword
- Semantic Markup: Checks if website content uses schema markups to help search engines better understand the meaning of the content.
- Images: Ensures the website is using images to optimize visibility and organic traffic with image and universal search results
- Videos: Verifies that the website uses videos to target video and universal search results
- Title Tags: Checks that the website’s title tags, which are required for all HTML/XHTML documents, appear in three key places
- Meta Description: Measures the character count of meta descriptions, which help affect click-through rates and visibility on SERP
- Site Speed: Measures site speed and how it could be affecting how long Google crawls the website
- Mobile: Ensures all web pages are mobile-friendly as to not ostracize mobile users
- International: Checks that websites that use multilingual or multi-regional features aren’t exasperating any errors.
- Business: Ensures that business-promoting websites are optimized to gain maximum exposure from customers, clients, fans, subscribers, etc.
- Social: Analyzes a businesses social media behavior to ensure it follows best practices and is free of technical issues
- News: Checks if any news organizations are using links to the website in their articles and news stories
- HTTPS Migrations: Checks if the website operates under Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which protects the confidentiality of a user’s data
How Often Should I Get an SEO Audit?
Companies should conduct an SEO audit to cover the basics once a quarter. A more extensive one, like the above example, should be done once a year.
The frequency of your audits should depend on how large your website is—if you have a smaller website with fewer pages, twice a year should be plenty. Meanwhile, if you’re constantly producing new content and web pages throughout the year, a more frequent auditing schedule is required.
SEO Audits Are Your Ally
Hopefully, we’ve cleared up any misconceptions you might have had about what an SEO audit is.
Think of SEO audits as taking your website for a routine check-up at the doctor’s office—you’re just making sure it is healthy and living up to its fullest potential. In the best-case scenario, there may be nothing wrong with it and now you’re certain that you’re doing everything right. But, in the more likely scenario that there is something wrong, you’ll know what you need to do to get back on track.
Perfect Your SEO Strategy with Big Leap
If you were enamored with the Big Leap SEO audit we shared in this article, then we have great news: you can contact us today for a free SEO audit service.
We’ll scour your website and give you all the information we can find about critical errors and areas for opportunity. With Big Leap at your side, you can feel confident in knowing your SEO is in good hands.