What Is An SEO Audit – Everything You Need To Know

6 mins read -
January 18, 2023

Getting audited sounds like bad news for most companies. This is not the case for SEO though. In fact, an SEO audit is a good thing - it helps strategists measure how well your website is doing based on the strategies implemented.

Are the SEO strategies being used working? Where is it going wrong? How can the strategy be improved?

These questions are answered through a detailed audit or analysis of the website. We can fix the problem when we know what's causing the problem in the first place. Only then can we start to adjust and adapt to create a better strategy to hit your goals and objectives.

Here is everything you need to know about SEO audits, SEO technical audits, and what to expect when your website is undergoing an audit.

Contact Smarter Media today to conduct an SEO audit for your website’s digital health.

What is an SEO site audit?

An SEO audit is a process of analysing how well your website is fairing based on web presence and the strategies you have implemented. Conducting an audit helps identify foundational issues that affect organic search performance.

Here are some of the things SEO audits should reveal:

  • Technical SEO issues
  • Website structure issues
  • On-page SEO issues
  • Potential off-site problems
  • User experience issues
  • Content gaps and opportunities
  • Competitive marketplace insights

What should an SEO audit look like?

First, an SEO audit should be as comprehensive as digitally possible.

Besides covering structural and content component related to SEO visibility, an audit should show you the big picture of current events that are relevant to your website. If any of the pieces are missing, an audit shows which ones they are or if something should be removed if deemed unnecessary.

Second, an audit should be understandable, even to someone who doesn't typically delve into the realm of digital marketing. If you're confused about how to understand audits, it may be time to consult an SEO professional to help you in this aspect.

An audit should connect the dots to see how SEO is making an impact on your online priorities, goals, and revenue. This allows you to recommend what to do and what not to do with your website moving forward.

Third, an SEO audit should have recommendations that can be solved by tweaking the current strategy. It should be easy to follow and should be realistic to attain.

This is what an SEO audit shouldn’t look like

An SEO audit shouldn't be rushed. Although the statistics are easy to lay out, understanding the problem affecting your website's health takes time and a lot of strategy meetings.

An audit can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks to finish, depending on the website's size. And because any major changes to a website or a website's SEO strategy require a lot of care, an SEO specialist should be the one calling the shots. It's through a specialist that an audit can have impactful recommendations.

An audit that works for one website might not work for the other.

While there is a baseline of technical elements for all websites, each website requires a situational analysis in order to diagnose the issue.

What is a technical SEO audit?

A technical SEO audit is an area of SEO that provides the information you need to improve search engine ranking and website crawlability. It involves improving site load times, checking robot.txt files, and ensuring that redirects are working fine.

Technical SEO audits to ensure that a website can be seen, crawled, and is eligible to rank in a search engine.

They also help you improve the technical characteristics of a website with the goal of improving organic traffic.

Why do you need it?

You just wrote the best blog article of your life. You know the topic like the back of your hand and have done the research to provide the best answers to possible queries. You implemented all the SEO content techniques and you want everyone to read your article.

With everyone at the edge of their seats, waiting for your blog's release, users can finally click on the link and read your article.

They wait for the page to load, and then wait some more.

It's been 20 seconds and your blog hasn't loaded. Your fans are annoyed and decide to read something else.

For every second your website takes to load, users are clicking away, making your bounce rate increase. It didn’t even matter if your blog post was good or bad - the fact that your website wasn’t functioning quickly enough was the driving force behind users clicking away.

Conducting an SEO audit can identify when and where this is happening in order to avoid this and other problems from ever happening.

Remember, if your site can’t be found and constantly has loading issues, even the most creative content won’t be read by users and in turn, negatively impact SEO.

Here are some of the other elements of technical SEO that is checked when performing an audit:

  • Mobile optimization
  • Page load speed
  • Link health
  • Duplicate content
  • Schemas
  • Crawl errors
  • Image issues
  • Site security
  • URL structure
  • 404 pages
  • 301 redirects
  • Canonical tags
  • XML sitemaps
  • Site architecture

All websites should be safe, secure, quick to load, easy to crawl, and have clear navigation features. So if one of these isn't so great, your website isn't going to fare well in search engines.

SEO Audit advice

What is included in an SEO audit?

Since no website is the same, no audit looks the same either. But they should have the basic, technical SEO stakes that are the baseline for any website. These include sitemaps, server errors, and metadata. For higher-level audits, accessibility, indexation, and optimisation should be included as well.

There are three main factors that SEO specialists need to look at when conducting an audit:

  1. Back-end factors like hosting and indexing
  2. Front-end factors like content, keywords, and metadata
  3. Link quality and external references

Because of the complexity of each factor, it takes time to address each point. This is another factor why audits take so long to complete. It's important to be patient and take the time to listen to what your SEO specialist recommends.

Here are other specific audit features you should be able to see:

  • Technical Audit
    • Indexation analysis
    • Status Codes
    • Redirects
    • Page Speed
    • URL Structure
    • Robots.txt
    • XML Sitemap
    • Canonical Tags
    • Duplication
    • Crawlability
    • Legacy Domain Issues
    • Off-page Analysis
    • Mobile SEO analysis
    • International SEO analysis
  • On-Page Audit
    • Site Content Structure
    • Keyword Research
    • Page Copy Theme Analysis
    • Keyword Use
    • Meta Data Analysis (Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Heading Tags)
    • Schema
    • User Experience
    • Images & Video
    • Internal Linking & HTML Sitemap
  • Server Log Audit
    • Crawl Budget Analysis
    • User Agent Analysis

It seems like a lot because it is. All this information is essential to capturing website health to make accurate recommendations that work.


What can you expect during and after an SEO audit?

Since audits can take anywhere from two to six weeks to complete, you might be wondering - what’s taking so long?

Audits take time because an SEO specialist analyses and unearths SEO opportunities on a website. If you’re getting impatient, you can request bi-weekly or weekly check-ins to keep you looped in.

Rest assured, specialists take the time to properly diagnose the problem to craft the best insights for better visibility and search engine rankings.

Once the audit is completed, businesses owners get a presentation by the SEO specialist to share their insights and recommendations with you. For new clients, SEO agencies usually do a lot of hand-holding, just to make sure you understand everything that is to be done on the website. A good SEO agency will take the time to answer queries and explain industry jargon, no matter how tricky the concept may be.

Why is it important to conduct an audit?

Conducting audits on a regular basis allows your website to be at its very best.

SEO specialists understand how important a website is to a brand - so they take the time to ensure that everything is in order.

Business owners often believe that once a website is up and running, nothing more needs to be done. But the reality is that websites need to stay fresh for Google to clock them as relevant to users. So keeping your website up to date and not stagnant should be the norm.

For example, content should be continuously added or removed every year or month to keep your website accurate.

This is where SEO audits come in - they are a way to identify which content should be replaced or which strategies should be altered. If there are any critical issues, they should also appear in the audit.

Audits and SEO professionals

Audits are mostly effective when conducted by SEO professionals who have extensive experience in the field. Give us a call at Smarter Media for more information about how you can use an SEO audit to your website's advantage.

Smarter Media is a digital growth agency using our Smarter Approach to help your business grow digitally. Working side by side with our clients, we use our 'Smarter Way' Process to create a plan that delivers results and our 'Smarter Promise' to do what we say we will. For a more comprehensive look at SEO, or to find out how you can achieve a better ROI with SEO & Paid Media working side by side, set an appointment with Smarter Media today!

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