What is an SEO Audit? You might know that SEO is about getting your website found on Google (and other search engines). So, the simplest explanation is that an SEO audit is like a health check for your small business website, that will analyse whether it meets best practices for Search Engine Optimization.
A comprehensive SEO Audit includes identifying any content and technical issues that might be affecting the organic search results and page ranking of your small business website. Now, SEO audits can vary in depth and complexity depending on several factors, including:
- website size (number of pages)
- the number of blog pages and other published content that needs to be reviewed
- the specific digital marketing budgets and goals for your small business
- what keyword research is required – is it needed just for key web pages or is it also required long-tail keywords for blogs and other content?
- how many competitors you choose to ‘spy’ on
Before you dive in you can read more to discover whether this is the right digital marketing strategy for your small business: Do I Need SEO For My Website?
Different Types of SEO Audit
Some SEO audits give a brief snapshot of general performance and point you in the right direction of which SEO tasks to work on and prioritise in your digital marketing campaigns going forward. These can be useful for giving a snapshot view of where your website is right now, and what’s needed to improve its SEO ranking in the future.
A Snapshot SEO Audit provides a great starting point for small business owners to dip their toes into SEO. It will introduce you to the main elements of SEO for small business websites so you can start getting savvier about what’s involved.
A more comprehensive SEO Audit Service for Small Business Owners will take a deeper look at a number of factors including detailed keyword research, a little spy on your competitors and a deeper look into website content and on-page optimization. It will also provide more data on any technical issues that are displeasing the Google Gods.
In essence, the results from a comprehensive SEO Audit will help you to discover the main problem areas on your website (both on-page and off-page) so that you can formulate a long-term SEO action plan and a checklist of tasks that need to be completed. Use this information to forward plan and budget the tasks into your future digital marketing campaigns. If you want your business to get found on Google by your target customers, then a comprehensive SEO Audit Service for Small Business is what you need to get started.
What’s Included in an SEO Audit?
As already mentioned, an SEO Audit for Business will depend on the size and complexity of your website, as well as your business goals. But at a general level, an audit will explore the following key SEO elements:
- On-Page Optimization
- Off-Page Optimization
- Competitive Analysis and Keyword Research
What is On-Page Optimization?
On-page optimization is when we build web pages and blogs in a way that makes it easy for Google and other search engines to ‘read’ what the content on our website is all about. It helps them to identify the main topics and themes of your content and return results on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) to your human readers.
You could have written some of the most engaging and interesting content in the world, but if on-page optimization is patchy or non-existent, the page probably won’t appear or rank well in search results for that topic. And if it does appear, the listing may not read well or be inviting enough for people to click on, so you’ll lose the click to your competitors.
Or it could appear to the wrong people, resulting in lots of clicks to the site that leave almost as soon as they arrive so aren’t going to contribute to conversions and sales.
What are the Key Elements of On-Page Optimization?
When creating SEO-friendly page content, the main on-page elements to check and improve are:
- Page headings and sub-headings
- SEO titles and meta descriptions
- Alt text and titles with images
- Page content, headers, and other SEO data optimized with well-researched, targeted keywords
- SEO-friendly URLs (the address of the web page)
An SEO Audit will let you know whether your business is making the most of these optimization methods (or not!). You’ll see clearly what SEO data your key pages are sending to Google and what needs to be fixed. A detailed web crawl will report back all on-page errors so you’ll have a list to work through and improve as required. It’s often just a case of some small, simple tweaks to ensure key website pages are fully optimized and ready for action!
Many businesses discover that their website pages aren’t optimized with targeted keywords at all. If you’re short on website visitors that convert, then this could just be why! How can anyone find you if you’re not using the right terms?
If that’s the case, then the next step is to discover the right keywords for your business before you tackle any on-page optimization issues as there’s no point doing all that work with the wrong keywords!
What Is Off-page Optimization?
Off-page SEO refers to things that happen outside of the website in order to improve its’ web ranking. This includes tasks such as creating a Google My Business account and getting links from other websites back to your content.
This is important as it helps to boost the trustworthiness and authority of your website. Once you’ve got on-page optimization sorted for your key web pages, it’s advisable to get started with off-page optimization. You can take a slow and steady approach with this and just keep plugging away at various tasks. The effect will be cumulative and will give your SEO results a welcome boost in the future.
What are the Key Elements of Off-Page Optimization?
When auditing off-page optimization, the key areas to explore are:
- Backlink building and checking (you can also spy on your competitors’ backlinks)
- Fixing any 404 errors (page not found)
- Online PR and guest blogging
- Using tools such as Google My Business and online business directories
- Posting on social media
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is checking that your website meets the requirements of Google and other search engines so that it can be crawled correctly and load without any errors. Poor technical performance can have a negative effect on organic page ranking and push your listing down the page. So, you could be doing all the right things with both on and off-page optimization, but if your site has a major technical problem it may mean that your SEO work doesn’t bear fruit.
What are the Key Elements of Technical SEO?
An SEO Audit will report back on the following technical elements:
- Web Crawl Error Report checking for duplicate use of keywords and SEO data.
- Site loading speed
- XML site maps and robot.txt files
- Checking the functionality of the mobile-friendly version of your website
- Checking HTTPS status
- Check pages are indexing correctly and have robots.txt file
- Checking for broken links
Don’t be scared of the ‘T’ word! You don’t need to understand most technical things as your web designer/developer should be able to fix most problems. But fixing them can give your search results a major boost.
What is Competitive Analysis and Keyword Research?
SEO competitive analysis involves looking at your competitors and exploring their most successful SEO strategies and keywords. Then you can use that data to inform and inspire your own SEO strategy, content and keyword research.
Competitor analysis provides data on the keywords your local or national competitors rank for and at which page position. This can provide some great ideas and revelations into what’s working for them and bringing in the punters. See what generic terms and long-tail search phrases are working for them and add them to your own list of possible keywords to research further.
Keyword research is when we dig deep into the words and phrases your ideal customer is using to find products and services like yours. Competitor analysis can be a very useful part of the overall keyword research process. In order to find your ideal customer, you need to think like them and competitor analysis will give an indication of the words and phrases they type to find a business like yours. Finding the right search terms is a key element of SEO and provides you with valuable data into how your customers think.
What are the Key Elements of Competitor and Keyword Research?
Keyword research is a major part of the SEO mix and without it you’ll get found by the wrong people (or by no people at all!). An SEO Audit will:
- Explore a range of keywords used by your potential customers
- Get more data on proposed keywords such as search numbers and general click-through rate
- Find keywords for different pages of your website
- See what visitors are searching to find your customers website
- Find out how many backlinks your competitors have
- Which long-tail keyphrases are sending visitors to your blog (and your competitors)?
Create SEO Actions, Strategy & Roadmap
That just about covers the main elements of an SEO Audit for Small Businesses. As you can see, it’s nothing too complicated or mind-blowing. Just regular, consistent housekeeping of your website and its pages is required to ensure that the content is clear to Google and engaging, and easy to access to your visitors.
A decent SEO audit will provide you with a list of recommendations and actionable tasks so that you can start to improve SEO for your small business. You’ll be clear about what you need to do to ‘housekeep’ your website and whether your key web pages are really working for your business and audience. You should be much clearer about what you need to do and where to get started to getting found on Google.
Just as small consistent steps on social media build your follower numbers and tribe, regular SEO work will boost your website visitor numbers over the months and years. A comprehensive SEO Audit Service will help you to identify exactly which SEO tasks you should be working on so that you can plan it into your workflow and budgets.
Looking for an SEO Audit Service for Your Small Business?
If you’d like to go deeper and really get to grips with keyword research, content analysis, and more, then the SEO Audit Service for Savvy Small Business Owners is for you.
Get a detailed custom SEO report to help your small business to:
- Get found on Google
- Generate sales organically
- Drive targeted, quality traffic and boost sales
Get started by requesting your free Snapshot Audit and booking a discovery call.