In an environment in which 93 percent of all web visits originate from the search engines, with Google accounting for 76 percent for desktop and 86 percent for mobile, the ability to detect any factor that could hinder how Google ranks your site is a critical marketing imperative.
We call this exercise an SEO audit. It’s a multi-faceted, multi-step process, and it serves as the start of any initiative to make sure that your site is aligned with how the search engines view and rank your site.
SEO and all of the activities that factor into reaching for high rankings on search engine results pages, remains a relative newcomer to the marketing discipline. So it comes as no surprise that we’re often asked, “What is an SEO Audit?” And the question that logically follows: “How to conduct an SEO audit?”
Fortunately for marketing directors who are working to gain mastery of this rapidly evolving component of the marketing mix, an SEO audit consists of clearly defined steps, and there are excellent tools for ensuring that the audit process results in a depth of actionable intelligence and insights.
An SEO audit involves a wide spectrum of activities designed to detect any factor that could get in the way of attempts by Google and other search engines to effectively crawl and index your website. The audit can also flag toxic links, determine how your site ranks relative to your competition, analyze your website’s loading speed, check mobile friendliness, ensure that an SSL certificate is in place, and a lot more.
Here are six essential steps to performing an SEO audit that can reveal oversights and point to solid opportunities to ensure that your site is working for you.
SEMrush uncovers any inconsistencies in linking, and flags them as a warning. While it is an option to maintain a www, it’s essential to ensure that automatic redirects are in place so that Google does not see two versions of the site.
To a large extent, SEO hinges on an organized, streamlined site structure. Key among the reasons: a logical site structure improves user experience, which (as determined by time on a page) is a factor in Google’s algorithm. A logical URL structure also makes it easier for web crawlers to access and index your site’s content. An optimal site structure is based on a simplified page hierarchy, with distinct headers and logical subheaders. A “shallow” navigation structure in which all content can be accessed with three or fewer clicks results in better SEO than “deep” structures in which multiple clicks are required to reach certain content.
An SEO audit serves as a foundational step toward optimizing your site for organic search results. Some of what is discovered can be fixed quickly, other items will need to be prioritized. Every enhancement stands to strengthen your competitive positioning and fuel growth.
The importance of diligently auditing your site’s SEO, and doing so on a regular basis, cannot be overstated. Google is factoring in new information with every search query, every site visit, and every crawl of a site. At the same time, your website is constantly evolving as content is added, layouts are switched, and in some cases, new designs and navigational structures are launched. A thorough and regularly scheduled SEO audit schedule stands to consistently reveal new opportunities, uncover oversights, and power your competitive advantage.
Looking for an insightful partner who can adeptly navigate the multi-step SEO audit process, interpret results, and prioritize next steps for optimal impact? The opportunity to help clients to fine tune their digital presence and the paths that lead visitors to it is what drives us at Solid Digital. Let us know how we can help!
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