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Exactly what is an SEO audit?

March 23, 2021
Man searching and coding

Many companies make an ambitious effort to handle search engine optimization all on their own. Without a comprehensive understanding of what SEO entails, it's easy to mistakenly assume that publishing keyword-rich content or randomly building links is enough to move a website higher up on search results pages. Sadly, not only are most self-managed SEO campaigns poorly designed and ineffective, but they're also incredibly costly. Countless business owners are spending massive amounts of money on random SEO optimization strategies without having any feasible, reliable way of tracking their spending, or of measuring the results that they're marketing dollars are producing.




If you have a website that you've been trying to optimize or if you're just getting started with SEO, performing an SEO audit is essential. This is a comprehensive review of all the factors that search engine algorithms account for. An audit can let you know exactly where and how your website is under-performing, what technical and creative changes you need to make, and just how accessible your web pages are. The best audits can even provide deep insights into the type and amount of web traffic that you're getting among many other things.


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Why and When Companies Should Have SEO Audits Performed


SEO audits should always be performed at the start of any new SEO campaign. The information supplied by an audit will inform a new campaign by highlighting existing issues and strengths, pointing out technical problems, and assisting site owners in avoiding painful penalties. However, one of the most important things for business owners to know about SEO is that it's never a set-it-and-forget-it solution. For prominent positions on search results pages to be both attained and maintained, SEO must be ongoing. As such, comprehensive SEO audits are additionally recommended every quarter. Quarterly audits make it possible for companies to streamline and refine their campaigns, redirect spending towards strategies that are actually working, and acknowledge changes in search algorithms and accepted SEO best practices.


What You Can Accomplish by Having an SEO Audit Performed


SEO audits can provide a vast range of benefits whether companies are optimizing their websites on their own, or with the help of seasoned SEO professionals. To start, an audit is guaranteed to give you a clear understanding of the returns that your investments of money and time are producing, especially when you consistently run quarterly audits. Rather than spending money on optimization strategies that aren't working for your business, you can begin leveraging techniques that actually enhance your online presence and improve your bottom line. With regular insights, you can constantly refine your SEO campaigns for maximum effectiveness.


One of the biggest dangers of optimizing websites without adequate experience is mistakenly engaging in historic SEO practices that now result in either penalties or being blacklisted. From dead and broken links to toxic links and inadvertent keyword spamming, there may be a number of factors already at play that have you at high-risk of both losing your page rank and being de-listed. Identifying and resolving these problems before major headaches arise will keep your website on a progressive, forward-moving path as opposed to losing immeasurable ground.


Identify the Keywords That Are Actually Working for You


In addition to highlighting outdated, historic SEO practices that may be putting you at risk, SEO audits can also help you identify the keywords that are effectively working on your behalf. Many company owners are surprised to discover that the majority of their conversions are being made due to keywords and key phrases that they haven't been prioritizing. These are insights that can give you a better understanding of who your customers are, what they're thinking about when searching for you, and how to better connect with them.


It's even possible to perform SEO audits on your competitors. If you've got competition that's constantly outranking you on search engines, finding out how they're doing it is important. Much like insights about your own campaigns, these are insights that can profitably inform your future efforts in optimization. You can learn more about the keywords that your competitors are succeeding with, and can start leveraging many of the same techniques to improve your own position.


The greatest benefit of these discoveries is the ability to limit waste. When you've identified the strategies and tools that aren't actively moving you closer to your goals, you can reallocate your marketing dollars. With regular SEO audits, you'll have more cash for implementing strategies that work, and for ensuring progressively better returns overall.


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