What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) audit is a detailed analysis of the various aspects that influence the organic positioning of a website, in order to diagnose problems and detect improvement opportunities.
It is important to keep in mind that not only the internal elements of the website are studied, but we must also analyse other types of external elements such as our online authority or external links.
Why would a website need an SEO audit?
There are several reasons why you may need to perform an SEO audit. The main one is that this analysis will allow you to maintain the overall health of your website. On the other hand, keep in mind that user behaviour and technology constantly changes, so your website must also be constantly evolving.
Of course, there may be more specific reasons that lead you to want to do an SEO audit. For example, see if your most important pages are visible to Google, if there are 404 errors, if your content is of interest to users or if your link building strategy works, among others.
An SEO audit can give you an idea of where you stand next to your competitors. We have experienced many companies which want to compete with extremely high authority websites. After an SEO audit we can see that, in many cases, this isn’t possible. The client would have to be changed and tailored for targeting low competition, long-tailed keywords.
Without knowing this information, it would be very hard to know where a company’s website it positioned.
Keep in mind, all SEO should only be applied to website that want to rank on search engines to receive organic traffic from search results. Running an SEO audit on a small “sign-post” site probably isn’t worth doing before you have your own marketing strategy.
It’s important to analyse your site on a regular basis
As most of you probably already know, SEO is ever changing as evolving. This means checking your site’s health as much as possible. However, this might be costly and/or time consuming. We recommended running a professional SEO audit every year or so to make sure your site’s health is at peak performance (think of it as a dentist appointment for your website!).
It can also be useful to keep up with news from the Google algorithm. You might find in some months the algorithm changes dramatically, causing a serious decrease in your site’s traffic. When this happens it might be good to get the experts in earlier.
What are some components of an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is a method of uncovering whether a website is incorporating strategies which are considered best practice. Some aspects an SEO audit would reveal is as follows:
- Technical Analysis
- On-page SEO Analysis
- Offsite SEO Analysis (backlinks etc.)
- UX (User Experience) analysis
- Content gaps within your niche
- Website structure analysis
Analysing each of these criteria can give you an idea what problems a website has to solve and the priority of these problems.
A good SEO audit vs a bad SEO audit
The usefulness and utility of an SEO audit equals the amount of work put into one. Having said, this depends on your goals as a website. Very simple SEO technical audits can be carried out by online SaaS services such as SEMrush’s site audit. This can give a quick overview to what can be fixed immediately.
Some websites find it difficult just to simply be indexed onto Google. In this case, a small technical SEO audit will need to be conducted to find the route problem of this single issue.
Large websites which need full audits will obviously need a lot more work. With a long term SEO project a deep analysis is needed as this will act as the foundations to a wider SEO strategy. These types of audits will need to be carried out by an expert and will take a lot longer to complete.
An SEO audit should be unique to each individual website. Again, it would be a useless to conduct a quick small scale audit to a site which wishes to conduct a large SEO overhaul in the future.
How much does an SEO audit cost?
Costs for SEO audits vary greatly. This is down to two factors:
- The size of the site
- The quality of the audit
As a ballpark figure, you can expect to spend anywhere between £500 – £15,000 for an SEO audit from an expert. Some companies (like ours) provide a quick audit for free to get a general idea of your site’s health. If this would interest you, please fill out the contact form below and we will get back to you.
Price can equal quality but, like anything, this isn’t always the case. Shop around and ask lots of questions about what you are to expect from an audit.
Some questions to ask before an audit
Ask a few of these questions below to your chosen SEO expert or Agency before going ahead with an audit:
- Will you analyse on-page SEO?
- Will you analyse off-site SEO?
- Will you analyse technical SEO?
- What deliverables will I receive from each piece of analysis?
Make sure your chosen expert will work closely with you or your team to ensure the best outcome from your audit. Make sure you brush up on some of the terms used by experts as these can get rather complicated and confusing!
Wondering whether to go with a digital marketing agency? Read our blog article on this topic here.
We hope this article has taught you a little bit more about what is an SEO audit and the process behind them. SEO audits can be extremely powerful in figuring out what needs to be fixed or improved as well as finding new opportunities for your site to rank in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).