blog | September 17, 2014
Why is it Important to Perform an SEO Audit?
By Thao Nguyen
An SEO audit is very similar to taking your car to get an oil change. As you know, regular oil changes can be one of the most significant ways to extend the life of your car. An SEO audit looks at the technical infrastructure of your website, the on-page elements and offpage essentials to optimize Search Engine visibility, usability and conversion. An SEO audit needs to be performed regularly in order for long-term success of your website’s performance.
SEO audits are an important, necessary component of keeping your SEO strategy up to date. If your website isn’t properly optimized for search, you’re missing out on significant amount of search engine traffic, as well as attention from potential customers.
- Algorithms Changes: Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, are constantly updating their algorithms to provide better search results, and you need to be aware of these changes so you can make adjustments to your website’s content accordingly.
- Webmaster’s Guidelines: Popular webmaster tools from Google and Bing are continually changing, so you need to make sure you are compliant.
- Website Errors: It is important to make sure your site does not have any error messages or broken links. Performing the audit will expose the errors, enabling you to redirect them and recover lost traffic.
- Titles and Meta Data: Title tags and meta descriptions are the first thing visitors will read about you when you show up in search results. It is important that they be relevant to the content of the site.
- Outdated Content: You may have content on your site that is outdated. It’s important to not only provide relevant but also fresh content to search engines, and give them a reason to come back. If people are not visiting or re-visiting your website in 6 months, reevaluate the content or get rid of it.
Here are a few suggestions of how to get started on your own SEO audit:
- Perform a Screaming Frog Crawl on the website. Screaming Frog is a free application that crawls through every page on your website just as a search engine would. Screaming Frog allows you to easily identify redirects, URL issues, duplicate pages, page titles, meta descriptions, headings and much more. After you have crawled the website, you can then export all of the data in Excel spreadsheet to help you better analyze and audit the data.
- Register your website with Google Webmaster Tools. After you have verified your ownership with Google, you have access to major sections including Search Queries, Links to Your Site, Crawl Errors, HTML improvements and Sitemaps.
- Add your website to Google Analytics. This allows you to gather data about the users that visit your website. When a visitor comes to your site, do they leave or do they visit additional pages? What device are they using to visit your website, and is it optimized for that user? There is an abundance of information that can be gathered through this Google tool.
- URL Redirects and Duplicate Content. In Google Webmaster Tools, under “HTML Improvements,” addressing the duplicate title tags will help your site’s user experience and performance. Also, by redirecting your URLs you ensure that your users and the search engines visiting your site will not have to encounter any website error messages.
- Submit XML Sitemap. After making changes to your site, producing a sitemap can ensure the major search engines can easily scan and index all the content on your site.
Keep in mind these are a just a few basic suggestions of search engine optimization. At Imaginuity our online marketing team will develop strategies to help unlock the full potential of SEO and unleash the power of your brand. Regular SEO audits are incredibly valuable for the company’s website. The search engine industry changes very quickly and what is working today may not work six months from now. When performed correctly, an audit can strategically improve your website’s performance, enhance SEO and increase conversions.