Why Would Anyone Need an SEO Audit?

12 Sep
2011

SEO Audit

SEO Audits are needed for various reasons. The most common web audit takes place when a business decides to properly optimize a web site. The purpose of an SEO audit is to determine how the site is seen from a search engine’s perspective, how many links are pointing to the site, and how sustainable are the rankings for the keywords.

While there are many components that make up an SEO audit, those three factors are typically what are the most requested. While Google doesn’t typically reveal anything about what makes their algorithm work, they have stated that load times matter. The speed in which your site loads if very important to Google. They want the users to have a good experience when Google delivers search results around whatever keywords that user searched for.

Simple things such as JavaScript and CSS coding can be placed “off-page” and help increase the speed in which a page loads on a site. Google also looks at the url structure of a site along with how the titles are used on each page. Another proven component is the use of the header tags. Google wants to see the proper use of the H1, H2 and H3 tags on each page.

In the past, thin sites with little content could easily rank by following these basics, but now Google has added another layer: Social media. In order to gain rankings in Google today, one must have digital assets located on the web. At the bare minimum, a YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account should be standard for any serious online endeavor.

A proper SEO audit looks at these assets as well to determine if any improvements could be made to influence your search rankings on Google. Sometimes a SEO audit is conducted before acquiring a site. The purpose of this exercise is to see that a site that is being sold based on the traffic it receives via search engines will remain in place once ownership is transferred. By performing the web audit, a new owner should gain a sense of reality in regards to the sustainability of the rankings that the site currently has, and will remain in place once the site transitions.

The SEO audit should be able to point to any potential trouble issues that the new site may possess. Anything from the server level to links that are currently pointing to a site should be covered. Some sellers host their sites that they are selling on private networks and inter-link them all. Once they sell the site, those links are removed, and that can cause a drop in the rankings. Unfortunately, this practice happens too much on sites that are acquired, and to those who don’t perform an SEO audit are often puzzled by the drop in rankings.

SEO audits can provide answers into whether a site’s content can support keywords that are sought after. While it’s normal to crave a site that ranks for many terms, it’s not realistic to expect if the site’s content can’t support it.

The SEO audit is also a great resource to learn of keyword opportunities. A keyword web audit can be performed at any time in a web site’s lifetime. From new domains being built to a web site that’s been online for fifteen years, there are always new keywords that can be found and then ranked for.

Not all SEO audits will cover everything. Typically, each SEO audit has a set checklist of items to review, but should also contain questions that are custom tailored to each individual’s needs for the site in question. A quality web audit should also include a phone call to properly review all information of the SEO audit and have all questions answered about the site.

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Paul
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Get his thoughts at his blog (www.ranksurge.com) or follow him on Twitter (@semconsulting) G+ (https://plus.google.com/+PaulBliss3)

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