Critical Components of Your SEO Audit: A good SEO strategy includes a variety of elements that work together to help you increase traffic, expand your reach, and ultimately lock down customer conversions. This includes keyword targeting, HTML tagging, mobile responsiveness, internal and external links, and much more. Often, without an SEO audit, it’s hard to tell what areas you need to improve and where you could be implementing growth-based changes since there are so many elements to consider.
Running an SEO audit on your website allows you to determine the areas where you could further optimize your search rankings as well as develop new digital marketing strategies to reach your goals. Here are the most critical components of your SEO audit that you should keep on your radar.
This is one of the first steps you should take in your SEO audit. In order to ensure that your website ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to know what keywords and search terms your competitors are ranking for. This gives you the targets you need to find in order to surpass those competitors and make your business thrive. If you skip this step, you’ll probably find that it’s harder to beat out your competition because you’ll have no idea where potential customers are looking.
As you likely already know, keywords are the major component of an SEO strategy. Keywords tell search engines what your content is about, what your company is and does, and what search terms you should rank for. Use keyword searching and tracking tools like Moz, Google Analytics, and SEMRush to determine which keywords are driving traffic to your site, which keywords you should be using, and more. All of this information fuels an effective digital marketing strategy and helps you monitor where your efforts are really working. It will also help inspire your content strategy, as this is a good way to determine what content your audience is engaging with as well as find new content ideas that relate to your industry or brand.
Check For Indexing Errors
In order to rank your site on its SERPs, Google or other search engines will crawl and index all of your site pages. When your pages are blocked they won’t show up in search results, and having blocked pages could negatively impact your overall SEO targets. Make sure you check your website’s robots.txt file to make sure that your site is being indexed properly, and that there aren’t any pages being blocked for any reason. Google Search Console is an ideal tool for this.
User Experience and Accessibility
Contrary to popular belief, your SEO strategy and SERP rank is based on more than just keywords. Your site’s accessibility and functionality are essential components that can affect how your page performs in searches. For example, if you have 404 errors or broken links on your website, these could negatively impact your SEO score, so you want to ensure that any broken links are redirected to an active page. An SEO audit will show you issues such as broken links, pages that aren’t responsive, and pages that have slow loading time. Pages that aren’t mobile responsive won’t have a good SEO score, either, so you’ll need to be aware of this as well.
Content: Links and On-Page Optimization
It’s not enough to simply throw keywords into your content and expect a massive influx of web traffic. Every page includes elements such as meta descriptions, title tags, and images with alt attributes that add to your site’s SEO strength. An SEO audit can pinpoint areas where these tags are missing so you can ensure that every page is fully optimized for maximum effect. Relevant links, including inbound and outbound links, are also an essential element for every page. However, these links should be to trusted third-party websites, as Google is intelligent enough to know when you’re using black hat SEO tactics like link buying or private link networks. An SEO audit will give you an idea of how you’re using relevant links as well.
While you’re monitoring content, it’s also a good idea to run an SEO audit on each page in terms of how your audience is engaging with your content. If certain keywords are associated with longer time spent on the page, for example, you’ll want to keep creating content in that topic area.
Repetition and Implementation
Running your website through an SEO audit once and making a few small changes isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to boost your SEO strategy. The key to making sure all of these elements work together is continuous monitoring, analysis, and implementation. Take everything you learn from your SEO audit and make sure that these items are included in your digital marketing strategy moving forward. Be sure to come back and monitor your results routinely to make sure that the changes are working. The more active you are in regularly posting content and making updates to your site, the better your SEO strategy will be.