It's well-documented that a great marketing strategy involves a consistent and ongoing investment in search engine optimization.
If you have the resources, monthly maintenance plans commonly include an SEO report with a list of edits and opportunities that will set you on the path to search success.
If you don't, be sure you're at least conducting an annual audit.
What are the benefits of conducting an annual SEO Audit?
An effective SEO audit uncovers potential opportunities and issues. It provides practical recommendations to meet business needs; increase visibility, simplify the user experience, identify content opportunities, and increase conversions.
A SEO audit will help you:
- Improve website health
- Understand what search engines want from your website
- Learn how to meet technical needs
- Identify what users want to see
- Learn how to meet user needs
- Uncover SEO's impact on overall content strategy
- Better understand user behavior
- Discover ways to boost conversion rates
It's important to know that there is a huge difference between a basic audit and a comprehensive one. A basic audit is simply a collection of statistics and reports gathered from free online resources or crawler tools. A comprehensive audit requires you or a professional to dig deeper to analyze the report findings and identify areas of opportunity to make your website better.
What your SEO audit should measure
A comprehensive audit is a roadmap. It can help you determine where you are as a business and where your business stands within your market.
During a comprehensive audit, you should expect to address the technical foundation of your website, its cognitive understanding, user expectations, predictive understanding, use of natural language, and the progression of information. In the SEO world, you'll hear the term "Core Web Vitals," but in plain language these metrics focus on:
- UX Signals: The real-world user experience and outcome
- Loading (LPC): How quality in which your content is delivered
- Interactivity (FID): How your content is browsed
- Visual Stability (CLS): How your website renders
With professional insights, you can create a roadmap that goes beyond the numbers. You'll want to identify errors, and understand potential warnings. Based on your business, some gaps may not be worth addressing. It's important to understand how these opportunities truly relate to your business's bottom line.
Pro Tip: A great SEO audit should offer a plan-of-action that can be managed by your digital marketing partner, or handed off to your in-house marketing team for execution.
Adding in Competitor Research
A great SEO audit also includes competitor research.
- Who are your top three competitors?
- What are their primary topics?
- Which keywords are they raking well for?
- Which are you competing for?
After you've gathered some preliminary information, you may want to document any notable content or features your competitors are showcasing. With this information you'll be able to identify content strategy gaps, or areas of opportunity.
The glue that binds your digital strategy
Identifying these gaps will help streamline the rest of your digital portfolio. It helps focus your keyword strategy, and the context of your website. That also helps simplify the conversation from paid ad to conversion.