Just like vehicles, websites require regular maintenance – updating plugins, securing, CMS. The same can be said of SEO. If you have a good SEO strategy, it is going to need to be reviewed every now and then to ensure that you maintain the right path. You need a full campaign if you want to get the most success from the traffic, which means that you need a dedicated individual or team that can focus on SEO and delivering the desired results.
When it comes to SEO adults, things are a little bit different. The word “audit” tends to make people uneasy. However, with SEO, audits are actually beneficial – unlike when it comes to audits related to federal taxes! So, here is what you need to know about SEO audits and how they related to your business and website.
What Exactly Does an SEO Audit Involve?
If you consider a vehicle, the basic fundamentals are essentially the same. However, a Ferrari is definitely not the same as a Honda. The same can be said with SEO agencies. As a result, the SEO audits that you receive from SEO agencies will vary significantly in depth and complexity. As a general rule, however, an SEO audit is going to consist of the following:
- On-site optimization
- Overall keyword strategy
- Backlink profiles
- Content strategy
- Website user flow
The goal of an SEO audit to provide a general overview of how well your website is doing in terms of SEO. With this information, you will see what you should be implementing in order to move forward successfully. The SEO audit is essentially a great way to get started in developing an SEO strategy if you currently do not have one or if your existing strategy is giving you issues and you need a second opinion. Below, we will delve into how an audit can help your business in both of those situations.
Building a Strategy from Scratch
So, you have a website for your business, but you are lacking in the traffic and/or conversions department. While you have done a little bit of work in the past in regards to SEO, you are in the market for more of a punch this go around.
Well, an SEO audit is a great starting point, as it can provide you with the perfect strategy that you need to implement to get your site up and running.
Keep in mind that throughout the first several weeks of an SEO campaign the information covered is what is within an SEO audit. In other words, you aren’t losing anything. An SEO audit usually covers key factors of an SEO strategy, so you can choose to implement these things yourself or opt to continue working with the agency that performed the audit.
Why exactly is this a feasible option for you? Put simply, it allows you to see if the agency is a good fit for you. Unfortunately, the SEO industry has plenty of agencies out there that participate in illegal, black hat SEO practices, which will come back to haunt you and your website.
With the SEO audit, you will be able to see what type of quality of work that they will produce and decide whether it is worth creating a professional relationship with them or not. Of course, keep in mind that an audit and a full campaign will not necessarily produce the exact same results, though it can demonstrate value.
Second Opinion Audits: In-House Teams and Agencies
When you are dealing with a website on a daily basis, it can be difficult to see what is wrong with it. Sometimes, you need to take a step back and let someone with fresh eyes take a look at it. This can someone internally or from an outside agency. Otherwise, confirmation bias begins to take over everything, from analytics reviews to data and emotional decisions. Here is how your SEO audit can help in both scenarios (in-house or by an external agency):
In-House SEO Audit
The great thing about having an in-house team to perform SEO audits is that they are familiar with your business inside and out. As long as you hire knowledgeable team members, they can be experienced with SEO as well, though they may not be as skilled as an outside agency. In any case, an in-house team can help refresh an out-of-date SEO strategy.
External Agency SEO Audit
As a general rule, there is a monthly retainer being paid for SEO agencies to perform what has been agreed upon between the agency and a client. An SEO audit requires the agency to review the successes and failures of a campaign, in addition to its original strategy, and make necessary changes. This can help offer valuable insight for the client and assist them in producing better results moving forward.
Regardless of whether the audit is performed in-house or externally, it is important that one is performed. It allows for an SEO strategy to be reviewed and see how it is performing so that any necessary changes can be made to allow it to perform better. Sometimes, the first half of the game isn’t going well and a half-time break/talk is necessary to reassess the game plan so that you can bounce back in the second half of the game.
Second Opinion Audits: Solving Critical Problems
If things are not going according to plan, how exactly can an SEO audit help your business and website?
Eliminate the Skills Gap
In some instances, there is a skills gaps that is causing the problems. The individuals or team that is executing the SEO campaign simply does not have the skills to get it done. This may be in the form of writing impressive content or gaining quality links. Or it may be a certain developer that just doesn’t have the technical knowledge to implement the optimization necessary. It doesn’t matter what it is exactly – the fact of the matter is what it is holding you back.
In these instances, you could potentially provide specific step-by-step instructions. They should then be able to offer guidance, strategy and/or the skillset necessary to solve the problem. Then, the campaign results will hopefully be significantly different.
Get Out of a Costly Contract
The SEO industry is not a clean and legal one. For every legitimate one that you find, there are a dozen that are dirty. Many businesses will choose to do work with as agency that over-promises and under-delivers. What’s even worse is that these agencies will spam their websites. By the time they realize what is going on, they aren’t even able to pull the plug because they are wrapped up in a 12-month or longer contract.
The only hope is that the contract dictates work be carried out on the site and that an SEO audit uncovers that the work wasn’t completes satisfactorily, which voids the contract. While this is not fun to talk about, it is something that every business needs to be aware of, as it may become useful when dealing with a shady SEO agency.
As you can see, an SEO audit can prove to be very valuable for your business. It can help not only provide you with an initial strategy for your website, but it can also offer second opinions when necessary and solve critical problems.
If you have never had an SEO audit, now is the time to schedule one. Essentially, it is your first (or next) step in creating a successful and lucrative SEO campaign. If you’re ready, contact us at WebDetail today!