The best websites all have one thing in common: they’re continually looking for ways to improve their reach and visibility. To do this, the majority utilise some form of search engine optimisation – a process that optimises websites to make them as attractive to Google and other search engines as possible.
Whether you’ve currently got a simple SEO set-up or something more comprehensive, there are almost certainly ways to make improvements – small tweaks here and there that could be the difference between appearing on the first or second page of search results.
At Search Shack, we offer the most powerful SEO audit around – a complete health check of your website, encapsulating every page and leading to suggestions on how each URL on your website can be improved. It’s included within our Foundation Sprint, which is designed to set the building blocks for future SEO improvements.
Does a page need updating? Does it need a 301 redirect? Should you add some more links? Our SEO audit will let you know the answers to these questions, plus much more.
Are you interested in finding out more about our heavy-duty SEO audit? If so, we’ve explained it in detail below, so keep reading! Alternatively, give us a call or drop us an email message to speak to a team member, who can provide answers to any questions you have.
What Are the Ingredients of the Perfect SEO Audit?
Our full SEO audit starts with several processes, all of which are used to gather maximum data about your website and its various page URLs. We’ll carry out several individual audits, including a Google Analytics audit and a Screaming Frog audit, to gain all the information we need to move forward.
There are six different sets of data we’ll collect to begin the SEO audit, and these are:
- XML sitemaps. Obtained from the website itself. If no XML sitemap is available, we will include it as an actionable point in our overall findings.
- Crawl report. This full crawl tells us about several aspects of on-page data and technical data. It is obtained using Screaming Frog and/or Sitebulb.
- Backlinks data. We’ll then obtain a full profile of backlinks pointing to your website. This will be done using two powerful SEO tools: Ahrefs and Semrush.
- Keyword data. Next, we’ll look at the keywords your website is ranking for, plus find any opportunities to rank for other keywords. Done using Ahrefs and Semrush.
- Traffic, engagement, and conversions. We want to know exactly where your traffic comes from and how it behaves. We find this out during a deep dive of your site’s Google Analytics.
- Clicks, impressions, and CTR. Finally, we look at clicks, impressions, and CTR. We find data on these using Google Search Console.
You’re probably now thinking that the process will produce a huge amount of data, and that it would be impossible to properly analyse it all. We make it possible using our Website Quality Audit tool, which automatically pulls data from these many sources and presents them in a simple way.
What’s more, the tool provides you with a complete overview of every page, and not just a generic report for your overall domain. The result? We get to really delve into your site, making for the most effective and comprehensive SEO audit around.
Actions to Take After the SEO Audit
Once your SEO audit has been completed, we’ll present you with a long list of recommendations on how to improve each page on your site. These can generally be split into two categories: content actions and technical actions, and some examples of each are listed below.
- Add internal links. Outbound links from a page can improve SEO, plus they can improve user experience.
- Delete page. Does the page have no use now? Or perhaps it’s actively damaging your SEO work? If so, you should be ruthless and delete it.
- Merge page. If you have two pages offering similar information or perhaps causing cannibalization, merging them into one page is often prudent.
- Refresh. In today’s fast-moving world, Pages can become old and outdated, meaning they constantly need updating with new information, but not completely rewriting.
- Rewrite. If a page isn’t performing or is written particularly badly, the best option is often to rewrite it entirely.
- Target with links. If your page isn’t linked back to enough in contrast with the competition, we’ll recommend getting more links to it, to power the page up.
- Update media. We’ll let you know if the media on your pages, such as the images, needs updating to improve user experience and SEO.
- Alter meta title and/or description. Meta title and description are snippets about a page shown on search engine results and should be attractive to searchers and feature keywords.
- No action. In some cases, your page is already perfect in terms of SEO and should be left as it is. Great job!
- 301 redirect. This will send all traffic from one URL to another and is often used when a page has been deleted.
- Add to sitemap. If a page isn’t on your sitemap, it’s harder for search engines to index it, so all important pages should be added.
- Block crawl. If we decide that the page doesn’t need crawling, we would just block the crawl to stay on top of our crawl budget.
- Canonicalize. It’s best practice to add canonical code to all pages, as doing so helps search engines to understand pages featuring duplicate content.
- No index. If the page serves no real value to search engines, but does serve a purpose to the user experience, we would prefer to keep it hidden from the index.
- Remove from sitemap. If you delete a page from your website, you should also ensure it is deleted from the sitemap.
- Remove internal links. Interlinking is vital, but it can sometimes be detrimental to your SEO efforts. If the page is internally linking to a dead page and creating unnecessary redirect loops, we would tag that to remove the internal links.
- No action. If you’ve got all the technical aspects of a page perfectly right, there’s no need to change anything.
Once we have provided you with your report, you can make an educated decision on how to proceed. We’ll talk you through how to action all suggestions in a friendly session, so you know exactly how to move forward, plus we can also talk you through other ways to boost your SEO using our “Sprint” SEO service – short SEO campaigns designed to efficiently build search engine rankings.
The Unbeatable Process
The process we use to run an SEO audit on your website really is unbeatable. Because it’s so comprehensive, you might think it’s a long and convoluted process, but it’s really quite simple, divided into four steps. These are:
1. Aggregation of All Necessary Data
We start by bringing together all the data collected by the various high-power SEO tools we use. Everything is automatically placed into a spreadsheet and formatted in an easy-to-read way. It’s a comprehensive document on how you can boost the SEO of every URL on your website and is invaluable.
2. Pages Assigned a Category
Next, after critical analysis, our SEO Strategist will assign every page on your site a category, such as “Blog Post” or “Product Description”. You can then group all similar pages together and analyse them easily. This is a particularly useful step for larger websites with hundreds, or even thousands of pages.
3. Pages Assigned Actions
Every page on the spreadsheet is now assigned actions – steps that need to be taken to better optimise the page for SEO. These can be anything from adding more links to a blog post to completely rewriting a product page to rank for more worthwhile keywords.
4. Visualise Everything in Automatically Populated Dashboard
We won’t present the SEO audit to you in an indecipherable format. Instead, we will allow you to view all the information via an intuitive dashboard. This makes working through the SEO suggestions that much easier.
Common Actions Following an SEO Audit
As you’ve already seen, our SEO audit can recommend many different actions for a page. But there are some actions that are more commonly needed than others, and you can find out more about the more common actions below.
Refreshing of Blog Posts
Most blog posts are not evergreen, meaning they’ll eventually become outdated and irrelevant to a modern audience. Therefore, you need to regularly update blog posts to ensure they’re truly useful to the reader – something that will cause them to interact with the post more and thus boost your SEO.
If you need help refreshing your blog posts, plus need new content adding to your website, why not consider our Growth Sprint? We’ll research keywords, come up with content ideas and briefs, and can even write up the blogs for you, if you’d prefer to concentrate on other aspects of your business.
Targeting Specific Pages for Link Building
If one page isn’t performing optimally, there’s a chance it’s because it doesn’t have enough links pointing towards it. Inbound links are essentially a show of how popular a page is, plus they help search engines to understand the page’s subject clearly. This means link building is vitally important to any SEO campaign.
Link building is perhaps the most difficult and time-consuming aspect to SEO, so why not let us handle it for you? Our Promotional Sprint sees us finding and acquiring powerful new links to point at your site, boosting your SEO efforts massively in the process.
Targeting of New Keywords
If a page isn’t delivering the results you expect, there’s a good chance it’s down to the keywords you’re targeting. The best keywords will accurately inform search engines about the content of the page, and this will allow you to better meet user intent, delivering content that visitors find genuinely helpful.
De-indexing of Pages
De-indexing a page means removing it from search engines. You might be removing a page because it is of low quality, is private, or is somehow damaging to your overall SEO strategy. However, the page is not entirely deleted, making it accessible to those who know where to look.
If you choose to delete a page, it’s exceptionally important to redirect that page’s URL to another URL. This will prevent users from arriving at a page that no longer exists, which can be harmful to your SEO goals. There are a few types of URL forwarding options – we’ll advise you which one to use in the results of your full SEO audit.
Rewriting of Meta Data
Meta data is used by search engines to understand the content of a page. Fail to include keywords and you could find your rankings suffering. What’s more, your meta data is displayed to people on search engine results, so the more effective it is, the more clicks you should get.
Identifying Low Hanging Fruit
By this, we mean identifying potentially valuable keywords you could easily be ranking for. Often just a small change to the content of a page can target keywords of this type, meaning you get a great boost to your traffic for minimal effort.
The End Result
Once we’ve finished your SEO audit, what will have been achieved? Well, you’ll have a roadmap in place for your SEO efforts moving forwards – a detailed plan on how you’re going to improve various aspects of your website. Implement this plan and you’ll find visitor numbers are boosted and conversions increased.
You can either take away the results and work on making the improvements yourself, or engage us to manage the implementation, ensuring everything is done according to best practice. To find out more, why not schedule a Discovery Call with us today?