Forensic SEO Audit

Written by Matthew Ludden / November 18, 2022 / 5 Minute Read
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Forensic SEO audits are specialized examinations of your website’s health, focusing on troubleshooting ranking problems. Unlike traditional audits, they delve deeper into technical issues, pinpointing specific problems. Learn the importance of these audits, their unique approach, and how they can be the key to understanding sudden drops in rankings or traffic.

SEO Audit

Has your website experienced a sudden drop in SEO traffic? Then, this is the time to call in a team of forensic SEO audit experts.

As soon as they sense this drop, many people quickly blame algorithm updates as the cause. It could be a handful of other culprits equally to blame, such as content change, technical issues, malware injections, etc.

It could also be a combination of several of these factors.

So, by implementing a forensic audit, you’ll be able to evaluate as many possible reasons for the drop as possible. Only then will you be able to find a path to recovering your website once again.

Keep reading to learn more about this type of comprehensive audit and how it can help attract more organic traffic to your site.

A forensic analysis using a magnifying glass on a circuit board for an SEO audit.

Basic SEO Audit vs. Forensic SEO Audit

Basic SEO audits are all about optimizing your website. This means identifying as many issues that could affect the search performance as possible.

These audits should always be done at the beginning of every site design or migration. But, more importantly, they should be carried out regularly to ensure your website performs as well as expected.

Think of a basic SEO audit as a routine health check for your site.

On the other hand, forensic SEO investigations aren’t about optimizing or boosting traffic. They deal more with sites that have lost their search engine visibility and are trying to regain their online presence.

Thus, businesses can identify and repair technical issues, such as duplicate content, broken links, and server errors, that could negatively affect the site’s search engine optimization.

SEO Audit Services

Not everyone has the time or knowledge to do a complete SEO Audit on their business website. Turn to the experts at Valve+Meter when you need help.

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When Should You Conduct a Forensic SEO Audit?

As you may have noticed, the typical nature of traffic on any site is that it ebbs and flows. Certain times of the week don’t generate much traffic, while certain periods during the year that you know will be bursting at the seams.

Nevertheless, the general direction of web traffic is that it always flows to the right at a slight upward angle.

Unfortunately, sometimes a website can experience what SEO experts call precipitous drops. You must discover the cause to fix these drops, ranging from technical issues to algorithm updates to manual actions.

Hence, to effectively get to the root of the problem, you must deeply dive into all the potential factors that could have led to this drop.

That’s when a team of forensic SEO experts can help.

This team of professionals starts by documenting everything they find while mapping their findings to a detailed timeline.

Once they’ve discovered all the loopholes and trouble spots, they’ll fix all the issues negatively affecting the site’s SEO rankings.

The website’s overall performance will improve as search rankings improve. Next will come an improvement in user experience with increased site speed, clear navigation, mobile friendliness, and optimized accessibility.

The result will be increased website traffic and higher conversion rates.

A woman is conducting a forensic SEO audit on a laptop.

What Resources Are Necessary for a Forensic SEO Audit?

Below are several essential resources to help you conduct an effective audit:

  • Backlink analysis tools: these tools analyze your website’s backlink profile to identify areas where you can enhance your link-building strategies
  • Google Analytics: provides valuable insight into website traffic, conversion rates, user behavior, and content analysis
  • Google Search Console: monitors your site’s performance in Google’s search results, highlights potential problems, and conducts an in-depth structure analysis
  • Website crawling tools: these tools ‘crawl’ through your site to identify areas of technical problems like duplicate content or broken link analysis

What Does a Forensic SEO Audit Cover?

As we now know, forensic SEO audits are necessary to boost your website’s ranking on various search engine results pages. It does this by pointing out various issues that could be causing a drop in traffic, holding it back from reaching its full potential and ensuring maximum visibility.

Since a forensic audit has to dive deep into the underworking of a webpage, it has to cover all the bases to uncover the problem’s crux. This includes implementing technical examinations to pinpoint any on-page or off-page problems affecting site performance.

As such, these types of audits generally look into all of the following:

  • Developer changelogs
  • Hosting server changes
  • Data assessment, keyword research, and keyword analysis
  • Recent and previous SEO changes to the site
  • Site Integrity
  • Possible changes to Google’s algorithms
  • Market segment evolution
  • Negative SEO
  • External factors

What Are the Possible Outcomes of a Forensic SEO Audit?

Once you and your team have gone through all the possible reasons for your website drop, there’s no way of guaranteeing a specific result. However, you can expect one of two scenarios to take place.

Find a Way to Fix the Problem

The first likely outcome is that you can find the cause and fix the problem. Once that’s done, you’ll need to wait a few weeks for Google to reindex and reassess your website before traffic can resume.

We should note that visitors won’t flock to your website simultaneously. It’ll take time for traffic flow to be normal. Just be patient; things will get back on track slowly but surely.

Can’t Fix the Problem?

The second scenario you can expect after conducting a comprehensive forensic SEO investigation is that you can’t find the problem’s source or found it, but it can’t be fixed.

Either way, you must return to the drawing board and create a new business model design. As you’re doing this, remember what went wrong the first time.

Knowing what happened can help you make informed decisions on your new site. Therefore, you’ll be better equipped to prevent similar mishaps.

Choose Valve+Meter for Your SEO Audit Needs

Clients often approach Valve+Meter to perform professional SEO audits for their websites. Our core ThinkFirst SEO Audit service offers much more than forensic SEO audits do. Nearly every business can benefit from this detailed analysis. Let’s talk today about how we can work together!

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A Final Note

A forensic SEO audit is a great opportunity to get to know your website. Through this process, you’ll be able to highlight the areas impacting your site’s search engine rankings. Once fixed, you can work to regain the traffic and give your company’s brand the market edge it needs to maintain its competitiveness and boost its online presence.

While all that may sound simple enough, this type of audit is more thorough than a basic optimization audit. It has to dive into all the details of your site’s inner workings to identify the problem’s source and then fix it.