What Is Included in an SEO Audit in 13 Simple Steps

Written by Matthew Ludden / February 12, 2023 / 9 Minute Read
Article Preview

Discover the power of a comprehensive SEO audit in enhancing your website’s performance. Our experts at Valve+Meter Performance Marketing will guide you through a 13-step process, helping you understand the benefits and revealing how to unlock your site’s optimum potential.

SEO Audit

You could spend endless resources on building the perfect website. You could take the time to design a beautiful visual display or dedicate a hearty chunk of your budget to paying for top-notch external website developers.

But even with all these efforts, you can wind up with a website that isn’t receiving the expected traffic. That’s where an SEO Audit performed by the qualified team at Valve+Meter Performance Marketing comes into play.

Our SEO experts will perform an SEO Audit to improve your website’s ranking to generate more leads and, in turn, enhance your company’s profitability. While building and revising your website’s performance through SEO strategy begins with an SEO audit, it doesn’t end there.

It is a constant process that requires ongoing revisions and audits to find and fix the issues keeping your website from generating more traffic. Our team knows you’re busy running your business and don’t always have additional time and energy to dedicate to a multi-step strategy.

Let our specialists at Valve+Meter Performance Marketing expand your performance capabilities with a customized SEO strategy, starting with our SEO audit services.

Not sure whether you need an audit?

We’ve compiled the following comprehensive guide to help you understand SEO audits, the steps of an SEO audit, and its benefits, so you can learn how to move the needle toward your site’s optimum performance successfully.

Understanding an SEO Audit

An SEO audit is like a health check-up for your website. It removes all the confusing data from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other tools and presents a clear path forward.

You don’t need a site audit. In fact, businesses don’t need to stand out in Google search results. You need more sales and stronger revenue. A complete site audit identifies the best methods to meet this need.

A site audit examines the errors in your site that could harm your website’s rankings in search engine results. An SEO audit also uncovers unseen areas of opportunity to drive more customers to your business.

During an SEO audit, there is a wide range of on-page and off-page factors considers. These range from analyzing your website’s on-site optimization, including meta tags, headings, and keyword usage to page speed and broken links.

An SEO audit is not limited to your own content and site architecture. A site audit considers insights into how your competitors are ranking higher and suggests ways to enhance the user experience on your site to beat your competitors.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, users make snap judgments about websites. An SEO audit is crucial to ensure that users will be captivated by your site’s SEO and design immediately, leading to future brand recognition and a lasting positive impression.

How SEO Audits Can Benefit Your Website

SEO audits are crucial for the success of your business in the digital landscape. They provide valuable insights that can significantly impact your online presence and contribute to the growth of your business.

When Valve+Meter conducts an SEO audit, we give you a deeper understanding of your website’s performance in search engine rankings and discover actionable recommendations to help enhance your site’s structure, content, and technical aspects. Ultimately, our SEO audit services improve your chances of attracting more organic traffic from search results, improving conversion rates, and reducing wasted marketing spend.

3 Areas That Are Affected By Seo Audits

Running an SEO audit will identify actionable improvements in three key areas of your company’s website. These areas include:

  • On-Page SEO: These elements consider the user experience with all content, navigation, and conversion rate optimization. This is the most commonly understood definition of SEO where keywords, internal links, and metadata help increase search traffic.
  • Technical SEO: Page speed, intuitive design, and site architecture are key to how users and search engines discover your website. A technical SEO audit improves conversion rates that are essential to turning your website into a lead-generating tool.
  • Off-Page SEO: External links from high-authority websites are valuable. Other factors considered during the Off-Page SEO audit include reputation management, citation directories, review management, and social media marketing.

Benefits Of An Seo Audit

At Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, our team will help you transform your company’s digital performance with an SEO audit. The list of benefits an SEO audit provides is extensive, but they can be summarized into three key advantages.

To start, SEO audits help identify areas of improvement that can enhance your website’s visibility in search engine results. By analyzing factors such as on-site optimization and content quality, SEO audits pinpoint the specific areas that require attention.

Implementing the recommendations from the audit can lead to better search engine rankings, increased organic traffic, and, ultimately, more potential customers finding your website.

SEO audits also can uncover missed opportunities and reveal insights about your competitors. By evaluating your website’s performance against competitors in terms of keywords, content strategies, and backlinks, SEO audits provide valuable data that can help us upgrade your marketing and SEO strategies.

Understanding where competitors are outranking you allows you to refine your approach and gain a competitive edge. Tangible results from an SEO audit, such as improved search engine rankings and increased organic traffic, will significantly impact your business’s growth.

Our audit services will give your site more visibility and exposure to potential customers. You can also use the collected data to enhance your site’s user experience, leading to higher engagement and conversions.

A complete list of SEO audits includes:

  1. Analyzing all content by expert SEO writers
  2. Reviewing website performance by web developers
  3. Assessing user experience by web designers
  4. Auditing site architecture by SEO specialists
  5. Researching clients and ideal buyer persona
  6. Analyze market and industry digital marketing strategy
  7. Competitive position analysis
  8. Gathering data on current search engine performance
  9. Content gap review and keyword research
  10. Recommendations and Write-Up

At Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, our team is eager to help you take control of your website’s success with an SEO audit. However, many businesses can capture an idea of your site health by following the steps in this guide.

When Should Your Website Undergo an SEO Audit?

Every website should perform regular audits.

To maximize the success of your website, you should constantly study your site for improvement areas. An SEO audit is a more detailed analysis of how your website performs compared to your competitors and the rest of your industry.

A site audit is crucial in a competitive market as search engines keep updating their algorithms, and your competitors consistently improve their website’s performance to engage more users.

Our SEO professionals will implement an SEO audit to help our clients avoid falling behind in continuously changing industries.

From fixing your website’s technical issues to improving keyword optimization, your company should undergo an SEO audit if you fall under the following scenarios.

  • You’ve just built a new website or done a website migration. 
  • You’re updating your content strategy and overall website structure. 
  • You notice that the number of your website’s visitors is declining. 
  • Your number of conversions is decreasing. 
  • Customers are complaining about browsing your website and overall user experience. 
  • You have high bounce rates.
  • Your keyword rankings are declining. 

When you let Valve+Meter Performance Marketing serve your business, we’ll help you identify when and if your company could benefit from an SEO Audit. Then, we’ll walk you through every step of the audit process from preparation to completion.

How to Prepare for an SEO Audit

An SEO audit can take a few hours or months, depending on your website’s size, the problems that arise, and how you fix them.

However, there are a few tasks you can partner with the team at Valve+Meter Performance Marketing to knock out beforehand to help save time on your SEO audit.

A more efficient audit will give you better results and guarantee that you will receive the desired outcomes. The following identifies the proper steps to prepare for an SEO audit.

Determine Your Goals

First, we need to determine the goals of the SEO audit as clearly as possible. Paying attention to customers’ complaints and studying reports from Google Analytics and Google Search Console will help us identify the problems that you should address as a priority. 

Identify Factors To Measure 

Once you’ve determined which problems to address in your SEO audit, we must specify the metrics to measure on all your pages. These include the website speed, error rate, bounce rate, uptime, traffic source, conversion rates, unique visitors, and top pages. These specific data vary depending on your industry and the goal of your website.

Determine The Date

Assessing performance should be done over some time. So, we should determine if you want to analyze how your website performs over a month, a quarter, or a year. Studying and analyzing all your pages and how they perform over an extended period will take longer and require more resources. The best SEO audit tools can scan your site and provide a snapshot into your current situation.

Choose The Tools

Before we start your SEO audit, the last thing to prepare is to choose the SEO audit tools. We can use multi-purpose tools like Google Search Console, Semrush, Moz, Ahrefs, GTmetrix, Screaming Frog, and other tools during a site audit. Analyzing your website’s performance usually requires learning skills in some or all of these tools.

A 13-step Guide to SEO Audits

A site audit is a multi-process strategy that should be done periodically to assess your website’s performance and what needs to be changed to improve your performance within organic search engine results and conversion rates of these visitors.

Here are the 13 essential steps we include in our thorough SEO audit. 

1. Run A Website Crawler

Running a website crawler is the first step of SEO audits. It refers to browsing the whole website to identify what every page is about. Using various SEO audit tools, we’ll determine what is wrong with your website and identify the problematic pages. 

When a website is difficult to crawl, it won’t appear in search engine results, or its ranking will decline. Moreover, broken internal links and errors can prevent crawler bots from accessing your website. 

Goal: Site crawlers give a snapshot into your current technical SEO performance.

2. Review Page Titles And Meta Descriptions

Your page title and meta description are an invitation to your website. If you don’t write your description with the proper requirements, a search engine like Google will write it. In fact, according to a study by ahrefs, Google rewrites more than 62% of meta descriptions.

As a result, some web developers don’t even bother writing a meta description. But the truth is, you could be missing out on a massive opportunity if you don’t. It’s a great chance to highlight your selling point or keyword; you don’t want to miss that. 

Goal: Discover opportunities to quickly improve Google search results with metadata.

3. Improve User Experience

There are a variety of factors that add up to make your website more or less appealing to users. When your user experience is bad, and people struggle to browse your website or find what they’re looking for, your website’s traffic will decline. 

Some factors that affect the user experience are easy to identify and fix, like the color scheme, font, menus, page speed, and broken links used in your website. Others can take more time and effort, like the nature of visual content and pathways to key web pages. 

Goal: Determine if your site’s performance is viable within your market.

4. Identify Keyword Cannibalization

Many websites feature a series of relevant keywords across many pages. This is how many inexperienced search engine optimization campaigns begin. Any experience SEO specialist will explain that the same keywords used in multiple page titles and content leads can be considered duplicate content. This harms organic search results.

Keyword cannibalization occurs when you use similar keywords on different web pages. As a result, Google won’t be able to determine which content should rank higher because you’re competing with yourself.

Another term for this is duplicate content. Many businesses have pages with very similar content. If users and search crawlers cannot understand your structure than you are likely to miss out on leads and conversions.

Goal: Determine on-page elements affecting how pages rank.

5. Identify Indexing Issues

Several indexing issues can eventually affect your website’s ranking. These include duplicate content, thin content, misleading content, the website is not mobile-friendly, and 404 errors that lead to irrelevant web pages.

Running regular SEO audits will help you identify these indexing issues and help us develop strategies you can use to fix these technical issues. 

Goal: Understand your site data and ensure Google Search Console will index pages.

6. Optimize Content

In addition to fixing all technical issues, optimizing your content with the right keywords is one of our top priorities. Wrong keyword research or misusing keywords is the main reason you might lose traffic and your website’s ranking is declining. 

During your SEO audit, we will conduct a competitor’s study to see how different perform for your competitor. We also analyze keyword opportunities and see if you can compete for new ones.

Goal: Find content gaps and verify the relevant keywords are used on your web pages.

7. Check Loading Times

Regardless of your high-quality content, your pages’ loading time can lead to a drop in conversion rates, page views, and overall customer satisfaction. So, a crucial part of your SEO audit will focus on improving loading times for your desktop and mobile websites. 

Several factors can increase your website’s loading time, including a lack of page and video optimization, too many scripts and plugins, and not using a CDN.

Goal: Prevent bad elements from affecting performance both for desktop and mobile friendliness.

8. Examine Organic Traffic

You can get traffic through paid ads, but organic search traffic refers to visitors who found your website on search engines without you looking for them. These visitors will learn about your website through mentions, backlinks, and social media posts. 

When we analyze the primary source of your organic traffic and how these visitors behave once they visit your website, we will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your SEO strategy. 

You also need to know that your website visitors are relevant. Many web design companies and inexperienced SEO marketers focus on the wrong audience. SEO success is not measured in visitors. You need leads who convert.

Goal: Gain a greater understanding of your traffic and audience.

9. Check Mobile Friendliness

A recent study showed that mobile websites generated more than 58% of internet traffic. So, unless your website is mobile optimized, you’ll lose a lot of organic traffic and potential customers who are likely to pay for your products or services. 

Google has recently been following a mobile-first policy, which means that it will evaluate the performance of your mobile website before it evaluates your desktop website for ranking purposes. You can check how mobile-friendly your website is using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

Goal: A comprehensive analysis of your website’s performance on mobile keeps you current.

10. Identify And Fix Broken Internal Links

Google relies on your internal links to rank your website, so when you have many broken links, it won’t find them. This will negatively impact your website. 

When we conduct an SEO audit, we will fix these internally and allow them to be read by Google for ranking purposes.

Goal: Link equity is vital to off-page SEO success but broken links will damage performance.

11. Improve Website Security

Although this practice doesn’t significantly impact your website’s ranking, it can still greatly enhance your user experience.

People are more likely to trust an HTTPS website, so when we improve your website’s security during our SEO audit, they’ll trust your website knowing that their data is safe. 

Goal: Stay current and don’t let your website become cutoff from search engine users.

12. Revise Your Content

By regularly examining your content with SEO audits, we’ll be able to identify your most valuable content assets. Search intent changes and Google search console and other SEO audit tools help you understand if your content in on the decline.

You need to know the correct target keyword for all the pages on your site. You also need to understand image optimization, update meta titles, and fill content gaps. Maintaining and growing domain authority is difficult.

A site audit determines SEO issues with content and helps you plan to optimize the key pages to improve. After determining your goals and assets, we can help you plan and execute a successful content strategy that increases your website’s traffic and, as a result, your company’s financial success.

Goal: Create a prioritized SEO content strategy based on data.

13. Study Your Competition

Our competitive analysis step will help you understand what your competitors are doing wrong or right. This can also help us identify points for improvement as you might compete for keywords they’re missing. 

While studying your competitors’ performance, we will focus on various issues like the keywords they successfully rank for, the quality and quantity of their backlinks, website speed, and social media engagement.

Goal: Use targeted keywords and other SEO tools to win an advantage over competitors.

Common Pitfalls: Beginner SEO Audit Mistakes

Performing an SEO audit is an essential step in optimizing your website and improving its visibility in search engine results.

However, if you’re a beginner, you may encounter common pitfalls that can hinder the effectiveness of the audit and decrease its impact on your website’s performance.

That’s why taking advantage of the trustworthy, personal services offered by professionals like our team at Valve+Meter Performance Marketing is important.

By being aware of these pitfalls, you can navigate the audit process more effectively and avoid costly mistakes. Here are six common pitfalls to be mindful of:

  1. Inadequate keyword research: Failing to conduct thorough keyword research can result in missed opportunities to target relevant search terms and attract the right audience to your website.
  2. Ignoring technical SEO issues: Neglecting technical aspects such as broken links, duplicate content, or improper URL structures can hinder search engine crawlers and negatively impact your website’s rankings.
  3. Overlooking user experience: A poor user experience, including slow loading times, complicated navigation, or lack of mobile optimization, can lead to high bounce rates and lower search rankings.
  4. Neglecting local SEO: For businesses targeting specific geographical areas, overlooking local SEO elements like Google Business Profile optimization or local citation building can hinder visibility in local search results.
  5. Disregarding content quality and relevance: Focusing solely on technical aspects while ignoring the importance of high-quality, relevant content can lead to subpar user experiences and lower search rankings.
  6. Failing to track and measure results: Not monitoring key performance indicators and failing to track the impact of implemented changes can prevent you from understanding the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and making necessary adjustments.

If you’re a beginner embarking on an SEO audit, you should be aware of these common pitfalls to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts. Paying special attention to these key aspects allows you to navigate the audit process more successfully and lay a solid foundation for improving your website’s search engine visibility and overall performance.

To avoid making these common mistakes during an SEO audit, focus on a comprehensive approach with special attention to keyword research and user experience.

Understanding the specific keywords your target audience is using to search for relevant products or services and incorporating them strategically into your website content will increase your chances of ranking higher in search results and reaching the right audience.

Your website’s user experience is as important as its technical and on-page SEO aspects.

Prioritizing a positive user experience means ensuring your website loads quickly, has intuitive and easy navigation, and is mobile-friendly. Focusing on these aspects can keep visitors engaged, reduce bounce rates, and improve your search engine rankings.

Valve+Meter Performance Marketing will help you avoid common mistakes and lay a solid foundation for optimizing your website’s visibility in search engine results by being highly attentive in our approach to an SEO audit. This will ultimately lead to better overall improved performance for your business.

Moving Forward: 4 Steps to Take After an SEO Audit

Once you have completed an SEO audit, you possess a valuable treasure trove of information about your website’s performance and areas for improvement.

To effectively utilize the insights gained from the audit, it’s essential to take specific steps that will benefit your business.

The first step is to analyze the data provided by the SEO audit. This data includes information about your website’s technical issues, on-page optimization, backlink profile, keyword performance, and more. By carefully examining this data, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your website’s SEO strategy.

Next, prioritize the recommendations outlined in our provided audit report. Start by addressing the most critical and manageable tasks first. This could involve fixing technical issues, optimizing meta tags and content, or improving site speed. Prioritizing tasks ensures that you focus on the most impactful changes that will yield immediate results.

Creating a timeline is the next crucial step. Developing a structured plan based on the audit’s findings will help you stay organized and on track to implement recommended changes.

Break tasks into actionable steps, assign responsibilities, and establish realistic deadlines. A well-defined timeline will ensure that improvements are implemented systematically and efficiently.

Lastly, monitoring and measuring the impact of the changes made after the SEO audit is essential. Regularly track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, and conversion rates. This ongoing monitoring will help you gauge the effectiveness of the implemented changes and identify any additional areas for improvement.

Completing an SEO audit is just the beginning of optimizing your website’s performance.

To leverage the insights gained from the audit, work with our knowledgeable SEO and web development staff at Valve+Meter Performance Marketing to analyze the data, prioritize recommendations, create a timeline, and monitor the impact of implemented changes.

By taking these steps, we can enhance your website’s visibility, attract targeted traffic, and ultimately drive business growth. As you grow in experience, using a complete SEO Audit Checklist prevents missing steps and keeps your priorities aligned. 

In Conclusion: Using SEO Audits as a Tool for Growth

Deepen your understanding of your business’s performance with an SEO audit performed by Valve+Meter Performance Marketing. Get a kick start on transforming your business’s traffic and revenue with the personable SEO audit services carried out by our friendly team.

Although it might seem complicated, you can easily break down this comprehensive SEO audit guide into smaller segments and steps. This way, you’ll be able to tackle one problem at a time and get the most out of your audit process.