Much like having your car’s oil changed or visiting a general physician each year to determine your health and well-being, it is recommended that your website receive an SEO audit. Why?
The easy answer is that an SEO audit is vital to help gauge and measure how effective or ineffective your search engine optimization strategies and efforts are for your website.
If certain SEO tools or methods were not consistently generating customer growth and revenue or keeping your from growing your business, wouldn’t you want to know about it?
Sure you would want to know about it.
Knowing about ineffective SEO efforts could save you time and money, and find another proven and sound internet marketing strategy and tool to invest in that will bring you results.
Although it is quite simple to push a SEO Audit to the back burner in sake of other bottom-line enhancing business activities, it’s actually worthwhile to take preventative SEO action versus reactive.
I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve had customers frantically call or email me about lost or damaged search engine rankings.
Performing an SEO audit on the customer’s website, I discover a multitude of small SEO problems that have accumulated to gargantuan issues.
Sometimes these issues cause the customer’s website to be penalized or de-indexed from search engines altogether.
Other times it is loss of rankings without a penalty which takes less work to correct.
However, the common ground and conclusion for most of the issues and challenges I find is that they all could have been prevented or identified before harm was caused by performing a consistent SEO audit.
Personally, I perform monthly as well as quarterly checks on my own websites in addition to a variety of customer websites.
Thinking about the various issues I’ve encountered across a number of customer websites, I’ve developed a list of some top reasons to perform consistent SEO audits to increase and maintain website traffic and search engine rankings.
In today’s first of 3 series post, we’ll discuss two reasons you should strive to consistently perform SEO audits for your website.
- Part One: SEO Audit Increases SEO Effectiveness
- Part Two: SEO Audit Increases SEO Effectiveness
- Part Three: SEO Audit Increases SEO Effectiveness
1. A SEO Audit is more than a field of dreams
Like most website owners who are eager to launch their next big idea, they launch based on the “if I build it, search engines and customers will come” mentality.
And unfortunately, after months and months of waiting, website owners come to the conclusion that their website is not the Field of Dreams, no search engines or customers visiting their websites.
One of the biggest errors in thought and action I see by website owners and customers is not submitting their websites and sitemaps to search engines.
Their premise is that search engines will find their exceptionally polished website via word of mouth, which this way of thinking makes some sense. Why?
Most customers take the approach that their service or product is the best thing since sliced bread.
Okay, your service or product may very well be the best thing since sliced bread.
However, your competitors think the same thing about their business and services or products too.
Set yourselves apart from the competition and get a head start on other websites in search engines using webmaster tools and web analytics.
As a part of a website’s SEO audit, the SEO audit helps you thoroughly examine the vital parts of your website that impact search engine rankings, and parts that most customers have no knowledge of or greatly neglect:
- robot.txt file
- robot Meta tags
- HTTP Codes Error
- XML Maps
In conjunction to using Webmaster and Web Analytics Tools, A SEO Audit can ensure the robot.txt file is not restricting important pages of the website needed to rank well across all search engines.
Using webmaster and web analytic tools ensure search engines don’t find meta tag and http code errors throughout any portion of your website.
And a final aspect, an XML map, also known as a sitemap file, is a directive to search engines to index you website pages.
The xml map will typically contain information in regards to the page priority as well as the frequency the page is updated (i.e., hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).
Personally, I recommend using xml-sitemaps.com to create an error-free xml sitemap of your entire website.
You may have to pay depending on your website size, but it is worth every penny to have an error-free xml sitemap.
2. A SEO Audit determines sound structure to rank well in search engines
As most SEO audits are quick to point out, one of the largest areas of improvement for website owners and customers is the lack of great attention, detail and care given to their overall website structure and navigation.
Most websites start with the greatest intentions albeit that most websites are designed or redesigned based upon a website’s design and visual appeal instead of organized groups of content.
Most website owners never think to include SEO in general or an SEO audit as an all inclusive process of a new website design or redesign.
Everyone is so excited to get beyond the design and development stage that they throw caution to the wind.
Many website owners don’t consider the navigation and structure of a website, and how website content and linking plays a major role in navigation, structure and ultimately, the website’s ability to rank well in search engines.
And so many times, website owners shot themselves in the foot twice with this type of thinking, essentially paying for a website to be designed and redesigned multiple times.
Only after their website has been designed does a website owner see the true impact of their by-the-seat-of-their-pants management.
They notice they have a beautifully designed website, yet their website has not been effectively built and optimized to rank well in search engines.
I’ve experienced this too many times to keep count.
Then there is the other side of the coin of website owners having their optimized websites built only to destroy their search engine rankings or their foundation for ranking.
Their websites go from ranking on page one across multiple search engines to not ranking at all in some cases.
Plain and simple, they lose search engine rankings by not adhering to strict structural SEO standards in regards to their website’s navigation, structure, linking and content creation after launch.
That’s it for today! Stay tuned for Part Two of the SEO Audit series…
Having the appropriate tools for the job is half the battle while attaining the proper knowledge and intellect to use the tools in an effective manner is the other half.
We will discuss the relevance and importance of indexing frequency, and off-page and on-page optimization strategies and how performing a consistent SEO audit will increase the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
Until then, work to ensure that you’re website is not in violation of SEO Audit tips one and two.
And if you’ve not had a website audit performed, then what are you waiting for?
After all, you’re only missing rankings, customers and more revenue that your competition is gladly ready to have their websites accept.