What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) health. The goal of an SEO audit is to identify any areas of improvement to help a website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
An SEO audit typically starts with a review of a website’s on-page SEO elements, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. The audit will also assess the website’s off-page SEO, such as link building and social media engagement. Once the SEO audit is complete, a report is generated that outlines all of the areas of improvement, along with recommendations on how to address each issue.
Why are SEO Audits Important?
Search engine optimization (SEO) audits are important because they help you determine whether your website is optimally designed to attract search engine traffic. SEO audits examine your website’s code, structure, content, design, and other factors to identify opportunities and areas for improvement. By conducting an SEO audit, you can make sure that your website is designed in a way that will make it more visible and attractive to search engines, which can ultimately lead to more traffic and better search engine rankings.
The SEO audits provided by Shane Hampson are likely not like any website audit you have seen before. These audits are over 50 pages and 10,000 words long on average. Over 50 different elements are audited to provide the technical SEO roadmap your website needs to succeed online.
Areas of Emphasis for SEO Audits?
The technical SEO audit analyzes your website against the three pillars of SEO:
- On-site – The technical health of your website. Does your website have indexation issues? Healthy status codes? Is your robots.txt and XML sitemap in place and are they optimized?
- Off-site – Think about all things not living on your website that impact your SEO. What does your backlink profile look like? Are you acquiring inbound links at an “organic” velocity? What type of neighborhoods is your website associated with? Do we need a link disavow? If you are a local business what does your Google Business Profile look like? Are your citations current and correct?
- Content – When you think of content in an SEO audit think about E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) which is what Google Quality Rating Guidelines use to determine how valuable your content is. Does your content answer the search intent of the query? Is your content fresh? How is the keyword density? Do you have similar pages that could be cannibalizing your top core pgaes?
What does the SEO Audit Include?
You can expect the SEO audit to be delivered in two separate attachments – one PDF and one spreadsheet. The PDF will provide a detailed summary of each of the 50+ elements being audited. Each section will contain a textual summary of what the element is and why it’s important. If the element fails, a visual (screenshot) will be included as an example. The SEO audit will also notate how many and which specific URLs are impacted by this failed element.
The spreadsheet will mirror the PDF and will contain each specific instance of elements that need to be further optimized. The spreadsheet will have a cover page summary and dozens of tabs with the exact issues, the URLs impacted and the recommendation.
On-Site SEO Audit
- Meta Data
- Site Speed
- Core Web Vitals
- Website Siloing
- Subdomain vs Subfolder structure
Off-Site SEO Audit
- Link profile
- Inbound link analysis
- Link Disavow
- Local citation analysis
- Thin content check
- Plagiarized content audit
- Duplicate content check
- Content GAP
- Orphaned Pages
- Keyword Cannibalization
Are SEO Audit tools like SEMRush good enough?
Tools like SEMRush site auditor certainly have their place, in fact, while in a pinch I have use the SEMrush site auditor or comparable tools many times in my career. However, there are impactful limitations with those tools.
For example, tools like SEMRush, Deep Crawl, Botify and even Screaming Frog all point out helpful information such as orphaned pages, title tags that are missing, duplicate or the incorrect length but those are very foundational things.
Truly impactful SEO happens beyond the foundational elements.
Let’s assume both your website and your competitors have all of the basic elements covered on each URL.
Each of the following is the correct length and unique:
- Meta Data
- Heading Tags
- Image Alt Text
- Canonical URLs are in place
- XML Sitemap is submitted
- Robots.txt is in place
You run a SEMRush (or something similar) site audit and it shows everything is in place and you score 100% on your site health. Does that mean your website has good SEO?
No. Not necessarily.
An experienced SEO consultant can analyze these elements beyond the foundational level a non-human tool can do.
Example, let’s focus on meta data (title tags and meta descriptions).
The automated site auditor tool shows you are passing because each URL has a unique title tag and meta description and they are within the “ideal” length. However, Google and other search engines are going to grade these elements on other factors too such as relevance to the content on the page.
Does the title tag and meta description provide a great preview of what the searcher is going to see on the URL they click on or was the meta data created because the keywords you put in the meta data had more monthly searches?
Examples like this are things that automated SEO tools just can’t account for but these are the elements that can play a major part in the organic search results.
Order a Custom SEO Audit
If you would like to order an SEO audit or have questions, please connect.