Why is an SEO audit so important?
For marketers looking to enhance their online presence, Stas Pamintuan, junior SEO executive at Digital Ethos, has outlined the importance of conducting an SEO audit for the long-term success of your website.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital cog in all search marketing activities and strategies – it allows brands to focus on what matters when improving their presence on search engines such as Google. And this is where your good ol’ SEO audit comes into play.
Digital Ethos on the benefits of getting an SEO audit in
An SEO audit looks at the technical infrastructure of your website on-page and off-page essentials to optimize your search engine visibility, usability and conversion. These are performed regularly to maintain the long-term success of your site performance and keep your SEO strategy up to date.
Keep on top of algorithm changes with an SEO audit
Most experts estimate that Google changes its search engine algorithm around 500 to 600 times each year (which is somewhere between once and twice a day). While most of these changes don’t significantly change the SEO landscape, some updates are significant and may change the way we go about writing for SEO.
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As well as Google, your audience might be Yahoo or Bing search engine users. These search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to provide better search results, meaning you have to be aware of these updates so that you can make adjustments to your site accordingly – and an SEO audit allows you to achieve this.
Follow Webmaster guidelines
Webmaster guidelines are regulations that are set out by search engine providers, providing guidance on how websites can be optimized so that they are optimally found by search engines.
These are fundamental to achieving sustainable SEO results, and if you don’t follow these guidelines you can expect to experience either an algorithmic devaluation or manual penalty.
An SEO audit would allow you first to acknowledge whether or not you are compliant with these changes, and then to implement the updates you need to ensure your website is compliant.
Identify outdated content with SEO audits
One of the reasons why your organic performance may be suffering is the presence of outdated content. It’s important to not only provide relevant but also fresh content so that your website is visible on search engines and ranking.
With the right SEO site audit, it is pretty much guaranteed to boost your search engine rankings and improve user experience (UX). Just like all white hat SEO techniques, there is no silver bullet to ridding your site of old content. So start digging; the sooner, the better.
Address website errors
The navigability of your website leading to a better UX is an important ranking criterion for search engines. Here are some examples of website errors that you want to keep an eye out for:
Broken internal links or images
Incorrect pages found in sitemap.xml
4xx and 5xx errors
Redirect chains and loops
Duplicate content, meta descriptions or title tags
Performing the audit will expose these errors, enabling you to either delete the pages, redirect them or recover lost traffic. You might even find that your average time on the page starts to rise, or your bounce rate starts to go down – either way, identifying these pages is a great way to improve your site health and performance.
Improve page speed
With today’s online users, there is increasing demand for a quick and easy UX, making their journey accessible and efficient. However, this is unlikely to happen if your site load speed is too slow as users will bounce off of your site and visit your competitors.
Slow page (HTML) loads waste crawl budget, meaning how efficiently search engines are able to identify, crawl and index content. A good tool provided by Google is Page Speed Insights, which also offers recommended fixes. Make a note of the fact that optimizing your images (dimensions, format, compression and sizing) can improve page speed.
Help with text formatting
The importance of text on your page is understood by the presence of heading tags (also referred to as H tags or header tags). These are semantic HTML elements that help to organize your website by separating subsections of your content. Here’s a quick overview of how each tag functions:
H1 tags: this is the primary page heading, which is usually similar or identical to the page title and can only be used once per page
H2 tags: these tags divide the content under the H1
H3, H4, H5 and H6 tags: these tags divide even further the content underneath each section
Think of H tags like headings in an essay: by using an H3, you are telling users that they will find information related to the H2. If you are using an H4, you’re telling them that the content is related to the H3. Essentially, an SEO audit can highlight the presence of irrelevant H tags on the website (duplicate or multiple H1s), which can then be remedied.
Get a free SEO audit with Digital Ethos
All of our SEO projects begin with a comprehensive (not to mention free) site audit, detailing all of its issues and allowing us to formulate a tangible strategy for improving your organic performance and website health.
SEO is in our DNA, as we take a holistic approach to our digital marketing strategies. Got a project for us? Contact us today, and with our tailored approach we’ll build and implement a strategy to improve your digital presence.
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