SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
SEO Audit in 15 Minutes: 2021 edition
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
With hundreds of search engine ranking criteria that are updated hundreds of times a year, it’s easy to get lost in SEO best practices advice. Cut through the noise and find out what changes will provide your organization with the most benefits by conducting a 15-minute SEO audit.
A quick audit looks at on-page content, off-page presence and major technical attributes to see if there are any immediate opportunities to improve how your business attracts new customers or improves customer retention.
At a minimum, a once-a-year SEO audit is necessary to ensure that changes in search engine ranking criteria or changes on your page aren’t negatively affecting your rankings. SEO audits should be conducted more frequently if your site undergoes major navigation or template changes because these changes are likely to affect rankings.
With 100 years of combined SEO experience on Google, Bing and Yahoo and other search engines, the Add3 team can share techniques you haven’t considered. As part of our SEO services, we run regular audits and if you’re interested, we can share detailed guidance on how to run your own.
The Pillars of SEO
When we conduct a 15-minute SEO audit, we look at the main pillars of SEO performance: on-page, off-page, and technical.
- On-page – the actual content and metadata of your site.
- Off-page – how other sites link to you.
- Technical issues – errors in architecture, mobile readiness, and speed.
Each of these pillars involves additional checklists of areas which we won’t address in the first audit but will be explored later. By focusing on high-level issues in the 15-minute audit, we prioritize correcting issues that have the greatest impact on your site.
The quality of your on-page content is dictated by both the metadata and the actual text of your website. We’ll evaluate your strategy, determine where your content might be too thin and advise on how to best create and share your message. For metadata, we’ll look at whether it exists, if it is internally consistent and if it follows current best practices.
Metadata can increase rankings and help the users you want to find your page if you use latent semantic indexing keywords. These connected groups of keywords help establish the specific content of your page. For example: a security guard service will want to have keywords including “on-site” as well as “security”.
In addition to including metadata on your site, it is important to make sure the metadata is not violating Google rules. Tricks that may have worked previously to increase rankings like “keyword stuffing” may now hurt your ranking. Accidental errors like duplication of pages may also have a negative effect.
A quick audit includes a look at meta descriptions (what search engine users see under the title when looking at search page results). By including them, you can increase click-through rates which in turn affect rankings.
Evaluating off-page presence has to do with checking the number of backlinks as well as the quality of those backlinks. Not all backlinks are equal in value. A site that has earned a higher expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) score from Google will provide a backlink with greater power.
Once you’ve established areas you need to change or build, reach out to us to find strategies to reach your position 1 ranking goals through strong relevant content.
The technical side of our SEO audit checks for issues that could affect how search engines crawl, index and rank your site. These can include site speed issues, mobile usability, navigation, and content curation. Technical issues aren’t just behind the scenes elements noticed by search engines; they can affect user experience negatively if your site is too slow to load. Mobile useability also needs to be checked.
When starting an audit, we look to Google Search Console (GSC) as an excellent resource for discovering technical issues through manual actions. Within the GSC, we examine the mobile usability report which will point to pages that are having errors while displaying on mobile devices.
Next, we look for XML sitemap issues and crawl errors. Getting search engines to properly index your site is crucial for a strong SERP presence. If you fail to index pages, you are missing opportunities for clicks, as those pages won’t show up highly in the SERPs and your site will have a smaller digital footprint than desired.
A technical SEO audit isn’t complete without a look at core web vitals like speed. The importance of a fast-loading website has increased in recent years because of the bottlenecks experienced on mobile devices. A speed test can show how your site is performing compared to similar sites. The results of the test are limited in their diagnostic power – they will only tell you if your site is fast, moderate, or slow. If your site is running slow, our team of experts can help you dig deeper to find the root cause.
Get An Advanced SEO Audit
Keep in mind – we’ve been describing a high-level look at a SEO audit. If you’re interested, we are happy to get into more technical aspects in a deeper audit including schema, content, code validation, site speed, indexation, and duplication.
With additional consulting, we can address the holistic goals of SEO such as first page rankings, brand awareness, opening channels to reach new customers, and increasing conversion rates.
Take the first step toward your goals by signing up for a SEO audit and we will begin crafting a SEO strategy that shares the unique value of your brand.
Who we work with
Add3 is proud to work with a diverse set of clients from a variety of industries.