Last year, almost 90% of people in the UK used the internet most days, 78% of which, to find out about goods and services.  This means that business owners really can’t afford to not have a website. More importantly, however, they need a website that works, and works well.  And, one of the keys to that ‘working well’ is Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.

What Is An SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is just like any other audit a business carries out. It looks at a specific area of operations to make sure it’s running efficiently and effectively. Where it isn’t, it identifies the reasons why and how to fix these. Regular audits ensure actions plans achieve the desired results, allowing for changes where they are not.

What Does An SEO Audit include?

An SEO audit should always start with a business’ SEO strategy and broader business plan, which outline what the business wants to achieve and the customer-base they want to reach. An audit looks at the following six key areas as a minimum:

1.     Keyword optimisation

One of the first things an SEO audit will look at is the effectiveness of keywords and how they are being implemented on the website. A business must understand which keywords or phrases work the best and provide the most return on investment, and which don’t. This allows them to make changes to the content and include the most effective keywords as a result.

2.     Algorithms

Search engines use algorithms to improve the user experience and deliver the best results for a given query. These are regularly updated, which means websites may need to adapt to these changes.  Some of these updates are small and won’t have a huge impact on web traffic.  However, others are much wider-reaching and can have a significant impact. An SEO audit will identify any changes needed before the website loses traffic.

3.     Broken Links

As a website develops or is updated, there is a risk that links no longer work or pages can’t be found. This can be frustrating for searching for information on products and services. It can also lead to reduced traffic. An SEO Audit will quickly find these broken links, which can then be fixed or replaced.

4.     Website Optimisation

In 2019, around 80% of people used a mobile phone or tablet to access the internet. It will probably no surprise, then, to hear that Google uses mobile first indexing on all searches. This includes loading times, which means websites need to perform well on all mobile devices as well as desktops.

They need to look good, be easy to navigate, and – finally – load quickly. An SEO audit will, therefore, check for mobile optimisation and website loading times.

5.     Website Traffic

One of the main benefits of an SEO audit is increasing web traffic. It’s important to know what is working and what isn’t. An audit will use tools such as Google Analytics and Search Console to understand what is driving people to a website. This includes the number of URL clicks and impressions a website makes on search results. It also identifies whether changes made from previous audits have helped improve these.

6.     Competitor Analysis

Finally, an SEO Audit will look not only at how well a businesses website performs but how well those of its competitors perform as well. A competitor may achieve a higher ranking on a search engine, for example, because they use more effective keywords. You can then utilise these ideas and strategies into your own website offering.

Completing an SEO Audit

SEO Audits are the best way to understand how well a website is working and, when it’s not, how to fix any problems. As a result, they should be carried out regularly, ensuring a business’ website is maximised as well as generates a positive return on investment.

To conduct an audit, it’s always best to use an SEO consultant, one who’s an expert in the latest changes and strategies rather than trying to ‘muddle through’ yourselves. This is because they understand how websites work, and how search engines such as Google, rank these websites. Given that almost 90% of the UK use Google for their internet searches, this knowledge is essential because it ensures a website is fully optimised and to improve the website’s rankings.

Find out more about website audits