How to Perform an SEO AuditGet a free consultation
When clients come to us for SEO services, they often like to start out with an SEO audit. That’s because we communicate to each client just how useful an audit can be for their website.
SEO audits are exactly like they sound. They are thorough, in-depth, and detailed reviews of every aspect of a website’s SEO. Think of an SEO audit as a physical exam in a doctor’s office. Only when the doctor examines you can you start receiving treatment.
The same applies to a website. Bad SEO makes a website sick. It won’t rank on page one for anything. Users won’t find it. The business will suffer.
Through an SEO audit, however, we can diagnose a website’s issues, recommend fixes, and ultimately implement the changes. This helps businesses to recover from their poor rankings, increase their visibility, and start making online sales.
And it all starts with an SEO audit. How do we do it at LSEO? How can we help you to turn your website around with the results of an audit? Let’s get into it.
1.) Understand the Client
At LSEO, the first step in performing an SEO audit actually has little to do with the audit itself. It’s understanding the client and what’s important to them.
Google has never rewarded directionless SEO. Strategy has to be involved to get a website where it wants to be. And even if we could start fixing a website’s SEO problems immediately, none of it would have any context if we didn’t know the following:
- What the client does
- Who the client’s target audiences are
- What the client’s goals are for the business
- Where the client wants to focus SEO efforts
- What the client expects from an SEO engagement
So, before beginning an audit, we take the time to meet with our new clients to hash out how we can make our relationship the best it can be.
We talk to our clients, ask them questions, propose ideas, get feedback on those ideas, learn from them, and listen to them.
These steps are absolutely necessary to make the eventual SEO audit worthwhile. Without forming these relationships upfront, the work we do would not have as much value to our clients.
We understand that businesses, and their websites, are precious to our clients. They want to protect them from harm and always do what’s right for them. That’s why it’s so vital that our clients trust us.
It’s the groundwork for everything that follows. It’s what lets us know what our job as experts will be from this point.
2.) Perform Keyword Research
The logical next step after talking to and learning from the client is to perform keyword research related to the business and its goals, audiences, and competitors.
Keyword research informs every other action that we take from this point in the audit. You just can’t perform SEO without knowing the keyword strategy.
Why is that?
Keywords are what search engines focus on first to tell what page content is all about. If we want our clients to rank for certain keywords, we have to know how to incorporate them onto the pages of a site.
We may receive some keyword direction from clients themselves. If they tell us they want to focus on this market segment or that audience type, then that helps us in our research.
Otherwise, we use a combination of tools and creativity to develop a strong list of competitive keywords that are relevant to the business and address search intent.
We can then move on to the next step of the audit.
3.) Use SEO Tools
Once we’re armed with keywords, it’s time to start the crawling part of the audit.
The safe and responsible way to do this is to combine SEO tools with the good old human approach (more on that approach in the next step).
We always begin with SEO tools, and there are a few good reasons for that.
Tools are automated technology. They use bots to hit every part of a website and turn in results that a manual approach would literally take weeks or sometimes months to complete.
In other words, it just isn’t feasible to complete an SEO audit without tools.
For example, say LSEO was working on an audit for a client with 100,000 pages. A tool could crawl that website and find all its technical SEO errors probably in a few hours.
If that seems long, think about how large a 100,000-page site really is. Automated crawlers have a lot of data to bring back. A team of 10 people looking at 100,000 pages would likely take many months.
What Issues Do SEO Tools Turn Up?
In the end, though, what kind of data are we talking about? What are we going to see at the end of those multiple hours of site crawling?
The data will show the technical SEO issues that are mostly invisible to site users. Think about errors such as missing and duplicate SEO title tags, duplicate content, missing H1 headings, broken pages, broken internal and external links, and slow page speed.
All important problems to address, right? And yet these are the very issues that it just wouldn’t be efficient to try to find manually.
4.) Think Like a User
Back in 2021, Google released its page experience update, which included the Core Web Vitals. The web vitals focus pretty granularly on how a web page loads, but the issue of page speed is just one part of Google’s overall push toward user experience recently.
The interesting thing about user experience is that it isn’t always something that SEO software can detect.
Sure, SEO tools pick up errors that would cause a bad user experience. But if we want to identify problems that would make someone have a bad time on a website, sometimes we need to sit down and go through the site like a user.
For instance, we have to look at problems such as:
- The website using text that is difficult to read on the page due to size or color
- A block of text jutting out into other content, making things confusing
- A page’s content not matching its menu button, causing user confusion
None of these issues would necessarily turn up in SEO software, and yet they are still major problems to address. We couldn’t find things like this if we didn’t look at client websites from a human perspective, with user experience in mind.
This is part of what makes LSEO’s SEO audits stand out. Clients consistently tell us how much they appreciate the level of detail in our audits.
We think that if someone is going to work with us, they deserve the very best from our experts.
5.) Present Findings to the Client
The final step of every SEO audit we perform is to present our findings to the client. Sending off the audit document for them to look over themselves wouldn’t accomplish much.
The data is one thing. Interpreting it is another.
We always like to get on the phone with our clients, pull up the audit, and go through it slide by slide.
We discuss everything down to the last detail. We review technical SEO problems, content issues, and errors we have found through our manual website approach.
We always feel that clients will get the most out of an audit if they fully understand what we’re talking about, so we always encourage questions during presentations.
In the end, depending on what our clients prefer, our SEO team can also implement the changes we have recommended based on a detailed SEO roadmap that we provide. We are always happy to do this, since we believe we know the work best after studying it for weeks.
If the client has an internal team to do this, though, LSEO can augment that team to provide guidance on all the nuances of the audit and SEO strategy.
Get Started with an SEO Audit from LSEO
At LSEO, we believe an SEO audit is among the most valuable SEO services we offer. There is so much to be learned from this kind of deep dive into a website.
With our access to SEO tools, our team of SEO experts, and our interpretation of the data for you, we are perfectly positioned to find and correct the SEO issues with your website and start making you more visible to the audiences who matter to you.
Get in touch with LSEO now to get a quote on your SEO audit.