8 Reasons Why You Should Perform an SEO Audit Regularly
Let’s face it, when most people hear the term Search Engine Optimization, their minds immediately turn off as the term comes with the idea of being too technical for most people to understand, but that is not really the case. Hopefully, by the end of this article, anyone who is interested in SEO can get a basic understanding of why SEO Audits are important and what can be gained from performing them on a regular basis.
The importance of performing regular SEO audits for your website cannot be understated. Just like people exercise regularly to keep fit and stay healthy, website audits are used similarly, but for your website. Not only do they help keep SEO strategies up to date, but they also give you an overview of your website’s general health from a search perspective.
Below you can find 8 reasons why you should perform an SEO Audit regularly.
Find the right Keywords:
Depending on the size of your business, you might need to change the type of keywords that you want to try and rank for. We would all love to rank for the keywords with the highest search volume and relevance to your business, but that will not always be possible.
While large companies with large websites might be able to rank for their most relevant keywords, smaller businesses might have to try and find less competitive long-tail keywords to try and rank for. Long-tail keywords are keywords that are more specific and contain between 3 to 5 words. Although long-tail keywords may seem like a step down from the main keywords, they actually have a higher CTR or click through rate as they match users search intent more than general keywords do.
The term On-Page SEO revolves around all the information located on the individual pages of your website. These include Page Titles & Meta Tags, which are the most important aspects for Search Engines because they not only influence how your website will appear on the SERP (search engine result page) but are also a major ranking factor. They provide Search Engines with what they need to decipher what information they are looking at. Therefore, it is important to keep all Page Titles and Meta Tags up to date. The content on your page should also be divided in a logical way and made up of high-quality information.
Search engines love fresh, high-quality content. New content provides returning visitors with new information to read and hopefully share. If there are pages on your website that have not been updated for a long time, it would be ideal to replace the content on those pages with new and engaging pieces.
Find Broken Links & Other Site Errors:
Crawling through your website using a tool like Screaming Frog will point out any 404 or 403 errors that are present on your website. A 404 or a “page not found” error means that your website is linking to a webpage, image, video or other online resources that do not exist. That could be due to a spelling error in the hyperlink that was used, or it could be due to the resource being taken offline. 403 or “forbidden” errors mean that the online resource that is being linked to is hidden. This could be due to it being located on a webpage that users need to login to view.
Stay ahead of your competition:
Everyone’s goal when it comes to SEO is to rank above your direct competitors and to steal some of their traffic. An SEO audit will allow you to find keywords that your competitors are not ranking for but are still relevant to your business. Creating content with those keywords in mind will allow you to rank for a higher number of keywords and drive more traffic to your website.
Backlinks are one if not the most important factor when it comes to SEO. Backlinks or inbound links are links from one website to another. When other websites link to yours, it indicates to Google that your website contains high quality, shareable content. Conducting a backlink analysis will let you know how many websites link to yours and the quality of those websites.
Keep up to date with Algorithm Change:
Although this does not really fall under the “Audit” tab, search engines like Google and Bing are constantly tweaking their algorithms to improve users’ search experience. They implement about 600 changes a year which might have an impact on your website’s rankings. You might not always notice the changes they implement, but staying up to date with them is best practice when it comes to SEO.
Improved User Experience:
Slow page load times and unresponsive pages can not only have a negative impact on the user experience, but can also drive potential customers away from your website. Ensuring your site provides a high-quality user experience across all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones is very important to SEO. Data shows that 40% of users will abandon loading a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds.
Below you can find 3 pointers to get started with your first SEO audit along with the tools that will help you track your website’s progress. All these tools are free.
- Perform a Screaming Frog Crawl: Screaming frog is a website crawler that crawls through your website, extracting data as it does. Screaming Frog will allow you to see what Title tags, meta tags, and headers you are using across all the pages of your website. It will also let you know if there are any broken links present on your website. After crawling your website, Screaming Frog can then export the data into an Excel spreadsheet to help you analyse and audit the data.
- Google Search Console: Once you have created and verified your website ownership on Google Search Console, it will provide you with a plethora of information regarding your website. This real data includes the amount of clicks your website is getting on a day to day basis, along with an overview of the keywords that users are using to find your website. Google search console helps you monitor, troubleshoot and maintain your website’s presence on the SERPs.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics allows you to gather real-time information about the people who are visiting your website. Not only will it give you detailed information such as page sessions, bounce rates, and user locations but it will also allow you to see which pages are getting the most traction. It can help you identify user trends and patterns on how your website visitors are engaging with your website.