Is your website not getting enough visitors from organic search? Below is our step by step guide which we use when working with clients on SEO to help them increase traffic on their websites.
At the end you get a bonus – the most important tips for selecting the right SEO expert for you.
What does our SEO audit look like?
The scope of the analysis and the amount of work needed differs from client to client and according to their goals. Our workflow is usually as follows.
1. Evaluation of web analytics data & getting to know the business
Before carrying out an SEO audit, we need to understand a client’s business. It is necessary to:
- be clear what the goals of the project are,
- find out what currently works best on the website,
- and which parts require the greatest improvement.
2. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the main building block for the majority of the following-up work on the SEO audit. Keyword research can’t be skipped or its value underestimated. We use keyword research to optimize the structure and content of the website, for long term evaluation and much more.
You can also use keyword research to build efficient PPC campaigns.
The output of the keyword research must be in the form of solid recommendations based on concrete data that anyone can easily understand and start to implement right away. On the other hand, it must be comprehensive enough and completely map the targeted industry.
Good keyword analysis consists of thousands of keywords with a wide range of metrics (competition, conversion probability, relevancy, etc.)
3. Recommendations for website structure changes
We recommend changes in website structure based on the keyword research and data from web analytics. There are often important landing pages missing or they are buried too many clicks away from the homepage.
We also focus on finding dead weight – pages that don’t bring any added value, whereby it is better to remove them or merge them with others.
4. Technical SEO audit
If you have a small website on a modern CMS, you’ll probably only need a brief technical SEO audit. In the case of large custom built websites, the importance of a technical SEO audit often grows.
We’ll recommend the scope of the technical SEO audit that is right for you. Our specialist also assigns priority to every step in regard to the expected results so that you can always ascertain which parts are the most important to invest in.
5. Content audit
On the basis of the keyword research we know exactly what topics and keywords people are searching for. As a result, it will be necessary to tweak the website content to accommodate all those phrases and topics.
The content of your website not only needs to incorporate all those important keywords. It also needs to persuade the visitors of the website to carry out desired actions. For example, a good salesman sells a lot. The same principle applies to an e-commerce store, whereby your content is your shop assistant / sales person. The content therefore needs to be good.
During the content audit, we’ll review whether your content is aligned with the needs of your visitors and helps them accomplish the desired goals within the customer buying cycle.
Great content combines these 3 parts:
- Perspective of visitors – The content needs to be aligned with the query that the user searched for in search engine. The content needs to inform, help satisfy a user’s needs and/or helps to solve a visitor’s problem.
- Perspective of SEO – The content needs to contain a broader range of relevant keywords. Search engines can deem it relevant to its users in this way.
- Perspective of website goals – The content mustn’t interfere with the website´s goals – it can’t get in the visitor’s way, nor can it distract their attention from completing the desired actions.
6. Link profile audit
If you have a website that is already established, we’ll perform a link profile audit. In this way we can compare your website to those of your competitors and find opportunities to grow. A link profile audit will help us discover issues that may be harming your rankings.
7. Recommendation on URL redirects
If your website undergoes a redesign or change in CMS it isn’t always possible to preserve all the URLs. In such cases, it is necessary to ensure that the most important URLs are redirected to their new versions.
Unfortunately, common practice is to overlook these redirects. This can have a significant negative impact on your rankings and sales.
8. Communication with developers and final review
Our work doesn’t finish when I send the finished SEO analysis. A good SEO audit creates a solid cornerstone on which to build, but without the correct implementation it is worthless.
We will actively communicate with your developers to guide our project to a successful conclusion. Alternatively, we can recommend someone who I know delivers great work, on time.
Before all the changes go live, our specialist does a full review of your website so as to make sure that the developers have made no mistakes that are getting indexed by search engines.
9. Evaluation and recommendations for follow-up steps
When the changes have gone live, we’ll evaluate the impact they have had. On the basis of the evaluation, we’ll put forward proposals for follow-up steps that need to be taken to continually improve the rankings and sales of your website.
What can you expect from an SEO audit?
The things clients appreciate the most about our cooperation:
- Clients get clear and practical recommendations – you can just forward it to your developers, content writers, etc. (I can also recommend someone who I know does a great job.)
- All the steps are prioritized – clients know exactly what is essential and what is just nice to have.
- Implementation review – I do a full review of all the changes before it goes online to minimize the negative impact of possible mistakes.
The majority of my clients agree with me that they want practical insights rather than unspecified recommendations.
How do you go about choosing a SEO consultant?
We have a few tips that can help you find the perfect SEO.
- Demand some examples of their previous work. By this we don’t mean references, I mean keyword analyses, etc. carried out as part of an SEO audit. Are those documents specific enough? Can you tell from those documents what steps you need to take? Do those recommendations make sense to you?
- If an agency is involved, find out who will be working for you. Even when working with an agency, there is always an SEO consultant assigned to your job. Make sure you know and are satisfied that they are qualified and experienced enough. Don’t get fooled by a skilled sales person.
- Pay attention to what they are asking. Does your future SEO consultant ask a lot of questions about your business? Does he need you to share a lot of information with him? That is usually the sign of a professional.