One of the first things we recommend for any new web design or Internet marketing client is that they undergo a comprehensive seo audit (search engine optimization). That essentially means we evaluate their website the way Google would, see how it ranks for certain search terms, and stack it up against other competing websites.
None of this is as exciting as actually working on SEO and seeing new visits arrive to your landing pages on a daily basis. So, does that mean you can skip this part of the process? We wouldn’t advise it. To show you why, here is a quick look at what you really get from a search audit:
A Realistic Look at Your Current Search Position with an SEO Audit
Most business owners and marketers look at their own search engine rankings from time to time, but do so in a way that isn’t productive. For one thing, they typically search a very small number of phrases and keywords, meaning they can easily miss out on profitable niche opportunities. Also, many businesspeople don’t understand that cookies and search history can affect search results. So, what you see might not be very similar to what your prospects actually get when they go on Google to look for a company like yours.
The Chance to Examine New Keywords and Phrases
It can be tempting to optimize your website for the most popular search phrases you can find, or to opt for a handful of terms that you brainstorm in the beginning of your Internet marketing campaign. However, these can be amongst the most competitive, which makes them harder to rank for, and might cause you to miss out on long tail search phrases that indicate buying intent. Additionally, you should remember search trends change and evolve over time. Conducting a search audit is a great way to make sure your website still matches what your customers are actually searching for.
Early Notice on SEO Red Flags
Good search engine optimization isn’t just about adding to your website to attract new visitors – it also involves cleaning up any mistakes or problem areas that could cause Google and the other engines to ignore your pages. During your search audit, we look for “red flags” like broken links, missing pages, duplicate content, and issues with mobile compatibility. Finding out about these early, when you can still correct problems and minimize the damage, is much better than discovering you have significant challenges later.
A Closer Look at Your Online Competitors
With an in-depth SEO audit, you can examine your closest competitors from a technical perspective. What you learn just might surprise you. For instance, lots of marketers don’t really understand just how important it is to have current, up-to-date information on their websites, or how they rank for local search terms. The more of this data you have, the easier it becomes to maximize your advantages and shore up any weaknesses on your website.