For marketers looking to improve their online presence, Stas Pamintuan, Junior SEO Manager at Digital Ethos, highlighted the importance of conducting an SEO audit for the long-term success of your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential cog in all search marketing activities and strategies – it allows brands to focus on what matters to improve their presence on search engines such as Google. And that’s where your good old SEO audit comes in.
An SEO audit examines your website’s technical infrastructure on-page and off-page to optimize your search engine visibility, usability, and conversion. These are performed regularly to maintain the long-term success of your site’s performance and to keep your SEO strategy up to date.
Stay on top of algorithm changes with an SEO audit
Most experts estimate that Google changes its search engine algorithm about 500 to 600 times a year (or between once and twice a day). While most of these changes don’t significantly change the SEO landscape, some updates are important and can change the way we write for SEO.
In addition to Google, your audience may include Yahoo or Bing search engine users. These search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to deliver better search results, which means you need to be aware of these updates so you can make adjustments to your site accordingly – and an SEO audit helps you to achieve it.
Follow the webmaster’s guidelines
Guidelines for webmasters are regulations set by search engine providers, providing guidance on how websites can be optimized so that they are best found by search engines.
These are fundamental to achieving lasting SEO results, and if you fail to follow these guidelines, you can expect to incur either an algorithmic devaluation or a manual penalty.
An SEO audit would allow you to first recognize whether or not you are compliant with these changes and then implement the updates you need to ensure your website is compliant.
Identify outdated content with SEO audits
One of the reasons your organic performance can suffer is because of outdated content. It is important not only to provide relevant information, but also fresh content so that your website is visible on search engines and ranking.
With the right SEO site audit, it’s pretty much guaranteed to improve your search engine rankings and improve user experience (UX). Like all white hat SEO techniques, there is no silver bullet to ridding your site of old content. So start digging; the earliest would be best.
Deal with website errors
Navigability of your website leading to better UX is an important ranking criteria for search engines. Here are some examples of website errors you want to monitor:
Internal links or broken images
Incorrect pages found in sitemap.xml
4xx and 5xx errors
Redirect strings and loops
Duplicate content, meta descriptions or title tags
Running the audit will expose these errors, allowing you to delete the pages, redirect them, or recover lost traffic. You may even find that your average time on page starts to increase or your bounce rate starts to drop. Either way, identifying these pages is a great way to improve your site’s health and performance.
Improve page speed
With today’s online users, there is a growing demand for a quick and easy UX, making their journey accessible and efficient. However, this is unlikely to happen if your site load speed is too slow, as users will bounce off your site and visit your competitors.
Slow pages (HTML) load unnecessary crawl budget, which means how efficiently search engines are able to identify, crawl and index content. A good tool provided by Google is Page Speed Overview, which also offers recommended fixes. Note that optimizing your images (dimensions, format, compression and sizing) can improve page speed.
Text formatting help
The importance of text on your page is understood by the presence of header tags (also known as H tags or header tags). These are semantic HTML elements that help organize your website by separating subsections of your content. Here is a brief overview of how each beacon works:
H1 tags: this is the main header of the page, which is usually similar or identical to the page title and can only be used once per page
H2 tags: these tags divide the content under the H1
H3, H4, H5 and H6 tags: these tags further divide the content under each section
Think of H tags as headings in an essay: by using an H3, you’re telling users they’ll find H2-related information. If you use an H4, you tell them that the content is related to the H3. Essentially, an SEO audit can highlight the presence of irrelevant H tags on the website (duplicate or multiple H1s), which can then be fixed.
Get a free SEO audit with Digital Ethos
All of our SEO projects begin with a full (not to mention free) site audit, detailing all its issues and allowing us to formulate a tangible strategy to improve your organic performance and the health of your website.
SEO is in our DNA, as we take a holistic approach to our digital marketing strategies. A project for us? contact us todayand through our bespoke approach, we will develop and implement a strategy to improve your digital presence.