Achieving your small business growth goals will require you to establish an online presence for your brand. The first step in achieving this goal is finding a company that offers affordable SEO for small businesses. Getting a true assessment of how well your SEO campaigns are doing will require you to conduct an audit.
Approximately 93 percent of all online experiences start on a search engine. This is why optimizing your business website for search engines is so important. If your website doesn’t attract attention from popular search engines like Google, you will have a hard time remaining competitive.
Conducting an SEO audit a few times a year can help you discover and address problems that might be holding your business back. Before you start working with SEO professionals to audit your website, you need to get familiar with this process and what it entails.
The Definition of an SEO Audit
The average business owner has heard the term SEO audit thrown around by marketing professionals. In short, an SEO audit involves reviewing the online assets a business has. The purpose of this online asset assessment is to ensure the digital media you’re creating is performing well on search engines.
When performed correctly, an SEO audit can help you find out things like:
- What parts of your marketing strategy are working
- SEO strengths and weaknesses
- Low-hanging SEO fruit you need to target
Some business owners attempt to perform an SEO audit alone. Without the right tools and knowledge, you will struggle to assess how well your current SEO campaigns are performing. This is why working with a company that provides affordable SEO for small businesses is wise. These professionals will have no problem performing an SEO audit and addressing the problems they find.
SEO Audits Come in Many Forms
As time goes by, the website your business has will start to grow. A good website has a number of pages and various forms of digital media. If you want to perform a comprehensive audit of your website, you need to take your time to ensure all bases are covered. SEO audits come in many forms, which we will discuss below.
Auditing Local SEO
Did you realize that local searches account for nearly 69 percent of all digital traffic? If you want to sell products or services to people in your area, making sure your website shows up in Google searches is imperative. Having success with local SEO campaigns will require hard work and routine audits.
When performing a local SEO audit, be sure to focus on things like:
- Ensuring content focuses on your local area
- Checking for localized keywords
- Site speed
- Website security
During your local SEO audit, you also need to check your Google My Business profile. This profile should include information about what your business does, where it is located and what your hours of operation are. This information will turn interested local consumers into customers.
Conducting an SEO Content Audit
Great content can help you drive lots of organic traffic to your website. Regardless of how good your content is, you should work to identify opportunities to make it more accurate and engaging. The older the content on your website gets, the higher the need will become to update it using current information.
Once you update content on your website, you need to think about optimizing it for featured snippets. You can do this by answering frequently asked questions in your blogs. This type of FAQ content makes it to the featured snippet spot. Getting into this highly coveted spot can help you find a larger audience for your products/services.
Keep An Eye On Technical SEO
Optimizing on-page SEO is crucial for business owners trying to edge out the competition. A technical SEO audit helps you find errors that negatively affect your search engine rank. A technical SEO audit will help you identify things like:
- Coding problems
- Sitemap issues
- Errors that affect page speed
- Indexing issues
- Meta description mistakes
Identifying and fixing these problems allows you to make your website more visible to powerful search engines. Better search engine visibility will translate into more website traffic and better conversion rates.
Assess Off-Page SEO
Some business owners get so wrapped up in optimizing on-page elements of their websites that they forget all about off-page SEO. Off-page SEO refers to things that don’t directly happen to your website. This includes things like local SEO, link building and social media. The main goal of off-page SEO is to build the domain authority and recognition of a website.
If you want to boost off-page SEO, you need to focus on elements like:
- Guest posting
- Securing high-quality backlinks
- Building relationships with influencers
- Spend time in your comments section
Checking all of the external links in your content is also a crucial part of an off-page SEO audit. If some of the links in your content are broken, you need to replace them. Failing to replace these broken links can result in a lower search engine ranking.
Organize Your SEO Audit with a Comprehensive Checklist
One of the main things you need for a successful website audit is a high level of organization. Using a detailed checklist is a great way to ensure all of your bases are covered during the audit. If you are unsure about what to include on your SEO audit checklist, consider the following elements.
Work On Identifying Link Building Opportunities
Driving more traffic to your website while boosting your online reputation should be a top priority. Building links is a great way to accomplish these goals. Using both site-specific internal and external links is imperative. As you develop new content for your website, take time to search for previous blogs on the same subject.
Embedding links to this related content in your blog will provide your readers with more context about the subject in question. Checking and changing your internal/external links is important if you want to attract attention from search engines like Google.
Add More Words to “Thin” Blogs
Long-form content is used by many businesses to attract attention from powerful search engines. As you start to review the blog content on your website, be sure to edit “thin” content. A “thin” piece of content will feature 300 words or less.
Google has released updates in the past designed to crack down on sites with “thin” content. Bulking up content with more words and information can breathe new life into it. By adding more words, you can also boost the amount of attention a blog receives from Google.
Check and Improve Metadata
Meta titles and descriptions are extremely important to the overall success of your website. This metadata helps Google determine what the content on a particular website page is about. Metadata also helps search engine users narrow down the websites on their results pages.
Making sure that the meta tags on your website feature the main target keyword is vital. However, you need to avoid stuffing keywords into this metadata. Keyword stuffing is considered a black hat SEO tactic that Google frowns upon.
Test Page Speed
Having a slow-loading website can make converting visitors into customers nearly impossible. If you’re creating a checklist for your SEO audit, you can’t afford to forget about page speed testing. Companies that offer affordable SEO for small businesses have many tools they can use to test page speed.
By finding and fixing page speed issues, you can do things like:
- Boost online sales
- Make your website more appealing to mobile users
- Improve user experience
- Achieve better bounce rates
- Establish a competitive edge
Many problems can create website loading issues. Working with professionals is vital when trying to identify and fix these problems quickly.
The keywords you target in your website content will change frequently. Before you begin an SEO audit, take the time to develop a list of new and relevant keywords. Incorporating these new keywords naturally into old content can give your website a significant online visibility boost.
You also need to make sure that the proper keyword density is being used in older content. If a target keyword is featured too many times in your content, it can make it appear spammy. This is why you need to find the proper keyword density and use it in all of your online content.
Focus On Improving Site Architecture
Assessing site architecture is also important when conducting an SEO audit. The way the information on your website is structured makes a big difference in how well it is received by consumers and search engines.
Creating a search feature for your website is one of the easiest ways to improve site structure. You also need to make sure the content on your website is easy to scan. Adding bullet points, headings and trimming down the size of paragraphs is a great way to make your website scannable.
Conducting an SEO audit of your website multiple times a year can be extremely beneficial. The information gathered during this audit can help you optimize your website for success.